Sin categoría, Social Media, Translation

Why Am I a Translator?

Hi everyone!

Recently, someone contacted me to ask what my experience has been as a translator because she wants to study translation, but she’s having second thoughts.

After reading this DM, I started thinking about why I became a translator and my journey to where I am today as a freelance translator.

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I graduated as a translator and interpreter many years ago. I wanted a full-time job as a translator, but I couldn’t find anything locally, and back then being a “freelancer” wasn’t very popular. In those days, we didn’t have social media or too many translators’ platforms to find work from home.

So, I gave up on my dream of working full-time as a translator and started working in several administrative positions in different companies, and I was a translator just during my “free time” like it was a hobby. The experience I got from those jobs was significant, I learned so much… But after a while, I would always end up getting really tired of doing what I was doing, and I would go off to find a new job in the same field.

About a couple of years ago, it finally hit me… I’m not doing what I love, that’s why after a while I get so sick and tired of these administrative jobs, I have to do something about it! And I finally made the decision to quit my last administrative job, which was a good one, and took the risk of starting a new career as a freelance translator.

woman in black long sleeve dress standing on brown concrete pathway
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It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure! There were moments when I thought it was better to stop trying and find another 9 to 5 administrative job. It took me a lot of hard work, self-doubt, desperation, and sacrifices to finally get my first full-time job as a freelance translator. Also, I am working with great clients who pay very well for other smaller projects.

Nowadays, social media and translators/freelancers’ platforms like ProZ.com, Upwork, etc., helped me a lot to network with clients and get projects to work on. They have also helped me to earn a reputation as a professional and reliable translator.

So, going back to the DM I got, I wrote back asking her if translating is her passion. Is she willing to take all the necessary risks and make all the sacrifices needed to succeed in this business, where there’s so much competition? If her answer is yes, then she should go for it!

Translating is my passion! I could not see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. This is why I am a translator, and I could never go back to boring jobs that don’t fulfill my dreams.

What was your journey like? Was it easy or not to make the decision to follow your dream? I’d love to hear your comments and remember to subscribe to my blog!

Until next time, have a wonderful time!

XX

 

 

 

Sin categoría, Translation

How to Say No

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about how to say NO.

As a freelance translator, I know how difficult it is to say no to a project or a client.

When we begin in this business, we can’t afford to say no to any work, otherwise, how are we going to find and keep clients? But many of those first projects are paid at very low rates or have tight deadlines and we drive ourselves crazy trying to accommodate.

After a while, if you are lucky, you begin to get more clients and more projects, some of which will bring a better payment.

So, you need to prioritize, which clients are bringing more work at better-paid rates? Or which projects are the ones that pay the best?

close up photography of woman sitting beside table while using macbook
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Here is when you will need to start saying no. Either because the rates offered are too low compared to how much other clients are paying you, or because the deadline is ridiculous.

Has it ever happened to you that you are asked by a client to complete a project, the same day, but they send it to you at 4:55 pm of that day, offering a low rate per word or per project?

You’d probably say yes and keep on working until late to get it done and sent. But when your business starts to grow, you also have to think about which and how many projects you can actually take, and which ones work best for you.

I know many people say you shouldn’t say no, but sometimes you have no choice. Saying no is not a bad thing, as long as you are very polite about it and you explain why you cannot meet the requirements.

It is not about getting in a fight with a client, it is about charging what you deserve to make for a certain project, especially if it comes with a tight deadline. You can say no or you can say, “I can do it, but I will need to charge you an extra fee for rush delivery or for a weekend surplus.”

I try not to take on projects during the weekend because it is the only time I have to spend with my family and with myself! Also, it is when I can run errands and do other stuff that I don’t have time to do during the week.

Also, I don’t take on long projects that have a 24-hour deadline. I know I won’t have enough time to finish it and proofread it, or if I do, I know it will be a rushed work that I won’t be happy with.

Of course, may clients say, “But it is not so many words, why can’t you deliver them earlier?” or “I thought you were available 24/7?”

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I love my work as a freelance translator, but that should not mean that I cannot have any sleep or that I always have to feel like I’m not going to meet a deadline.

Your health and your sanity will thank you for taking the necessary time to take care of yourself. If you are feeling great, your work will also be great.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t make exceptions for loyal clients, but you have to learn when and how you can make these exceptions.

What has your experience been like? Can you say no? Let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

Until next time, have a wonderful day!

XX

 

 

 

Sin categoría, Social Media

Instagram Partnerships

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about Instagram partnerships.

First, what do I mean by “partnership”? I mean, working with a company that pays you to post some of their material on your feed.

I don’t use the word “influencer”, because to be one on IG, you need more than 10,000 followers and the posts become “sponsored” ones.

blur display electronics hand
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Partnerships, is for those accounts with less than 1,000 followers, like me. I am close to 500 followers, not a lot in comparison to a true influencer, and this is why I was so surprised about a DM I got.

It was from a translation agency, and they pretty much told me how impressed they are with my posts and want to work with me to post some of their material so it reaches my followers.

I said I was surprised, because this is the first message of this kind that I have received since I opened my IG business account, and also because they were asking for fees…and I had no idea about what to answer!!

advice advise advisor business
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Thank God for contacts! I immediately asked a very famous IG marketing expert and influencer, @elisedarma, if she could help me. And she sent me a link to a blog she wrote about this subject, which included a calculator to know how much you should charge someone for each post, depending on how many followers you have.

I also searched the internet for further information. I read that it was important, before discussing fees, to ask the client what their budget is for this project and what exactly do they need me to do.

Would they send me the material, ready to be posted or would I have to do some sort of designing? How many times per week was I expected to post their material? Did they want a regular picture/video post or a story, or both? Or is it just a one-time thing?

So, I asked the client that, and right now it is all about discussing the details.

I’m not sure if something will come out of this, but whenever I heard people say that you can actually make money from Instagram, I thought they were crazy and that it wasn’t possible…but now I see how it can happen!

I know I won’t be making buckets of money with such a small number of followers, but if one company has reached out, and if it works for them, this could mean that other companies could approach me to provide them with the same service.

This has nothing to do with translation, but I am always open-minded about learning new things and working on new kinds of projects.

Have you ever done work like this? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about your stories and how this form of partnership has worked out for you.

Don’t forget to leave your comments and follow my blog…I promise you won’t regret it!

Until next time…Happy Halloween!!

XX

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Sin categoría, Translation

Agency vs Direct Client

Hello everyone!

This time I want to talk about the differences in working as a freelance translator with a translation agency versus working with a direct client.

In my experience, you can have a good working experience with both, but there are some important differences.

Let’s do pros and cons lists for both!

advice advise advisor business
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Pros of working with a translation agency:

  • Usually, they are big companies with experience in the field.
  • They tend to be more trustworthy when it comes to payments (there are exceptions) and offer several payment methods.
  • Their client portfolio can include important corporations that prefer to work with agencies than directly with a translator.
  • Some agencies are a big deal in the industry, and if you manage to work with at least one of them, it can be a great addition to your resumé.

Cons of working with agencies:

  • They tend to pay really low rates because the biggest part of the clients’ payments is for them.
  • They take longer to pay. Normally, agencies can take from 30 to 60 days to pay, which is quite a lot of time, especially if this is your only income.
  • Sometimes you might get to work with a difficult PM or with different PMs for each project, which can create doubt and confusion.
photo of woman using her laptop
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Pros of working with direct clients:

  • Their rates are better because there is no middle-man involved.
  • They can pay faster, some pay within days of receiving the translation, it depends on their internal payment procedures.
  • You get to work directly with the person who needs the translation, so the communication is much more direct and flows with ease.
  • They tend to offer long-term projects, that in the end are way more convenient than a bunch of little projects here and there.

Cons of working with direct clients:

  • They might not respect your “working hours”. If they need to tell you something they consider urgent, they probably write or call you at any time of the day, even during the weekends.
  • Sometimes, if they are not familiar with how translation works, they might ask for really ridiculous deadlines. Who hasn’t had a client asking for an “urgent” translation for “today” at 5 pm on a Friday? 😉
  • You have to do some research to see if they are reliable, especially when it comes to payments. You can ask colleagues who have worked with them or even asked them for references (if they ask you for references, you can do the same!).
  • If your primary contact is not familiar with your work, you might find it hard to make them understand why the project would take as long as it would and why the cost is what it is.

There are many more pros and cons, I am just presenting a short version of it, but if you can you think of any other important pros and cons, let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, have a great day and I cannot wait to hear all about you! Remember to subscribe to my blog!

 

 

Sin categoría, Translation

International Translation Day 2019

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe that once again the International Translation Day (ITD) it’s just around the corner, this September 30th! I remember when I first wrote about it last year:

https://translationexpert.blog/2018/09/27/international-translation-day/

So, that blog post is from last year, and this is my second year writing about the ITD, but what has changed during this period?

Thankfully, a lot! A year ago I was still struggling to find new clients and, therefore, more work.

Right now, I am happy to share that I am working with my first direct client in years, and it seems it will be a long-term project. I work every day on it, and it feels so good to actually be working as a translator all day long.

There is another long term project that I might participate in, as an editor. So, definitely, a year has brought many changes.

But it hasn’t been just time. Since May of this year, I have been working hard trying to position my brand in social media. I am thrilled that I’m finally starting to get results!!

This year’s celebration of the International Translation Day has a lot more meaning to me now. The fact that I am finally working full-time as a translator, fills me with utter joy!

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

And I will continue to work as hard as I have, and even harder, to not lose these amazing results.

There’s still a lot I can do to get more clients, and I will not stop until I have a non-stop flow of work, which I believe is the aim of any freelance translator. It is mine, for sure!

Looking back a year, how would you say things are going for you now? Are things better or not?

Please, share your thoughts with me and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you can receive my most recent posts right in your inbox!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY!!!

Sin categoría, Social Media

Followers: Quality or Quantity?

Hello everyone!

I recently reached 400 followers on my Instagram business account.

This small milestone got me thinking about what matters the most when it comes to followers: quality or quantity?

three person holding smartphones
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Obviously, if you want your personal brand to stand out in social media, you need to hit a certain amount of followers, around a 1,000 to actually “make it” in the business.

But how many of those followers are actually following you because they like your content and they deem it important?

That is more difficult to say. No algorithm let us know that. And with a public account is easier to get followed by just anyone.

I would say that at least half of my 400 followers don’t have a clue why they are following me. Maybe a friend of theirs is following me, maybe they thought that by following my account they would get an immediate following to theirs.

Right now, people are trying everything to become popular on social media, so it would not be surprising that they follow just to be followed. They do not care about your content and brand, they only care about adding up their followers’ number.

And let us not talk about the followers who think Instagram and other social media are a dating app. I cannot stress enough how many messages I have received on my business account from “thirsty boys”.

Of course, I am always professional and answer that they are contacting a business account and if it’s not business what they are looking for, then they should move on. That means fewer followers, but that is not the kind of followers I want, do you?

There are important things to take into account when you choose who you’ll follow on your business account, to make sure they follow you back:

  1. Make sure they are in the same industry as you. This will help you to network with fellow freelancers, in my case translators.
  2. Check their profile page, does it look like a real account or maybe a fake one? Do they have any posts or none, but lots of followers? If it looks fishy, don’t follow back!
  3. Interact with your followers, especially with those who have shown they like your posts by liking them! Always answer the comments you receive, and comment on your followers’ posts!

I think we all would like to have more quality followers than a huge quantity of not-real-followers, but that is very hard to achieve, so let’s work with what we have!

What about you? What do you think about this? What are your followers like?

Don’t be shy and leave your comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Until the next time…have a wonderful day!

 

Content Localizer, Sin categoría

Content Localizer

Hello everyone!

This time I want to talk about my recent work as a Content Localizer.

I am currently working as a Content Localizer for two different clients. They are both apps, but their content is quite different.

selective focus photography of person holding turned on smartphone
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

One is a language-learning app. My work consists of translating the captions, annotations, and examples, of each of their learning videos into Spanish.

I am really enjoying this work. So far I have worked on seven different videos, and although it can take a bit of time because besides translating each caption of the video I need to translate each word in each caption, it is a process that I like. I have to put myself in the shoes of a Spanish speaker who is learning English, to make sure that the translations are appropriate and understandable. It took me six hours to translate and localize the longest video I’ve worked on!

The other app is a food scanner. It uses barcodes to scan products, so you can get ingredients information on each product you want to buy.

This is another very interesting project, especially because I need to keep the sentences in Spanish the same or almost the same length as the original ones in English, which if you are a Spanish speaker, you know is quite a challenge!

But I love challenges! I welcome them and I am grateful for these wonderful work opportunities and I hope more will come my way!

Have you ever worked as a Content Localizer for an app or for something else? What was your experience like? Would you do it again?

Show the love for this blog post and share your comments and thoughts with me!

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get my newest post right in the comfort of your email inbox.

Until the next time…have a wonderful day and let’s keep working!

Copywriting, Sin categoría

Copywriting for Translators

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about copywriting for translators.

Lately, I have been reading a lot of information about copywriting and how translators could also become copywriters.

But copywriting is quite different from translating.

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As a translator, you receive a source document that you need to translate to your target language, to the best of your ability.

A copywriter only receives ideas from his or her client and writes a completely new document, without a source document, just a blank page. And you have to write as if you were your client.

Do you think translators can also become copywriters? In my case, I guess what scares me the most is the blank page and the idea to write like someone else. We all have different writing styles and different ways to convey our thoughts in writing.

I have been reading more about the subject, and it definitely interests me. It is a challenge, but I think that with the proper investigation and preparation, copywriting is something that a translator might find easy to do.

Let me know your thoughts about this topic, I’d be very glad to read them, especially if you have experience both as a translator and as a copywriter.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading! Please, if find this post helpful or interesting, share it with your friends and on social media.

Sin categoría, Social Media

Networking

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about networking.

As a freelance translator, I know how important it is to network with clients, colleagues, potential clients and more.

Nowadays, social media makes networking easier than let’s say ten years ago. But is this way of networking too impersonal? What about the good old fashion meeting in person?

I think that you can definitely learn more from a person if you meet in person, as opposed if you only chat on the different social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it cannot work. You can actually improve your networking skills by using social media options because most people are using them.

You just have to be careful about who you network with and who you trust enough with helping you.

In my case, I like to network with colleagues, especially with those who translate other language pairs, because then we can recommend each other to clients who need translations in either of our language pairs.

Also, it is great to network with influencers and with marketing and networking experts, who can help you out with tips and recommendations.

What kind of networking do you prefer? Are we becoming too impersonal in our approaches? Let me know what you think!

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Certifications, Sin categoría

Certified Translators

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing great! I have recently started the process to get my ProZ.com PRO Certificate as a translator since I am a PRO member now.

This made me think about how certifications are so important for translators and interpreters. They can actually make the difference between getting or not getting a job.

Many clients look for a “seal of approval” that makes them feel more confident about who they are hiring.

And it’s not just ProZ.com, other freelancing platforms are following. Upwork recently announced that you needed to get your identity badge, otherwise, in the near future, you won’t be able to bid on projects. Their process is a lot easier, you just have to upload a photo of a government ID (in my case I used my passport) and have a short video call with one of Upwork’s customer service representatives. Easy!

Upwork Identity Badge

ProZ.com is a bit more complicated, but their customer service representatives are helping me along the way.

What do you think about getting certifications? Which ones do you have? Which ones would you like to have? Let’s start a conversation!