Essential Tips to Get Started as A Freelance Translator

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Author: Erica Richards
Category: Translation Blog   Translator Tips   

Translation is the communication that allows you to translate one language into another. Over the past few years, people have been considering this as a great career opportunity. As a translator, you not only help people read or understand something but can also help a foreigner in a strange land in understanding the native language. Moreover, there are several types of translations that you can choose from, such as:

● Interpreting through oral communication
● Legal document translation
● Telephone & internet communication for translation
● Literature Translation
● Computer assistance translation

With so much to do and explore, translation is surely an adventurous job. On the top of that, you can even avail a myriad of benefits by being a translator, like:

● You can work for yourself
● It’s all about having a diverse experience
● It enhances brain functioning
● It makes life more interesting

So, do you still need a reason to become a translator? Surely, not! If you are facing a dilemma to start your journey, here are some essential tips that will help you kick start your freelance translating career.

 

Essential Tips to skyrocket your freelance career as a translator –

1- Identify Your Real-Self –

Working as a translator is all about discovering your comfort level. To bring out your creative and innovative instincts, begin with understanding what seems easier and convenient to you. Whether it is literature translation, technical material translation, legal translation, scientific translation, commercial translation, or any other one, once you have found out your true-calling in the world of translation, it will be way easier for you to establish your roots in that domain. Hence, identifying yourself and your inclination is the first major step to take.

2- You Must Be Well Organized –

Being a translator calls for being organized. Although, much of the work today is done online and, on the computers, & laptops, still you would have to deal with a lot of papers. Right from contracts to essential manuscripts, if you are a literary translator, you would get to handle piles of papers. And, regardless of the situation, you cannot afford to be clumsy, which may end up disassembling papers and eventually lose them. Therefore, learn to be organized and learn how to handle papers.

3- Excel Your Writing Skills –

Since you are a translator, undoubtedly, it is important for you to be an exceptionally good writer as well. With precise grammar and adaptation of different writing styles, you can easily enhance your writing skills. While you will be writing for an audience who is well-versed in a particular language, so if you cannot woo them, it would be difficult for you to manage your writing career.

4- To improve your writing skills, you can:

● Surround yourself with people who speak your Target language
● Buy style and language guides to update your skills
● Read journals & newspapers, listen to radio, and watch TV in your Target language

5- Become Social –

In the current scenario, it is quite challenging to find a platform that is as effective as social media. And, since being a translator demands to be social, what can be better than these most-used and well-acknowledged platforms? There are several ways to use social media as a translator. With a myriad of groups available on different platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and more, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to find a relevant one. Just use appropriate hashtags or keywords and you are done. The good thing is, you cannot only improve your translation skills by being social and interacting with people but can even grab worthy deals here. Therefore, it is always beneficial to use these platforms.

Must Read: What are the Major Habits Of Language Translators ?

6- Personal Branding & Marketing –

As a freelance translator, you need to brand yourself to obtain the adequate limelight. Personal branding is one such practice that allows you to brand your personal self in your domain. Earlier, this concept revolved around having a simple business card, however, today, there are several steps that you can take to brand yourself, such as:

● Research and find your target audience
● Define your voice
● Create your online presence
● Create a personal website
● Network with other established and influential brands of your domain

7- Develop & Grow Your Own Business –

Generally, a majority of people don’t consider freelancing as a business. But, believe it or not, it is more or less the same. After all, you are working for yourself and not for someone else. Now, while you have taken the responsibility not to work with any boss, how would you grow your translation business? In today’s world, it is easy.

Start with networking. Get in touch with translators or influential people from your domain and spread a word about your translation skills. You can even consider going out of the box. For instance: If you are translating literature, then you can even consider taking up legal documents, or something else. And then, consider expanding it on the internet as this place is full of ample of opportunities.

8- Pricing & Negotiation –

One of the most challenging tasks, as a freelance translator, is to fix the prices. Of course, your clients are going to negotiate with you. But, your convincing skills and the fundamental basis on which you decide the price of your services make you a winner. So, if you are in a dilemma so as to how to fix the prices or close a deal, here are some tips that would help you:

● Research the market for the prevailing prices. Try to know how much a company is charging and how much a freelancer would charge. And then, fix your charges accordingly. If you want, you can even keep them a bit lower.

● Another way is to set rates per hour. Try to figure out how much hours you are going to spend on a project. And then, fix your charges.

● If hourly pricing isn’t your cup of tea, then you can fix project-based prices.

9- Focus Your Professional Development –

Regardless of your domain, it is obvious to expect groundbreaking success. And, as a freelance translator, you can get that success by developing your skills periodically. Surely, you would not want to end at the same place from where you began. To ascend the ladder of success, it is crucial to enhance your professional skills as a freelance translator, irrespective of the challenges you face. To do so, follow the below mentioned tips:

● Communication skills are one of the best things that would help you develop your personality at a personal as well as professional level. So, concentrate on developing them.

● Creating professional relationships is another important way to enhance your professionalism, Network with your peers and influencers of your domain.

● Keep your goals and your priorities clear. This clarity will delineate your authentic self.

● Push your boundaries and give your 100% to a work.

● Try to learn and not ignore. Adapt to the changing environment. Learn new things to modify your skills.

10- Maintain Work-Life Balance –

In a world where most of the people are running behind business opportunities, it becomes highly difficult to maintain a desirable balance between work and life. More so, when you work as a freelancer without a team, things can turn out to be really messy for you. So, following are few of the tips that may help you establish a steadiness in your life.

● Arrange your day. Assign hours to your work and your personal life. Stick to those hours.
● Keep your technological devices off once in a while.
● Create goals and stick to them.
● Say no to the things that don’t seem important

11- Run Business like a business –

No matter whether you are a one-man army or have a team along, you cannot take your business for granted. You would have to take it seriously, despite being a freelancer. It will not only help in enhancing your image but will also establish trust among your associates. So, for that:

● Set “Must” goals and achieve them, come what may.
● Assign your resources with a precise strategy.
● Keep a track on your progress
● Grow your team
● Stick to your words

 

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  About

Erica Richards is an English translator. She can’t resist herself from reading a novel. Besides loving those amazing pieces of literature, she works as content strategist for United Translations. .

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