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Showing posts from 2015


I have now been working as a freelance translator for over 5 months. Recently I started working with my first direct client and I intend to start marketing to more direct clients from now on. However, as a newcomer to freelancing (after more than 3 years working as an in-house translator), my first few months have mostly been spent working with agencies. The advantage to working with agencies is that they find the work for you. This is great for generating an initial regular income. You can then build your translation businesses on this base. The main disadvantage to working with agencies is that, as for any industry when you are working through an intermediary, the agency will take their cut. This means that your rates for agencies will usually be lower than your rates for direct clients. I have been very lucky in finding agencies that treat me well and provide me with plenty of work in my specialist areas (aerospace and engineering). I have also been able to gain


Test Translations - Yes or No? As a relative newcomer to the world of freelance translation (having previously worked as an in-house translator for several years), I find myself increasingly using social media to keep on top of current trends in my industry. I particularly like the “Things Translators Never Say” group on facebook. Although it takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the issues freelance translators and interpreters face on a daily basis, it does provide valuable insight into industry practices that are/are not acceptable. I would certainly recommend this group to other new freelancers, as there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of common issues, with real-life solutions from experienced people in the profession. One subject that seems to crop up fairly regularly in online translation fora is whether or not to complete test translations . Some freelance translators are willing to, whilst others vehemently oppose these tests in principle. Personally, I do not have


Going solo I am now into my third month of freelancing, so I thought I would share how I found making the transition from in-house translation to working from home.     Working alone! The hardest thing I found about freelancing was no longer being able to go for a quick coffee with colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, the freedom of being your own boss is great, but working alone every day can start to feel a bit lonely. Luckily, there are a lot of networking opportunities out there – it is definitely worth joining local groups and associations to meet other translators in your area. Here are some of the best networking opportunities I have found so far:         Powwows on Proz         Professional translator associations, such as the CIoL and the ITI, and their local branches.         Social media groups (Things Translators Never Say on Facebook is a good one). Not having to leave the house to go to work! This is definitely one of the perks of freelancing (no mor


TRANSLATING MATTERS My name is Lucy O'Shea, and I have recently made the transition from in-house to freelance translation. Having completed my first month of working from home, I thought I'd share a few things I have learnt. Hopefully my experience will be of use to other people thinking of taking the leap and going freelance! Lesson No. 1:  Do your research! Start thinking of your business plan and read up on how to work as a freelance translator. There are loads of brilliant  blogs and books available!  This book by Corinne McKay is very helpful (even if it is based on the American market): Lesson No. 2:  Use "aggressive" marketing techniques. You may be the best translator around, but nobody will know that if you don't put yourself out there. It takes time to establish your client base, and not every direct customer or agency will need your services. Contact as many potential customers as you can whilst you have the time in t