How to become a freelancer translator?

Among the different types of self-employment today, this specialization is perhaps the most common since some people can excel in it without prior planning. As a result, there is in fact a more competitive market than ever for those who want to work with translation. Although there is a huge demand for translation services, the supply seems to be growing faster and more clearly than demand.

What do you need to start working in the field of translation as an independent freelancer

Access to the translation world seems easy for a lot of people (it is actually relatively easy). Success in the field is much more difficult in reality. It takes a lot of things like:

  • Good knowledge of the foreign language from which it will be translated, either as terms or as rules.
  • Excellent knowledge of your mother tongue, especially grammar, spelling and the correct way to formulate sentences and phrases.
  • Ability to distinguish accepted phrases and convey meaning rather than literal text if translation is not specialized in official documents.
  • Knowledge of specialized terms, their synonyms and proper use if you are specialized in a specific field such as medicine, engineering or legal translation.

In addition to generalities, some additional knowledge is usually needed in some sub-matters. You need excellent hearing if the translation is from voice to writing, and if the subtitles for a video such as film and serial translation are supposed to be there, there is actually the burden of time-marking the subtitles to appear. Appropriately.

In general, as long as you do not intend to enter into legal translation (translation of contracts and commercial transactions, etc.) can usually walk in the field without many problems, but remember that the most difficult areas are the most profitable financially and by far, as the translation of contracts and official papers are more expensive than the translation of texts Ordinary, but of course they need official certificates to be recognized.

How long will you need to prove yourself in translation?

In most other areas, the answer to the question is simple, but in the field of translation it is a little complicated as it is usually not time consuming to prove the quality of your work. Your experience and knowledge will remain isolated from the most profitable industry if you do not have the necessary certifications.

In general, if you have the certificates that qualify you to be a recognized sworn interpreter, the ceiling of ambitions is higher, but at the same time it takes much longer time to reach it. Whoever gets most of the contracts, so if you intend to advance in sworn translation, freelance is usually not the right way, but usually a temporary stage.

What features does the translation field usually give you?

  • The high demand for translation services means that it is easy to find work, even with the relatively large supply, which makes the start generally easier.
  • Translation is one of the least prevalent languages ​​in the field (other than English and French).
  • Over time, it can become much easier with different terminology and wording memorized, gradually increasing productivity and profits.
  • The great flexibility of the work allows it to be done from anywhere without the need for any equipment in fact other than a laptop.

What are the shortcomings of the field of translation?

  • Against high demand, there is a huge supply that is increasing day by day, reducing translation pricing and making the field one of the least profitable.
  • Over time, there is a decrease in the demand for the field due to more people proficient in English and a decrease in the demand for other languages.
  • The great danger of AI-based translation services, although still relatively poor, is improving rapidly and could kill the field in the future.
  • The presence of many bad translators in the field makes differentiating the best translators harder because evaluating translation is not easy for those who do not master it.
  • There is a low upper limit of what you can reach, as you can reach the highest possible price for you in just one year and then your income becomes stable and can not be increased.

Things to pay attention to in the field of translation

Although it is an easier area to access, the translation field includes a number of caveats and things that you should pay attention to in order to get the best work experience. These usually include:

  • They must take into account the different spoken and written dialects which make certain terms normal in some countries while they are not understood or perhaps degrading in others.
  • The differences in pronunciation and foreign languages ​​between countries must be particularly sensitive when translating to clients from the Maghreb and you are from the Mashreq (or vice versa) where the names can be radically different from those in the Mashreq.
  • Translating names and geographic locations is difficult if not nearly impossible without assistance, so ask the customer to provide the preferred version of the name before proceeding with the translation.
  • Always look for the original customer and use self-employed platforms as much as you can as brokers can take up to 90% of the amount originally allocated to the business and only give you crumbs.
  • Working with translation agencies or offices is usually a good idea to gain experience, but it is not always a good idea that may be a wrong decision in the long run.

In summary, when should you work in translation?

While the translation market is very crowded and prices are constantly declining, the advice is usually to stay out of the field unless you want a temporary job or are already studying translation and want to increase your experience. In general, the future of this work is related to how serious you are in translation. Freelance translation is usually not an ideal option.