How To Get the Job When Working as a Freelance Translator

(Last Updated On: July 9, 2015)

Freelance translator challenges

Freelance translators are often caught up in difficult situations when tasks and assignments are at a minimum. Because translators depend a great deal on loyal clients and recommendations from previous corporate project coordinators or managers, getting a steady income may be an issue. Without a translation company to sustain and back up freelancers in terms of project and deliverables, it may soon seem to define the end of a career.

Freelance translators are all over the digital world, offering quality and speedy translation jobs at staggering low fees—all at the most simple click of a button. Clients can just go ahead and select from an array of available translators. Yes, competition may be too stiff for a freelance translator, but having the right skills and attitude will surely make a cut above the rest.

Specialization and training

To get the business of freelance translation on, it must be important to identify and understand specialization and training. Selecting appropriate and accurate translation for otherwise vague and unclear nuances in the original language involves some specialized skills and training. Translation jobs can get very thorny and confusing for a freelancer who may not have the right abilities and requisites. Clients would sometimes require language translators to be native speakers, and this may cost a lot.

So, do you have to be a native speaker to get that translation job? We strongly advise it, but there are exceptions. With advancing technology and language skills standardization, translation jobs do not limit freelance translators to native speakers of the target language. With the right training and skills, non-native speakers can also compete with their counterparts in delivering quality translation works.

Specialization makes way for target niche or other similar projects to be treated with a local focus, and therefore does not restrict the translator from a variety of other tasks he may want to venture into. Specialization does not compromise the linguist to cut short the quality of his craft which may affect his job as a translator in the long run.

Work process

Most importantly, doing the assignment or task the first time it is offered is primordial in getting a steady flow of job for the freelance translator. Doing the translation immediately opens up a lot of opportunities for the human linguist which is such a necessity in the freelance world. The sooner a job is done right the sooner the translator makes himself readily available for the next project.

Constant communication and checking emails on a regular basis helps in getting regular projects. It also helps build professional network, career stability, steady income and reputation—all key factors to remain successful in the translation industry. Moreover, exceptional internet connection, permanent and varied media of communication between the client and the translators (such as Google Talk, Skype or Messenger) are also important tools for getting that project.

It is important as well to maintain presence in the digital world through social media and blog sites that may help bolster availability and credentials. It contributes to setting up reputation in the industry. Furthermore, freelancers must also be ready to work overtime, to meet deadlines and respond to a variety of other translation needs which may sometimes change at a short notice. Embracing availability and flexibility helps in making a career in the industry a testament of longevity and success.

The demands are there. There will always be a lot of opportunities for a freelance translator, but getting that job done by doing translation tasks correctly and at the shortest turn-around time will ensure freelancer translators a comfortable slot in the industry and a regular source of income.