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What does a new translator have to do to find work?
Thread poster: anukorpi

anukorpi
Germany
Local time: 21:54
German to Finnish
Apr 4, 2010

How can a newbie get some work here?
I signed in here for approx. two years ago and never got a chance to make money.
I am a native Finn living since '99 in Germany. I have nearly zero experience in translating, but I studied tourism management and marketing in Germany.
Do you think I could have a chance to get a job here or not?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
Hi anukorpi Apr 5, 2010

anukorpi wrote:

How can a newbie get some work here?
I signed in here for approx. two years ago and never got a chance to make money.
I am a native Finn living since '99 in Germany. I have nearly zero experience in translating, but I studied tourism management and marketing in Germany.
Do you think I could have a chance to get a job here or not?


First of all: Welcome and Happy Easter!

Now to the basics: Proz.com is neither an employment office nor a job board. Good jobs will never be advertised publicly anyway, in any industry.

What proz.com does: It is a perfect portal to gain visibility in the market. Outsourcers will comb through the listings of translators and take their pick. To increase your visibility I recommend to participate actively in KudoZ and the forum. I don't quote for jobs - I am contacted by outsourcers via Proz.com.

To achieve this kind of visibility you need to do your homework, though. The competition is huge.

Sitting quietly in the corner and waiting for things to happen never works.

I hope I could answer your question. Your background in tourism management and marketing is brilliant - to make it work is your job. Which you probably know anyway since you studied marketing.


Edited for typo

[Edited at 2010-04-05 01:18 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
One more Apr 5, 2010

I would be happy to help with your CV. Typos / errors in your CV while listing German as your target language - that's a bad combination.

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Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:54
English to Arabic
curiosity Apr 5, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I would be happy to help with your CV. Typos / errors in your CV while listing German as your target language - that's a bad combination.


Just out of curiosity: was you pointing that Finnish/German is a rarely-needed combination ?

Or you propose another way of writing that in the CV ?


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anukorpi
Germany
Local time: 21:54
German to Finnish
TOPIC STARTER
Tried to be active--- Apr 5, 2010

Well, I haven't just been sitting and waiting. I have tried to be active in Kudoz, but always someone answers faster than I do. I never got any kudoz points and that is (what I understood) that I need to see more job offers on proz.

My CV is a txt - I have no idea why it does not show Ü Ä Ö

I am so happy that at least someone answered!

- Anu Korpi


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
A simple answer Apr 5, 2010

Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

Just out of curiosity: was you pointing that Finnish/German is a rarely-needed combination ?

Or you propose another way of writing that in the CV ?



The CV is written in German and contains some errors. Aside from the fact that CVs must be flawless in any language, any error in a CV written in your target language (!) is a deadly sin.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
only offer one direction Apr 5, 2010

If you're only a native speaker in one language, that's the only one you should be translating into. Make sure your language combination is only German to Finnish. That way you can work towards being the best at your job.
Living in a country for 10 years will not mean that you are a native speaker (unless you were there aged 5 - 15 !)
I've lived in Spain for 25 years and although I sound fluent, I still wouldn't dream of translating into Spanish, there are millions of people who can write it better than me! (ok, not all of them translators ).


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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:54
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Your profile Apr 5, 2010

It doesn't say anything. You must show there that you have relevant studies in the fields you are working in. You must show there why your German is good, so that you can translate from German into your native language. Say that you live in Germany for more than 10 years.

I also could say I can translate from Turkish. But I can not prove it, because I don't have Turkish parents, I don't live and never lived in Turkey and I never studied it. When you say you know German and don't justify it, it is like you would say you know Afrikaans. So, change your profile!

3 answered questions do not show activity on kudoZ. On kudoZ you can also post discussion entries about the question or about the answers proposed, you can provide links, you can agree or disagree with anybody there and this is how you make yourself visible on proZ. First of all, all your proZ peers will visit your profile, asking themselves "Who is she? What can she do?" At the moment your profile does not show that you are able to work in translations. Change it!!! Visit the profiles of some proZ users and see how much information they contain.

[Edited at 2010-04-05 10:55 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
KudoZ and the CV Apr 5, 2010

anukorpi wrote:

Well, I haven't just been sitting and waiting. I have tried to be active in Kudoz, but always someone answers faster than I do. I never got any kudoz points and that is (what I understood) that I need to see more job offers on proz.

My CV is a txt - I have no idea why it does not show Ü Ä Ö

I am so happy that at least someone answered!

- Anu Korpi


The umlauts are not the problem - simply try to save and upload the file as a PDF and the problem will be solved. "Marketin" instead of "Marketing" and English quotation marks in a German text however are a different story.

KudoZ - Not to be confused with NASCAR. And forget about the points (of course many points will bring up your ranking, but this might backfire for the mere point chasers sooner or later.).

An example from the real world: A colleague noticed that I have quite some know-how in a specific technical field. He recommended me to his client as his editor. The client called me on the phone, interviewed me, and I agreed to this large project. This contact has become my largest client of all times. Vice-versa: I pick my freelancers after observing their technical know-how and their writing style for a while. Then I contact them directly.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Be more pro-active here Apr 5, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:
KudoZ - Not to be confused with NASCAR. And forget about the points (of course many points will bring up your ranking, but this might backfire for the mere point chasers sooner or later.).


Lovely! I remember when I still had a dial-up connection (only 18 months ago) - even if I posted the second the question appeared, I was always left on the grid!

Sometimes, when someone has already posted what you believe to be the one-and-only correct answer, all you can do is "agree". Other times though, and particularly in your tourism and marketing specialisations, there is more than one possible answer and the fact that there's already an answer proposed doesn't stop you from posting a second. Even if the other has loads of "agrees" the asker may choose yours as the better translation in context.

I have to agree with other posters here that your ProZ profile won't attract anyone. At the very least there should be some text about yourself - your languages, specialisations, qualifications are all hyper-important if you don't have much experience.

As English is one of your languages (even a target one), you should really publish an English CV. At the moment, anyone interested in the Finnish-English pairing who doesn't read German has nothing at all to go on.

Finally, you need to start treating ProZ as a community, rather than as a job-centre. It's a great place to make contacts, pick up useful information, share your findings with others. But don't wait for the jobs to find you or you'll wait all your life.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:54
English
+ ...
Don't tell anybody . . . Apr 5, 2010

[quote]anukorpi wrote:

I have nearly zero experience in translating...



Volunteer to translate for a charity or some organization. This will give you experience and samples to place in your profile portfolio.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2004)
English to Italian
simple solution... Apr 5, 2010

lie on your CV... seems to be a highly practiced activity by many fellow "translators"...

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
April 1st is over Apr 5, 2010

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

lie on your CV... seems to be a highly practiced activity by many fellow "translators"...


Not very funny, Giovanni.


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Vicky Nash  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2008)
English
Another small change... Apr 5, 2010

While you're making changes to your profile you might want to upload a different picture - a smiling face always makes people seem more approachable (although I agree that this won't work with more information about you)

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784512
Germany
Local time: 21:54
German to English
+ ...
CV/Resume, Lebenslauf, and whatever that is in Finnish... Apr 5, 2010

As others have pointed out, notably Nicole Schnell, it is important to show your language skills through your CV. Generally, translators should not translate into their non-native languages.

As an English native-speaker, I noticed a couple of errors in the English on this page. Would I want them to translate into English for me, knowing this? Whilst I have no doubt their translations will be very good, I would never do so, because I would want a *native* quality translation. Does it really effect their ability to translate out of English however? No, I very, very much doubt it.

The truth is however good we get at our non-native languages, we will never be as good as native speakers.

Especially as you are based in Germany, it is a good idea to put your CV up in German to attract clients, as you have done, and get it checked by a native speaker - this is perfectly legitimate and good marketing. However, I would also upload a CV in English *EVEN IF YOU NEVER INTEND TO TRANSLATE FROM ENGLISH* because some translation agencies prefer to receive CVs in English, even when it is not in the combination. It is also good for networking on here. I apologise for my being British and insisting you use English, but this is how business works, sadly (aside: I did strongly agree with Spiegel's ,Rettet dem Deutsch' articles, and the changes in the DB policies are great!). Lastly you MUST put your CV up in Finnish - otherwise, how can we be sure you can produce an academic standard of written Finnish?

I would also add more content to your CV - though this is your area. Take a look at the CVs of other translators on the site or elsewhere, see how they have marketed themselves, and steal some inspiration. Do not copy anyone though, or you may find yourself incurring some people's wrath, I am sure! Remember the differences between a British and German (and Finnish?) CV style. Remember that we are a lot more freer in style. I suggest you compare your German language CV with the CVs of others translating from German. Incidentally, I don't even have a German language CV at the moment. I will be adding one though. It appears English has been enough so far.

Finally, show technical, business and presentation skills through your CV. A .txt format shows you can use Notepad. Not Word, latter known any translation tool. Show your skill and flair for marketing in a very visual sense. Produce a .pdf (ask and I can tell you how, if you need to know), and upload that.

I also agree about the smiley photo, face on slightly smiling photo such as mine, or the professional looking quirky photo like Nicole Schnell's will really attract people. Just like any industry, looks and presentation matter - even online.

Another little tip - with your expertise, approach cruise companies, tourist agencies, the Finnish tourist board, etc. There may even be translator internships going. Target Finnish companies that are active in Germany.

[Edited at 2010-04-05 13:00 GMT]


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