How to find freelance projects ??
Thread poster: Ksenia17

English to Russian
Oct 17, 2002

Could anybody give some useful advise on how to find freelance jobs in UK.

I work as an experienced in-house translator based in London, but would be very interested to undertake freelancing jobs too.

Well, I have contacted some agencies, replied to ads.... registered with some agencies on the internet, but no success so far...

May be I am doing something wrong???

Thank you replies in advance,



Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
German to English
+ ...
Be patient, and available! Oct 17, 2002

You say you are already working as an in-house translator. This probably makes it very difficult for potential customers to contact you (especially if you\'re working for a translation agency and their competition icon_wink.gif)

The easiest way to get work through agencies is to be available. If you are only able to squeeze in some freelance work around other commitments, and this is evident from the details you provide, then agencies may not be keen to contact you.

Are you working full or part time and is your intention to go freelance completely, or just keep it as a bit on the side, as it were?




Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:31
English to Swedish
+ ...
KudoZ & Perception Oct 18, 2002

I am offered more translation jobs than I can handle.

You are not offered enough, perhaps none.


I answer KudoZ questions and have achieved a high ranking.

You do not answer KudoZ questions questions and are not ranked.

I have jazzed up my ProZ page so that visitors remember it (

You have not worked on your ProZ page.

I charge high prices for my services.

You charge average prices for your services.

I do not contact translation agencies, they contact me with job offers.

You push sell your services to translation agencies, and get no job offers.

Decisions (read: The agencies’ decisions) are not based on reality, but on perception of reality.

Who do you think the agencies perceive to be the better translator?


Local time: 08:31
English to Albanian
+ ...
Register with the relevant institutes Oct 18, 2002

You are saying that you are based in London. As a freelance translator I know that your language is in in demand.

It is good to register with agencies but you should try to register and become a member of IoL (Institute of Linguists).

As a result you won’t need to contact agencies any more, they will be contacting you.

Something else that might be of interest to you is to register with the Home Office interpreters. Russian interpreters are very busy at the Oakington Reception Centre (Cambridge).

I hope this helps.




Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Another relevant institute Oct 18, 2002

Agree with Edlira that membership of the IoL is a useful qualification

Membership of the ITI (Institute of translation and Interpreting) is equally useful if not more so, since it is entirely concerned with translation and interpreting, whereas the IoL is also for academics, teachers, philologists etc.

Jack Doughty, FIL, MITI.


United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
English to German
+ ...
Rates Oct 19, 2002

Sven wrote that Ksenia\'s rates were lower than his, in fact they are higher for all I can see in the respective profiles. Actually by UK standards Ksenia\'s rates are pretty high, I was impressed when I saw them because most of the time I see ridiculously low rates on Proz profiles.

But a little bit more information in the profile would help. I hope your CV reveals a bit more about your qualifications and experience. Just keep contacting agencies and be patient.


English to Russian
Thank you to all for cooperation :) Oct 25, 2002

thank you to everybody. Useful information!

I was thinking about the Institute of Linguists, however I was told that they are not don\'t improve anything.

What do you think?

Could anybody briefly describe how long does it take for the course (IOL) to be completed and would it possibly interfere with my full-time job?

And the question for Ildira:

Thanks for your advise. You mentioned something about Home Office. Do you mean that I should contact them for interpreting or translating jobs??

Thanks in advance for you help


Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:31
German to English
+ ...
ITI/IoL Oct 26, 2002

You can sit the IoL\'s Dip Trans examination without any training, though some preparation would be advisable. The Dip Trans is well regarded in the industry and useful if you don\'t have a postgrad-level translation qualifcation.

You don\'t need the Dip Trans for membership - a language degree (and possibly some experience, I\'m not sure of the current requirements) are sufficient.

The ITI\'s strength lies in its networks.

Joining either association won\'t of itself bring much in the way of work, though an entry in the ITI\'s directory is likely to bring some offers. I\'m a member of both organizations and can\'t recall being offered work through my IoL directory entry, though it isn\'t always clear where offers come from (e.g. \"I found your details on the Internet\" - very helpful\").



Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
Mass Mail Nov 6, 2002

It is not enough to contact some agencies, you have to group mail them. There are usefull freeware programs like "group mail". The email addresses can either be bought, or copied for example from proz, yahoo, etc. I have contacted more than 1000 agencies. Results: 10% "no thanks", 10% "added to database", 80% no reply. But I am satisfied with being in the databases of more than 100 agenciesicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2003-06-28 13:43]


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Tranmail Nov 6, 2002

If you want to follow Harry_B\'s advice and buy a list of agency addresses, there is a good one called Tranmail available from - current price £55. It lists over 2000 agencies. I have had some work from agencies contacted through this list.


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