Starting as a freelance translator
Thread poster: Leena Oni

Leena Oni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:26
English to Finnish
+ ...
Jun 4, 2009

Hello Everyone,
I'm a bilingual nurse planning to start my own freelance translation business specialising in medical translations but I have very little idea of how to get started. I wonder if any of you more experienced translators could give me some tips; whether any training courses or special tools are required and how to get started.
I would be very grateful for any help.
Thank you,


Rafael Bordabehere  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A little help Jun 4, 2009

1) learn how to use CAT tools like WordFast or SDL Trados (much more expensive);
2) make some research on rates and quotes around the translation world;
3) build your own perfect CV;
4) get some fixed email to be available through;
5) get some money account (like Paypal, Moneybookers, etc.);
6) keep in touch with forums and webinars in and other services alike;

That's not all but it's a lot to start with.
Hope somebody gives you more tips.
Welcome and good luck.


Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
French to English
+ ...
Forums, etc. Jun 4, 2009

Dear Leena,

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest that you have a thorough look around the forums as there are tons of posts with good advice about getting started, books to read, setting up shop, finding clients, professional associations, etc.

The best advice would probably to be to take your time and fully research things before you set out into the wild world of freelancing.

Why not contact your local translators' association and try to meet a few colleagues in person or attend a local event (ITI or, for example?

Good luck!


Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF resources on becoming a freelancer Jun 4, 2009

Of course the forums, colleagues and others here have lots of input, and some of that is available to users via A complete profile, and activity within the site - forums, kudoz all will increase your exposure and opportunity to meet clients. membership will also be a valuable tool in building your client list and income from translation. We have a membership campaign ongoing at

Here are a few good places to start - article on getting the most out of as a freelancer

Webinars on getting started as a freelancer and how to promote yourself -

Video recordings of Oleg's webinars -

And Olegs book on Internet Freelancing available here -

Good luck with your new career as a freelance translator



Leena Oni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:26
English to Finnish
+ ...
Thank you! Jun 5, 2009

Thank you all so much! The information was very helpful. I have a bit more idea of where to start!


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Starting as a freelance translator

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