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First year of professional translating, nothing to show for it
Thread poster: Martina Fink

Martina Fink  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 17:18
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Too easily discouraged Aug 29, 2012

Thanks everyone for your helpful advice. I realise I was too easily discouraged before, and I have to do more to get myself noticed.

I've rewritten my CV, had it proofread, compiled a few sample translations and prepared a lengthy "short list" of agencies I want to apply to. I will work on beefing up my profile and website in the coming weeks!


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:18
Member
Italian to English
A word of caution... Dec 31, 2012

Martina Fink wrote:

Somewhere around this time I was offered a job translating a website for a medical clinic. The pay was good, the project enjoyable, and I looked forward to adding this one to my CV. After I completed the work, a clinic staff member/receptionist/team of idiots took it upon themselves to make “corrections”, so now “sensitivity test” reads “sense test”, etc. Additionally, every time the source text changes slightly, some over-confident German with brilliant English skills updates the English text. In the beginning, I was emailing them to correct their corrections, but I soon gave up because they keep doing it and I no longer care. I just don’t see the point in hiring a translator if you think you can do it better yourself...



I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties, but the others have given some excellent advice.
Getting established in the translation market is tough. Very tough. You need to find a way to make yourself stand out. Be someone people can recommend. Specialise. All of this takes time, and perseverance. Make sure your CV is up to scratch... it's a marketing document that a lot of freelancers underestimate.

A small word of advice... remember that all kinds of people read these forums, be it colleagues, potential clients, not forgetting past clients...! And phrases like "looked forward to adding this one to my CV", "team of idiots" and "I no longer care", even if they are the truth, do not do you any favours, especially when you are just starting out.

Best of luck, and Happy New Year. May the Force be with you


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
German to English
"Nothing succeeds.. Jan 2, 2013

..like success!"

There is only one way to succeed as a translator and that is to keep doing it! You have a pretty good profile and a realistic attitude, now just keep at it and you will be fine!

You need to "know stuff" to be a good translator, but keep doing it and then you too will "know stuff"!

Your name is lovely, by the way, and it would be an ill-disposed person indeed who would imbue it with any unpleasant qualities.

Steve K.

... See more
..like success!"

There is only one way to succeed as a translator and that is to keep doing it! You have a pretty good profile and a realistic attitude, now just keep at it and you will be fine!

You need to "know stuff" to be a good translator, but keep doing it and then you too will "know stuff"!

Your name is lovely, by the way, and it would be an ill-disposed person indeed who would imbue it with any unpleasant qualities.

Steve K.

(P.S. Please don't work for "pay nothing" agencies, you really are worth more than that!)
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Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:18
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Some suggestions :) Jan 3, 2013

1. As everyone said, you need to focus on your marketing strategy. Sometimes it's not that hard - What about starting by putting a bit more information on your ProZ profile? You can explain the details of your projects, put some translation samples on, talk about your various experiences, for example. If you are not good at selling yourself, why don't you ask your clients to give some positive feedbacks about your work on your profile? Some good feedbacks from the clients make your profile more ... See more
1. As everyone said, you need to focus on your marketing strategy. Sometimes it's not that hard - What about starting by putting a bit more information on your ProZ profile? You can explain the details of your projects, put some translation samples on, talk about your various experiences, for example. If you are not good at selling yourself, why don't you ask your clients to give some positive feedbacks about your work on your profile? Some good feedbacks from the clients make your profile more reliable.

2. You also need to select your client carefully. Only choose to work with the serious ones who give decent rates. Just like all businesses, translation industry has some people who try to take advantages of the start-ups as much as possible. You have to be careful when you take a job in order not to fall in these traps. I have had bad experiences with agencies myself, you need to be very careful in establishing your rates, your proofreading conditions, the discounts on repetitions, etc. And be sure to have the PO before starting a task.

3. Hold with your decent rates and principles, agencies will always ask you to lower your rates and all you have to do is to say no. Decent clients accept to pay more for better quality of work. You will lose some clients who offer low rates (come on, do you really care?) but will find the ones more serious instead. You will surely have less work but each minute you spent will be worth it.

4. Don't take crazy deadlines.

Hope this helps
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BethanHasnip  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
German to English
proz mentor scheme Jan 9, 2013

i'd also consider using the proz mentor scheme for getting both work and advice about the industry.

 
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