New translator seeking advice on where to begin
Thread poster: Helen Bryant

Helen Bryant
United States
Local time: 12:58
Japanese to English
Jul 16

Hello,

I'm new to proz and translating in general. I have been considering to delve into the world of translating for many many years now. However, i just can't seem to get started. I have not been very active as a member and find myself spending hours just researching more about how to be a translator. Would anyone be kind enough to point me in the right direction? I'll give a little background about myself below.

I am half Japanese, half American. Born in Japan and lived there till i was 6 years old. I would visit my family every Summer for a few months. Aside from that i speak Japanese with my mother and my Japanese friends. Education was all in English. I have a bachelor's degree in Anthropology. I have passed the Japanese proficiency test level 3 and 4 (just haven't had the opportunity to continue level 1 and 2). I do not have any translating experience. I would love to build my resume, but i feel like with no experience i would not be able to get any jobs on here. How did everyone start out? Any advice or information would be helpful. Thank you in advance.


 

Heike Holthaus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Consider taking a course Jul 17

Hello Helen,
Have you considered taking a course on translation? I don't think it would be to your benefit to "just start translating" without any form of training or prior experience such as translating internal documents at work.

You could join your local translators association, perhaps you can find a mentor there.
How about an internship at an agency in your area?
Look for any material in your fields of interest that exist in both languages, translate and compare.

Most importantly: Stop researching and start doingicon_smile.gif


Ricardo Suin
Zeineb Nalouti
Emanuele Vacca
Angus Stewart
Dan Lucas
 

Helen Bryant
United States
Local time: 12:58
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jul 17

Thank you so much for the reply! I will have to look into if there is an association close by. I'm not in a rush to start translating so this is perfect in trying to figure out the best first steps. I appreciate the information!

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
German to English
Perform due diligence Jul 17

Many translators eager to take on work neglect to check out the legitimacy of job offers. I suggest that you take a look at the "Scams" section here and get an idea of the variety of deceptive practices performed by Internet scoundrels.

Another tip: do not take a rush job as a first assignment from a new client or you may find yourself in Rush Job Hell. There are a number of postings on this topic as well.


Heike Holthaus
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Helen Jul 18

Helen Bryant wrote:
I would love to build my resume, but I feel like with no experience I would not be able to get any jobs on here.


You may well be able to get jobs via ProZ.com even without any experience, if you market yourself right (this would include improving your profile page and participating in KudoZ more). But I think you'll enjoy translating more if you can actually translate. So, you're going to have to do lots of translations for free. The best place to do that would be on Wikipedia.

And even though you don't offer translation into Japanese, I would recommend improving your into-Japanese skills as well. A good place to do that would be on Wikipedia as well (simply edit the Japanese pages as best you can, then set the page to "watch", and then wait for people to correct your mistakes, so you can learn from your mistakes).


RBoisselle
 

Helen Bryant
United States
Local time: 12:58
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jul 21

Thank you so much for all this information. Like i said, i'm new to all of this so, it is really helping me to find out more information. I'm definitely okay with doing free work to gain experience! I'm in no rush to make money, just wanting to build my resume/profile and do it in a way that i can gain experience.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Free as in pro bono only, please Jul 23

Helen Bryant wrote:
I'm definitely okay with doing free work to gain experience! I'm in no rush to make money

I understand that totally, but please do resist the temptation to work for free for a commercial concern. If new translators start working for free for clients who are going to make money from their work, that's just under-cutting professional translators. By all means find Wiki articles to translate, or the website of some association whose work interests you, or TED videos, whatever...


Annamaria Sondrio
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Or for a 'low, best' rate Jul 24

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Helen Bryant wrote:
I'm definitely okay with doing free work to gain experience! I'm in no rush to make money

I understand that totally, but please do resist the temptation to work for free for a commercial concern. If new translators start working for free for clients who are going to make money from their work, that's just under-cutting professional translators. By all means find Wiki articles to translate, or the website of some association whose work interests you, or TED videos, whatever...


As you will regret it later on. You'll find plenty of agencies contacting you soon but don't be tempted into accepting a low rate so long as you have something going as you won't be able to raise your own rate and you will also be doing a disservice to good translators. Specialise in something you enjoy and have a good knowledge of. Good luck.


 


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