Starting off as a freelancer (English-German, German-English)
Thread poster: maxlueck

maxlueck
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 13, 2016

Dear community,

I am a 32-year old German living in the UK now for almost a decade. I gained a BSc and MSc degree in Sports Coaching and started my own sports/events business.

However, I always had a strong passion for translation and done some extensive translation work during a 2-year spell in an international marketing company. Now being self-employed I would like to do more translation work from home as I believe it suits me well.

I am just at the very beginning of getting things organised and I have concerns that my current academic background would stop me from getting jobs, but I am convinced that I have strong translation skills.

What do you guys think is the best way forward? Maybe someone has been in a similar position.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks
Max


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Nicole König  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:38
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Online Degree, Certification, Associations Oct 14, 2016

Dear Max,

I guess you aim at working with English and German?
There are a couple of Universities offering distance degrees, Master programs or diplomas, I'd be glad to hook you up.

Also, there's the possibility to get certified by the ITI or the CioL http://www.ciol.org.uk/

Anyway, I would recommend getting your talent certified in a way that is recognizable by agencies and clients at large.

Contact me if you need some pointers or a helping hand.

All the best!
Nicole


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't follow Oct 14, 2016

maxlueck wrote:
I gained a BSc and MSc degree in Sports Coaching and started my own sports/events business.

However, I always had a strong passion for translation and done some extensive translation work during a 2-year spell in an international marketing company. Now being self-employed I would like to do more translation work from home as I believe it suits me well.

I am just at the very beginning of getting things organised and I have concerns that my current academic background would stop me from getting jobs

So you have two degrees in your specialist area - in your source language, to boot - plus some solid experience of translating in that sector? And yet you say this is a handicap?

The absolute perfect portfolio for a freelance translator would be one that shows (in no particular order of importance):
- qualifications in your sector of terminology
- a qualification in translation techniques
- work experience in your chosen sector, in either or preferably both languages
- experience of living in your source language culture
- professional translation experience.

It seems to me that you have all but the translation qualification. OTOH, you have experience of doing the job, so many potential clients will see that as proof of ability. If you don't want to study for yet another degree, perhaps you should consider a basic course such as the one I did (see my profile - I don't like to advertise directly here). Or you could just start approaching clients, emphasising what you do have and not mentioning what you don't have. (But you'll need to slim down and focus that CV of yours. You can find loads of tips on this site to help you prepare a powerful freelance translator's CV.)


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
The good thing about this job... Oct 14, 2016

... is that you need not qualifications, but ability.

Emphasise your sports background - it's an asset, not a liability. Put some sports-related samples on your ProZ profile. (The language pair on your existing one is the wrong way round, by the way - you've said it's German into English, but it's English to German. And if you're claiming to be fluent in English, you should include samples so people can make up their minds.)

When I look at people's profiles, it's the samples I'm interested in more than the letters after their names.

You don't need to go to all the trouble of getting a translation degree or joining a professional body, unless you particularly want to.

Good luck!


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maxlueck
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your advice Oct 14, 2016

Hi Nicole,

Many thanks for your advice. Yes that's correct, English and German. I fully understand the concept of getting certified and getting a degree in order to improve my profile and in the long run I am definitely eager to gain more qualifications/certifications. However as I did a lot of translating (in-house) before, I know that I am confident with it and therefore very keen to start of some freelance work. I am currently looking to gather some feedback from previous clients in the past in order to boost the profile and hopefully that this will get me more work.

Getting back to your recommendations, I am curious which degrees/qualifications would you suggest. Ideally I am looking for affordable courses which could be mainly done from home.

Many thanks
Max


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maxlueck
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's a great advice Oct 14, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

... is that you need not qualifications, but ability.

Emphasise your sports background - it's an asset, not a liability. Put some sports-related samples on your ProZ profile. (The language pair on your existing one is the wrong way round, by the way - you've said it's German into English, but it's English to German. And if you're claiming to be fluent in English, you should include samples so people can make up their minds.)

When I look at people's profiles, it's the samples I'm interested in more than the letters after their names.

You don't need to go to all the trouble of getting a translation degree or joining a professional body, unless you particularly want to.

Good luck!


Hi Phil,

Good point. I swapped the language pair. A very good advice in general, many thanks.

Best wishes
Max


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maxlueck
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Qualifications Oct 14, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

maxlueck wrote:
I gained a BSc and MSc degree in Sports Coaching and started my own sports/events business.

However, I always had a strong passion for translation and done some extensive translation work during a 2-year spell in an international marketing company. Now being self-employed I would like to do more translation work from home as I believe it suits me well.

I am just at the very beginning of getting things organised and I have concerns that my current academic background would stop me from getting jobs

So you have two degrees in your specialist area - in your source language, to boot - plus some solid experience of translating in that sector? And yet you say this is a handicap?

The absolute perfect portfolio for a freelance translator would be one that shows (in no particular order of importance):
- qualifications in your sector of terminology
- a qualification in translation techniques
- work experience in your chosen sector, in either or preferably both languages
- experience of living in your source language culture
- professional translation experience.

It seems to me that you have all but the translation qualification. OTOH, you have experience of doing the job, so many potential clients will see that as proof of ability. If you don't want to study for yet another degree, perhaps you should consider a basic course such as the one I did (see my profile - I don't like to advertise directly here). Or you could just start approaching clients, emphasising what you do have and not mentioning what you don't have. (But you'll need to slim down and focus that CV of yours. You can find loads of tips on this site to help you prepare a powerful freelance translator's CV.)


Hi Sheila,

Thanks for your advice, that's great. Regarding your qualifications, how much time and money did you invest, if you don't mind me asking?

Best wishes
Max


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