Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Growing Your Freelance Business (Olga Melnikova)


Published on

Growing Your Freelance Business. Olga Melnikova, speech at International Summer School in Freelance Translation'18 (Riga, Latvia). July 3, 2018

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Growing Your Freelance Business (Olga Melnikova)

  1. 1. GROWINGYOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS: MOVING UP INTHE TRANSLATION MARKET Olga Melnikova Summer School For NoviceTranslators And Interpreters July 3, 2018
  2. 2. ABOUTTHE SPEAKER • Website: • LinkedIn: • Email:
  3. 3. ABOUTTHE SPEAKER: RUSSIAN EXPERIENCE ØDegrees: MA inTeaching French and English from Kaluga State University and MA in CreativeWriting from Gorky Literature Institute Ø2007-2014 – translator for RussianTranslation Company (Ru, En, Fr) Ø2010-2012 – court interpreter (Ru, Fr) Ø2010-now – - volunteer
  4. 4. ABOUTTHE SPEAKER: US EXPERIENCE ØMay 2015: MA inTranslation and Localization Management, Middlebury Institute (MIIS), Monterey, California, US ØMay 2015 – May 2018: Localization Project Manager at Venga Global, Inc. and Moravia, Inc. (Monterey, CA, US) ØSeptember 2017 – December 2017: Adjunct Professor at Middlebury Institute (course: Introduction to CAT Tools)
  5. 5. ABOUTTHE SPEAKER: PRESENTATIONS AND ARTICLES ØMay 2017 – Software Localization Testing, presentation at Adobe in San Jose (link) ØFebruary 2018 – UTIC Webinar Find Your Customer How To Be Successful In The GlobalTranslation Market? (link) ØApril 2018 – How to become a localization project manager (article in Multilingual Magazine) - link
  6. 6. CREDITS Many thanks to Tereza Dyerova, Resource Manager and Project Manager at Moravia, for giving her insights about the topic of this presentation.
  7. 7. RESOURCES • The General Theory of the Translation Company (by Renato Beninatto and Tucker Johnson) • Multilingual Magazine • Common Sense Advisory (research and presentations)
  8. 8. AGENDA • TopTen Most Important Languages • General Remarks • Most RecentTrends InThe Industry • Language Services Industry Structure • Ideal Candidate’s Profile - StepsTo Succeed • No One-size-fits-all • FindingYour Niche
  9. 9. TOPTEN MOST IMPORTANT LANGUAGES The top ten most important languages for the future, according to a 2013 report from the British Council: 1.Spanish 2.Arabic 3.Mandarin Chinese 4.French 5.German 6.Japanese 7.Portuguese 8.Italian 9.Russian 10.Turkish Source: Multilingual Magazine, October / November 2017
  10. 10. GENERAL REMARKS • Most of the world content is generated in English and needs to be localized into other languages • The US market / Silicon Valley clients want to go global, they are major clients right now • Boosting economy drives the industry structure
  11. 11. LANGUAGE INDUSTRY: PAST, PRESENTAND FUTURE Past Present Future Products Books (Novels, short stories) Poetry Press Documents / Legal Websites, desktop and mobile apps Marketing materials (online / printed) Cloud-based services Videos Interpreting: medical and court (the US), government, humanitarian (Europe) Mobile apps will dominate Voice and speech (two-way communication) Videos (marketing, help) SEO and cloud Remote interpreting Main Actors Publishing Houses Translators Clients Language Service Providers Freelancers Clients TranslationTechnology Startups Post-Editors Tools Paper and online dictionaries MSWord CATTools Translation Management Systems (TMS) Content Management Systems (CMS) MT Engines (Neural MT) andAI CAT and MT Combination (LILT) Unit A word, a page String, segment Speech, segment
  12. 12. MOST RECENTTRENDSTHE INDUSTRY: MOBILE, SPEECHANDVIDEO • Mobile phones domination • 10-20 languages will be insufficient – think 126 and more for mobile • Speech and video localization is the future • 5 billion videos watched onYouTube every day (2017) • New generations prefer listening to reading • Africa has the highest rate of illiteracy so speech and videos are widely used, not text Source: Multilingual Magazine, Common Sense Advisory
  13. 13. MOST RECENTTRENDSTHE INDUSTRY: MT,AI,VR AND REMOTE INTERPRETING • MachineTranslation (MT) combined withArtificial Intelligence (AI) does 99% of all the translations right now • Automation will be expanding to new areas (voice over recordings) • Virtual reality and augmented reality • Remote Interpreting (due to speech localization) • Demand for interaction using voice means linguistic variability – accent, intonation, idiolect, dialect, language Source: Multilingual Magazine, Common Sense Advisory
  14. 14. MOST RECENTTRENDSTHE INDUSTRY: CLOUD, TRANSLATIONTECHNOLOGY, SEO • Cloud is becoming the main trend (90% of new software apps will be deployed in the cloud) • There are many startups inTranslation Technology right now, and their number will grow • SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the key marketing strategies right now Source: Multilingual Magazine
  15. 15. LANGUAGE SERVICES INDUSTRY STRUCTURE • There is a textbook describing the structure of the language services industry nowadays • - you can download the eBook at a lower cost
  16. 16. LANGUAGE SERVICES INDUSTRY STRUCTURE Example: • End Client: Google • Global LSP (Language Service Provider): localizes Google Maps into 100 languages, works with 100 translation agencies in different countries. • Local LSP: does one language for the global LSP • Freelancers: work for the local LSP • Consumers: users of Google Maps in 100 languages Source: John Ritzdorf for Moravia
  17. 17. LANGUAGE SERVICES INDUSTRY STRUCTURE Source:The General Theory of the Translation Company
  18. 18. LANGUAGE SERVICES INDUSTRY STRUCTURE Source: John Ritzdorf for Moravia
  19. 19. THREE PILLARS OFTHE LANGUAGE INDUSTRY Language Business Industry Today Technology
  20. 20. IDEAL CANDIDATES PROFILE: ALL 3 COMPONENTS Language Technology Business 1. Excellent target language skills 2. Excellent English skills (understanding the source correctly) 3. Excellent business communication skills (knowing how to write emails) 1. CAT Tools (keeping up to date, ready to learn);TMS (Translation Management Systems) 2. Experience in translating the right type of content 3. Product knowledge (big clients like Apple, Microsoft, Google) 1. Building an online profile (readiness to spend a lot of time on this) 2. Readiness to take unpaid tests (passing the test and following the instructions) 3. Fitting the budget (price negotiation) 4. Responsiveness (replying as soon as possible) 5. Reliability (meeting deadlines) 6. Keeping names of your clients confidential
  21. 21. COMPONENT 1: LANGUAGE 1. Excellent target language skills 2. Excellent English skills (understanding the source correctly) 3. Excellent business communication skills (knowing how to write emails)
  22. 22. THE US BUSINESS LANGUAGE: CLICHES Hi Helene [Hello Helene], I hope this email finds you well. If it is Monday: I hope you have had a nice weekend. If it is Friday: Happy Friday! Thank you for your reply! Greetings Intro Email Body
  23. 23. THE US BUSINESS LANGUAGE: CLICHES Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your understanding! Looking forward to your reply! Hope you have a nice week! (if this is Monday or Tuesday) Hope you have a nice weekend! (if this is Friday) Email Closure
  24. 24. THE US BUSINESS LANGUAGE: CLICHES Best regards, [Kind regards,] [Regards,] [Cheers,] [Thank you,] [Thanks,] Olga Signature
  25. 25. COMPONENT 2:TECHNOLOGY 1. Product knowledge (big clients like Apple, Microsoft, Google) 2. CATTools (keeping up to date, ready to learn);TMS (Translation Management Systems) 3. Experience in translating the right type of content
  26. 26. COMPONENT 2:TECHNOLOGY CATTOOLS 1. Memsource – free edition (2 files max) 2. memoQ – free trial 3. SDL Trados Studio – free trial 4. Smartling – used by many clients in the US 5. Other online tools (Lilt, Lingotek, Wordfast Anywhere, Matecat, Smartcat)
  28. 28. COMPONENT 2:TECHNOLOGY TYPE OF CONTENT • Most common types of content: apps and websites (IT segment) • Most common specializations: UI (user interface), Marketing, Support (Help), Legal • How to gain experience: a) work for a local translation agency (SLV); b) register on online crowdsourcing platform (Transifex, Crowdin), translate for free, gain experience, put it to your resume.
  29. 29. COMPONENT 3: BUSINESS BUILDING ONLINE PROFILE • Identify top 10-20 LSPs (language service providers) • Register your profile in their databases (example of Moravia: Own freelance database is always the first choice. • Follow them on other platforms: o LinkedIn o Upwork o TranslatorsCafe o ProZ
  30. 30. COMPONENT 3: BUSINESS BUILDING ONLINE PROFILE • Detailed experience, type of content you translated • Descriptive nominations of your clients (confidentiality) • Skills - hard (CATTools, specialization in certain content types) and soft (meeting deadlines, responsiveness) • Credentials (degrees, certifications) • Endorsements and Mentions (including clients reviews) • Membership in professional associations, networking
  31. 31. COMPONENT 3: BUSINESS OTHER CONSIDERATIONS 1. Readiness to take unpaid tests (passing the test and following the instructions) 2. Fitting the budget (price negotiation) 3. Responsiveness (replying as soon as possible) 4. Reliability (meeting deadlines) 5. Keeping names of your clients confidential
  32. 32. NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL • Big Recruitment Paradox • The US job market has its strict laws: your resume should match the job description • Client’s requirements can be very specific (e.g.: loves music, or movies, or fitness; uses certain types of software / apps) • In-country vs out-of-country linguists
  33. 33. FINDINGYOUR NICHE: STRUCTURE OF INDUSTRY DOES NOT FAVOR FREELANCERS Source:The GeneralTheory of theTranslation Company John Ritzdorf for Moravia
  34. 34. WHY CLIENTS AND GLOBAL LANGUAGE PROVIDERS PREFERWORKINGWITHAGENCIES PROS CONS 1. Efforts: it is easier to manage 1 agency, instead of 2 freelancers 2. Money: it is less expensive to pay to 1 agency for Translation + Review, rather than paying to 2 freelancers, one for Translation and one for Review 3. Time Difference: by the time the project manager in the US wakes up, the agency already completed T + R 4. Backup Management: freelancers get busy, get sick, go on vacation, get pregnant, etc.; it is more convenient for the local agency to do that 1. Lack of transparency (we cannot guarantee that only resources who have passed the tests are used) 2. For certain types of tasks (LQA, test reviews) freelancers are better.
  35. 35. FINDINGYOUR NICHE: USE EXCEPTIONS 1) The industry is too fragmented 2) The economy is booming right now, but not always 3) There are niches that local LSPs cannot fill Source: John Ritzdorf for Moravia
  36. 36. FINDINGYOUR NICHE:WHERE FREELANCERS ARE BETTERTHANAGENCIES • Working as a group • LQA (evaluating language quality of Translation + Review workflow) • Transcreation • Voice-over • Review of tests • Glossary, style guide, pronunciation guide creation,TM cleanup, testing
  37. 37. SENDYOUR QUESTIONSTO: • Website: • LinkedIn: • Email: