Wanted: advice for a newcomer
Thread poster: philgoddard
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Jun 30, 2009

I recently moved to the States from the UK. Most of my clients are still in the UK, so I'm trying to build up a client base on this side of the Atlantic. I translate various European languages into English, one of which is French.

I hope this isn't a silly question, but is there a market for French to English, or are there so many bilingual Canadians that nobody needs professional translators? And if there is, what kind of rates should I be charging a translation company?


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Damon Loomer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Plenty of French > English work Jul 1, 2009

Hi Phil,

Being an officially bilingual country actually creates more need for translation in Canada. While the great bulk of it (probably 80%) is EN>FR, there's still a huge amount of stuff translated into English for government and business. On balance, I find Canadian agencies pay a bit more than US agencies, even when the exchange rate is taken into account. However, I also find that translating Canadian French to Canadian English often takes more research because in many cases a "good" translation is not enough -- you also have to be constantly testing your choices of phrasing at the bilingual website of the Department of This or That and/or following official glossaries, so that your translation fits into the established corpus. Also, I think it's essential to have access to Termium for FR>EN in Canada.
Cheers,


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isarcat
Local time: 00:45
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I would add that you should contact the Translation Bureau.. Jul 1, 2009

The Translation Bureau is the largest employer of official languages translators... The bulk of translation is indeed into French (I'd say more like 90%) but there is plenty of English work for good freelancers. You have to be able to join the TB's database (go to their website to find out how) and produce excellent work. Damon is right... every dept. has its own terminology/way of saying things, but they give you glossaries, help from revisers, etc.

They pay well and the work is really interesting. So if you're good and fast, you have a good chance of making pretty good coin.. Being in the National Capital Region is actually your best bet for finding Fr--> En work... If not directly from the Bureau, then from one of the agencies that supply them..

Best of luck..

isa r


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Damon Loomer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
have to be in Canada to work for the TB though Jul 1, 2009

Isa, you're right that the Translation Bureau tends to pay well and offers a great amount of varied and interesting work, but their Canadian content rules don't allow for bids from foreign suppliers. Why not come up and give Canada a try, Phil? (Better do it soon, though. Swapping New Orleans for Ottawa might not seem so attractive come the winter. ; - )

Damon


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
ATA certification? Jul 1, 2009

You might want to join the ATA (www.atanet.org) --a very serious professional association with a long tradition of promoting recognition of translation-- and do their certification exams. The ATA-certification is a well-known standard in the Americas and will give US customers a very clear idea of your abilities.

Edited for this: Oops! You are already a member of ATA. How about the certification then? With your experience, it should be no problem with a tiny bit of preparation about the mechanics of the test (translating with pencil on official paper, no computer, 1,5 hours per 300-word text...).

[Edited at 2009-07-01 17:37 GMT]


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jul 6, 2009

Thank you all for your verry helpful replies.

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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 00:45
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Damon is spot on Sep 6, 2009

Damon Loomer wrote:

Hi Phil,

Being an officially bilingual country actually creates more need for translation in Canada. While the great bulk of it (probably 80%) is EN>FR, there's still a huge amount of stuff translated into English for government and business. On balance, I find Canadian agencies pay a bit more than US agencies, even when the exchange rate is taken into account. However, I also find that translating Canadian French to Canadian English often takes more research because in many cases a "good" translation is not enough -- you also have to be constantly testing your choices of phrasing at the bilingual website of the Department of This or That and/or following official glossaries, so that your translation fits into the established corpus. Also, I think it's essential to have access to Termium for FR>EN in Canada.
Cheers,


I would also add that to fit into this corpus, it is essential to have a memory tool. Personally I favour freelancers who fit Damon's description and also own and know hot to use the right tools.
Paola
CLS Lexi-tech


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 00:45
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Why not move to Canada Sep 6, 2009

You want to see countries, you mention in your profile, why not move up here for a while and get established and get the experience...
just a crazy suggestion


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