How to get from degree holder to freelance translator?
Thread poster: Kelly Francis

Kelly Francis
Local time: 17:44
French to English
+ ...
Jul 28, 2010

hi all,

I have a degree in French and spanish and most of my professional experience has been in the field of teaching (French, English and Literature). I would love to do literary translation but i understand that it could be a difficult market and work may not be as frequent as say in business or advertising.

Recently I have left teaching and decided to become a freelance translator but most of the jobs I see require accreditation and experience neither of which i possess. I would definitely love to do the IOL dip trans as a means of becoming accredited but lack funds at the moment. Is there anyway that I can utilise my degree while waiting to become accredited?

Furthermore most jobs require quotes and as a beginner I have no idea how to do this, any help on these matters would be greatly appreciated!!!!


Sandrine Ananie  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:44
Member (2009)
English to French
As everybody will tell you... Jul 28, 2010

Read the "Getting Established" forum. You'll find tons of useful information there. Don't rush into freelancing, tempted as you may be to try and earn some cash. Read, read, read, so you can understand how the market works and devise your marketing strategy. Don't be afraid to PM future colleagues who have been in a similar situation as yours to ask them for precise advice; I did and never regretted it.

Sure, it sounds daunting at first when you see all those agencies requiring x years of experience. But not all of them do so, and my experience is they do make exceptions. Don't dwell on your not having a degree/diploma in Translation; focus on your strengths. What do you have that sets you apart from others? I have read horrible things translated by degree-holders and the two best translators I know (one EN-FR and the other FR-EN) do not have an official degree in Translation, yet their translations have a real "wow" factor (I do mostly marketing translations and so do they).

As for gaining experience, the "Getting Established" forum will give you some ideas (volunteer translations etc.).

Hope this helps,



Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely... Jul 28, 2010 all the topics in the Getting started area. This discussion is very common indeed and you will find useful information in many of the topics.

Good luck!


Kelly Francis
Local time: 17:44
French to English
+ ...
tx Jul 28, 2010

thanks alot i appreciate the feedback and I will get started on readingicon_smile.gif


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How to get from degree holder to freelance translator?

Advanced search

Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search