Category: Translation Business

So you want to be a Freelance Translator (or Interpreter): Starting from Scratch

So you want to be a Freelance Translator (or Interpreter): Starting from Scratch

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This post is the second (read the first post here) in a series of five posts written in response to questions we at The Savvy Newcomer have received, sometimes from people within the translation world, but also from bilingual friends and family who are interested in translation and interpreting (T&I). Our hope is that this series will serve as a guide for people who are considering a career in T&I and want to know where to begin.

Starting your freelance translation business from scratch can be a daunting task. Below are a few of the most fundamental questions to ask yourself as you begin to think about building your business.

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Techniques to help spot typos in your translations

Techniques to help spot typos in your translations

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Typos, or lack of them, can mean the difference between a happy client and an angry client. They are, quite simply, your worst enemy. Spotting mistakes in someone else’s work is relatively easy, but spotting them in your own work can often prove quite the opposite. It makes sense then to have someone else proofread your work. However, with deadlines forever looming, employing the services of a proofreader just isn’t always practical. So what’s the best way to proofread your own work? Well, different people prefer different techniques: here’s a few favorites.

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Welcome to the Intelligent Translation Era

Welcome to the Intelligent Translation Era

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It’s no longer sustainable for companies to approach content in the traditional, siloed way. Especially if they want to engage with consumers globally, who spend around 6.5 hours a day on average consuming content on their digital devices, according to research by Hootsuite.
The ever-growing demand for content in every customer interaction far outstrips our ability to translate content with humans alone. Even as we streamline the process with neural machine translation (NMT), companies still struggle to translate content even into just a handful of languages – let alone dozens of languages across multiple markets. If the technology’s available, then why aren’t companies engaging with customers across 50, 60, even a 100+ languages?
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memoQ 9.0—Discover the New Features!

memoQ 9.0—Discover the New Features!

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memoQ is evolving along with the ever-changing translation industry. We focus on developing solutions for emerging, real-world challenges in every segment of the translation industry. Two recent examples are Hey memoQ, introduced in memoQ 8.7, which allows users to use iOS devices to dictate their translations in more than 30 languages, and the memoQ Video Preview tool, which supports real-time subtitle translation. memoQ 9.0 continues this effort with new and improved features to make memoQ better.

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Ten Tips For New (and Not-So-New) Freelance Translators

Ten Tips For New (and Not-So-New) Freelance Translators

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When I graduated with my master’s degree in translating and interpreting, I felt like I knew a lot about the technical part of the profession—which, to be fair, I did. Unfortunately, what they didn’t tell me in school was that knowing “how to translate” was a relatively small part of what it takes to become successful as a freelance translator.

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How to Start a Translation Career: A Guide for Students

How to Start a Translation Career: A Guide for Students

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“Those happy to go beyond their comfort zones will always be in high demand.”

Additionally, he stated that he has “never had a student who was genuinely keen, made the most of their training program and professional networking opportunities available to them, and did not have a job or a promising freelance career before graduating.”

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10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

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In a movie we all know, there is the protagonist when connects with technology, he upgrades. Iron man, the Transformers, The Matrix trilogy, for instance, heroes promoted their abilities with gadgets, software, and computer skills. Believe it or not normal human beings turn into superheroes! Yes, here are 10 skills to acquire to be a super translator.

In the new age of translation, an elevated style and diction will be no good if it’s not supported by a fast, advanced and efficient implementation.

  1. Touch typing

Writing is no longer part of the translation process, even the written texts are OCRed now. When typing took over, translators must take it to a farther step, touch typing, which we call touch typing. Touch typing will not only speed up the process of translation, but also will increase the productivity. Touch typing, with better accuracy could be mastered by practice and learning.

 Test your typing speed to see how far you want to improve.

You can improve it by taking this online course by Alsion.

  1. Keyboard command and shortcuts

You can save up to 30 minutes per day only if you knew how to utilize your keyboards better, how to copy, cut and paste, move between tasks and pages, and give some basic commands on Word.

  1. Translation tools
    CAT tools

CAT tools using, such as Trados, as a CAT tool example, and Xbench, as a quality assurance tool example must be acquired. No more of “I don’t work with CAT tools” thing, or “I want to work with the regular methods.” Or “I’m afraid of technology”. Yes we know that you’d like to go with your own unique style of translation, and you want to take your time processing. But actually, in today’s business, things must be done fast and perfectly. CAT tools help you to abide by the instructions of the client, work fast, and produce the closest translations to perfect translation. In addition to this, if you are working with a team, CAT tools will be your right hand to sustain consistency among you all, as working with translation memories and glossaries will increase your efficiency.

  1. Research skills

Unlike the past, now you have an online encyclopedia. But how to reach what you are seeking fast? This is question. A good translator must have their solid database, to include some trusted dictionaries, and good research specialized engines. You also need to be updated with google’s new features and free products.

Here Google is providing a course to power your research skills.

  1. Microsoft Office

Away from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and their tips and tricks that help you work smarter, Microsoft excel and spread sheets are one of the skills you need to know, or how are you going to calculate your payment, or profit if you are a freelancer? Especially in the big projects.

Some basic knowledge about sums and numbers will do.

  1. Handling Computer Emergencies

Of course, IT problems were meant to be handled by the IT specialist. But at least  you need to have the basics to save yourself while you’re in medias res. You also got to be aware of all the features of your computer, and of the tools you are using. 

You also need to have a good idea of the terminology used in the industry, such as: extensions, online project, server, HTML, synchronize…, etc.

  1. Internet and email

“Accessible” is one of the magical merits that a client would like to witness dealing with his translator. That’s why, ways of online communication such as online calls, or chatting, or emailing are there. Consequently, a super translator will be active for any updates, new instructions, or edits the client might need. The client wants to feel saved before asking for help!

 Furthermore, you need to know how to write professional business emails, and how to communicate well if things went wrong or in case of emergencies.

Another thing is that, you need to be aware of the internet, how to reach what you are seeking, how to use it professionally. Simply, you know the where to go and the when to go.

Being online is a must-acquire skill, not to lose your clients and to enhance your knowledge and skills, even if  you don’t like to be online, or you’re techno-phobic.

 Speaking of online presence, we are lead to..

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪ONLINE PRESENCE‬‏

  1. Active online presence

Now, there are many websites and blogs that gather all translators to share and exchange their experiences, and to answer their questions, etc. You also need to be active on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and Proz.

  1. Computer security

I saw this with a friend of mine, while downloading a program, her laptop got infected by Ransom Virus, a virus that locks your access to your files and ask for money. That’s why you’d better be careful and choose trusted sites, powerful antivirus, and keep updating the windows and its firewall to protect you from malware and such. You must know how these things work, and how to secure your work and computer the best way possible. And ALWAYS know how to take a back-up of your files.

  1. Online learning

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪ONLINE LEARNING‬‏

Since the world is going digital and learning is part and parcel of the translator’s personality, you got to learn how to function on the e-learning websites. Online courses are saving of time, and they are taken in a better state of focus and purity to gain the utmost benefit out of the content. A translator is a full-time learner, right?

Moreover, you might want to learn the tools your client’s own tools. That’s why being opened  and adaptive for online learning and flexibility of using different tools are income generating.

To sum up, a translator with technical skills is a better-hire resource because simply they make the clients more comfortable and confident in delivering their business to an understanding, literate and reliable resource. Technology when connect promotes. So, UPGRADE!

How many skills of the 10 do you own? Tell us in the comments below.

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6 Apps to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Translation Memory

6 Apps to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Translation Memory

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Your translation memory (TM) is the most powerful asset available to you. There are many fantastic translation memory features available in SDL Trados Studio 2019, including ‘Translation Memory Maintenance’, ‘Translation Alignment’, ‘upLIFT Fragment Recall’ and much more. But that is just the beginning. Did you know the SDL AppStorecan help you unlock even more exciting features and functionality for your TM? In this blog, we’ve put together 6 of our most popular translation memory apps which we think you should try.

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Why People Quit Freelance Translation

Why People Quit Freelance Translation

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You don’t have to have been in the freelance translation game long before you come across the quitter.

This is the person who gave up on making a career out of freelance translation and is now doing something else.

Maybe they had a breakdown one day, necked a bottle of Jack Daniels, threw their laptop across the room, and set fire to their dictionaries in the garden.

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Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

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Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

Why do people become freelance translators? Perhaps it is the flexibility and freedom it offers, or the fact it enables them to do something they love.

There are many reasons people decide to become freelancers. Read this eBook to get a comprehensive view of some of the key reasons.

If you want to learn even more about a career in freelance translating – including advice from other freelancers – visit our webpage.

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