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Translation jobs for college student
Thread poster: Basel Qarabash

Basel Qarabash
Syria
Local time: 05:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jun 3

Hi, I'm a student in medicine at my 5th year, I don't have translation certificates whatsoever, however, I do have 3 years experience in subtitles translation as a part time job.
My question is:
Most agencies require translation degree in order to hire translators, isn't there an agency that doesn't require this? Because I really think that I'm qualified to translate.
Thank you.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 10:41
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Translation degree Jun 4

If an agency requires a translation degree, look elsewhere.

Even if you have a translation degree.


Jorge Payan
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Perhaps you could look for direct clients? Jun 4

There is a constant discussion in medical translation about whether people with medical qualifications are the best translators or people with degrees and diplomas in translation.

Whether you have actual exam certificates or not, you will need to study both subjects. You cannot practise medicine without all the necessary certificates, but you can, of course, translate, as you propose to do, even if you are not qualified to practise medicine. (Or not yet.)

I do not know
... See more
There is a constant discussion in medical translation about whether people with medical qualifications are the best translators or people with degrees and diplomas in translation.

Whether you have actual exam certificates or not, you will need to study both subjects. You cannot practise medicine without all the necessary certificates, but you can, of course, translate, as you propose to do, even if you are not qualified to practise medicine. (Or not yet.)

I do not know enough about your languages, but check medical journals and look for direct clients too. You can often charge higher rates, and they are more interested in the quality of your translations than which particular certificates you hold and what exams you have passed. They demand high standards, but if you make the grade, then you can find some good clients. As a 5th-year student, you certainly have some credentials they can look at.

You may need to find a proofreader or a colleague to collaborate with at first, but look at different alternatives. Agencies are not the only route into translating!
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Basel Qarabash
Syria
Local time: 05:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Most of them require. Jun 4

Lincoln Hui wrote:

If an agency requires a translation degree, look elsewhere.



Most of them require bachelor degree or some certificates to prove yourself (I can understand why they ask for this)


 

Basel Qarabash
Syria
Local time: 05:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
High competition. Jun 4

Christine Andersen wrote:

There is a constant discussion in medical translation about whether people with medical qualifications are the best translators or people with degrees and diplomas in translation.

Whether you have actual exam certificates or not, you will need to study both subjects. You cannot practise medicine without all the necessary certificates, but you can, of course, translate, as you propose to do, even if you are not qualified to practise medicine. (Or not yet.)

I do not know enough about your languages, but check medical journals and look for direct clients too. You can often charge higher rates, and they are more interested in the quality of your translations than which particular certificates you hold and what exams you have passed. They demand high standards, but if you make the grade, then you can find some good clients. As a 5th-year student, you certainly have some credentials they can look at.

You may need to find a proofreader or a colleague to collaborate with at first, but look at different alternatives. Agencies are not the only route into translating!


If you mean direct client online, then there's a lot of competition and a lot of people who actually have a translation degree and who specialize in medical field, so I doubt the client will choose me over them, but if you mean that I search in my area, unfortunately I don't have many connections to help me find a client.

[Edited at 2019-06-04 15:41 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How about adopting a "Can do" attitude? Jun 4

Basel Qarabash wrote:
Most agencies require translation degree in order to hire translators, isn't there an agency that doesn't require this?

Really? Certainly there are some, but it hasn't stopped me working as a translator. I don't have a degree in anything at all. In your case, I can understand the need for a medical qualification though.

there's a lot of competition and a lot of people who actually have a translation degree and who specialize in medical field, so I doubt the client will choose me over them

I think all of us could say that about this profession. Of course it's difficult when you're starting out, but is that a reason to throw in the towel?

I don't have many connections to help me find a client.

So start making some now. Your university and fellow students should be a prime place to start. Your local hospital, etc.

You say you think you're ready, so don't fight it; go for it .


Basel Qarabash
Jorge Payan
Henry Dotterer
Maria da Glória Teixeira
Christine Andersen
Melanie Meyer
 

Basel Qarabash
Syria
Local time: 05:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Syria sanctions Jun 4

Sheila Wilson wrote:

You say you think you're ready, so don't fight it; go for it .



I agree with you.
Maybe I'm being rejected just because I'm from Syria due to the sanctions imposed on us.


 

Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:41
Member (2014)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not all agencies require a translation degree Jun 4

It's true that translation is a competitive field, but with 5 years of medical study behind you, you have something that many medical translators can only dream of and if you have the linguistic and writing skills to match there will certainly be agencies that will be very glad to have you working for them.

Maybe you just need to work on the way you sell yourself.


Basel Qarabash
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Sheila Wilson
Maria da Glória Teixeira
Melanie Meyer
 

Maria da Glória Teixeira
Brazil
Local time: 23:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Persisted Jun 4

Basel Qarabash wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

You say you think you're ready, so don't fight it; go for it .



I agree with you.
Maybe I'm being rejected just because I'm from Syria due to the sanctions imposed on us.


When I started in the translation area, it was very difficult to get the first customer, but I persisted .
Nothing prevents you from showing off your ability. Do not leave negative thoughts catch your dreams, follow your precious skills, this is what you have to show. When you begin to have the customer, you will see that something was blocking you. I wish a lot of wisdom

[Editada em 2019-06-04 19:55 GMT]


Sheila Wilson
Basel Qarabash
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sanctions make life difficult Jun 5

Basel Qarabash wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

You say you think you're ready, so don't fight it; go for it .



I agree with you.
Maybe I'm being rejected just because I'm from Syria due to the sanctions imposed on us.

I've twice worked for clients in countries subject to sanctions. One had quite efficient ways around them but I think the other was facing them for the first time. We both had to put a lot of effort into the payment process. Finally, I had to wait six months until his wife travelled abroad and could pay from there.

But maybe you're expecting too much? How many agencies have you contacted? If you're cold-calling, expect a job every hundred or so contacts. For posted jobs, expect to get one per twenty, maximum.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You really only need to find a few clients... Jun 6

Sure, there are difficulties, and being from Syria is absolutely no help in some cases. There ARE people who sympathise very much with the Syrian people and will be willing to work with you. I hope you meet some of those. While you are studying, you do not really need many clients. You just have to find one or two to start with.

In fact you need to try the 'glass is half full' approach and focus on what you have to offer. Keep looking for agencies or possible contacts. Build up a ne
... See more
Sure, there are difficulties, and being from Syria is absolutely no help in some cases. There ARE people who sympathise very much with the Syrian people and will be willing to work with you. I hope you meet some of those. While you are studying, you do not really need many clients. You just have to find one or two to start with.

In fact you need to try the 'glass is half full' approach and focus on what you have to offer. Keep looking for agencies or possible contacts. Build up a network, and tell people you are looking for translation jobs. My first jobs were through people who knew my family.
Your network and acquaintances may not think of any translation needs immediately, but they may think of you later, when they meet someone else. You have to be patient!

As Sheila says, keep looking for agencies who are more interested in what you can do than how many certificates you have - and let them know you have medical training. The smaller ones are often more flexible than the big names. They may specialise in a single subject area or small range of subject areas, so check that they are interested in your fields before you spend time on them!
These agencies are interested in subject qualifications. You have to be able to translate, of course, but they are less concerned about certificates and high-flown theory.

Statistics are all very well, but never lose sight of the fact that they tell you very little about the individual case. You are not looking for 'most clients' or typical clients. Search for one or two who need YOU!

I have felt utterly hopeless and rejected myself at times, before I found my way into translation. I had no practical experience at anything I wanted to do, and was unable to find any more temporary jobs… The only answer is to keep trying, one day at a time, concentrating on your studies and whatever advantages you do have to offer. It is hard, but that is where you win through in the end.

I hope you succeed soon!
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Sheila Wilson
Basel Qarabash
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Basel Jun 6

Basel Qarabash wrote:
I'm a student in medicine at my 5th year. I don't have translation certificates whatsoever. However, I do have 3 years' experience in subtitles translation as a part-time job. ... Most agencies require a translation degree in order to hire translators...


In my experience, very few agencies require a translation degree. They tend to value experience more. If you're in your 5th year of studying medicine, then presumably you already have a bachelor's degree already (even though it is not a translation degree). This will be useful to mention to some agencies. I suggest you go through all agencies in the Blue Board and visit them/contact them individually. Remember, fewer than 10% of agencies that you contact will write back to you, and on average fewer than 5% will offer you any work.

I suggest that you fix the punctuation and capitalization errors in your ProZ.com profile page and on your CV. Also, remember that your CV may be read by people who don't know how Syrian universities work (e.g. what is a "graduation letter", especially since you haven't graduated?). Also, get yourself a better Gmail address (e.g. one that contains your name and surname). Also, you claim in your CV to be from "Damascus, Suburb of Damascus, Suburb of Qudsayya", but AFAIK Qudsayya isn't in Damascus (it's not even in the same governorate as Damascus), so what do you mean there? On your CV you say that you did subtitle translation for 1 year, in your ProZ.com profile page bio you say 2 years, and in the "years' experience" section you say 3 years. When an agency is trying to determine your value, these types of issues are some of the things they look at.


Sheila Wilson
 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
@Basel Jun 6

First of all, I would suggest networking with other Syrian colleagues on this site to discuss any potential challenges and effects of sanctions. Can you explain here how the sanctions limit you?

Second, even though you have not graduated yet, your medical education is a plus. As others have explained, agencies do not generally require a degree in translation. They will care about your knowledge and ability to translate. However, you need to present yourself with more confidence and
... See more
First of all, I would suggest networking with other Syrian colleagues on this site to discuss any potential challenges and effects of sanctions. Can you explain here how the sanctions limit you?

Second, even though you have not graduated yet, your medical education is a plus. As others have explained, agencies do not generally require a degree in translation. They will care about your knowledge and ability to translate. However, you need to present yourself with more confidence and professionalism to get your foot in the door.
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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
@Samuel Jun 6

This is a side-point, but there is nothing really strange about the poster's location. It appears that he is in the countryside of Damascus, which could be very close to the city itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rif_Dimashq_Governorate


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Amel Jun 6

Amel Abdullah wrote:
There is nothing really strange about the poster's location.


I was commenting on what things he should consider changing or clarifying on his CV. The address as it is currently written does not inspire confidence. If he does not want to give a precise address, that's okay, but "Damascus, Suburb of Damascus, Suburb of Qudsayya" doesn't make sense. It creates the impression that he had not proofread his own CV. Perhaps he means to say that he sometimes lives in Damascus (perhaps when he's at university), sometimes in an unspecified suburb of Damascus, and sometimes in an unspecified suburb of Qudsayya? I'm just trying to help him understand that a CV that does not create a good impression (e.g. which causes confusion) will count against you when you apply at translation agencies.


 
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