Monday 20 August 2012

What should a Novice Translator do in the Early Days of their Career?

A novice translator, because of fierce competition in the market, may find it almost impossible to forge a good reputation and income for himself/herself. In this regard, I would say that the a newbie should keep the simple saying in mind that there is no easy road to success. Perseverance, regularity,  honesty, and luck are some of the key factors which lead one to success, but what should be of prime importance to a translation newbie, at least, is to put in patient struggle; it mostly takes time to build a good name for oneself.

Through this post, I wish to share certain primary 'weapons' that my newbie colleagues need to be accoutered with in order to forge their way up in freelance translating. 

Be Active at Professional Websites:

The first thing that a you, as a newbie, need to do is to get yourself registered on a professional website, whereby you could find relevant jobs and meet colleagues, a good many of whom may be in the industry for years and whose experience may be quite beneficial to you. The two top websites for this purpose are and These websites are the largest online job portals with reference to translation, transcription, interpretation, and the like. A newcomer can find several job opportunities on these websites. There is, however, one thing that one must bear in mind: At the initial stages, when you are not equipped with necessary translation experience, you may not be able to get hold of some job, because you are confronted with competitors who have better experience in the field. There is, nonetheless, no reason at all to lose heart. What you need to do in the early days of your registration with these websites is to pay close attention to the requirements that are demanded by the job posters. This will give you a workable idea as to what areas you need to target in order to become a successful professional. What is even more important for you is to read forum posts and take active part in ongoing forum discussions. The forums on TranslatorsCafe and Proz are a great source of learning several basic things, including:

  • Nature of translation jobs
  • Translation tools to learn
  • Standardized rates
Another website of note is Though you may not find many job opportunities on this website, but you definitely will find a rich source of translation related articles, written by both academic researchers and professionals, which will help you to enhance your knowledge of the research and practice of translation.

Populate your CV:

Do mention whatever linguistic skills, experience, certificates, and degrees (such as Master's in Linguistics, language learning courses and diplomas, ability to speak and write more than two languages, etc.) you already have gained, and remember to keep adding to this detail any further achievement, certificate, etc. that you gain along the way.

I hope that this account of preliminary translation requirements will be found useful by translation newbies. I will take up this topic further in my next post, and will talk in a bit more detail about the various strategies that you, as a newbie,  may adopt to establish a firm reputation for yourself in translation profession.



  1. Quite helpful content. Waiting for your next posts..

  2. Thank you for the comment. I hope the next post will be up in an hour or so.

  3. Thank you for the comment. I hope the next post will be up in an hour or so.

  4. Good and helpfull material!

    1. Thank you for your comments. I hope that the next posts will also be found useful.

  5. AoA. Jazak ALLAH for being a 'guiding star' (like always)! :-)
    It is really very helpful post.

    Stay blessed !