Tips for beginers: Proven Experience
Thread poster: TTGaleano

TTGaleano
Colombia
Local time: 17:36
English to Spanish
Oct 1, 2011

Hi everybody. I'm new to PROZ and new in online professional translation, but I have at least 5 years experience translating from English > Spanish for local clients mostly by word of mouth because I don't actually advertise translating as a service on my website or CV. Since translating is not my “core business” and the local certification test is a year away* I'd like to know: how can I build “proven experience”? My past customers have no online presence, and most of my translations go to printing and private use. I joined hopping that Proz offered a way to build such experience but I have not found how since most of the jobs require experience and I'm not sure if I want to start quoting for jobs if my profile is not competitive enough.

That said, I have been doing translations as a freelance for a local language school for at least 3 years, I don't know if that would be useful, should I ask them for a reference letter or certification?

Also, is there anyone reading this that would like to help me adding me to some project? So I can work and get a certifiable experience in the online translation industry. I focus on English > Spanish being a native Spanish speaker, Marketing, advertising and IT are my main fields of work. I'm willing to do any test before being accepted, I'm confident in my translating talent and experience.

Thanks for stopping by and for your help.

* ACTI is the local certifier for pro translators, they offer yearly test only, and the last test was the day before I joined PROZ :/


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:36
English to German
+ ...
Online translation? Oct 1, 2011

What is that supposed to be?

I do have the feeling that there is a slight misconception going on here. The translators that you will meet here on this portal for networking and meeting new customers work for clients all over the world, and files might be exchanged via email attachments or via FTP sites for logistical reasons because clients might be one or two continents away. Is that what you meant with "online translation"? Their translations will go onto the printing press and will be turned into books, brochures, posters, printed manuals, TV commercials, movies, video, audio or carved into marble, just like any other translated text.

Your know-how of marketing, advertising and IT IS already your proven experience.

icon_smile.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:36
English to German
+ ...
One possibility Oct 1, 2011

You might ask your customers for permission to use excerpts of your translations as work samples for self-advertising. Without naming them as a client.

Your clients cannot "certify" you. Reference letters are a bit silly, you are not a beginner.

Best of luck and welcome to ProZ.com!


 

TTGaleano
Colombia
Local time: 17:36
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Tips for beginers: Proven Experience Oct 1, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

What is that supposed to be?

I do have the feeling that there is a slight misconception going on here. The translators that you will meet here on this portal for networking and meeting new customers work for clients all over the world, and files might be exchanged via email attachments or via FTP sites for logistical reasons because clients might be one or two continents away. Is that what you meant with "online translation"?


Hi Nicole, by online I mean working with clients all over the world as a freelancer contrary to what I'm used to that is working with clients face to face. I can prove my experience in the later easily while the former it's a bit tricky since I'm like starting from zero.

I'm somewhat knowledgeable in TAC and TM, omega T and Trados, I even went deep inside the translation industry as I was commissioned to do some research for the Language school mentioned above (they wanted to explore viability to set up a local translation agency), setting up and testing some “cloud based” translation frameworks etc. I do a bit of web design and have clients in USA and Panama already so I'm familiar with anything web and pushing documents around and when I joined PROZ I was aware of the probable workflow, there is no problem in that regard.

Guess my question was a little more inclined toward asking: how did you started to get that “proven experience” coming from zero? Because I'm probably not allowed to use most of the translations that I have done, my only hope was being recommended by the Language school but maybe they will not allow me to quote past work from their clients since I work mostly as “ghosting” in there.

But I get your point and will be looking through my past translations to see what's useful, maybe publishing some of my work in a dedicated sister website along my actual one, a web translation-inclined CV seems like a good idea?


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:36
English to German
+ ...
Here is the point: Oct 2, 2011

TTGaleano wrote:
how did you started to get that “proven experience” coming from zero?


You are not measured by your years in translation, you are measured by the expertise you have in the field that you are supposed to write about.

Example:
My first client and I met because someone was looking specifically for a translator who knows how to write Direct Marketing pieces. No problem, I have been a copywriter in Direct Marketing for 20 years and my client and I were made for each other. Back then I wasn't even a student at NYU yet to study translation.

Unfortunately your profile page does not provide any information about your career. You state advertising as your main specialty. I got my degree in marketing and advertising 20 years before I did my first translation.

Without more information about you and your knowhow in particular industries it is hard to provide targeted hints and tips.

Regarding software skills: I don't even know what TAC is supposed to mean, and I have no clue whatsoever about Omega T and consorts. I write. Software skills don't make a translator. Writing skills and knowledge of industries do.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Get references Oct 3, 2011

If you have worked for any clients at all, ask them for references.

If referring to translated texts that appear online so that you can refer potential clients to them - I'd add a word of warning. It's advisable to check any such texts just in case. After you deliver your final draft, it may pass through several hands before reaching the web and more than once good translations which I have done have either been butchered and spoilt en route, or simply not uploaded at all. One large project in particular really annoyed me, as I'd recruited other translators to help out and taken a lot of time and effort to ensure a top class translation, which the client eventually used only for a printed booklet at a one-off project launch, leaving the website version in its original dodgy non-native MT-assisted translation simply to save a few pennies. I eventually had to remove it from my CV when I found out.



[Edited at 2011-10-03 09:16 GMT]


 

TTGaleano
Colombia
Local time: 17:36
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Tips for beginers: Proven Experience Oct 3, 2011

Hi everyone, thanks for your words of advice I’m somewhat in the same position as @neilmac, my work is mostly offline in the form of printed brochures or internal documents regarding research about different topics or markets that I do based on client requests, is not likely that they allow me to share the contents of such translations and is not ethical from my part either. I´ll ask the language school anyway, maybe they can come up with some idea that allows me to quote the work I’ve done there.

I think I’ll do the virtual CV thing and post any relevant translations there, hard part is finding the right ones. Thanks again for your help.


 

Thomas McCaffrey  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
You seem experienced. Nov 30, 2011

You seem to have a decent amount of experience. You might consider putting some of what you told us into your profile. You haven't filed in your "about me" section and you seem to be selling yourself short. Your profile is what your prospective clients are going to use to make their decision, so put your best face toward.

If a customer needs proof of your expertise, you could prepare a sample.

Best of luck,
Thomas


 


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