Translating and Interpreting Services: First Steps

If you want to become a freelance translator, already work for a language services company or you have used translating services, please feel free to share your experiences. Being fluent is only the first step and it requires practice and training, so below there are some good guidelines for you to follow. There are a lot of small steps to be to really starting to work, as you will need a name and content, and this article gives an account of our experience, marking some of the good points and ideas relevant to you.


If you run your business well, owning your own can be more lucrative than working for a translation agency, and you will be able to bring on independent contractors as well. We’ve all had to hunt for work, however roughly 90% of those who inquire are not qualified, but only bi-lingual.


  1. Starting your business

A very important point for business plans is to measure if your business is actually working the way you want it to in the first few months, so get registered with a number of agencies to get regular jobs and check back to see whether you have reached your goals or need to work harder on a particular issue. Individual freelancers who are usually just working on their own need to think carefully about how to distribute and share their rights and liabilities and choose a legal form that supports the business by asking some help from a tax advisor. You will be able to accept bigger assignments but you have to share the responsibility as well, if you choose a partner, and communicate on a daily basis. You should get a good picture of the market situation and especially in respect to the place, to find out if your town is already brimming with freelancers as you might have a hard time getting distinguished. Freelancing is all about being your own boss, even when you are not working alone or form a team of individual translators, but there are upsides and downsides for all the forms of businesses. Write a list of the services you want to offer and think what you can do besides the usual translation offers. You will then need to inform yourself about possible forms of enterprises, as different countries offer various legal forms, some which might even require a start-up capital. Write down all services you are confident you can provide, have a look at translation sites and browse through the listings to get an idea of the prices for certain services.


  1. Getting some sort of accreditation

Overall, if you’re starting out in this industry, it is the best thing to do. Many universities offer advanced degrees in translation, so if you want to be a translator find a certification program for translators within niche organizations such as International Medical Interpreters Association or check to see if your state offers accreditation programs.


  1. Setting up a website

Having a website is practical, whether your site has one page with links or multiple pages.


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