Need advice: Trying to break into the business of freelance translation
Thread poster: adpace

adpace
United States
Local time: 23:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 12, 2004

Hi!

I am a school teacher, and I must say that I don't enjoy my job very much. Sadly, students become more difficult to deal with everyday. I have been teaching Spanish for the last three years, and have found that I enjoy translating. I really would like to work my way into translating full-time. I just don't know exactly where to start. I have put in some bids on websites like this one, but have done few projects.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good book or two that has information on how to get started? I'm NOT looking for textbooks or courses. Rather, I want some practical reading and advice. Any additional advice for someone who is just starting out would be appreciated, as well. Thanks,

Angela


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some good books to get started with May 12, 2004

On the translation business:

Becoming a Translator: An Accelerated Course by Doug Robinson
How to Earn $80,000+ Per Year as a Freelance Translator by Alex Eames. (Don't be put off by the the lurid sales pitch; this book is the best of its kind that I have seen.)

On Spanish-to-English translation:
Introduction to Spanish Translation by Jack Child
Thinking Spanish Translation: A Course in Translation Method, Spanish to English by Sandor G. J. Hervey, Ian Higgins and Louise M. Haywood
Teaching Translation from Spanish to English: Worlds Beyond Words by Alison Beeby Lonsdale.

[Edited at 2004-05-12 03:12]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:37
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Contact local translation agencies May 12, 2004

Contact local translation agencies. Offer your portfolio and ask them to test you. If your translation of the samples they use for testing is satisfactory to them, offer to do one or two jobs for free. The way I did it was I paid for some certified translations I needed for the Immigration Department, then I asked them to give me a try. Now they give me weekly assignments. I still hold a full time job so that is something you need to consider also. I translate in the evenings and in the weekends, as many hours as needed in order to deliver the job on schedule. So, some days I end up working around 14 hours but I do not care. Currently, I work for three different agencies, quite regularly.
By the way, I prefer this method, I do not want to deal with selling my services directly to clients and everything it entails, from quoting a price to collecting the money. I rather invest my time at the keyboard and get paid no matter what as my contract is with the agency.
Good luck!


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adpace
United States
Local time: 23:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 12, 2004

Your posts will give me a good start. I will definitely check out some of those books ASAP. I didn't know many places had local places where you could test as a translator. While I live in a fairly small city, I will check that out. I know that most of the cities that organizations like the ATA test in are too far away for me, but I will check around locally. Thanks for your help!

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:37
German to English
Trying to break into the business of freelance translation May 12, 2004

Here's an interesting site:

http://www.fortranslators.com/

There's a good article entitled "The Perfect Translator" and several good books. You might find "The Translator's Handbook" useful and there's a Spanish/English self-training book.


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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 14:37
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Practical Book Sep 23, 2004

Hi Angela,

I have been in exact same situation! I taught English in France and then French in England. I liked the teaching in France but hated it in London! I then decided to become a writer and a translator and found the translating market rather tough.
I then decided to get a diploma (very recently) and I am starting to get some work. It takes a lot of time and commitment. Don't expect it to be a fast process.. But patience can pay off!
I found the following book useful
"A practical guide for translators" Geoffrey Samuelsson-Brown
And I would recommend to go on the IoL (www.iol.org.uk) and Iti (www.iti.org.uk) websites: you will find useful tips.

Good luck with your new career!


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 06:37
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Browse the forums Sep 23, 2004

adpace wrote:

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good book or two that has information on how to get started? I'm NOT looking for textbooks or courses. Rather, I want some practical reading and advice. Any additional advice for someone who is just starting out would be appreciated, as well. Thanks,

Angela


There's a wealth of information to be found in the proz forums - just have a browse!

HTH

Alison


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