Career Tips for Freelance Translator | Translation WorkZone
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Career Tips for Freelance Translator

How to set your career rolling as a freelance translator?

Any novice translator has to prove his competence and proficiency as a freelance translator. If you are approaching translation agencies, you will have to abide by certain rules and guidelines. To embark on your new career as a freelance translator with translation companies, you may find it necessary to work for free a few months or even a year as a trainee in any translation agency. This will enable you to add practical experience to your knowledge, find out the know-how, techniques of the job, learn how to use CAT tools efficiently, acquire skill and gain appropriate speed and competence in your fields of interest.

You must always remember that your brain is your asset. It must be regularly broadened and updated with relevant, up-to-date events and knowledge. You should never overlook the importance of enriching your subject knowledge and boosting your experience by extensive reading in various domains and disciplines, to be prepared to deal effectively with such specialities as the need arises (whether this is in the commercial, technical, medical, legal, financial, literary, or IT domains). You must also keep track of the most modern CAT tools’ releases and always be keen to develop your efficiency in using such tools in an expert and skillful manner.

Working with Translation Agency

After gaining the basic experience and preliminary expertise, you have to start your search for a reputable translation agency in India as well as international ones that would be willing to hire and pay you for your services. You may have to go down with your rate to encourage these agencies to contract with you. You will be required to deliver as much as possible an error-free professional translation, that is an actual rendering of an idea, style, and original composition, as well as a target text that is consistent in quality and accurate in content. To help you deliver an accurate translation and a first quality end product, you must always resort to relevant, authoritative references, resources, technical dictionaries, glossaries and terminologies. Always observe due dates and confidentiality of all handled projects, whether or not you were asked to sign their non disclosure agreement. Try to benefit from your full-time employment by devoting all your effort to enrich your subject knowledge in your fields of specialty and enhance your first-hand experience. Observing the above is your only way to guarantee that you will be the target for any translation agency.

Working with Direct Clients

Approaching a direct client, whether corporate clients or individuals, will be your second step in the field as a certified professional translator. Once you have polished your skills and experience and felt you can start your career, you should transfer to a part-time contract so that you can have the time to build your clientele database. You will, possibly, face a lot of trouble trying to gain access to these clients. To facilitate this create your own website and undergo all the stages it entails; from the creation of the site, to optimization of its content to be SEO friendly, to the search of ways and means to gain traffic, to the use of all possible free or low budget e-marketing campaigns. Most small businesses start making use of all free means available on the net to gain traffic to their websites through registering at free directories, creating free ads, or building links and reciprocal links to their websites. You should also bear in mind that corporate clients and companies prefer to outsource their translation needs to partners who can offer comprehensive solutions. They search for translation agencies that can satisfy their translation demands in a range of different languages, are available 24/7 hours a day, can accept handling translation of specialized domains, have DTP and typesetting services, maintain procedures that guarantee all deadlines are met and observe the confidential nature of all handled jobs.

Taking into consideration their need for diversity, capacity, continuity, and confidentiality, it is scarcely surprising that many such companies direct their choice to a one stop shop translation agency rather than individual freelancers. Although a translation agency may be more expensive than a freelancer, yet the additional comprehensive service and quality gained to justify the extra investment. As to individual clients, you cannot get access to this type of clients except if you have a broad scope of social acquaintances and relations or a website to showcase and market your services. However, this does not usually work, and soon you will find that you have to start your marketing campaign. Contacting a professional company to handle your e-marketing campaign on a low budget for small businesses is one of the simple and direct solutions to get access to your potential clients. Social marketing has also come to be an important tool which accounts now for a great share in the market with the view to the fact that about 96% use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and MySpace.

Graduating From Freelancer to Agency

Once your freelance work provides you with a workflow that engages you 20 to 22 hours a week, you can also consider starting your own translation business. If management, marketing & sales are your piece of cake, you can also successfully set up a translation agency in India. While going through all the above procedures, you have to be systematic, logic and patient. You must never embark on a step except after being sure that you are going to stand on solid ground. This way, you can easily get freelance translation work.




  • Abdul Haque
    Posted at 12:28h, 24 March Reply

    I am 3 years experienced Urdu translator and proofreader. Kindly contact me if you have a freelance or permanent job for Urdu translation and interpreting.


    Abdul Haque

  • Bablofil
    Posted at 02:32h, 25 March Reply

    Thanks, great article.

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