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Starting as a translator and meeting clients
Thread poster: enigma62

enigma62
United States
Local time: 10:10
Spanish to English
Dec 4, 2010

hello, my name is Camilo. I am a native English speaker. However i have always been immersed in Spanish by talking with my family, in my job and via the neighborhood i lived most of my life which had many Spanish speaking persons. Therefore, as a neophyte to working freelance as a translator, I would truly appreciate any and all advice that may be offered. I have worked some 20 years in a family business that has focused on Immigration, Taxes and Translation services. Now I understand that for this type of work the beginning is where the true dilemma lies. How to gain clientele? I have four strategies which I believe may offer some promise. First, obviously by having a presence on the Web. I am about to post my website here. So that anyone can peruse it to get an idea of my qualifications and background. Second, by posting ads in classifieds. Now i realize classifieds are almost redundant on the Internet as simply by doing lets say a Google search, one can find many things including freelance translators. However, some people may prefer local persons or by looking at classifieds they can quickly search for and find a particular translator. Third, by seeking clientele. Selecting organizations, NGO's , companies etc. can streamline the process if you look for entities which match your particular set of skills. Finally, sites like Proz also offer a tremendous opportunity for new translators to demonstrate their savvy and wherewithal as translators. So I intend to take advantage of these diverse methods and would be grateful for other insights and methods that any of you may recommend. Well so as to not ramble on, I will stay that I am very impressed with this site and look forward to interacting with other members. thank you. c...

 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Dec 4, 2010

I suggest you look back through previous posts in this forum, as you'll find most of your questions have already been answered. There's also the search facility if there are particular issues you want to focus on. Good luck, and enjoy ProZ!

 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com winning strategies Dec 4, 2010

Hello enigma62,

First of all, welcome to ProZ.com!

The first thing you should know about meeting clients through ProZ.com is that the main channel to get jobs are direct searches outsourcers conduct in the directory or translators and interpreters.

With this in mind, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure potential clients searching the directory for language professionals see you, and that once they see you, that they remain interested. These few things are what, at ProZ.com, are called winning strategies. ProZ.com winning strategies include:

1. A good profile, as your profile serves as your business card and directory listing, and it is the first impression of you that colleagues and potential clients will have when they find you at ProZ.com and when running web searches.

2. Membership, as members are ranked ahead of non-members in the directory of freelancers and interpreters, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and are then more visible in searches.

3. KudoZ PRO points in your language pairs and fields of expertise, as this is how directory search results are ranked among the first group (members) and the second group (non-members). A few minutes of effort, a few times a month, may be all that is needed to boost your position in the freelancer directory.

4. Specialization. Let potential clients know what your fields of expertise are by listing fields in your profile in order --your specialty fields must be ordered accordingly, earning KudoZ points in those fields and in your top language pair, providing details in your "About me", etc. More tips on how to show your specialization are available here.

5. PRO status, as becoming a certified PRO will allow you to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, including companies seeking the services of certified PROs only. (it is extremely important though that all previous strategies are put into use, and that all required information is gathered, before applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network).

If you are willing to give these strategies a try, please let me know and I will be glad to assist you personally.

Also, perhaps you would like to sign up for one of the free webinars on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" offered on a weekly basis, http://www.proz.com/translator-training/format/webinar-presentations

For more information on ProZ.com winning strategies, please visit http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/ProZ.com_winning_strategies

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

Kind regards,

Lucía


 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
Refresh English skills. Dec 5, 2010

Dear Camilo,

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I have to ask: are you really a native speaker of English? I ask because some sentences just sound strange, and the word 'neophyte' just glares at me. If you are a native speaker, I would spend some time brushing up on my written English. You have missed capital letters and other elements, which really are very important if you want to be taken seriously in this business as a 'trustworthy' translator. If you do not meet the high standards required, be prepared to accept low rates and bad working conditions.

I wish you all the best.

Happy translating!

Paul.


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I disagree with Paul. Dec 6, 2010

There's absolutely nothing wrong with your English, and that includes the word 'neophyte'! You're obviously a native speaker.

 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nothing wrong? Dec 6, 2010

Good morning everybody,

I merely asked, my question hasn't even been answered yet. However, I can't agree with Phil's comment 'there's absolutely nothing wrong with your English'. If I delivered a translation with errors such as those in the poster's message (including the word 'neophyte', when the much more natural 'beginner' would do), I doubt I would receive any subsequent work. The issues I have concern the lack of paragraphs, the misuse of capital letters and bad punctuation (NGO's), among other points. I don't like reading badly written English.

I wanted to state my opinion as I believe too many people on here are too soft. People who want to become translators need to know that it's difficult and that simply knowing two languages is not enough. I'm not here to be the bad guy, I'm just standing up for high quality and my profession.

And if my doubts were unwarranted, prove me wrong Camilo!

Happy translating!

Paul.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:10
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Managing personal data when you start as a translator Dec 6, 2010

Rule number one when you start out as a translator: do not disclose your client's confidential information.

I would not dream of uploading a sample translation onto my profile containing any sensitive data.


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:10
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bilingual? Dec 7, 2010

Welcome to the site, engima62. Just to be helpful, I think what Paul is referring to is what the Spanish call "jucio de corrección" and "juicio de ortografía". (They're generally more developed in the language in which you went to school.) But when one grows up bilingual - even as a native speaker of one or the other language, or both - interferences often occur. If you want to get into the field, you have to watch out for this kind of confusion and keep both your languages under control because that's where clients are going to hit you the most.

Hope it helps. Good luck!


 

enigma62
United States
Local time: 10:10
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have no qualms about your critique Dec 8, 2010

Paul Adie wrote:

Good morning everybody,

I merely asked, my question hasn't even been answered yet. However, I can't agree with Phil's comment 'there's absolutely nothing wrong with your English'. If I delivered a translation with errors such as those in the poster's message (including the word 'neophyte', when the much more natural 'beginner' would do), I doubt I would receive any subsequent work. The issues I have concern the lack of paragraphs, the misuse of capital letters and bad punctuation (NGO's), among other points. I don't like reading badly written English.

I wanted to state my opinion as I believe too many people on here are too soft. People who want to become translators need to know that it's difficult and that simply knowing two languages is not enough. I'm not here to be the bad guy, I'm just standing up for high quality and my profession.

And if my doubts were unwarranted, prove me wrong Camilo!

Happy translating!

Paul.


Dear Paul, I take no offense to your blunt analysis of my post, on the contrary I appreciate your strict emphasis. It is difficult to become a successful translator. I recognize that my grammar skills are lacking but hope that with spelling and grammar checks that will not be an issue. Also, I should point out that this was an informal post and i really did not pay heed to being perfect in it's presentation. Now just curious but the word neophyte exists and is spelled correctly and as you pointed out is synonymous with beginner, so I am baffled by what is the mistake. I undoubtedly, am inferior in capabilities to some of the professional translators that roam this site so I am in fact grateful for the "tough love" Finally, I would never take offense to constructive criticism. I will always accept helpful advice. regards camilo


 

enigma62
United States
Local time: 10:10
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
appreciate support Dec 8, 2010

philgoddard wrote:

There's absolutely nothing wrong with your English, and that includes the word 'neophyte'! You're obviously a native speaker.


Thank you Phil for your support. Take care. Camilo


 

enigma62
United States
Local time: 10:10
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Dear Emma Dec 8, 2010

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Rule number one when you start out as a translator: do not disclose your client's confidential information.

I would not dream of uploading a sample translation onto my profile containing any sensitive data.


You are absolutely correct. I did use bad judgment in revealing certain information. I will say that it is a bit sad that we live in a world whereby we cannot reveal information without the risk of it being used nefariously by others. I got caught up in my translation and did not realize the nature of the information being posted. I was not prudent and will make sure this mistake does not occur again. Rule number one when you make a mistake own up to it. Regards camilo


 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
Neophyte Dec 9, 2010

Dear Camilo,

I just don't see the point of using fancy words when plain ones will do. Why try to confuse people? It would be like using 'to ameliorate' instead of 'to improve', or 'to masticate' instead of 'to chew'. I don't know, but maybe 'neófito' is used much more often in Spanish than it's English cognate, something like 'newbie' perhaps.

In any case, I'm glad you've taken my comments as I intended. With a lot of work, I hope you can make it.

Happy translating,

Paul.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:10
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Remove the sensitive data Dec 9, 2010

enigma62 wrote:

Rule number one when you make a mistake own up to it.


Rule number two: correct the mistake.


The sample on your profile is a serious breach of privacy with your client and I would urge you remove it.


 
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