Tips for success as a freelance translator


After completing the translation training at HBO or university level, many beginners want to get started as a freelance translator as quickly as possible. However, the translation market is characterized by fierce competition, and anyone who wants to get a firm footing as a professional will have to face some serious challenges. Most translation agencies do not simply hire an inexperienced translator while finding their own clients in business without commercial tools is not easy either. In addition, you must meet certain criteria to be considered as an independent entrepreneur by the Tax Authorities. Below is a global overview of the steps you will have to take to be successful as a starting translator.

Translation agencies

Many translation agencies are careful with new translators and do not just include them in their freelance file. After all, it takes some time before it becomes clear to what extent a freelancer meets expectations. Does he/she adhere to agreed deadlines? Does he/she offer consistent quality? Does he/she appear to consult relevant reference works and sources and to be able to deal effectively with various registers and specializations (recruitment, technical, medical, financial, IT, etc.)? Many translation agencies use a (sometimes very short) "probation period" in which they carefully check the work of a new freelancer. To avoid failure and associated costs, translation agencies normally only accept open applications from freelancers with at least a few years of full-time experience in the translation industry.

Corporate customers

In their attempt to recommend themselves directly to companies, it is often difficult for freelancers to get the right people and, if they succeed, to get assignments. Companies generally prefer translation partners who can offer a comprehensive service. They prefer to choose a translation agency that provides different language combinations, is always available, does not shy away from specialist texts and has structured its processes in such a way that deadlines can always be met. Given their need for continuity, capacity and diversity, it comes as no surprise that many companies are more likely to work with an all-round translation agency than with an individual freelancer. Translation agencies are often more expensive but offer added value,

Tips for success as a freelance translator

What steps do you need to take after graduation to become a successful translator?

  • After completing your education, you should not present yourself directly to the market as a freelancer. It is wiser to first work for a few years at an all-round translation agency in order to gain the necessary practical experience. In paid employment, your income is probably lower than what you could earn as a freelancer, but remember that you will never be successful without experience. There is probably an experienced staff member within the translation agency who will take care of you and correct your work, monitor your progress and provide insight into your strengths and weaknesses. In this way, you can develop the skills and baggage that you need to grow into a professional translator and experiment with different types of texts and fields in a reasonably protected environment.
  • If you can't find a permanent job, try to get a job somewhere as a junior translator or trainee. Translation agencies do not always have the capacity or resources to hire new employees, but sometimes offer a great internship where you can gain practical experience in a commercial environment. An internship can serve as a springboard to a career in the translation business, sometimes even at the same agency that offers the internship.
  • After having sharpened your translation skills at a translation agency for a few years, you can decide that it's time to start for yourself. Ideally, you first switch to part-time employment, so that you can calmly recruit and retain customers and have enough income to make ends meet. In any case, it is important to make good agreements with your boss at this stage to prevent any conflicts of interest. Then it's best to send your data and CV directly to a number of selected professional translation agencies or translation departments of large companies and government institutions. Make it clear in any case that you have relevant experience and that you are willing to make a free test translation.
  • Go to the Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Authorities to register as a self-employed person and, if necessary, to obtain further advice.
  • * Once you have found enough customers to work as a freelancer for about twenty hours a week, you may consider terminating your employment to spend the time that is available to recruit new customers. An experienced freelancer earns about the same as a full-time translator in twenty hours.

The above advice is of course very general in nature. Your own career progression may ultimately look very different, depending on your preferences, skills and personal circumstances. Whatever the case may be, anyone who follows this path will discover that experience and healthy business instinct, in particular, determine your success as a freelance translator.

To Read More Tips visit here: How to get your first job at upwork

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About Shehbaz Malik Junior   TECHNOLOGY SPEAKER

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Joined APSense since, October 18th, 2019, From Jhang, Pakistan.

Created on Nov 11th 2019 07:39. Viewed 206 times.


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