Where to start? Information overload!
Thread poster: Joanna M.

Joanna M.
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
English to Polish
+ ...
Aug 25, 2010

Hiya, fellow translators.
I would be very grateful for any help/advice.
I have been thinking about getting established for the last few months (in the UK). I am going to set up a website that would promote me as a freelance translator (English-Polish).
Having looked through the internet I am a bit lost now as per organisations that you could/should join: ITI, IoLET, NRSPI.
I am sure lots of you guys work as freelancers here in the UK. What were your moves, what did you invest in, what did you join?
Please, any help would be veeeeery precious!!!!!
Cheers.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I didn't join anything Aug 25, 2010

Moodget wrote:

Hiya, fellow translators.
I would be very grateful for any help/advice.
I have been thinking about getting established for the last few months (in the UK). I am going to set up a website that would promote me as a freelance translator (English-Polish).
Having looked through the internet I am a bit lost now as per organisations that you could/should join: ITI, IoLET, NRSPI.
I am sure lots of you guys work as freelancers here in the UK. What were your moves, what did you invest in, what did you join?
Please, any help would be veeeeery precious!!!!!
Cheers.


I didn't join anything. Proz was good enough - after a while. It takes a while to get things going.

If you specialise in one language pair, that's a plus. Also, if there's a particular field you're really expert in, that's another plus.

The better agencies are looking for specialised translators who are really good in one language pair. It takes longer to get going, but once you've got going you'll find they come back to you because they know you're good.

In terms of getting work, in my experience being a good translator and being professional about how you conduct your business is far more important than being a member of translators' associations.

[Edited at 2010-08-25 15:01 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:23
English to German
+ ...
Absolutely with Tom in London Aug 25, 2010

Tom in London wrote:

I didn't join anything. Proz was good enough - after a while. It takes a while to get things going.

If you specialise in one language pair, that's a plus. Also, if there's a particular field you're really expert in, that's another plus.

The better agencies are looking for specialised translators who are really good in one language pair. It takes longer to get going, but once you've got going you'll find they come back to you because they know you're good.

In terms of getting work, in my experience being a good translator and being professional about how you conduct your business is far more important than being a member of translators' associations.

[Edited at 2010-08-25 15:01 GMT]


We don't even have a website. We serve 45 clients in 11 countries (Yeees, I must update my CV...) since we signed up with ProZ.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
One note about organisations Aug 25, 2010

Moodget wrote:
Having looked through the internet I am a bit lost now as per organisations that you could/should join: ITI, IoLET, NRSPI.

This forum perfectly reflects the fact that being an independent translator or interpreter requires a lot of knowledge, not just about translation itself, but about business aspects. In fact, there are schools who offer courses on how to become a freelance translator and who always include a couple of sessions about how to manage your business, rates, associations, precautions, etc.

It is very hard indeed to summarise all the advice you can find in the Getting Started forum in Proz.com, and I encourage you to go through its many entries for a start.

About the organisations you mention (ITI, IoL, NRSPI), your best bet is to email them directly or call them. They will be happy (although sometimes a bit slow) to come back to you, but they have websites with plenty of information. I just wanted to add a quick note about the fact that some of these organisations require you to pass a very difficult exam in order to become a member. So whatever your course of action, you need to take that fact into account and prepare for these exams the best you can.


 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
My suggestion: the ITI Aug 25, 2010

Moodget wrote:
I am a bit lost now as per organisations that you could/should join: ITI, IoLET, NRSPI.

I think you might find the ITI useful (I am a member).
There are various grades of membership (Student, Associate, Member) with varying membership requirements.
The ITI runs online training courses on setting up a translation business. Another attraction is that there are regional branches who organise talks and social events, and give you an opportunity to network with colleagues -- which many people find a good way of getting work. And there are plenty with your language combination.
So I suggest looking at the ITI website www.iti.org.uk but also to look at the regional and language networks.
Having said that, I agree that ProZ is a good way of getting work.


 

Joanna M.
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
IoLET Aug 26, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Moodget wrote:
Having looked through the internet I am a bit lost now as per organisations that you could/should join: ITI, IoLET, NRSPI.

This forum perfectly reflects the fact that being an independent translator or interpreter requires a lot of knowledge, not just about translation itself, but about business aspects. In fact, there are schools who offer courses on how to become a freelance translator and who always include a couple of sessions about how to manage your business, rates, associations, precautions, etc.

It is very hard indeed to summarise all the advice you can find in the Getting Started forum in Proz.com, and I encourage you to go through its many entries for a start.

About the organisations you mention (ITI, IoL, NRSPI), your best bet is to email them directly or call them. They will be happy (although sometimes a bit slow) to come back to you, but they have websites with plenty of information. I just wanted to add a quick note about the fact that some of these organisations require you to pass a very difficult exam in order to become a member. So whatever your course of action, you need to take that fact into account and prepare for these exams the best you can.



I have a DipTrans exam done, and have been thining whether it is worth joining them - you are then included in their list of translators, but how many people would actually look there for a translator??? Is that worthwhile signing up?


 

Joanna M.
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your input Aug 26, 2010

How about Trados and all the other software I saw mentioned. What is it all about?

Are you guys operating well without joining up any organizations? Do you advertise / have your own websites / work for agencies?

I suppose I sound really green, but I am just completely lost.


 

Joanna M.
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
certified translations Aug 26, 2010

How about certified translations? I read somewhere you are able to do them as a member of IoL.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask the people involved! Aug 26, 2010

I hope the title did not sound harsh!icon_smile.gif

I meant to say that you might want to call IOL (they are really helpful over the phone) and ask them about the certified translations. They might be able to tell you more about what is involved.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
None of the above Aug 26, 2010

Moodget wrote:

How about Trados and all the other software I saw mentioned. What is it all about?

Are you guys operating well without joining up any organizations? Do you advertise / have your own websites / work for agencies?

I suppose I sound really green, but I am just completely lost.


I don't use Trados or any of those things.
I haven't joined any organisations except this one (Proz).
I don't advertise but I do send my CV to agencies.
I don't have a website except for my Proz page.

And I'm doing OK - I get as many translating jobs as I want. But it takes 2-3 years to build up the business.

Sometimes there are periods of a few days when no work comes in. But then it builds up again.

I find that you build a relationship with a relatively small number of agencies, and they keep coming back on a regular basis, supplying you with work.

[Edited at 2010-08-26 20:51 GMT]


 


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