How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator A Helpful Guide for Translators & Interpreters to Start and Grow Your Business Jill Sommer & Corinne McKay Preconference Seminar ATA Annual Conference, Orlando, 2008
to: Questions@NOTATranslators.org date: 15 Sep 2007 22:29:45 -0400 subject: General Questions From: amelia esteban Email: cutiecat23 @ juno .net hello, my name is amelia and I'm bilingual english/spanish I was wondering what or where I should go to apply for a job as a tranlator with you guys please advise.
It is easier for some people to be far more outgoing than others, but sincerity – a genuine interest in others and what they have to say – goes a long way in overcoming shyness.
Quieter personalities may do best meeting with small groups of people in professional organizations. The fact that the group is small and is geared to helping others will help build self-esteem and confidence.
Discussion groups on Yahoogroups like PartnerTrans (pt_- firstname.lastname@example.org - in German), ATA German Language Division ( [email_address] ) , Espalista (ATA Spanish Language Division, http://espanol.groups.yahoo.com/group/espalista/), Liste FLD (www.atanet.org/), Lantra ( http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7110/lantra.htm)
Job lists: - U-Jobs (in German): http://www.techwriter.de/thema/u- jobs.htm - Translation jobs mailing list (free): tr_jobs-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com
Translator‘s Home Companion portal (http://www.lai.com/thc.html) has tons of opportunities listed under "Find a job„
ProZ.com ( "Full" membership costs $ 129 / 114 eur per year when you first upgrade. To renew costs $ 119/104 eur . "Partial" membership (allowing access to just jobs-related functions or just community-related functions) costs $ 70 and $ 48 , respectively )
It depends on your language combination, the subject and type of document, deadline, agency or direct client, how much you want to do a particular project, how much formatting is involved, what country your client is in...
Keep your rates close to the phone at all times
Keep abreast of what the market is paying
2500 words per day x $.12 per word x 5 days per week x 48 weeks per year = $72,000 – wouldn‘t that be nice?
Sometimes a well-paying job doesn‘t pay so well when you break it down into manhours
Work for more than one or two clients (the more, the better)
Freelancing is unpredictable. There are periods of intense work and then dry spells. Be prepared and try to build up a 3-month nest egg
Be prepared that it may take some time before you can build up a sufficient client base
If you prefer stability, consider taking on a part-time job to ensure you can pay the rent. You can always quit later.
Reinvest into your business
Use spellchecker at all times
Do not offer volume discounts. If you are doing the work, they should pay for it (possible arguments: will have to work overtime and are not be available for other clients). Plus, sometimes large jobs are never as large as they say they are going to be.
Customers cannot dock you or demand reimbursement for a new translation if they didn‘t notify you and give you the chance to improve your translation.
We have the right to make improvements (free of charge) before a customer can demand a refund.
Ask to see the translation and for a list of concrete errors (did not use terms in glossary, didn‘t understand source text). After all, the editor or someone on the client's end may have made so many "changes" that your text is unrecognizable.
If you worked for an agency and the agency checked the translation before sending it to the client, the agency is liable – not you.
If you truly messed up, suck it up and reimburse the customer for the new translation
Anyone who is not an established business should be asked to pay in advance
If your friendly inquiries are being ignored or you're being fed one excuse after the other, be a bit more firm in your requests and give them a call
If all your attempts have failed and you have kept good records of all those attempts (dates when you emailed them or called to enquire about payment, what you were told, etc . ), report the agency to the Better Business Bureau in their area
The last resort is either small claims court or a collection agency