What is the basic equipment required for freelance translation?
Thread poster: jerraine

Local time: 21:55
Chinese to English
+ ...
Aug 21, 2002

I\'m getting started as a freelancer in the US. I\'ve had job offers where my client wanted to fax the materials. Hum... I don\'t have a fax machine. Do you think that a fax machine is a must have? What about tools like Trados? I don\'t even know how to use it. What do you think are the minimum equipments that a translator should have?


Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:55
For faxes, consider a virtual fax service Aug 21, 2002

A fax machine is a good investment, but you might also want to consider virtual fax services like efax (does anyone know better ones?) You get a fax number to which clients may send work, which gets converted and sent to you as an email. The quality is as good, and can be better, than a regular fax, and you can retrieve the faxes even when you are on the road.

As for translation memory tools, they are an essential part of the business, and if you plan to work full-time in the field it is a good idea to start using them now. Wordfast and MetaTexis are good tools to start with because they are simple and inexpensive (Wordfast is free, MetaTexis is free to paying members of this site), yet complete (tms, term management, alignment, etc.) As you become proficient with these tools, you (or your clients) may begin to require the more expensive tools.


SWEDISH-TRANSLATION.com - your Swedish translation partner (X)
Local time: 05:55
Swedish to English
+ ...
Some more useful equipment Aug 21, 2002

Here is some stuff you really need when you start as a freelance translator:

* A computer (at home or on an internet café)

* An operative system in the computer (Windows, Linux)

* A wordprocessing program

* A connection to Internet

* An e-mail adress

* A positive attitude to life, so that you\'re able to live a little bit poor before your translation business has started up and you make serious money.

This is really everything you need to start, but here is some other useful stuff that would make it a lot easier.

* A telephone/mobile

* A bank account

* A CAT-tool

* Good returning clients

Did I forget something here... Remind me.


jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:55
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
My basics Aug 21, 2002

As a freelancer in the USA, I originally did not have a fax. However, it soon became evident that it was close to being as necessary as a computer. Now, as Henry says, they have virtual fax services. Have never used them, so I cannot comment. For my part, I use an \'all in one printer/fax/copier\' and I am quite satisfied.

So, let me give you my office set up.

1. Answering machine (a MUST, unless you are chained to the desk!)

2. Computer, with all sorts of word processing software (MS Word is #1, but your clients will specify what you really need)

3. Fax machine (I often get faxes of faxes from clients, some people have never heard of computers!)

4. All the other stuff you might have money left over for.

Hope this helps.


Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:55
German to English
+ ...
Voice mail instead of an answering machine Aug 21, 2002

Voice mail (provided by your local phone co.) is better than an answering machine, because callers never get a busy signal. They can leave messages while you\'re on the phone.

Also, I like a real fax machine (in addition to e-fax or your computer fax), in case you need to send a paper copy to someone.



United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
English to German
+ ...
You'll definitely need a fax machine Aug 22, 2002

Maybe not very often but agencies always ask if you\'ve got one.

Something that, strangely, nobody mentioned so far are dictionaries. You need good dictionaries, the more the better.

I don\'t use CAT-tools since in my fields of work their use would be counterproductive or maybe I am just prejudiced and too lazy to learn how to use them.

And always put some money away for a rainy day. But your mother might have told you that already.


Pernille Chapman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:55
Member (2004)
English to Danish
+ ...
Dictionaries - the faster the better Aug 22, 2002

I fully agree with Olaf that dictionaries are a must. Also, I\'m sure you\'ll find that CD-rom versions are soooooo much better than hard copies - you can look up terms much faster, and, more importantly, you can do a \"free search\" for all instances of a term, something which simply is not (humanly) possible using a book. Finally, when you\'re really stuck, my experience is that the more people you know well enough to ask about terms from their specific field, the better...

Good luck!


Local time: 06:55
English to Russian
+ ...
stan Aug 22, 2002

what a problem with a fax? if you don\'t want to use it, why not a fax-modem? get some fax-program (smth. like winfax) and use your computer as a fax!


Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
One more thing ... Sep 2, 2002

Jerraine, perhaps you also need high-speed internet connection. It is costly, but it makes it possible for you to answer outside calls while you are still on-line.




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What is the basic equipment required for freelance translation?

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