Building a portfolio/sample translations
Thread poster: Glenda Janssen
I have been on Proz for about 9 years now, and I must confess I just now started to use the forums. I'm so glad to have found the forums, because I am learning about the business by leaps and bounds!
Sorry if this question has already been addressed here, but I searched the archives for a while, and came up with a gigantic amount of returns, none of which seemed to specifically answer this.
In short: I have been translating since 1995, on and off. I completed several projects when I was in Europe, and all those have been lost in the mist of time. When I came to the United States, I took on a few jobs through Proz. Then I got hired as an interpreter, so I was very busy doing that, and, at the same time, translation rates for my languages plummeted from about $0.25 to $0.07 (I have a feeling Trados is to blame for that). Also, it seemed that most jobs posted required at least some sort of a college degree. Now that I have a B.A. and ten years' experience as an interpreter, as well as a schedule better-suited to translation, I am trying to get a regular stream of translation work in.
But I have no samples or portfolio. Every job I did was either too long ago, and thus lost, or is recent, but bound to confidentiality agreements.
I have the time to produce some of my own translations. I am actually planning on working on a book in my own time, so that I can later shop that around to publishers (I understand that is the way it works). So, for instance, I could put some snippets of that in my portfolio... But I'm pretty sure that is a copyright issue. I.e., the original text still belongs to the author, and the translated text does, too.
I could translate some articles published on the web, I guess, but that seems so dull. Not that I mind doing dull work, but I doubt it really highlights my skills.
| | DLyons
Local time: 14:11
Spanish to English
| The Web is a good source. || Jul 7, 2011 |
You can probably find something in your specific areas of interest and at whatever level you want. There may still be copyright issues of course, unless you choose public domain source.
You could for example take a Wiki article in your source language which doesn't have an equivalent in your target and put the result both on Wiki and as a a sample in your profile.
You can also classify the translation projects you did before by topics, etc. For each project, you can specify the subject and product (its type or even name if NDA permits), type of document, language pair, number of words.
This way, you'll show what experience you have with general information on projects (with or without product and company names). Moreover, your prospects will appreciate your observance of NDAs with your existing clients.
That's the way I do it.
| | Glenda Janssen
Local time: 08:11
English to Italian
| Thank you all for your advice! || Jul 9, 2011 |
Rossana, thank you for pointing out the copyright issue with web-published material. Copyright is a tricky subject. Having studied publishing in college, I have seen a great deal of confusion, and, indeed, the rules are a bit vague. I could see how a short excerpt of a web-published work would be okay to translate under "fair use." Just like it would be okay for a teacher to copy a chapter of a book and distribute it to her students, I think it might be okay to use a brief excerpt for a sample translation, particularly if that work is available on the web, and so the original is not being copied. However, fair use is a grey area that we all might want to stay away from. Hence, I really appreciate your Creative Commons suggestion. I publish my blogs and music under CC, and I never thought there was a directory of CC works. Sweet!
Project History was a feature I was planning on using, but that is quite a different ball of wax than samples. For one, I could put ANYTHING in my history, and there would be no way to verify what I say. As an outsourcer, I think I'd rather look at samples if I wanted to check qualifications. I also have had several requests for samples. And I would much rather provide a sample rather than do a test (there is certainly enough evidence on these forums to discourage anyone from doing tests).
Hope you're all having a great weekend!
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Building a portfolio/sample translations
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