Important Tips for New Freelance Translators


Are you making plans to start working as a freelance translator? Then you are about to get yourself equipped with one of the most rewarding freelance careers. However, you are also provided with the responsibility of offering the best quality translations to your clients at all times. Here are some useful and effective tips that you can keep in your mind to get the best positive results that will be sent on your way as a freelance translator.



Start off slowly 


When you are starting off your career as a freelance translator, you will not be able to work as an experienced translator, who has been working on translations for many years. Therefore, you need to go for a slow start and proceed at your own pace. Then you will be able to learn the basics of working as a freelance translator. 


In here, you need to make sure that you are not over-complicating your life. For example, you need to make sure that you don’t offer translations for many different languages. Instead, you should select just two languages and then offer the translations accordingly. Then you will be able to learn how to accept client projects and how to work on them accordingly. There is a learning process that you need to go through. If you over-complicate your life, you will not be able to go through that learning process at a smooth rate. Instead, you will get yourself stressed. Hence, you will quit the work that you do after a short period of time.


Stick to the reference materials shared by the client 


Along with the document to translate, you will often be provided with reference materials to go through as well. If you don’t get such reference materials and if you are not completely aware of the context of the document that you should translate, you need to ask for such reference materials. That’s because reference materials will provide the background knowledge with related to the content that you have in the document to be translated. You should carefully go through the reference materials and enhance your knowledge. Then only you need to refer to the source document and start the translation process. 


If you don’t follow this routine, you will not have any idea about what you are translating. Therefore, you can make some costly mistakes, such as using incorrect wordings. You should never allow such mistakes to happen. That’s why it is a habit to go through reference materials, especially if you are not aware of the context of the document that you get to translate.


Review all the documents before you translate 


Once you get a new project from a client, you shouldn’t just immediately jump to work on it. Instead, you must carefully review the documents. While doing that, you should make sure that you are adopting a proactive approach, so that you can foresee the problems that are expected to take place in the future. If you have any doubts or queries, you should ask them from the client and get them clarified immediately. Otherwise, you will have to spend your time and effort to rework on what you did.


When you are reviewing the documents that were provided to you for translation, you will come across incorrect information, missing pages and vague terms. In some of the instances, you will come across incompatible file formats as well. All these are challenges, which keep you away from getting the work done on time. Therefore, you need to let your client know about the challenges you face and get them addressed. You must only start working on the translations when you are comfortable with the work that is assigned to you.


Feel free to do your own research 


One of the biggest mistakes that the freelance translators do is that they only stick to the reference materials shared by the client. If you stick only to the reference materials shared by the client, you will not be able to produce the best outcome. This is why you need to do your own research. 


Parallel texts can provide plenty of informative information to you. While going through them, you need to locate more relevant terms that you can use in the translations. In addition to that, you will also be able to get the assistance of the visual aids that you can see in the sources to enhance the quality of translations at the end of the day. If you don’t have a perfect understanding of the context of translation, you will not be able to deliver the best outcome. Hence, you should take your time and do the research accordingly. This can help you to enrich your knowledge with related to the topic that is assigned to you for translation as well.


Get the best quality assurance tools 


You should not just stick to a manual translation process. Instead, you need to take a look at the quality assurance tools, which can provide automated assistance to you with ensuring the overall quality of the translations. It is true that you will have to spend money out of your pocket to get these tools. However, the amount of money that you are spending to get the tools can be considered as a great investment that you can do towards your future as a freelance translator. 


The quality assurance tools you get will make sure that your translation is perfect at all times. In addition to that, you can impress your clients while completing the work within a short time period. This will also help you to accept more projects with the limited time that you have. 


Final words


Keep these facts in your mind and make sure that you are improving yourself as a freelance translator. Then you can experience all the outstanding benefits that this freelance career can offer to you.



This article first appeared on Harry Clark blog

Also, read Why Film Translation is Very Challenging?