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How To Become A Successful Freelance Translator

Aug 17, 2007
Tips On How To Become A Successful Freelance Translator

-Once you have graduated, you should first gain a few years practical experience in a translation firm. Often, a senior translator will act as your supervisor and will monitor your progress, by informing you about your strengths and weaknesses, while revising your translations. This will help you to acquire all the necessary skills and abilities that are required for you to become a freelance professional translator.

-If employment opportunities are not available, you can also apply for the post of an unpaid, "volunteer" trainee. Many translation agencies do not have the financial resources to hire new staff, but they are equipped to provide you with excellent training.

-After honing your skills in an established translation agency for a couple of years, you will be capable of identifying potential clients. You could sign a part-time contract, which will provide you with more time to identify clients and more importantly, enough money to survive on.

-Once you have been able to get sufficient freelance work to keep you busy through the week, you can also consider ending your employment contract and dedicating all of your extra time and effort to attracting new clients. Any experienced freelance translator can earn as much as or even more than most salaried, full-time translators.

Where To Look For Jobs?

-Translation Agencies: In general, most translation agencies are not too keen on hiring the services of new and inexperienced freelance translators. It takes a while for a freelancer to prove themselves. They need to prove that they can meet deadlines, provide a consistent level of good quality work and consult appropriate resources to deal efficiently with any required specialization. To reduce the risk of loss and to avoid related costs, most translation agencies only hire freelancers who have been exposed to a minimum of 2-3 years of experience in the business.

-Business Clients: In an attempt to directly identify the companies, freelance translators have found it increasingly difficult to find clients and get work. Most companies prefer to outsource translation services to their business partners. Companies look for translation agencies that can meet their requirements in a number of languages. Agencies are easily available and are capable of completing tasks and meeting deadlines.

The translation field is very competitive. However, if you are willing to take some time building your clientele, proving yourself and improving your language translation skills, you can build a successful career as a freelance translator.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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