Tips to up Your Game as a Freelance Translator

Oct 24, 2017

Content tips to up your game as a freelance translator

No matter where you are in your career as a freelance translator, localization specialist, or interpreter, there is always room to grow and improve. Perhaps you would like to increase your going rate. Maybe you want more hours. Many translators need help with work and time management. Whatever the situation is, we have plenty of tips for freelance translators.

There Are No Translation Hacks

Sorry, but this is not a job where there are hacks and shortcuts. This field requires attention to detail and accuracy. If someone claims to have a shortcut, be wary. You may just be compromising the quality of your work for speed and convenience. Instead, make a real effort to put your all into every assignment.

Ask Experienced Translators For Pieces of Advice For Beginner Translators

If you’re relatively new to this game, connect with some seasoned translation professionals. You can follow professional translation blogs, for example. You can also form social media relationships with other, more experienced translators. Bottom line, listen and learn from the people who came before you.

Use Technology to Stay on Track

Time management and organization are key. Find a calendar app that works for you. It should track due dates, and allow you to create daily, weekly, and monthly to do lists. You might also consider using Google Docs or Evernote to ensure that your notes and writing projects are also organized. You’ll be able to access your work no matter where you are.

Finally, keep finances in mind. A good financials app will help you to track your savings, pay bills, and otherwise keep your business and personal finances in order.

Find Ways to Improve Your Skills

The more indepth your skills, and the more varied your skills, the more money you will earn. This makes learning more, and improving your skills worthwhile. For example, if you’re a beginning translator, you could do any of the following to help your career:

  • Earn your certification through the ATA or other organization

  • Finish a degree so that you have industry qualifications

  • Learn a new dialect

  • Study the culture and history of regions that speak your language so that you can become a localization specialist

Sell Your Industry Knowledge as Well as  Your Language Skills

The translators who are most in demand and who make the most money, are those who have skills to sell beyond speaking and writing another language. People and businesses need translators who have knowledge of business, civics, law, medicine and healthcare, software develop, gaming, and a wide variety of other industries.

Stop Taking Any And Every Job

We get it. You want to ensure that money keeps flowing. Because of this, it’s tempting to go ahead and take those low dollar jobs. You may feel like you have to deal with agencies where professionalism isn’t a priority, or abusive customers just to gain experience.

Don’t do this. Bad agencies and clients will do you no favors down the road. Taking a lot of low paying jobs will only give the impression that your skills just aren’t that valuable.

Conclusion: What Freelance Translator Advice do You Have?

We would absolutely love to to read your insights. What advice would you give to other translators? Have you received sage advice in your translation career? Let us know! In the meantime, we hope these tips for translators and interpreters have been valuable to you.