Poll: My first client was:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:32
SITE STAFF
Jul 22

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "My first client was:".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very important to my career and a learning experience Jul 22

My very first client as a full-time translator was a Belgian agency which had a contract with the European Commission to translate the Bulletin of the European Community into all official EC languages. I was asked to translate it every month into Portuguese. This Bulletin reported on the activities of the Commission and the other Community institutions. It was a big job (circa 200 pages) and it was a learning experience both good and bad. Good because I learned a lot, bad because I made the card... See more
My very first client as a full-time translator was a Belgian agency which had a contract with the European Commission to translate the Bulletin of the European Community into all official EC languages. I was asked to translate it every month into Portuguese. This Bulletin reported on the activities of the Commission and the other Community institutions. It was a big job (circa 200 pages) and it was a learning experience both good and bad. Good because I learned a lot, bad because I made the cardinal sin of having only one client and 3 years on they suddenly lost their contract. It took me some time to restart all over again…Collapse


Yaotl Altan
Jinho Kang
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other: My first client was ... Jul 22

... to be expected. When I early-retired from my full-time translation job, my former employer had already signed me up for a project that ultimately took two years. During that time, I found several new clients and was able to squeeze them in. I still do a lot of work for my previous employer, though they are not my favorite client.

[Edited at 2019-07-22 08:53 GMT]


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:32
German to English
+ ...
just simply my first client Jul 22

There wasn't anything particularly remarkable. It was a very little translation - a death certificate that slowly churned through my fax machine with black borders and scared the bejeebums out of me, because I didn't know it was a translation job. That part I'll always remember (and laugh). The client was a nice client, a small agency.

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:32
German to English
My first real client Jul 22

My first job was in 1969 when I was an undergraduate student. From then on I had a number of one-off jobs for years: certificates, recipes, article abstracts, etc. while I was in graduate school and afterwards. When personal computers became widely available, I bought one and quit my job at a financial institution. Computer clubs were very popular at the time, and eager to learn this new technology, I joined one, where I met my first real, ongoing client. Willie ran a small "mom and pop" transla... See more
My first job was in 1969 when I was an undergraduate student. From then on I had a number of one-off jobs for years: certificates, recipes, article abstracts, etc. while I was in graduate school and afterwards. When personal computers became widely available, I bought one and quit my job at a financial institution. Computer clubs were very popular at the time, and eager to learn this new technology, I joined one, where I met my first real, ongoing client. Willie ran a small "mom and pop" translating and technical writing company primarily serving the Detroit-area automotive industry. Willie was very meticulous, stubborn, demanding, argumentative; in short a stereotypical Prussian. Over the years he hired me for a variety of assignments involving technical writing as well as translating. I was able to get jobs from other local agencies by mentioning that Willie had never fired me, as he was known to be an impossible taskmaster. I learned a lot from him, and considered him a mentor, despite the headaches he gave me when dealing with him.Collapse


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 00:32
Member (2016)
English to German
Important to my career Jul 22

My first (paying) client was a translation platform, not so long ago, and I still do some work for them occasionally. After reading in Proz forums for years that the translation market goes down the drain and that amateurs should not enter the market and drive rates down, I finally did exactly that, signed up with this platform and started doing gigs for rather poor rates. This was an eye-opener for me, it showed me that I can do this work without any formal training or degree and gave me the co... See more
My first (paying) client was a translation platform, not so long ago, and I still do some work for them occasionally. After reading in Proz forums for years that the translation market goes down the drain and that amateurs should not enter the market and drive rates down, I finally did exactly that, signed up with this platform and started doing gigs for rather poor rates. This was an eye-opener for me, it showed me that I can do this work without any formal training or degree and gave me the confidence to approach other agencies and offer my work for higher rates. I soon earned more by translating than in my regular job, and finally gave it up and went full time freelance. By now, I don't accept so many projects from this original platform any longer, because I simply have outgrown their rates, but without them I might never have even started.Collapse


 

Bruno Veilleux
Canada
Local time: 18:32
English to French
A learning experience; My worst client; Very important to my career; A terrible/awkward experience Jul 22

My very first job as a freelancer was a scam, so it was definitely a terrible but useful learning experience. It was also the only time I got scammed so far, so I'll say it has been my worst "client". Once bitten, twice shy.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:32
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very Important Jul 22

In a time without internet or anything like it, we had newspapers, radio or creativity to get clients, above all when you were starting, with no experience at all.
Well, I printed hundreds of pamphplets, put them in mail boxes, school/college bulleting boards, etc.
My frist client was a sudent of the sociology department of the college I went to.
I don't even remember her name, but she was very important in my career. I realized I could be a great translator, as I received re
... See more
In a time without internet or anything like it, we had newspapers, radio or creativity to get clients, above all when you were starting, with no experience at all.
Well, I printed hundreds of pamphplets, put them in mail boxes, school/college bulleting boards, etc.
My frist client was a sudent of the sociology department of the college I went to.
I don't even remember her name, but she was very important in my career. I realized I could be a great translator, as I received regular compliments and she gave me several additional jobs after the first one.
It was a great start, and I thank her.
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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:32
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
mainly just very nice... Jul 22

which was encouraging. I was involved in harmonising questionnaires and went to a few harmonisation meetings, where 15 or so linguists with different native languages tried to translate the same source document into their respective target languages. We compared the translations by providing an on-the-spot back-translation into English and tried to resolve any discrepancies. It was very instructive, as it showed various traps translators might fall into, various ways of getting the details right... See more
which was encouraging. I was involved in harmonising questionnaires and went to a few harmonisation meetings, where 15 or so linguists with different native languages tried to translate the same source document into their respective target languages. We compared the translations by providing an on-the-spot back-translation into English and tried to resolve any discrepancies. It was very instructive, as it showed various traps translators might fall into, various ways of getting the details right or wrong, and because these were in-person meetings with the client, I got a very good idea of what clients might expect or wish from this type of translations.

But mostly it was just fun discussing these texts with people from all over the world and trying to find a common solution to various issues.
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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very Important To My Career Jul 22

It was a book translation from French on the arms and techniques of the French Resistance. Best-selling author David Kahn (The Codebreakers, Hitler's Spies) hired me to do it, and it was published by one of the largest publishers in the world, Macmillan.

I have, since I got back into the translation industry, created more literary translations than any other kind.


 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:32
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
A bit of everything Jul 23

It was a very small job and only a one-shot client, but it went smooth. I was glad found it myself and got it on the very first day I started freelancing. So it was very important because it showed that yes, I can do it! Very good for confidence.
And the second job was very important too because it was brought to me by a colleague and friend who started freelancing at the same time: we shared the job since it was a large one, and that client kept us rather busy over several months. So alth
... See more
It was a very small job and only a one-shot client, but it went smooth. I was glad found it myself and got it on the very first day I started freelancing. So it was very important because it showed that yes, I can do it! Very good for confidence.
And the second job was very important too because it was brought to me by a colleague and friend who started freelancing at the same time: we shared the job since it was a large one, and that client kept us rather busy over several months. So although he did not pay very high rates, that allowed us to start in the business straight away with some income while finding other clients.

@Bruno: uh, beginning with a scam, you had it tough! I'm impressed that you kept going after that.
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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 23

Replace "very" with "quite" and I might have ticked that option. Although all my clients are important to me. In fact, I'm not even sure if I really remember my first translation job, so I basically have to just pick one as the starting point.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Just the first Jul 24

I would have said forgettable, but I can't because I still remember both the client and the job from back in 2007. The memory conjures up the usual memories of being new to something so a little trepidatious and out of my depth, but the client seemed happy enough.

 


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