How to launch a freelance translator in Toronto?
Thread poster: AndreiDirgilev

Local time: 00:07
Russian to English
+ ...
Nov 20, 2010

I am a new-comer to Canada and I would like to earn bread and butter here by doing translations at home.
I have a linguistic background and I have worked for 10 years at a Trucks Repair Company translating and interpreting in the office. But I have no experience as a freelance translator.
Please, give some good advice what I can start with...


Riadh Muslih (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
Arabic to English
+ ...
Get acclimatized first Nov 22, 2010

I would suggest that you first settle down in your adopted country. Get to know the people, the language as it is spoken in Canada, the culture (a languages is a representation and expression of a culture). You need to understand the culture, what do Canadians mean when they say something, etc. English is a very dynamic language, and different countries and regions may speak it and mean it differently. Translation is not simply knowing the vocabulary in each language as in the dictionary or on line. You need to know what is really meant by the speaker or writer in that particular region.

Second, I think most Canadian provinces have recognized translators and interpreters societies/associations that are mandated to certify translators/interpreters. They require some forms of qualifications and experience plus passing a test. Check them out.

Good luck


Jean-Pierre Artigau (X)
Local time: 00:07
English to French
+ ...
ATIO is the answer Dec 27, 2010

You have to see all the information available on the ATIO site (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario), and in the longer term you should try to obtain the ATIO certification (although it is not strictly necessary, but highly recommended).


Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Location Dec 29, 2010

The translation profession is mostly conducted by e-mail these days, so where you live hardly matters. You can cultivate a client base that's spread over multiple continents.

Interpreting is a different matter. It's still largely done in person (usually close to home) and often requires professional certification.


juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Translation does not have to be localised. Dec 29, 2010

Look up the threads on the "Getting established" forum where you will find plenty of advice.


Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Government resources Dec 29, 2010

I know that the government of Ontario is constantly on the lookout for qualified interpreters. As previous posters have already mentioned, translation is largely done via email these days. It doesn't really matter where you are living, as long as you can commit to deadlines and all. I believe there is an organization named MCIS, located in Toronto, who works with the ministry (of legal affairs...? can't remember) in ontario. Go on their website and see for yourself how you can sign up as a freelance interpreter there.

otherwise, I'd say everything takes time. Network, get to know the local culture and language, and eventually you'll find some leads.

Good luck


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