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How To Find Freelance Translation Jobs?

Aug 17, 2007
The first step in finding a freelance translation job is to assess your experience and capabilities; simply speaking two or more languages fluently is not enough. To find a job as a freelance translator your curriculum vitae should include:

at least a bachelor's degree,
qualifications and experience
target language (mother tongue)
source languages (the ones you translate)
a picture of yourself(not compulsory)
contact information
area of specialization, i.e., technical, legal, medical or literature
real life experience in source language country

The ability to write your own mother tongue fluently in regards to both style and context in relationship to the topic of the translation is essential. The real life experience of living or studying in a country where the language that you translate is spoken, will give you the realistic nuance of the language.

Preparation and resources are the keys to finding work as a freelance translator. Preparation for being in business for yourself means having the basic tools to produce your work:

an internet connection
computer and appropriate software
print and online dictionaries
translation software's
and ideally a dictating machine

If your budget allows, investing in Trados, the industry standard in Computer-Aided Translation will be invaluable. Your cover letter should describe how your will produced as well as all of your channels of communication; email, fax or instant messenger.

With these tools you are now ready to start marketing your services. There are sites, which share tips for translators like http://getdirectclient.blogspot.com. There are many freelance translator/ agencies/forums and where you can register for work and gain valuable exposure:

Aquarius.Net: http://www.aquarius.net/
Language 123 Translators Marketplace: http://language123.com/s/freelance_translations_jobs.html
Translators Base: http://www.translatorsbase.com/Forum/Forums/
ProZ.com at http://www.proz.com is an excellent resource for the art and business of freelance translation
The International Forum: http://help.berberber.com/
English Spanish Translation Organization: http://www.english-spanish-translator.org/
Russian Translation Matters: http://www.russian-translation-matters.com/
German/Hungarian/English Translations Services: ATS Group - http://www.ats-group.net/job_en.html
All Languages: Translation Services USA - http://www.translation-services-usa.com/jobs.shtml
For all the sites you need to pay if you want premium membership. Remember, as non-paying member, you still can get to know about job opportunities. You can do some research and find out the agency or the poster and then send your CV to them.

Not all jobs come from these sites. In my opinion about 50% of the jobs are available from other sites. So, always look for clients wherever you can. Scan the daily newspaper and search for leads, create a website of your own, promote your site, add url to search engines. These are very slow processes but if you do them regularly you would start getting jobs. Once you do a job, ask for testimonials and then add this testimonial in your CV.

Freelance translators are not good businessmen. Like any other business freelance translation is also a business and one needs to promote that to get clients. How you can promote? By website, direct call, email, etc. How often? Every day, whenever you find time, whenever you have time in between jobs. The mantra should be market, market and market your services. Another important factor is communication- Internet is an anonymous medium so you have to create trust and credibility. You can do that slowly. The first step is to reply your emails as soon as you receive them. Then there are few other steps which are very important and about the I will discuss in my blog named getdirectclient.
About the Author
Ostom Ray is a translator . His blog
provides free tips for translators.
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