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Freelance translation

(6 Posts)
Frankfurterwuerstchen Tue 21-Jul-15 20:49:14

Just wondered if there are any freelance translators out there. I did a German and Business degree a long time ago but have lived in Germany for 13 years. I worked in finance until I had DS and DD and now that they are both at Kindergarten I am looking at getting into freelance translation. I did a translation course in 2011 but I don't have any translation experience.
I have found a number of sites where I can register to do translations for free (just to build up experience) but I haven't found much from German to English. Just wanted to know if anyone has any tips on just getting experience. Are there any translation agencies that will take on people who have no real experience?

LinguaQuirma Wed 22-Jul-15 14:21:31

I think there are a few of us freelance translators on here smile.
You're in a good position with your degree and translation qualification - and your experience working in finance. You could try sending your CV to a few translation agencies and offering to do a short test translation (say 300 words). That way they could see the quality of your work and might take you on. ITI also does an online course on Setting-up as a Freelance Translator that's supposed to be good.
Good lucksmile
BTW you might get more response posting in Freelancers/Self-employed

chrome100 Mon 27-Jul-15 15:25:58

I used to work as a project manager in a translation agency.

There wasn't much call for translations into English from German, more out of English.

Most of our translators had to have Trados and other translation software tools before we would take them on to our books so that is something to consider too.

Rathkelter Sun 14-Feb-16 14:55:53

I am also German into English and haven't had much success. I have used my German for years o
in another professional capacity although I don't have a translation qualification.
Agencies seem to want refs or proof that you have translated a certain number of words professionally before they take you on. And then there's the investment in Trados that seems to be on the up.
But you are better placed in Germany I'd have thought, than I am in the uk. Could you offer to translate a local company's website or brochures?

Gwenhwyfar Fri 11-Mar-16 21:21:03

"I used to work as a project manager in a translation agency.

There wasn't much call for translations into English from German, more out of English."

I also used to work as a project manager in a translation agency. German into English was our biggest combination, lots of work available. I know quite a few translators and those working from German into English are never out of work, particularly if they're willing to do technical translations (think Siemens etc.).

I agree about the translation tool, though there are cheaper options than Trados that you could use when starting out. Just make sure you can convert in to Trados if that's required by the agency/client.

Mistigri Wed 16-Mar-16 20:26:17

My husband is a freelance translator working mainly via agencies.

He's a French to English translator but he has enough German to proof German-English and used to do a fair bit of that at one time. It's one of the more frequent language pairs, as gwen said above, and there is probably less competition than in French or Spanish.

Sign up with agencies - they may not initially take you as a translator as most will require several years experience, but it may be possible to get your foot in the door as a proof reader or quality checker. If you have experience in industry in a useful specialism (law, medical, technical) you will be all be more employable (my DH is a trained scientist with an NHS background. There is no shortage of work for him.)

Don't work for free; it should not be necessary!

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