Finding your first translation clients

I receive a lot of inquiries from people who would like to become translators, and most of these e-mails have something to do with finding those first few elusive translation clients. If you ask 100 translators how they got started in the business, you’ll probably get at least 50 different answers. Some picked up the phone …

A helpful post on translation client ratings

About Translation’s most recent post is an excellent summary of translation client rating services. These forums, which are either e-mail lists or websites, can help both beginning and established translators determine whether a translation client is a reliable payer. Definitely worth a visit!

A helpful post on text-to-speech (TTS) tools

Naomi de Moraes just posted some excellent introductory information on text-to-speech (TTS) tools on the blog of the ATA Language Technology Division. Most translators are familiar with speech-to-text tools such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, which allow you to dictate your translations. Text-to-speech tools are the opposite; software that reads text to you. Naomi’s post has some …

Why I use open source software

Since I launched my freelance business in 2002, I have used free and open source software almost exclusively. This model has worked very well for me, and I think that it’s enabled me to work better, faster and more affordably than if I had used the proprietary software equivalents. There are some not so lofty reasons …

Freelance success-a case in point

Speaking of the go-getter spirit, I’m hard-pressed to think of a better example than Omar Postigo-Martell, who owns and operates Well Translated, a Spanish<>English agency here in Colorado. I first met Omar at a talk I gave over the summer at the University of Denver’s translation certificate program, and not long after that he left his …

Upcoming session of "Getting Started as a Freelance Translator"

The next session of my online course “Getting Started as a Freelance Translator” starts on March 3, and registration is open at the link above. I’ve been teaching this course for about two years, and it’s always fun to see who signs up, what their goals are and what they end up doing with the information. …

Congratulations to Translate.org.za

Ever since I interviewed its founder Dwayne Bailey a few years ago, I’ve been continually amazed by Translate.org.za, a nonprofit project dedicated to translation/localization (or as they say down there, localisation) of free and open source software into the 11 official languages of South Africa. Courtesy of Translate.org.za’s website, they are, in English: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, …

The chicken or the egg

I’ve noticed that for many beginning translators, getting those first few clients is a chicken and egg issue; most agencies, which form the bulk of most beginners’ client bases, aren’t eager to work with translators who are very inexperienced. But if clients won’t work with you, how do you ever get enough experience to make your …

About this blog

Although I already have a business website, I decided to set up this blog as a less formal place to talk about translation, the translation industry and becoming a translator. Some of my translator friends and I have noticed that while our spouses’ eyes glaze over at the first mention of any topic related to word …

How to succeed as a freelance translator

I get a lot of e-mails from people who want to become translators. A typical contact is from someone who is bilingual and either doesn’t enjoy his/her current job or because of necessity (i.e. a spouse whose job is repeatedly transferred) wants to find a profitable work-from-home job. Based on my own experience, the experience of …