Establishing yourself as a freelance translator

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Questo articolo tratta di come diventare un traduttore freelance, supponendo che ci siano le abilità attinenti.


  • Traduzione
  • Interpretariato
  • Documento di partenza / lingua di partenza
  • Documento d' arrivo / lingua d' arrivo
  • Preventivo
  • Acquistare l' ordine ("PO")
  • Fattura
  • CAT / TM tool
  • Certificazione

Things to consider before you begin

Is the field right for you?

Do you have the requisite skills?

Is freelancing right for you?

In what areas will you provide services?

You'll have to identify at the outset the areas in which you will offer translation and/or interpreting services. Generally speaking, as a translator, you'll be identifying your top one or two language pairs, and the top five or ten subject matter areas in which you can work.


Things to have from the start


  • Computer: It is best to have both a desktop and a laptop as a back-up computer. A laptop is also useful to take along to conferences and in-person training sessions, and in fact, may sometimes be a requirement on such occasions.


  • Microsoft Word (or preferably, all of MS Office)
  • OpenOffice
  • PDF reader
  • CAT tools: These can improve your productivity considerably and it is advisable to have one or two, to satisfy the needs of different clients. Some popular CAT tools are SDL Trados, Wordfast, MemoQ, Across and there are many others to choose from.


  • Email (Gmail, etc.): once you have built your own website, it is always better and looks more professional to use an e-mail address connected to your website, rather than a free one such as Gmail or Hotmail.
  • Internet connection - high speed much preferred
  • Bank account, Paypal

Establishing your online presence

Building a profile profile: The "shell" or format of the profile provides the possibility of filling in the most important aspects of a translators' profile. Using the profile updater, you can ensure that you have a complete profile providing clients with all the necessary information required to choose you as the translator for a particular assignment. The most important parts of your profile, that should be filled out are:

  • Your real name: some people feel safer using an alias on the Internet, but your real name always looks more professional on a profile you are using to attract clients.
  • Your working language pairs, with your top language pair first.
  • Your native language(s)
  • Services offered:translation, interpreting, editing and proofreading, training etc.
  • Areas of expertise/specialisation: try to have as high a degree of specialisation as possible, ideally with about three or four areas, but not more than eight.
  • Verified credentials: this helps a lot in reassuring clients that you are qualified. You can get your credentials verified by sending a support request to staff, attaching a copy of your certificate(s).
  • "About me" section: this part of the profile gives you an opportunity to write as much about yourself as possible and to really "sell" yourself and your services.

Building a website


Basic file handling

Establishing a backup regimen

Finding work / clients

Online resources / workplaces

Getting translation companies as customers

Getting end clients as customers

Member tips:

  • Join associations / groups / networks in your fields of expertise (legal association, etc.)
  • Market yourself locally, using traditional means (mailings, newspaper ads, etc.)
  • Connect via university networks
  • Network among (fellow) expats
  • Market your services via your own website, in a way geared towards end clients
  • Friends who know you as a translator may be a source of end clients

See also:

Marketing yourself as a translator locally

Finding volunteer work

Doing the job well

Handling the business side of the job

Resources for learning more


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