Starting: Can I do it?
Thread poster: Sebastian Carrasco Reid (X)

Sebastian Carrasco Reid (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 25, 2012

Hello all,

I am a English Teacher living in Madrid, Spain and I would like to begin freelancing as a translator.

I have 0 qualifications in translating, however, I am a native bilingual in both Spanish and English and I have already worked as a translator for a friend who is a professional translator and provided me the job as he did not have time to complete it. I completed the 6K word document and the client actually came back for more (which I could not accept due to time limitations). Now I have more spare time and would like to begin a professional career in this area, but I am afraid it would be impossible for me to study a bachelors degree in Translating due to lack of time.

I am OK with achieving other certifications in time but I would like to start translating now, gathering experience and feedback and of course, money.

Do you believe this is possible?

Can you provide any advice for my situation?

Many thanks to all in advance,

Sebastian


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 06:44
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Collect experience through Proz Jan 25, 2012

You come to an exact venue: Proz.

I gain a number of hints on how to run my freelance service by reading Proz forums. I also wrote many suggestions for starting jobs among novice translators where you can search many how-tos.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Richard Foulkes (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:44
German to English
+ ...
Specialise / market yourself well / don't accept low rates Jan 25, 2012

Sebastian - I think it's quite possible. Sometimes you just need a bit of luck in finding a couple of good clients and you're on your way. Since you've already got your teaching income to rely on, you're in a good position. I would start applying / marketing yourself to agencies and direct clients, setting a respectable rate. You can find average rates for your language combinations on Proz. Some newcomers work for very low rates to gain experience. I think this just eats up time that could be better spent on marketing etc., and you've already got another source of income.

When marketing yourself, it helps to specialise so think about areas where you have expertise - maybe education or a degree subject etc.

Proz is one of many sites where you can upload a profile and try to find clients. I would suggest you register with all of these and make full use of social media.

Good luck.


 

TraduccionesMS
Local time: 01:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Freelance Spanish Translator Jan 25, 2012

Hi,

I´m also a Spanish Freelance translator and English teacher based in Alava, Spain.
I started out a while back, having no Translation qualifications (just a UK Financial Degree) but with a very good CV, as I worked in a high level position in a bank in the UK. Some clients don´t mind you not having a specific qualification, as long as your sample translations and your CV demonstrate you will be able to work to satisfactory standards. I now work with individual clients and as part of the teams of two Spanish agencies.

Not having a Translation Certificate is a bit of an impediment, but it´s not the end of our attempts at breaking into this world. Just be prepared to work a little extra harder and sell yourself effectively.

María Santórum
www.mariasantorum.com


 

Marie Safarovic
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:44
Russian to German
+ ...
Distance learning Jan 26, 2012

Hola,

you might want to consider studying towards a long distance degree. The University of Portsmouth offers one, it's worth checking it out. Not saying you have to but if you are serious about translating and have little experience then my bet would be that a degree helps. And you'll improve your translating technique.


 

Sebastian Carrasco Reid (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jan 26, 2012

Many thanks for all the replies!

 

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:44
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
Of course it's possible! Jan 26, 2012

I have no translation or linguistic degree and I've worked as a full-time translator for eleven years. I've been a member at Proz for a year or so and even though we are competing with highly qualified translators, there is work out there.

I had a look at your profile page which could be improved. Have a look at other people's profiles and get some ideas. Maybe not such a good idea to mention negatives like "My translating experience is yet to be expanded" and focus on positives.

Have a look at the ATA site and maybe consider becoming a member at some point (something I still haven't done yet).

You might have to accept some not so exiting jobs like certificates for a while, but do them and gather WWA feedback on your profile page.

Best of luck!


 

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:44
Member
English to German
Getting established as a full-time translator. Jan 27, 2012

rich. wrote:

I have no translation or linguistic degree and I've worked as a full-time translator for eleven years.


How did you become a Member of the ProZ.com Certified Pro Network?
This is interesting.

Marina


 

Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:44
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Certifed Pro requirements Jan 27, 2012

Marina Steinbach wrote:

rich. wrote:

I have no translation or linguistic degree and I've worked as a full-time translator for eleven years.


How did you become a Member of the ProZ.com Certified Pro Network?
This is interesting.


Marina, this is a bit off-topic, but:
"Certified Pro" requirements are based on the EN 15038 standard for quality in the translation industry
3.2.2 Professional competences of translators

Translators shall have at least the following competences.

Translating competence
Linguistic and textual competence in the source language and the target language
Research competence, information acquisition and processing
Cultural competence
Technical competence



The above competences should be acquired through one or more of the following:

formal higher education in translation (recognised degree);
equivalent qualification in any other subject plus a minimum of two years of documented experience in translating;
at least five years of documented professional experience in translating.

http://www.proz.com/pro-tag/info/about/freelancers

johanna


 

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:44
Member
English to German
mea culpa for being off-topic. Jan 27, 2012

Johanna Timm, PhD wrote:

(...) The above competences should be acquired through one or more of the following:

formal higher education in translation (recognised degree);
equivalent qualification in any other subject plus a minimum of two years of documented experience in translating;
at least five years of documented professional experience in translating.


Would a letter of recommendation from a former client of mine, who confirms that I have translated documents for him for over 20 years, be sufficient to prove that I have professional experience?

mea culpa


 

Audra deFalco (X)
United States
Local time: 19:44
Italian to English
+ ...
Slightly OT Feb 12, 2012

Marina Steinbach wrote:

Johanna Timm, PhD wrote:

(...) The above competences should be acquired through one or more of the following:

formal higher education in translation (recognised degree);
equivalent qualification in any other subject plus a minimum of two years of documented experience in translating;
at least five years of documented professional experience in translating.


Would a letter of recommendation from a former client of mine, who confirms that I have translated documents for him for over 20 years, be sufficient to prove that I have professional experience?

mea culpa


Marina, I believe so. Try your luck.

Back to the OP: all you can do is try! You already had a positive experience with a client. Keep trying. Answer questions here, read the forums and bid on projects.


 


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