need help to get started - i am a greenhorn
Thread poster: Annasuno

Annasuno
Germany
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to German
Mar 21, 2015

hello everybody,

i am a complete green horn in the translation world. i am 31 years old and i am looking for a new direction in my life. i would like to start studying translation for german - spanish at AKAD university as distance studies. i speak spanish very well and i think it would be not a really hard task for me.
now i want to know, how are my posibilities to earn my live with translating these two languages. i would like to work as a freelancer but i dont know if is there lots of posibilities for this language pair. also i dont really have any other qualification in this area. what would be helpful? where can i find jobs? after my studies do i need to specific myself in one direction? how do i do that?

you can tell that i am completely new but i would like to get started.

thank you very much for your answeres and sharing your experience.

anna


 

Claudia Weber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:59
English to German
+ ...
What have you done so far? Mar 21, 2015

Dear Anna,

Welcome to Proz.

I have also not studied translation, however I have built up my translation career on my previous experiences and so I am now doing technical translations.

What have you done so far? I am almost sure that there is a possibility to build up on a basis you already have!

Do you mind listing your job experiences? You can also send me a private message if you prefer.

Best,
Claudia


 

Yuna Guillamot  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:59
German to French
+ ...
Start with what you know, build from there Mar 21, 2015

Dear Anna,

I myself didn't exactly study translation either, so good for you for doing so !

Is there anything you feel confident in translating ? (for me, it was computer hardware) Start from there. Build up your expertise bit by bit, by trying out subjects that are close but slightly different.

It also helps if you know someone in a field that can help you out in a bind, if you're having a hard time with a particular passage. I had very good luck and had two lovely mentors who still support me years on, maybe take advantage of the mentoring opportunities on this site ?

Above all, believe in yourself, know your abilities and build from there. Confidence breeds confidence. Don't be afraid of asking for help, and always keep some wiggle room in your deadlines, you never know what may happen, and some outsourcers don't care...

All in all, I wish you a safe journey forward into this fascinating worldicon_smile.gif

Yuna


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm sure the demand is there if you can satisfy it Mar 21, 2015

It all depends on whether you have the right skills and personality. Speaking two languages is a start; that's all. Your target (normally your native language) writing skills are as important as your source language comprehension, particularly if you work in marketing, tourism etc.

But it goes beyond language. The other great skill you need is the ability to research. You can prove to yourself that you have that one right now: by researching getting started here on this forum and in the Site Guidance Centre of ProZ.comicon_smile.gif.

Then, unless you're going to be one of the rare in-house translators, you're going to have to have the ability to run a (very) small business. That calls for all sorts of hard and soft skills. It also calls for a certain type of personality - a self-starter who can work alone and won't pine for the office community life.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:59
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Shouldn't that be Spanish to German? Mar 21, 2015

Annasuno wrote:
i speak spanish very well and i think it would be not a really hard task for me.

This indicates that Spanish is not your first language. Translators generally - although there is significant debate about this on ProZ - translate from the source and into their first language. Shouldn't you be considering translating from Spanish into German?

Dan


 

Annasuno
Germany
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to German
TOPIC STARTER
great help ! Mar 22, 2015

well first i would like to thank you for your comments. i am not used to it that professionals are helping starters so much, thank you.
my working experience till now is the following:
i studied three years hotelery (not hotelmanagemant) and after i worked a long time in the gastronomy. afterwards i started to design, make and sell my own jewelry and thats what i lived from the last 8 years.
i spent about 5 years in hispanic countries and i live in berlin but i speak spanish everyday with my husband so i feel very sure in this language and also in translating which i have to do always for my husband since he speaks poor german. i have been to many countries in south america so i understand really well the differnt accents from the diffrent countries and also slang words
i also know very well to express myself, i learn really fast (about languages)

so thinking about it, i feel good in the range gastronomy/hotelerie maybe tourism and also i could do something like subtitling in movies, does anyone have any expreniece about that? is it hard to get into this range or is the demand not so high?

so i feel really sure about myself and i am not worried that i couldnt translate. what i am not sure about is if there is enough demand for spanish to german (to Dan Lucas: i didnt know it was this way around but sound logical, thank you for the hint)
i am not sure if there is more demand for german -english.

sheila and yuna: you wrote about personality. what do you mean by that? for sure i dont need an office and other collegues around me to have company. i am happy to work at home, i am a really strict boss for myself.

thank you for encouraging me and taking your time for answering.

greetings from sunny berlin


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Concentrate on what you do best Mar 23, 2015

Annasuno wrote:
i studied three years hotelery (not hotelmanagemant) and after i worked a long time in the gastronomy. afterwards i started to design, make and sell my own jewelry
Maybe luxury goods would be an additional avenue to the others you've mentioned. It isn't a subject area that's listed on this site but it is sometimes asked for by clients.

i spent about 5 years in hispanic countries and i live in berlin but i speak spanish everyday with my husband
Your non-native language is probably fine for amateur interpreting then. Professionally, you have to come up with an acceptable formulation in either language, at lightning speed. "Acceptable" will do; just as long as it's fast (which is where I failed miserably)! OTOH, a pro translator can take all the time in the world (if the client is paying per word), but absolutely must come up with a flawless, 100%-natural target text, free of any source-language interference that would make it read like a translation. That's best left to target language experts with great writing skills.

i am not sure if there is more demand for german -english.
Frankly, in today's society, there's demand for everything. But that demand will be satisfied by those who are best suited (and that includes "hobby translators" being the best suited to satisfy the demands of some of the more blatant bottom-feeding agencies). So, why would a client come to you? Only because you appear to be one of those best suited for the job, within his/her price range anyway.

On ProZ.com there are 1209 registered ES>DE translators, so clients can be choosy. Only 928 of them are native German speakers, and only 420 actually live in the target country (a common client preference). If the client further requests a travel/tourism specialist, then he or she is presented with a choice of just 112 service providers. Specific to this site, if you're a paying member and you get just one KudoZ answer in that field accepted, you'll be in the top ten! Doing what you do best is certainly the way to success in freelance translation - become a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

sheila and yuna: you wrote about personality. what do you mean by that? for sure i dont need an office and other collegues around me to have company. i am happy to work at home, i am a really strict boss for myself.
You've pretty much answered the question there, Annaicon_smile.gif.


 


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