New to translation
Thread poster: laurasian
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:41
Chinese to English
Aug 22, 2013

I studied Mandarin Chinese for four years and I have recently come back from China. I am currently on my 3rd day of an internship at a translation company.

I don't have very much experience in translating at all, and I was wondering if any of you have any advice for me about translating, or can tell me what the first steps are into beginning translation?? Can you recommend any tools/resources that I may find useful?

Any advice is really appreciated!!!!


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:41
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Advice Aug 22, 2013

- Follow website.
- Think about being a full ProZ member.
- Nobody started their career with experience. Experience comes day by day.

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:41
English to Polish
+ ...
... Aug 22, 2013

Look at the webinars, guides and other articles here on There are so many. You could probably find a dozen translator starting guides in Google, leading you to various translation blogs. Go find them! Research is an extremely important part of being a translator. It's written into the job and the life style. Wantwords is a good one, but there are more.

[Edited at 2013-08-22 18:44 GMT]

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:41
Member (2007)
+ ...
Hello and welcome to Aug 22, 2013

There are a few places on the site aimed specifically at your type of situation.

One of them is this forum, of course! Time spent looking through old threads won't be wasted, nor will time spent looking through various other forums here.

Then there's the Site Guidance Centre: Make sure you click on everything, everywhere as it's all useful stuff. You may want to join the mentor programme, and you'll certainly want to take advantage of all the free training webinars, articles, Wiki...

If you want to use as your window on the industry, you'll need to make sure you have maximum visibility here. I'm not sure how many English-native translators there are translating from Chinese (not as many as translate from French, that's for sure!), but you'll want to make sure that you're listed on the first page of the directory. You can check your position, and find hints on improving it, here:

Of course, another thing that you need to bear in mind is that you'll probably be freelancing i.e. being a self-employed business person, rather than an employee. This means you'll need to learn how to run a business. OK, it's a small and simplified business, but it's a business nonetheless - bookkeeping, tax matters, insurance, marketing, invoicing, debt recovery...

Feel free to ask more specific questions if you can't find the answers. BUT, do bear in mind that research skills are vital to a translator - now could be the time to hone them. Good luck!

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