Start-Up Qualifications - what to do?
Thread poster: Alison Sheffield

Alison Sheffield
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:07
French to English
Jul 30, 2010

Hi all,

I've had a look through the forum and found some really useful advice but I'd just like some advice on my specific situation if anyone's able to help me!

I have a degree in International Relations, have translated 160,000 words from French to English, worked in Marketing in the UK for 2 years and worked in France teaching English for 8 months. I'd now like to pursue a career in translation but without a qualification in a language or years of experience I'm finding it hard to get work.

I have been accepted on a Diplôme Universitaire for non-francophones at l'Université Catholique de l'Oeust in France. However, I don't know whether I can afford to go and whether having the qualification will make my chances of getting work better enough to justify the debt I'll probably incur. The DU is the equivalent of a Masters but from a private university and only takes one year to complete. I'm keen to continue studying but maybe part-time, are there any other options that could be suitable for my situation?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Alison


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Italian to English
+ ...
French in profile Jul 30, 2010

Hi Alison,

I suggest you get the French looked at as a matter of urgency and remove it in the meantime.

Also, you need to express yourself in more professional terms.

Sorry I've gone off topic but you need a different approach let alone a qualification.
good luck


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Your ProZ profile Jul 30, 2010

I think that is what Susanna is referring to, and if so it is a valid point -- your ProZ profile is pretty poor. Bear in mind that agencies trawl through ProZ profiles searching for translators. Yours is very unpersuasive.

I do not think another degree would make a significant difference. In your shoes, I would abandon that and put much more effort into marketing yourself, mainly on various translator websites ( such as ProZ). Surely you learned something about marketing at the Chambers of Commerce?

Look at other ProZ profiles. In particular, provide some examples of your work, ideally with your customer's permission or with the text rendered anonymous. Emphasise that you have lived and worked in France. Be more specific about your specialisms -- claiming "judicial, political and economic language" is very broad and even implausible without evidence. Yet you do not claim marketing as a specialism. (Don't look at my profile -- I no longer need to market myself).

Another thing you might consider is a short online training course specifically for translation. Check out the ITI's training courses at http://www.iti.org.uk then Training. (Let me declare an interest - I am involved in these courses).

My advice may sound harsh, but so is life.


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Italian to English
+ ...
Give us an F Jul 30, 2010

Alison - French educational system not french. This will be what's stopping you getting work, not the lack of qualifications....oh and friendly though it sounds, are you are a barmaid or translator?
Inconsistencies - currently living in France but then, sharing (dividing!) your time between Glencoe and Bristol...Dr Who (great Proms btw but no Ood sadly) could learn a thing or two from you.
And I've barely scratched the surface.


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Iol route Jul 30, 2010

Most people tend to the Iol qualification route and they do a prep course at one of the London unis. I don't think its too expensive, why don't you do that? You have a strong academic background which you should be proud of.

You should make your profile more professional sounding. I don't think that there is any reason to mention the part-time bar work or the fact that you live between two English speaking places.

Good luck to you.


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
German to English
Agree with others Jul 30, 2010

Your profile does you no favours - I don't want to sound harsh, but if I were looking for a translator I'd pass over yours fairly quickly on account of a) errors in your writing ("in both France the UK"), b) a slogan that emphasises that you are a beginner and c) a photo in which you look like a tourist. Accuracy and professionalism are the things to aim for - then once you get a foot in the door you'll find that work arrives of its own accord.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Niche market Jul 31, 2010


I started translation through:


1. Never obtained formal translation education,


2. But used my professionalism: engineering, scientific research, construction contract and technical documentation,


3. Did free of charge translation for someone e.g. a religious organization, review of translated documents.


These may be references to your situation: you are likely strong in foreign language education.





Best regards,


SL


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Alison Sheffield
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:07
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 31, 2010

Hi all,

Many thanks for taking the time to look at and comment on my profile, obviously I've made some pretty elementary errors that I will attempt to rectify over the coming week. I think one of the first lessons I've learned is that the translation business is a harsh world!

Alison


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