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French /Italian Translation /tutoring work

(11 Posts)
Chrysanthamum Fri 29-Aug-08 20:49:21

Hi,
I'd like to work from home using my languages. Anyone out there got any ideas on how to get started? I'm looking into La Jolie Ronde but with a baby and 6 year old, I'm not sure if this would work out.
I'd appreciate any suggestions. I'm based near Glasgow
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Mammina Sat 30-Aug-08 12:27:36

Hi Chrysanthamum, I'm the same, but haven't come up with anything yet (but haven't really made that much of an effort to look yet). Had a quick look at La Jolie Ronde though & don't you have to pay a fair bit to get started?

thirtysomething Sat 30-Aug-08 12:34:05

Hi - have done that language combo translating/interpreting over the years. The best advice i ever got was to find an area of knowledge - any area - find out everything about that area and stick to it for translation purposes. You need to specialise in certain types of translations - financial/economic. IT, medical, engineering etc. and absorb as much of the technical jargon in English as possible. Eg for financial send off for loads of Annual Reports, IPO marketing stuff in both langauages and make glossaries. invest in good translation software that you can customise. then approach companies (you will have more luck with companies based abroad than here) offering to do a test for them. it's very hard to break into but a v. good living once you do. good luck!

Mammina Sat 30-Aug-08 12:40:41

yes 30stg, haven't gone down the translation route (apart from the odd job for ex colleagues/friends etc) precisely because of the need to specialise in a certain area. Good idea to make a glossary though, thanks. How much do decent translation softwares cost? Is the idea that it goes the basics for you and then you amend?

Chrysanthamum Sat 30-Aug-08 19:40:06

Thanks for the advice, RE: La Jolie Ronde, I got info in the post today. It sounds good and quite lucrative. You can get started fairly cheaply and pay instalments later. I'm still not sure though how it would work for me with one son at school and the baby. I'm considering it. I've just advertised for private students so I'll see how that goes first.
As for translating, any advice on which area for specialism is better to attract a steady stream of work? I worked in Italy in the tannery business years ago so I have some knowledge of tannery machines but imagine that this might be quite a narrow area. I do need some recent experience and thought about offering my services on the cheap to some agencies to update/ improve my skills. What do you think? Did you do any training before starting?

thirtysomething Sat 30-Aug-08 23:08:06

Yes Chrysanth i did an MA in translating/interpreting but it was useless. the only way i found was to become very knowledgeable in an area then focus on companies in that field. I couldn't find my first job in translation, as I had no experience in any particular field, so worked in a press office for an intl company and jumped into their translation dept when someone else left as I'd picked up their jargon....in terms of freelancing I would say without a doubt the most lucrative and steady stream of work is in finance/economics and IT. Even when the economy is down banks write stuff they need translating into English!! I don't think agencies will pay you lower rates as you want to brush up your skills tbh. Most of them have set rates and as they need to offer consistent service to clients and haven't got time to correct in-house they'd be unlikely to accept. the best thing to do would be to choose a field, gets loads of stuff in each language, make glossaries and practice. then ask an agency to do a test. The ITI website may have useful info for you. there are also loads of agencies online you can email etc. Good luck!

climbanymountain Sat 30-Aug-08 23:21:36

Have you also thought about contacting Italian companies in case they need English translation? You see some dreadful Anglo/Italian websites.

Also, there must be people in Glasgow that woudl like to learn Italian (it's actually where I learnt mine before I moved to Italy) or A level students who need tuition. Could you advertise?

Chrysanthamum Sun 31-Aug-08 14:10:35

Hi thirtysthg,
Useful advice again. Since I've been in education for the last decade, I don't know any financial/economical/IT jargon. I'm willing to learn and make glossaries. Where would you get stuff in both languages? What would be the best software/dictionaries to buy?
All advice much appreciated.

Chrysanthamum Sun 31-Aug-08 14:11:47

Thanks for the suggestions climbany. Worth a try.

thirtysomething Sun 31-Aug-08 19:32:08

you could start by sending off for companies' annual reports (in Fr/It and Eng) and other marketing stuff - you can usually request via their websites. Start with some really big international companies based in France or italy eg. Fiat, Zanussi, Total,Aerospatiale, that sort of thing. That way you can start building up a glossary - the ready-programmed ones are pretty expensive but if you are good with computers you could design your own glossary database thingie? Depends on your budget and how long you have got to prepare things....there are some agencies eg in paris that don't require much in the way of previous experience but they pay very little. It's worth joining the ITI for their networks and info on rates etc if you seriously want to get into translation. Another option is to become a Court interpreter though work is sporadic in that language combo. am happy to answer any more questions you have!

Chrysanthamum Sun 31-Aug-08 21:15:40

Thanks a million, this is really sound advice. My budget is quite low and I don't have much free time but I am enthusiastic!
Cheers
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