How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator

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How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator
Corinne McKay

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator

by Corinne McKay ISBN 978-1-4116-9520-7 First Edition ©2006 by Corinne McKay. All Rights Reserved. Published by Two Rat Press, a division of Translatewrite, Inc. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review, without permission in writing from the author. For information, contact books@translatewrite.com.

Disclaimer: This book is published by Two Rat Press and Translatewrite, Inc., who acknowledge all trademarks. All information contained in this book is believed to be correct at the time of printing. However, readers are advised to seek professional advice where necessary, as the information in this book is based on the author's experiences. The author of this book is not professionally engaged in providing legal, financial or career planning advice. Please send comments or corrections to books@translatewrite.com.

For Dan, Ada and my parents, who sweeten every day.

Contents
Introduction Acknowledgments 9 15

1 An overview of the translation business 17 1.1 What is a translator? ......................................... 17 1.2 What does it take to become a translator? .......... 18 1.3 Improving your language skills ......................... 21 1.4 A translator's working environment .................. 22 1.5 What kinds of work do translators do? ............. 25 1.5.1 Software Localization ............................ 27 1.6 Who do translators work for? ............................ 28 1.6.1 Working for translation agencies ............. 28 1.6.2 Working for direct clients ....................... 30 1.7 A bit about interpreting ................................... 31 1.8 How do translators set their rates? .................... 33 1.9 Professional Associations ................................. 34 1.9.1 American Translators Association .......... 34 1.9.2 National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators ...................................... 35 1.9.3 Translators and Interpreters Guild .......... 35 1.9.4 American Literary Translators Association 35 1.9.5 Federation Internationale des Traducteurs 36 1.9.6 International Association of Conference Interpreters ................................................... 36

1.10 Certification for Translators .............................. 36 1.10.1 American Translators Association .......... 38 1.10.2 Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination Program ................................. 39 1.10.3 State Court Interpreter Certification . . . . 41

5

CONTENTS

2 Starting and Growing your Business
2.1 Preparing for your job search ............................ 2.1.1 The basics of writing a translation resume . 2.1.2 A new résumé for a new career ............. 2.1.3 The structure of your résumé .................. 2.1.4 Your name ........................................... 2.1.5 Your summary of qualifications . ............. 2.1.6 The body of the résumé ......................... 2.1.7 What about a cover letter? ....................

43

43 43 44 45 46 47 49 50 2.2 Finding your first clients ................................... 51 2.3 Building up your business ................................. 56 2.4 Starting a part-time translation business . .......... 59 2.5 Business skills you'll need ................................. ..... 61 2.6 Setting up your office and your business .......... 63 2.7 Maximizing productivity ................................. 65 2.8 For working parents ......................................... 67

3 Home office setup
3.1 Preparing for your home office ......................... 3.2 The ups and downs of working from home . . . . 3.3 Necessary office equipment .............................. 3.4 Organizing your...
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