How does anyone get started in this business?
Thread poster: zigeunerin
zigeunerin
Local time: 12:59
German to English
Jun 8, 2006

How does one know if a quote has been considered, accept the job, do the job, invoice?

Is there some kind of booklet or help?

Language, German - English, English - German is no problem. But how.....


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
I'm hoping other members will be able to help Jun 9, 2006

I'd love to be able to help, but I'm not really sure what the question is.
Could you be more specific? Especially about "English - German is no problem"....????
Thanks
Angela


zigeunerin wrote:

How does one know if a quote has been considered, accept the job, do the job, invoice?

Is there some kind of booklet or help?

Language, German - English, English - German is no problem. But how.....


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:59
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
A few answers... Jun 9, 2006

If your quote is taken into consideration, you will receive an answer from the outsourcer.

If you are offered a job, you correspond by e-mail. Before you accept a document to translate, you make sure you are sent a copy of it to look at. You accept it if you are sure you will be able to do it to a professional standard - however long it may take you (if you are just starting out). You do not accept it if it looks too difficult at this stage of your career.

If you wish to accept it, you agree a rate with the agency - which they will determine if you are new to the profession. They then may or may not send you an official-looking "P.O." to sign, agreeing the details regarding the word price and deadline. If they do not send you one, e-mail correspondence between you and the agency agreeing these points is equally valid.

You do the job, send it, wait for a reaction for a little while, and, if all is quiet on the Western front, issue an invoice. If you have never written an invoice before, you take a sample invoice that you have received from somewhere (any sort of invoice will do) and copy it, meaning that you get an idea of a possible layout and also put on it the same details as on the invoices you receive from firms. In particular, the invoice should have a unique number, e.g. 06001 (year and number of invoice). I give each client a number, and put a client number inbetween, e.g. 06003001.

To get any work initially, you need to declare your native language and only offer to translate into that language, not the other way round as well. You also need to fill out your profile, to provide prospective clients with some reasonable information about you and your educational and professional background.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:59
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Start with the math Jun 9, 2006

Dear gipsy,

Start with recalculating your expected output - ProZ seems to have a new tool for just that.

In your profile you state your minimum aim is to earn 35 USD per hour. How are you planning to earn that amount when your minimum charge is is 0.05 USD/word and your specialities are Gastronomy and Law?

Have you ever translated a 700 word menu within an hour? There's always at least one fish that will make you google for ever. To make 35 USD/hour translating menus I'd have to charge at least 0.14 USD/Word.

Success,
Gerard


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:59
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Article knowledgebase Jun 10, 2006

Hi zigeunerin,

zigeunerin wrote:
Is there some kind of booklet or help?


Good advice from the colleagues above.

Just one more tip: the article knowledgebase here at ProZ.
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/categories/Business-of-Translation-and-Interpreting/Getting-Established/

Wishing all the best
Natalia

P.S. Erm, don't know how to say it... polishing your CV, especially qualifications point might be worth doing.

[Edited at 2006-06-10 21:46]


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zigeunerin
Local time: 12:59
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply to "English - German is no problem" Jun 11, 2006

I meant I speak/read/write German and English fluently. I don't understand anything else about this program. Does this company put out a user/beginner booklet? How did you get started?
Thanks for reply.
Ingeborg (zigeunerin)
***************************

Angela Arnone wrote:

I'd love to be able to help, but I'm not really sure what the question is.
Could you be more specific? Especially about "English - German is no problem"....????
Thanks
Angela


zigeunerin wrote:

How does one know if a quote has been considered, accept the job, do the job, invoice?

Is there some kind of booklet or help?

Language, German - English, English - German is no problem. But how.....


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hello Ingeborg and welcome aboard Jun 12, 2006

If you take a half hour and sit down to read through the FAQ and site description, you should get a comprehensive overview of the ProZ.com site and mission.
You can read the Forums (especially Getting Established) and they will illustrate doubts and problems similar to those you mention here.
ProZ.com is a multifaceted site that aims to improve working conditions for freelance linguists worldwide, but it is also open to inhouse linguists and outsourcers seeking to meet their translating/interpreting or other language needs.
You will find terminology and glossary help, colleagues generous with advice of all sorts, work acquired by direct offer and by networking.
Make sure you fill out your profile page, take a look at kudoz, think about becoming a member and get a free website and use of the BB directory, come to a pow-wow or organise a pow-wow to meet us in the flesh!

How did I get started? I'm not a very good example, to be honest, but it's a good story so here goes:
I have always been in a bilingual environment and I studied Modern Languages at University.
Then I came to live in Italy, I taught English and eventually got a job as a translator with a big multinational.
After I got married and had children, I went back to work part-time, but in another town, in another company, and not as a translator. Gradually I learned enough to start writing technical manuals and translating them. This gave me the bare bones of how much translating had changed since I had begun my first job years earlier.
Now we have computers, internet, online dictionaries, web searches and ... proz!!!
Then I took ill and was off work for many months, so when I was at home, I had the computer for company and I learned how to use the internet. I found that there were lots of opportunities for freelancers so I never went back to my office job... I sent out a few applications, started doing translations and joined proz.
I've never looked back.
Welcome again
Angela


zigeunerin wrote:

I meant I speak/read/write German and English fluently. I don't understand anything else about this program. Does this company put out a user/beginner booklet? How did you get started?
Thanks for reply.
Ingeborg (zigeunerin)
***************************



[Edited at 2006-06-12 06:39]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:59
German to English
+ ...
Full-time job Jun 12, 2006

If you are in Germany/Austria/Switzerland and have translator qualifications, I suggest looking for a full-time job as a translator with a company or agency first. That experience will give you thorough knowledge of how the industry works, something that's essential if you want to succeed as a freelancer.

Sorry - saw that you are in the US. The above still applies.

[Edited at 2006-06-12 15:31]


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Manuel Rodriguez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:59
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very good description! Jun 13, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson,

Wow, this is what I've been doing all along, but never knew if it was common or the "usual". Thanks, now I have a little more confidence!

They then may or may not send you an official-looking "P.O." to sign, agreeing the details regarding the word price and deadline. If they do not send you one, e-mail correspondence between you and the agency agreeing these points is equally valid.


One time I got a P.O., but never signed it, as I didn't know what it was. Luckily, the outsourcer was/is very kind and did not mind.

In particular, the invoice should have a unique number, e.g. 06001 (year and number of invoice). I give each client a number, and put a client number inbetween, e.g. 06003001.


For now, I'm using Paypal's invoice system, but should I decide to make one of my own, how do you go about numbering those invoices? Do you start from one?

Thanks again. Vale atque valete!

[Edited at 2006-06-13 21:24]


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