New and inexperienced but eager to get established
Thread poster: Candelaria Valvason

Candelaria Valvason
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 21

Hello there! and thanks in advance for taking some time to read this.

I have been reading this forum a lot, trying to grab and learn as much as possible, in order to kick-start my career as a translator.
As every person/situation is different, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a bit about my background and ask for your advice based on your experience.
I studied translation in Argentina, where I am originally from. I graduated as a Technical-Scientific and Li
... See more
Hello there! and thanks in advance for taking some time to read this.

I have been reading this forum a lot, trying to grab and learn as much as possible, in order to kick-start my career as a translator.
As every person/situation is different, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a bit about my background and ask for your advice based on your experience.
I studied translation in Argentina, where I am originally from. I graduated as a Technical-Scientific and Literary Translator in 2015. However, soon after that, I moved to the UK and I have never really worked as a Translator. Unfortunately, my degree is not recognized in the UK as there is no agreement between both countries.

I currently work as a long-haul cabin crew, and due to the pandemic, I have been considering moving my career back to translation. I have read on numerous posts that it is advisable to have a second job because it naturally takes many years to get established as a freelance translator. I would love to generate a second income translating, and maybe in the future, become a full-time freelancer.
What would you recommend me to do in order to get started? I do not really have experience in translation but would love to start from somewhere.
Would you advise me to pay for the full ProZ membership in order to "access" the market and be able to (hopefully) get some jobs?
I have applied to a couple of agencies but I have not heard anything back yet.

Looking forward to reading your replies!
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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:54
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hello and welcome Jun 21

Hello Candelaria, maybe you can start writing something about you so agencies/direct clients get to know you and what you offer. You should list details that will help agencies/clients decide to use your services, what skills you have that make you stand out and your competences. Do provide a few samples of translations too as it will help them gauge your skills. You've put in a lot more here in the Forum than in your About me and that's how we got to know you. Unless agencies/clients know somet... See more
Hello Candelaria, maybe you can start writing something about you so agencies/direct clients get to know you and what you offer. You should list details that will help agencies/clients decide to use your services, what skills you have that make you stand out and your competences. Do provide a few samples of translations too as it will help them gauge your skills. You've put in a lot more here in the Forum than in your About me and that's how we got to know you. Unless agencies/clients know something about you, they're not going to choose you, why should they? You have to sell your wares. Maybe you had a job before you joining the cabin crew and you can use that work to develop your specialisation. It's not important that your degree is not recognised in the UK, it's still a degree. How is it going to help you in your translations? What will it provide for the agencies/clients? you have to see it from that point of view. Maybe you can choose some technical/scientific texts and translate them as samples. Not all agencies/clients look for degrees but if you've got them, you have to make them work for you. Good luck.Collapse


Sheila Wilson
Rachel Waddington
Candelaria Valvason
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Freelancing doesn't follow employment contract laws Jun 21

Candelaria Valvason wrote:
Unfortunately, my degree is not recognized in the UK as there is no agreement between both countries.

Your degree is as good as any in the world of freelance translation.

I have read on numerous posts that it is advisable to have a second job because it naturally takes many years to get established as a freelance translator. I would love to generate a second income translating, and maybe in the future, become a full-time freelancer.

It is a good idea, yes. If you can manage it in the current/future economic climate, you'll be doing well. However, try to give priority to the translation. Clients always want work done yesterday and there's a limit to the number of jobs you can turn down before losing them.

What would you recommend me to do in order to get started?

You need to have somewhere that acts as your shop window. I would advise you to have at least a basic presence on all the main translation platforms, but choose one to really promote your services by paying for membership and being really active. This site is the obvious choice as it's the biggest. You can also choose the PLUS grade to get a basket of freebies that might be useful to you at the start. The general freelancing platforms may also bring you some work, though they never brought me any joy.

Don't expect too much from any approach you make. Clients have a vast pool to choose from in your pair, and you really can't compete on price. You will need to really hone your marketing texts, do lots of networking, and send hundreds of CVs, but make sure every approach is personalised.


Josephine Cassar
Rachel Waddington
Dan Lucas
Candelaria Valvason
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Candelaria Jun 21

Candelaria Valvason wrote:
Would you advise me to pay for the full ProZ.com membership in order to access the market and be able to hopefully get some jobs?


No, the paid membership will give you a bit of a boost, but it will not be sufficient to propel you to the front of the line, so paying for ProZ.com membership would be a waste of money.

Rather use that money for books on how to become a freelance translator, e.g. Corinne Mckay's "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator" (remember to get the 3rd edition, of 2016) and Jost Zetzche's "The Translator's Tool Box" (current edition is the 14th).

Not having or using a CAT tool is not the end of the world, but it will open more doors for you, so get one that offers a generous trial, e.g. Wordfast Pro. Do a Udemy course on how to use Microsoft Office effectively (particularly MS Word), because being able to do that will help you to retain clients.

And keep contacting clients that are listed on the Blue Board. Remember, only a small number of them will reply, and even a smaller number will send you any work.


Candelaria Valvason
Christine Andersen
Roman Civin
 


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