How do I get the work?
Thread poster: xxxdclark8
xxxdclark8
Local time: 07:26
English to French
+ ...
Jul 10, 2011

Hi all,

I'm trying to get into translating, I'm quoting for jobs, and being proactive but I just can't seem to get any work because of my lack of experience!
Can anyone recommend a decent way to start out, build up experience and take it from there? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks!


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:26
English to Russian
+ ...
You could take a course Jul 10, 2011

in "How to start my own business".

It helps always.

[Edited at 2011-07-10 17:16 GMT]


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Cécile Sellier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:26
English to French
+ ...
Complete your profile Jul 10, 2011

Hi there!

Another idea might be to fill in your ProZ profile, since at the moment any potential client/outsourcer doesn't learn anything about you from it. For example, you say you work both from French to English and from English to French - are they both your native languages? Where/what did you study? Do you have any diplomas in languages/translation?

I think people will give you work more easily when they knew a few things about you

Hope that helps... Good luck!!

Cécile


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 09:26
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
How about a photo? Jul 10, 2011

Outsourcers like to know who they are dealing with.
Cheers
H


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Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
"Meeting clients at ProZ.com" webinars Jul 10, 2011

Hello dclark8,

Welcome to ProZ.com!

Perhaps you would be interested in attending one of the free webinars on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" that are offered on a weekly basis by site staff:

http://www.proz.com/translator-training/format/webinar-presentations

Hope to see you there!

Kind regards,

Lucía


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:26
Italian to English
What experience do you have? Jul 10, 2011

dclark8 wrote:

Hi all,

I'm trying to get into translating, I'm quoting for jobs, and being proactive but I just can't seem to get any work because of my lack of experience!
Can anyone recommend a decent way to start out, build up experience and take it from there? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks!


Or to put it another way, in what areas do you have specialist knowledge that will enable you to produce a better-quality translation than most generalist translators in the language pair?

When you've sorted that out, focus on likely clients.

Play to your strengths


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hello, dclark8 Jul 10, 2011

As others have said, there are many things you could and/or should do before you can expect to be assigned work. Of course, ProZ.com, whilst being the most important translators' workplace on the internet, is only one place to look for work. But if you are going to use your ProZ.com profile as your window on the web then you must complete it with everything that is going to help you. Give emphasis to everything you have that will work in your favour and gloss over the lack of experience. Important information would be:

- your general level of education, and the part that languages have played in it
- translation qualifications: you will at least need a basic translating diploma, particularly if you don't have other professional experience, and if you are just starting out then I would strongly encourage you to do a Master or similar to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for jobs
- any other justification for your level of language skills: family situation or time spent in a country where your source language is spoken
- any proof of native-language writing skills: it doesn't matter what you are good at if you don't write well in your target language
- any translations you have done, whether or not they were paid: a sample would be useful. If you haven't done any translations, start now. There are plenty of clubs, self-help groups etc on the web who would welcome translations (although you should not volunteer to translate text for profit-making companies)
- specialisations: you say history, but why? How about other areas (hobbies etc)?
- your CV (suitable for a freelancer rather than an employee's CV), in English and French
- a powerful marketing statement in the "about me" section, full of reasons why you're fit to do the job
- a photo and a real name can be useful: translations are done by people, not by computers (for the moment, at least!) and clients often prefer to deal with a translator they can identify with from the start.

As others have said:

- Saying you are an English native speaker living in the UK, then putting Eng-Fr as your principal language pair looks strange - do you really think you can handle translations into French as well as or better than a native French speaker? Maybe you can, but you would need to justify it.

- If you have received training, tell everyone about it, if not you will benefit from training in any or all of the following areas: marketing, small business management, CAT tool use, other computer skills training, more training in your source language, your target language, your specialisation areas (in both languages) and of course translation techniques themselves. You might even want to study another source language.

- If you are looking for jobs here on ProZ.com, then you must try to improve your visibility here. Lucia's webinar is well worth attending, believe me. Even if you aren't really looking for work here, answering KudoZ questions can be fun and educational at the same time.

So, keep heading for your long-term goal but treat translation as a career rather than just as a job. By that I mean you may have to put in several years of training and/or several years of other professional experience before you can really hope to launch your own business as a professional translator.

Good luck and stick around!

Sheila


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:26
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Complete your profile Jul 10, 2011

In a mature market, do you think that anyone will hire someone who does not state who he/she is and who does not declare his/her qualifications and experience?

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I love Proz a lot, but Jul 10, 2011

I can see how a newbie could get the impression that they can enter the translation field in an instant and that all they have to do is set up a profile here and bam - the job offers will come rolling in. The reality is that it may take years to get established.

I wonder if anyone has any statistics on how many newbies enter the field and then give up discouraged due to the lack of ability to find work or because (excited to finally get work) they did not know the warning signs and got repeatedly scammed by non-paying companies?

[Edited at 2011-07-10 22:40 GMT]


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Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Estonian
+ ...
I wouldn't hire anybody... Jul 11, 2011

who answers NA to every question in the profile. Especially when there's more than 10000 people translating EN-FR.

[Edited at 2011-07-11 03:24 GMT]


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Mohd shadab  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
Hindi to English
+ ...
Not Easy task ! Jul 11, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I can see how a newbie could get the impression that they can enter the translation field in an instant and that all they have to do is set up a profile here and bam - the job offers will come rolling in. The reality is that it may take years to get established.

I wonder if anyone has any statistics on how many newbies enter the field and then give up discouraged due to the lack of ability to find work or because (excited to finally get work) they did not know the warning signs and got repeatedly scammed by non-paying companies?

[Edited at 2011-07-10 22:40 GMT]


I am agree with Jeff that people only think if they have profile on different portals its more then enough to get the job.. Infact its not an easy task to get your first job.


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Romina Eva Pérez Escorihuela
Argentina
Local time: 03:26
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fully agree with Sheila! Jul 11, 2011

Hello, dclark8,

Sheila gave you great advice!

I would like to add something: I registered at ProZ, I guess, in 2008 or 2009, mainly to ask questions at KudoZ while doing my first translations... at that time I was starting my free-lance career and, therefore, was also seeking to stay in touch with other professionals over here...

But I could only start working via ProZ when I became a Member a year ago.
I decided to do that investment and, believe me, it DID help a lot.
Maybe, it is a bit early for you to think about paying the Membership... but don't disregard it...

Wish you the best.
Romina


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
My advice is Jul 11, 2011

... to stick to translating into your native language for starters. Plus what everyone else has already pointed out.
You might try starting up part time, for example I was in TEFL for years before I sort of drifted into translation.


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