Getting started as a translator?
Thread poster: David Tryhorn
David Tryhorn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Portuguese to English
Jun 23, 2005

Hi!

I know it seems to have been asked alot of times before but I am really keen to get started as a translator in some capacity and still have so many questions.

I have always loved translation and am keen to continue my passion on a professional basis here in the United Kingdom. However, I'm just not sure how to go about getting started or who to apply to. I am relatively young and inexperienced at 24. However, I am a graduate in both Portuguese and Italian and have lived in Brazil for considerable period of time. I also passed the DipTrans (Portuguese to English) at the first time of asking, and so already have one qualification under my belt.

Will this lack of experience count against me? And how does one actually go about getting experience? I am even unsure as to how much is a good/fair rate to charge. Any suggestions? My specialist topics are far more arts/culture/social science based rather than technical and commercial. Will this count against me? While I am confident in my Portuguese and translation abilities, am I rushing things a bit. Should I seek further qualifications? Basically, I'm a little lost but have a passionate desire to succeed.

Sorry if these themes have been repeated elsewhere but everyone seems so helpful on this board, that I too would be really grateful if anyone could spare a few minutes and give me any advice or an amiable prod in the right direction.

Thanks!

Dave


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sarah Steiner  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
Spanish to German
+ ...
first of all... Jun 23, 2005

Hi,

first of all, just be sure you really want to start, with all inconveniences included. Preferably, have some money accumulated in order to be able to buy food, pay bills etc.

And once you take your to decision to start... you can see this forum, you will find suggestions and opinions there:
http://www.proz.com/topic/33606

Regards
Sarah


Direct link Reply with quote
 
suarez
Argentina
Local time: 16:59
English to Spanish
try to be patient Jul 15, 2005

Hello, I am an English-Spanish translator from Argentina, my name is Virginia and I am as young as you are, I got my degree just a few months ago but I couldn´t find a job as a translator yet. Sometimes I feel lost (as you said), everybody tells me to be patient and try to learn as much as I can (take different courses).
I really want to succed in translating because it is what I have wanted to do since I was like 17 years old. All we have to understand is that it takes sometime to find a job when you are a begginer but we don´t have to be dissappointed and we must be hopeful.
I hope you are lucky, Best regards, Virginia.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
dmoamin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:59
Arabic to English
+ ...
Hello Jul 20, 2005

Hi
I think a good thing would be to try and create a good resume ( include your languages, your education, any certificates that you might have, your fluency, your computer skills are also very important.. etc) and post it on the translation sites online and also mail it or e-mail it to all possible places, such as hospitals, lawyers, courts, publishers, and so on you can check the phone book for such possibilities.
for resume help you can check any library or any book store i am sure they have a lot of resumes and many of which include some samples of beginners resumes, DONT WAIT AT ALL get started now... don’t waste time..
in my opinion don’t limit yourself to any specific topic as far as translation is concerned because sometimes some topics are really easy even if they are not in your field you can still manage to translate them.
I am not sure as to how much to charge to me i have about 5-6 years of experience and i work for the government and i still don’t know how much to charge for translations, best thing to do is start small to obtain clients and good name in the translation market then grow bigger from there

a good idea would also be to apply with the government(s) where you live, local and federal,. try social non profit organizations, try big companies most of them need translators


it will take time before you get answers or response back from those you contact, however, a good idea would be to give them a call and introduce yourself or try also a walk in, worse that can happen is to tell you to wait until they receive something. i hope this helps
good luck..


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pilar Esteban
Local time: 21:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
I know how you feel... Jul 27, 2005

Hi David,

I know exactly how you feel because I am in the very same situation (and I guess there are a lot of people like us!).
My name is Pilar. I am Spanish and have studied English Philology in Madrid and Translation and Interpretation (English-Spanish) in Granada. I am also a sworn translator since February, 2005.
I am 29 and it sometimes feels like I am never going to get started.
I have sent millions and millions of CVs and never get an answer (well, there have been some "we-don´t-need-you-at-the-moment answers", that´s all).
I visit proz.com everyday, read all the questions and I try to help when I know some answer. It is a good practise and I love it.
The thing is that I never give up because being a translator is a dream I have since I can remember, so I try to think that I don´t get answers, OK, but my CV is spreaded all over the world and they may need me some day...
I am going to have a look at your CV. Please, feel free to see mine and tell me if there are things I may improve.

I would also like that same experience translator that may be reading these lines have a look at our CVs and help us to find some kind of job to get started and gain confidence in ourselves.

I wish you all the best and hope you have the best of chances!!!!!!
Maybe some day we work together...Who knows!
Best wishes,
Pilar.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vivian Bynum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:59
French to English
Embassies may still be a good source Jul 27, 2005

p.esteban wrote:

Hi David,

I know exactly how you feel because I am in the very same situation (and I guess there are a lot of people like us!).
My name is Pilar. I am Spanish and have studied English Philology in Madrid and Translation and Interpretation (English-Spanish) in Granada. I am also a sworn translator since February, 2005.
I am 29 and it sometimes feels like I am never going to get started.
I have sent millions and millions of CVs and never get an answer (well, there have been some "we-don´t-need-you-at-the-moment answers", that´s all).
I visit proz.com everyday, read all the questions and I try to help when I know some answer. It is a good practise and I love it.
The thing is that I never give up because being a translator is a dream I have since I can remember, so I try to think that I don´t get answers, OK, but my CV is spreaded all over the world and they may need me some day...
I am going to have a look at your CV. Please, feel free to see mine and tell me if there are things I may improve.

I would also like that same experience translator that may be reading these lines have a look at our CVs and help us to find some kind of job to get started and gain confidence in ourselves.

I wish you all the best and hope you have the best of chances!!!!!!
Maybe some day we work together...Who knows!
Best wishes,
Pilar.



I must say that entering the translation business at this time is quite a challenge.

In the 70's and 80's, we made our contacts by advertising our services through the offices of the commercial attaches of foreign embassies, who then provided our contact information to businessmen and trade missions visiting the country. During those years, this source provided a regular flow of business, and even made it possible for us to network with translators from other countries, who, in turn kept us in the loop about upcoming conferences. Believe me, this kept me in sufficient work for 11 years, and gave me the opportunity to spend quality time raising two children.

Since 9/11, access to embassies has become very difficult, but once you initiate contact, they could very well be a good source for private clients.

I wish you all much success in your endeavours.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Getting started as a translator?

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search