Starting out: Translation Agencies which don't require prior experience and qualifications?
Thread poster: Natalie Cafasso Forman

Natalie Cafasso Forman
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 22

Hello,

I'm starting out and finding it hard to get jobs, because of course you need prior experience to get the jobs, and you need the jobs to get the experience.

I'm bilingual, and studied translation as part of my university course, however I don't have professional experience to show for it.

I've heard there are agencies which will take novices like myself, with just an entry test however I'm unsure how to find these agencies.. particularly trustworth
... See more
Hello,

I'm starting out and finding it hard to get jobs, because of course you need prior experience to get the jobs, and you need the jobs to get the experience.

I'm bilingual, and studied translation as part of my university course, however I don't have professional experience to show for it.

I've heard there are agencies which will take novices like myself, with just an entry test however I'm unsure how to find these agencies.. particularly trustworthy ones.

Any advice on how to start out, how to find jobs and agencies which would accept me?

Thank you, all advice appreciated!
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:10
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do not sell yourself as a newbie Sep 22

ncforman wrote:
I've heard there are agencies which will take novices like myself, with just an entry test, however I'm unsure how to find these agencies, particularly trustworthy ones.


You should not sell yourself as a "new" translator who is "willing" to do anything for a job. No-one wants to hire a newbie. Create the impression that you're an experienced translator (but don't lie), treat yourself like a professional, and expect agencies to treat you like that as well. The client wants to feel like he can trust you to do a good job.

Most agencies will hire you in part based on the impression that you make (although the amount of experience that you have, is usually important as well). Some of them may give you a free test translation to do. Where to find these agencies? Visit the Blue Board and contact as many agencies as you can. Also improve your profile page at ProZ.com, so that any potential client who happens to visit it, will want to hire you.

I also recommend that you read some books that are aimed at new translators. Corinne McKay's book is one of the best that are currently available.


Gethin Sugar
Teresa Borges
Olavo Nogueira
Heike Holthaus
 

Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:10
English to French
If you can Sep 23

try to do volunteer translations to gather experience and sometimes references as well, that's how I started out. The UNO for example have a page on their website to apply for volunteer translation. Sure, it doesn't pay, but I was able to land my first jobs thanks to that, so it's an option.

Teresa Borges
Olavo Nogueira
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm confused -- I expect potential clients are too Sep 23

Your profile page here says you have five years of experience. It also says that you're employed, presumably full-time. I think the confusing messages you're sending must be a problem.

As Samuel says, you need to convince clients you can do their job. Without lying, you need to highlight everything you've done so far, plus all your skills and qualifications. Note that being bilingual is great, but it doesn't in itself qualify you to be a translator as the quality of writing in the t
... See more
Your profile page here says you have five years of experience. It also says that you're employed, presumably full-time. I think the confusing messages you're sending must be a problem.

As Samuel says, you need to convince clients you can do their job. Without lying, you need to highlight everything you've done so far, plus all your skills and qualifications. Note that being bilingual is great, but it doesn't in itself qualify you to be a translator as the quality of writing in the target language is primordial and much of the work we do is highly technical so you need great terminology knowledge in both/all languages. So those are the things you need to highlight.
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Heike Holthaus
 


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Starting out: Translation Agencies which don't require prior experience and qualifications?

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