Freelancing Archive

Paid by the word or paid by the hour?

At last year’s American Translators Association conference in San Francisco, I overheard a few conversations about how the translation industry would be affected if translators started billing by the hour rather than by the word. In some cases and for some jobs, translators do bill by the hour, but the tried-and-true per-word charge is still

The art of saying no

Recently, several newly established freelance translators have asked me about how and when to say no to clients who are offering translation projects. It’s a delicate topic, since as freelancers we need to accept work in order to stay in business, but we also need to decline work in order to maintain a good quality

Which English?

Rumor, or should we say rumour, has it that many (or at least more than usual) translators on this side of the Atlantic are being approached to translate into what we commonly refer to here as U.K. English. I would guess that this has more to do with the falling U.S. dollar and weakening U.S.

Strategies for sustaining a freelance business

Michelle Vranizan Rafter’s blog has a great post entitled “Freelancers’ Strategies for Prospering in Bad Times.” Although my sense is that most translators are not feeling the hit of the economic downturn, this post has some very useful information for growing your freelance business under any circumstances; even a beginning freelance translator could apply this

Dear Client…

Interestingly enough, I’ve been asked more than once, “How does a freelance translator fire a client?” Although “part ways with” might be a better term than “fire,” this phenomenon definitely exists, and is a customer relations issue that translators have to deal with. I think that there are a few reasons for this: the supply

The new ATA compensation survey: some interesting statistics

The current issue of the American Translators Association‘s Chronicle includes an article on the results of the most recent ATA compensation survey, which uses data gathered for the year 2006. The survey is interesting enough that I’m thinking of purchasing the full report ($45 for ATA members, $65 for nonmembers), but even the summary that

Getting things done

When asked why they failed at freelancing, many former freelancers say that they simply couldn’t deal with the unstructured nature of the freelance day and ended up working out/watching TV/cleaning the closets etc. instead of working. Succeeding as a freelancer (translator or any other freelance job) requires that you be able to meet tight deadlines

The 9 out of 10 factor

A few years ago, I wrote an article for NewsForge about Linux consultants, and in the course of researching the article, I interviewed Sean Reifschneider, the founder of Colorado-based Linux consultancy tummy.com ltd.. When I asked Sean to compare working for someone else with working for himself, he said “At the large company [I worked