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Who was your first ever translation or interpreting client and how did you get them?
Thread poster: Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the link! May 30

[quote]Christine Andersen wrote:


Instructions here:
https://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/1244/

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Thanks Christine, I knew most of those in real life, but didn't realise they could work here


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:21
Member (2004)
English to Italian
1988 May 30

Translated "The Son of a Servant" novel, published in the book below...


strindberg


missdutch
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
TOPIC STARTER
Impressed May 30

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Translated "The Son of a Servant" novel, published in the book below...


strindberg


Not bad for a first job!


missdutch
Christine Andersen
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:21
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Thanks! May 31

Andrew Morris wrote:

Not bad for a first job!


Just finished uni... studied German, English, Danish and Swedish and my Danish lecturer put me in touch with the Publisher's editor of the Strindberg collection... wasn't very well paid and it was a very steep learning curve, but I was satisfied with the result (no PC either...)


 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:21
Member (Mar 2019)
French to English
+ ...
A Belgian newsletter Jun 1

I was a poor student in Paris and somehow I got the name of a Christian communications' outfit in Belgium that put out a newsletter. I translated this for them fairly regularly for a while. It was all done by mail -- this was way before the Internet -- and it worked fine. I mailed them the articles and they mailed me a check.

[Edited at 2019-06-01 22:15 GMT]


Andrew Morris
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:21
German to English
+ ...
the first one came as a "scary" fax :D Jun 2

I had contacted numerous agencies by phone after getting certified, and sent my info to those who expressed interest. One of them simply sent me work one day. It came by fax - the old fashioned fax that very slowly rolls out the paper. It was a death certificate, and as the black border started to appear I thought I had gotten bad news about someone, though I knew of nobody who was ill. Then finally when the whole thing appeared it became clear that it was a death certificate of a stranger -... See more
I had contacted numerous agencies by phone after getting certified, and sent my info to those who expressed interest. One of them simply sent me work one day. It came by fax - the old fashioned fax that very slowly rolls out the paper. It was a death certificate, and as the black border started to appear I thought I had gotten bad news about someone, though I knew of nobody who was ill. Then finally when the whole thing appeared it became clear that it was a death certificate of a stranger - the a cover letter churned out and I realized it was my first ever translation request.Collapse


 

Shabelula
Italy
Member (Jul 2019)
English to Italian
+ ...
A few "first times" Jun 2

I remember a few "first times".

The very first translation, I was still in the translation course so in 1984 perhaps, and a boyfriend now remote past asked me to translate for him the handbook of his brand-new "Honda VF1000F" into Italian.

As soon as I finished my aunt found me a client to translate a manual on medical equipment into English - which I delivered slightly later than due.

As for interpreting, the first official assignment was the request made
... See more
I remember a few "first times".

The very first translation, I was still in the translation course so in 1984 perhaps, and a boyfriend now remote past asked me to translate for him the handbook of his brand-new "Honda VF1000F" into Italian.

As soon as I finished my aunt found me a client to translate a manual on medical equipment into English - which I delivered slightly later than due.

As for interpreting, the first official assignment was the request made by an official (South) Korean TV crew to arrange and assist as an interpret for them (if required) an interview with Alberto Moravia (yes!) in his Roman house. It think it was in 1987. Great memory.

[Edited at 2019-06-02 12:05 GMT]
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My first and last interpreting client Jun 2

There are some really interesting posts in this thread -- I'm enjoying reading them.

My first translation was a little demoralising. I'd been a business English trainer for years and was leading a regular 'CV in English' workshop for the French Job Centre. So I was dismayed to have to translate eight pages of an electronics engineer's CV written in the third person. I reckon it was a complete and utter waste of money, but still, ...

My one and only interpreting client
... See more
There are some really interesting posts in this thread -- I'm enjoying reading them.

My first translation was a little demoralising. I'd been a business English trainer for years and was leading a regular 'CV in English' workshop for the French Job Centre. So I was dismayed to have to translate eight pages of an electronics engineer's CV written in the third person. I reckon it was a complete and utter waste of money, but still, ...

My one and only interpreting client was a language school cum translation agency owner who first of all gave me French tuition. Then I started taking on teaching assignments for him, and later tutored his own daughter (whose mother is English) through the GCSE English First Language exam, as well as doing translations from time to time. At some point, he decided my French was good enough to take on interpreting assignments, even though I'd had zero training. I reported to the intensive care unit at the local hospital, where I was met by an American who was still jet-lagged. A doctor joined us and explained that the man needed to say his goodbyes to his comatose brother, lying within sight of us. How can interpreters cope with that? I was fighting back tears from the first sentence and could barely speak, let alone keep my brain in gear. It was just awful!

Still, I took on a second job, a less harrowing one for a notary, who insisted on handing me the cheque for my client, not even in an envelope. It was for five times what I was getting ! Being a glutton for punishment, I then let my client persuade me to do a third job -- for more money, of course! This was a meeting to close a multi-million euro deal. A local nurseryman was buying an entire seed-sowing production line setup from a Dutch company (whose rep spoke fluent English). As an avid gardener, I found it really interesting. Too interesting, as it happened. More than once, I found myself simply rephrasing what one party said -- in the same language -- as I just couldn't maintain 100% concentration for three whole hours! But we finally got to the handshake, with a rather limp one from an exhausted interpreter. I don't think I messed up any of those multi-million euro sums -- I never got sued, anyway -- but I decided that that was it for me. I have tremendous admiration for interpreters who can do the job well, but they're welcome to it.
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Christine Andersen
Rachael Clayton
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
My ever first translation? Jun 2

Andrew Morris wrote:

Who was your first ever translation or interpreting client and how did you get them? What lessons did you learn from the experience?


I don't really remember, but it was something with electronics, and heavily underpaid, because somehow my computer back then couldn't reproduce the images (still don't know why), so they halved the price.

But hey, it was my first translation job, and I got it through Proz! (so, a happy Proz story for a change).

[Edited at 2019-06-02 20:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-06-02 20:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:58 GMT]


 

Diana Keever
United States
Local time: 04:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
hard work pays off Jun 25

Hi,

My first ever translation project was for an agency that needed a contract to accommodate spanish speaking clients, I am proud to say that they still use it, that job taught me that translating isn't as easy as I thought it would be and that it really is a rewarding career to pursue.


 
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