Tips on getting your foot in the door in Toronto? (German>English)
Thread poster: Shannon Janke

Shannon Janke
Local time: 14:46
German to English
+ ...
Mar 27, 2013

Hello,

I am trying to establish myself as a translator in Canada (Toronto) and am finding it difficult on many levels. Since there was not a very good education to be found for my language pairing in Canada (I already have a BA in German, more specifically geared to translation I didn't really find) I did the diploma in translation program through City University London. I am not preparing to write the entrance exam to both the body in Ontario, as well as the Chartered Institute of Linguists, but find that gaining any real experience in translating is proving next to impossible.

Can anyone recommend any good agencies that might take on someone trying to gain valuable experience, or and tips on how to get started really WORKING?

thanks,
Shannon


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:46
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Welcome! Mar 27, 2013

Hello Shannon,

Welcome to our ranks. First of all, reading through the "Getting established" forum will give you loads of information, even if it isn't specific to Canada. In addition, you will gain experience in a skill set any serious translator must have: research!
Link: http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established-15.html?sp=forum&forum_id=15
The scenario is very similar no matter which country you are in. Once you have studied the forum posts, then come back here with more specific questions that haven't been answered yet. The one you are primarily asking has been more than adequately covered in the forum, and many times over.

Second, you should have some idea about how to run a small business. Unfortunately, we do not only have to translate from Language A to Language B (or C to D, etc.), but acquire clients, write invoices, organize our files and lots more, and even invest in the business, if that is what you decide you really want to do. If your resources are limited, which they usually are in the early stages of any career, you need to choose wisely. Here, again, the resources on ProZ can help you a lot.

Establishing yourself in any profession is normally NOT a quick process, and will take time. You will very likely have to earn money at another job while you build your translation business. Try applying to Canadian translation agencies, too. That will give you valuable experience both in translation and the business aspects of this field. Hint: You will find a list of agencies from all over the world that can be filtered by country right here on ProZ - there are literally thousands of them. Looking for it will also help you practice your research skills.icon_wink.gif


Good luck!


 

Shannon Janke
Local time: 14:46
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more detail... Mar 27, 2013

thanks for the starter tips. I will review that post for sure. As for income, I do have another job to back me up, and I already have been freelance teaching for a number of years so things like invoicing, etc. I already do. I was more looking for direction specific to Canada and my language pair,... I find because it is not English-French, it is a lot more difficult. If anyone can recommend agencies that work in this language pair, for example, that would be helpful. icon_smile.gif

 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:46
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
There are thousands of agencies Mar 28, 2013

that work in all/many different language pairs, but you may have to go (far) beyond Canada's borders. Look at the jobs posted on the ProZ job board in your language pair and who posts them, check the agency lists/Blue Board I mentioned. There's also a list agencies on ProZ who are specifically looking to expand their database, but I don't have time right now to look for it. Use Google to find translation agencies in the US, etc., there are a lot of things you can do. I have no idea what you have tried nor for how long, so it's difficult to recommend anything, and it's also doubtful that you will get any direct agency recommendations from potential competitors, like me! Besides, the agency jobs I'm assigned are from specialized agencies that require a lot of experience in specific fields, so it wouldn't help in any case.

The link I gave you has huge amounts of posts and answers to questions on getting established, not just one (as you implied), and reading through them may give you some new ideas about how to go about finding customers. Just don't go through dicey-looking websites that charge money! Another hint: Your profile says you accept checks, which is not advisable, as that leaves you open to overpayment scams.


 

Shannon Janke
Local time: 14:46
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tips :) Mar 28, 2013

also, thanks for pointing out it says I accept cheques.... which I don't.... and I don't remember setting it to that on my profile either! I will change that for sure icon_smile.gif

 

Ewa Olszowa  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:46
Polish to English
+ ...
Try to get a professional designation Mar 29, 2013

You may try to become a member of ATIO. The first step would be becoming a Candidate for Certification in Translation (with translation education and experience you should not have a problem to get in) and already with this step you may be able to translate documents (attaching affidavit). Some organizations recognize translations completed by candidates (for example you can do driver's licences for Ministry of Transportation).

As for agencies, there are numerous in Canada - try those that offer translations and interpreting services in community interpreting.

Good luck!
Ewa


 


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