What can I do next (staff: after working pro-bono for a NGO)
Thread poster: Sandra Stein

Sandra Stein
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:15
English to Portuguese
Apr 19, 2010

Hi guys, hope you are well.

I luckily got an opportunity to work as translator and Editor on a voluntary bases for a Non-governmental Organization, that was suppose to be my first step. But now I'm a little lost about what should I do next to get a proper job and to make the translation as my living. What do you think? I also, sometimes, get the feeling that Portuguese language is not that well sought after in London, would any one be able to clarify that situation for me.
I appreciate any advice.

Best wishes,

Sandra Stein

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-04-19 21:54 GMT]


Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dear Sandra Apr 19, 2010

It seems to me Brazilian Portuguese is very popular, but I have worked in London and I know that many agencies and project managers do not seem to know there is a difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese, and end up getting European translators even if the documents are going to be used in Brazil. Not all of them, of course, but I've seen it happen many times.

Another thing that you might wanna consider is that "in-house" positions in translation are rare. You have better chances establishing yourself as a freelancer. So I wouldn't count on a "proper" job like you said.

It takes time, so enjoy this experience as a volunteer to learn as much as you can. Most translators had to start doing it part-time, until they had enough knowledge, experience and contacts.

My advice is to practice as much as you can.
Good luck!


Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
English to French
+ ...
The pro bono is to help others... Apr 20, 2010


For me the pro bono is to help other people in need of your skills, I never thought of it as a way to get a job !

I would advise you to use social networks if you want to start working !

Proz is a good start, you can also get a Faceboo account and start getting connected to translation agencies in the end it will get you a job or two...The thing is to know that it takes time to get established ...




Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:15
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
what can you do? Apr 20, 2010

From working for an NGO you can
- work for another NGO
- work as an inhouse translator
- work as a freelancer
- work in voice recording
- work in games industry
- work in subtitling
- work in book translations

or look for anything else you fancy doing
- open a Portuguese restaurant??
- work in tourism and give tours of London
- join some business club for investors in Portugal??

the options a limitless!


"shoot for the moon and al least you'll land amongst the stars"


Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Edward Apr 20, 2010

I think she is Brazilian, not Portuguese.
I also think she's referring to what to do next getting established as a translator.

[Edited at 2010-04-20 13:51 GMT]


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
Member (2007)
+ ...
Why are you restricted to London, Sandra? Apr 20, 2010

Sandra Stein wrote:
I also, sometimes, get the feeling that Portuguese language is not that well sought after in London

You might live in London, but you work primarily on the Internet, I imagine.

Anywhere within the EU should be easy - cheap money transfers (or you could probably open a euro account), all sorts of backup such as the European Small Claims Court (not that you will need it, hopefully, but the bad payers know it's there, tooicon_smile.gif)

There are added complications of currency, time zones, and sometimes language, in working with clients far away from your base, but nothing's impossible nowadays if you go out there and grab it, whilst accepting a small business risk. Personally, fewer than 50% of my clients are based in France, the rest being scattered around Europe, the USA, Syria, India, ... My bad debts in the last 12 years have both been from language teaching schools I could practically walk to, but there's no point hassling them when they're bankrupt.


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What can I do next (staff: after working pro-bono for a NGO)

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