Becoming a Freelance Translator

(Last Updated On: February 19, 2015)

Freelance Translator

If you translate well and possess solid knowledge and expertise about a language, then you might have what it takes to become a freelance translator. Translating can be an exciting way to be paid well while seeing the world. Interpreting as well as project management are also translation related service options. Interpreting means more travel and is a lucrative career option. If you prefer to connect clients and suppliers to ensure that jobs are successfully completed, then maybe a position in project management is a good choice for you.

New freelance translators should register with as many translation agencies as possible, as beginning freelancers must develop a network and reputation in order to establish ongoing business relationships. Technological advances allow instant connections between project managers and freelancers making it much easier to find and develop business connections.

Qualification and relevant experience are necessary to become a freelance translator or interpreter. Ways in which translators and Interpreters can build their CV include volunteering translation services for institutions or charitable organizations.

If you are a freelancer, it is up to you to generate business by making contacts with people in need of professional translation services. Although the idea of contacting people may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, a freelancer will learn by trial and error how to generate business. Be sure your proposals are well researched and that all of the details of your Translation Services are shared with the potential client so that there are no misunderstandings. The idea is to create repeat and word-of-mouth business.

Once you have been hired for your translation job, the next thing you will need to do is prepare to do the translation. The necessary research needs to be conducted and the text and translation memories need to be organized. The freelance translator should also plan the amount of time needed to complete the translation. Do not forget to add extra time to your estimate just in case things do not go exactly as planned. For a new freelancer, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Being organized and realistic about the work that can be accomplished will save money and your reputation down the road. Once the preparation is done, the freelancer will do the actual translating. This work is done with or without a CAT Tool. Finding a good agency for CAT trainings would be wise.

Upon completion of the translation, the freelance translator contacts the client to make sure there are no further requirements that need to be met. The translation is now proofread and double checked to ensure complete accuracy with the original.

After the translation is thoroughly proofread and edited, the freelance translator can request payment. Providing high quality translations are the best way for new freelancers to form lasting business connections and generate word-of-mouth business.