Suggestions on how to start (again) as a translator
Thread poster: Norberto Jr. Cardenales Cardona

Norberto Jr. Cardenales Cardona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 25

Dear members,

I have a few questions and hopefully Proz members will help me in any way. I have a BA in translation studies and recently a MA in Linguistics. I am from PR and I did not translate that much so lets say that I am starting all over again. Now I live the US and I am trying to join agencies and set up a rate for freelance translation. I know that agencies receive a lot of spam emails regarding jobs so I am asking for suggestions on how to join an agency (and make it look legitimate) and suggestions on places to see rates (how much) fro English > Spanish. Im trying to read about how to make quotes and invoices (which is not hard but complex to understand how to make one as a translator). I currently am part of the Board of the CTA (Colorado Translators Association) which they are of a lot of help but I thought that it wouldn't be bad to ask here to.

Thank you for your help!,

Norberto


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:57
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
contacts May 26

If you've been working in PR, you presumably know quite a few people in the field. Why not leverage your contacts there to get work from direct clients? They pay better and often faster than agencies and you will already be used to the pace of work there.

I have found LinkedIn to be incredibly useful for finding work, probably 90% of my clients found me there.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
theory vs/and practice May 26

I agree with Kay: like in fishing, the more places and means, the higher chances to hook small and big fish. NETworking works as a mass advertising, yet I'd rather consider something that would make you differ from a heap of fishes to mitigate the increasing competition. Do diversify!

On the other hand, if you are a good PR or other non-language specialist, then why just not add language skills to it? A decent engineer even with novice language skills usually gets much more than an excellent linguist with a theory in engineering.

Furthermore, if you're for money, how about opening a biz--an agency?


 

Norberto Jr. Cardenales Cardona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
. May 26

Yes but I did not work in translation agencies in PR. It was much like a voluntary/rarely paid thing. So I am just trying to see options. But thank you for the suggestion. I can try and contact some of the translation agencies.


Kay Denney wrote:

If you've been working in PR, you presumably know quite a few people in the field. Why not leverage your contacts there to get work from direct clients? They pay better and often faster than agencies and you will already be used to the pace of work there.

I have found LinkedIn to be incredibly useful for finding work, probably 90% of my clients found me there.



 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:57
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I'm not sure you understood me May 27

Norberto Jr. Cardenales Cardona wrote:

Yes but I did not work in translation agencies in PR. It was much like a voluntary/rarely paid thing. So I am just trying to see options. But thank you for the suggestion. I can try and contact some of the translation agencies.



I'm not sure you understood me. What I mean is PR firms might need a translator and you could provide that service without going through an agency. That way you work directly for the PR firm and can charge more than what you would charge an agency.


 

Lian Pang  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:57
Member (Mar 2018)
English to Chinese
+ ...
tips May 27

I would suggest you check out the podcast by Tess Whitty . She also has a website http://marketingtipsfortranslators.com/

Do some research there too


 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:57
Member
English to German
+ ...
Interesting May 28

Kay Denney wrote:


I have found LinkedIn to be incredibly useful for finding work, probably 90% of my clients found me there.

That's interesting. Are you a basic member of that network or do you have a paid membership?


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:57
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
basic May 28

Eva Stoppa wrote:

Kay Denney wrote:


I have found LinkedIn to be incredibly useful for finding work, probably 90% of my clients found me there.

That's interesting. Are you a basic member of that network or do you have a paid membership?

I've never paid, so it must be a basic membership.
I worked for a long time in an agency, and made a point of keeping in contact with colleagues who left. Many started giving me work once I set up as a freelancer. Some are freelancers too, and we recommend each other when we can't do what our clients ask us to do (different language pair or outside our comfort zone or when we're swamped with work).


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Network and attend live events May 28

Meet up with colleagues when you can. I found the Danish powwow an excellent source of work - as Kay Denney pointed out, they can sometimes point a client in your direction if they cannot take a particular job themselves.

As you are on the CTA, go to live events there - you probably do already.

Make yourself visible, and perhaps have a CV or application ready. Attend trade fairs or other occasions where translation agencies also attend, and talk to people face to face. Then they will not regard your CV as spam, and will actually read it.

Good luck!


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:57
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Most of you are misinterpreting a critical point May 29

When Norberto talks about PR, he is referring to Puerto Rico, the unincorporated US territory, not Public Relations. Hurricane Maria devastated the island several months ago, so many of the inhabitants, who are US citizens, have moved to the continental US. The people commenting are trying to be helpful, but do not understand that he is not saying he specializes in the area of public relations. Perhaps there will be more comments once this misunderstanding is cleared up!

Norberto, you can also try the Proz Blue Board directory (https://www.proz.com/blueboard), where there is an option at the top right to apply to agencies looking for translators in your language pairs/fields of expertise. Just click on "Applications" to see a list. With your academic credentials, it shouldn't be difficult for you to get started. As a US citizen, you might also want to try applying to US government agencies, like the State Department.

Good luck!


 

Norberto Jr. Cardenales Cardona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry Jun 1

True what Woodstock said. I am sorry, I thought I wrote Puerto Rico (PR or PUR are the two ways to abbreviate the name). When I was a translator in PUR, I was not involved in any association until now. The USA is completely different than PUR even though we are US territory. I just needed guidance on how to maybe start. I have no missed the point of what you have all said, I think it was a misunderstanding. Thank you!

Woodstock wrote:

When Norberto talks about PR, he is referring to Puerto Rico, the unincorporated US territory, not Public Relations. Hurricane Maria devastated the island several months ago, so many of the inhabitants, who are US citizens, have moved to the continental US. The people commenting are trying to be helpful, but do not understand that he is not saying he specializes in the area of public relations. Perhaps there will be more comments once this misunderstanding is cleared up!

Norberto, you can also try the Proz Blue Board directory (https://www.proz.com/blueboard), where there is an option at the top right to apply to agencies looking for translators in your language pairs/fields of expertise. Just click on "Applications" to see a list. With your academic credentials, it shouldn't be difficult for you to get started. As a US citizen, you might also want to try applying to US government agencies, like the State Department.

Good luck!



 


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