From zero to hero: a guide to becoming a professional freelance translator
More and more people are multilingual now but not everyone intend or able to be a professional freelance translator. Ask yourself a few questions: Do I enjoy the freelancer lifestyle? Do I like languages? Am I ready to dedicate myself on helping the world having better communication? Am I ready to cope with crazy deadlines? If your answer is yes, then you need to:
Join a national translation society
The vast majority of the best jobs are handled through such organizations or companies such as Mars Translation, you can also get more job opportunities accustomed to your profile, more industrial information and social connections.
Be familiar with translation tools
At the very least you will need a computer with word processing software, a dictionary, an internet connection and… a desk: You can invest in CAT tools to make your work more effective. And more and more agencies require such experience. On Mars Translation, we are committed to helping our translators to master these invaluable tools.
Be quick and effective
To succeed, you need to work fast, yet provide high quality services.
Choose the languages you can offer
Translators work in language pairs, you need to be fluent in at least two languages, such as Chinese into English or English into Chinese. Note that it’s always better to translate into your mother language than a second language.
Connect with people
Let yourself be known and to know people, be informed and taking advices will help you grow faster and better. Freelancers are easy to be isolated, but you can take the chance to make it to be an advantage by setting up your own effective social circles. Join Mars Translation to work with talented translators and grow together.
If you want to get better pay, it’s important that you have a well-presented translator’s CV which demonstrates your education, qualifications, experience, your areas of expertise and most importantly, the language pairs that you offer: If you have over 3 years’ experience, join Mars to make your skills into money.
Get the right education and qualifications
Degrees in translation studies, foreign languages, linguistics or qualifications in translations can open the door to your career. And you will find that the more you know, the more you need to learn.
Identify your specialist areas
Focus on fewer areas at first, you can grow faster. There are many fields: Technical Translation Services, Literary Translation Services, Legal Translation Services, Healthcare Translation Services etc. Go with what you are good at and be prepared with a working knowledge of the terminology used by particular sector.
Practice and maintain your languages
News broadcasts, news articles, short stories can help you exercise your translation skills. Human languages never stop evolving, you can travel to the countries or regions where your languages are spoken, watch films and TV shows, get native speaker friends.
Bear these in mind, you are on the way to becoming a professional freelance translator.
Mars Translation provides you a friendly and useful platform to help you grow and be successful in your translating career.