It is more and more important in these times to comunicate with other people from different countries. We encounter people from different countries not only when we go on holiday but at work and in our own towns. You are now just as likely to need a few words to order something from the menu when visiting other countries for a business meeting or while on holiday. Companies need proper professional translation and getting it right is critical, if you want to make a good impression. It is easy to make mistakes when translating, IKEA once tried to sell a workbench called FARTFULL, It was not well received so they had to change the name.
Overcoming the language barrier is becoming one of the most critical issues of current times. People, businesses and governments are all trying to come up with solutions to their needs in order to live, work, travel or operate abroad. It is for this reason that language training continues to be a fast growing industry, as people across the globe find learning a foreign language for life, work, travel or love to be absolute necessity. International organisations are paying for business translation services at an astounding rate. Why are they so important? They are an integral part of communicating with other cultures and building strong relationships, critical for the future success of the company. Militaries are also investing large sums of money in creating translation equipment for troops in foreign countries. And as long as people from different countries continue to speak different languages, this need will not lessen, the importance of translation will only increase.
Getting a freelance translation job?
If you’re multilingual and you’ve got your translation qualifications, accreditation and some contacts in the industry – but how do you now transform your talents into taxable income? With full-time positions increasingly hard to come by, it’s lucky for you that you’ve picked an industry where it pays to go freelance. Being your own business isn’t all working-from-bed and midday television, though – consider the below pros and cons of becoming a translate freelance job or work in companies who offers online translation services like www.translate.net.
The good things
The upsides to going freelance are numerous: you get to control when and how often you work; you can pick and choose the projects, ensuring varied and interesting work; once established, you may be able to charge a higher rate as a freelancer than what you would earn as a full-time employee, especially if you’re qualified to specialise in a particular area, such as business or IT; you can choose to either join a translation agency, who will bring you work but may charge a fee or percentage of earnings, or to strike out on your own and reap the benefits of your hard work building contacts; and you’re free to move and travel as you please – as long as you have a computer and the internet you’re in business.
Getting established is no easy task, but online translation communities like Proz.com can be invaluable for advice and contacts, and once you’re settled with a database of reliable clients you’ll never look back.
The bad things
The major downside to going freelance is maintaining a regular stream of incoming work – one week you may be swamped with projects, while the next you may find yourself spending more time making tea than translating documents.
Dedicating your downtime to fostering relationships with potential clients is the best way to ensure you don’t get caught short – keep a regular stream of communication open with existing and potential clients and you’ll find the extra hours spent on the phone and email pay off financially in the long run.
Being self-employed also means managing your own accounts, invoicing and tax records – setting aside a block of time each week to catch up on administrative duties is the only way to make sure you don’t end up buried under a mountain of paperwork at the end of each financial year. Of course, going freelance also means you’re not entitled to general company benefits like pension schemes, holiday pay, sick pay and health insurance – even though you can take a holiday whenever you feel like it, you’ll need a well-maintained budget to make sure you can always pay the next month’s rent!
Sorry to break the bad news, but when you go freelance, the only person who’s going to make sure you get paid is you. Keeping on top of your invoices by ensuring they’re sent error-free and on time, then keeping a close eye on which get paid, and promptly but politely following up on those which don’t, will help to ensure your hard work doesn’t disappear into an administrative black hole. Also, unless you have a tech support team for your home office, it’s up to you to make sure you’re digitally connected all the time – no phone and no internet means no business. Now get out there and start hustling!