• Juliana Castro

How can I become successful as a freelance translator? (Part I)

Hello, dear readers.

No, I have not disappeared from this world, yet I have been pretty busy (which is a good sign when we are freelancers, right?!).

Today, I am to let you know what can you do to become successful in this industry. Of course, these topics are what I believe worked for me (even though I've been a free only since last April), but you can always use them to guide yourself if you, too, are in the same boat as I am.

This post will be divided into 2 parts, so stay tuned for more!

1. Never stop studying!

It might seem awkward, I know, because...studying? Me? I've graduated a decade ago! Yes, you might have, but the second you decided to become a translator, studying became your number one priority (for life!). You shouldn't think that you know everything that is to know after finishing your degree (Bachelor's, Mater's or even Doctorate's). That is a big, big mistake. A degree is what can help us find the right tools to work with so that we can continue to learn by ourselves.

Expert translators in medicine, for example, require to be up-to-date and acknowledge the advances of this industry so they can perform at their very best.

2. Networking!

Once upon a time, John Donne said "No man is an island" and what did he meant by that? It's actually very simple. "No man is an island" expresses the idea that human beings do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive.

A good relationship with other fellow translators can be of great value. Besides the sharing of knowledge, there is always the opportunity to share translation jobs/projects. The truth is that you may get to know a colleague who needs a specific language pair and guess what, that can be you!

If you do not know that many people, participate in workshops and attend events oriented specifically to translators. There are many to choose from, from national to international events - and if you keep up-to-date with APTRAD's official website or they Facebook page, I can guarantee that you will have a hard time to choose only one to attend to.

Do not be afraid of introducing yourself to others!

3. Online presence!

Nowadays, who does not use the internet to promote their services? Social networking pages, like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. can help you spread the word and get you more work!

LinkedIn is particularly great since it is a professional social network where you can share your CV and portfolio with other professionals (in the same business as you or not), connect with other professionals and find job opportunities.

But please, do not forget one very simple, yet very meaningful thing: to work on your profile.

To have a good profile is strictly necessary. First of all, you should update a photo of yourself (let's be professional about this...keep your welcoming smile, of course, you don't want to seem like someone who doesn't have any friends, but weird poses or puckered kissing lips, no please!). Second, type in a nice description of yourself and the services you have to offer, try to be clear about your skills and experience and mention one or two aspects that can separate you from all the other translators.


Now that you know at least three things that can help become more successful, what are you waiting for? Sit at your desk and get your things going!

See you next Friday!

Yours faithfully,

Juliana Castro


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