Freelancing Archive

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

Freelance translation FAQ, part 1

I love to read lists of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on topics that interest me, so I thought that I would periodically post some freelance translation FAQs. The questions are based on my experience and opinions and those of translators I’ve worked with and taught. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the Comments

Why I use open source software

Since I launched my freelance business in 2002, I have used free and open source software almost exclusively. This model has worked very well for me, and I think that it’s enabled me to work better, faster and more affordably than if I had used the proprietary software equivalents. There are some not so lofty

Freelance success-a case in point

Speaking of the go-getter spirit, I’m hard-pressed to think of a better example than Omar Postigo-Martell, who owns and operates Well Translated, a Spanish<>English agency here in Colorado. I first met Omar at a talk I gave over the summer at the University of Denver’s translation certificate program, and not long after that he left

The chicken or the egg

I’ve noticed that for many beginning translators, getting those first few clients is a chicken and egg issue; most agencies, which form the bulk of most beginners’ client bases, aren’t eager to work with translators who are very inexperienced. But if clients won’t work with you, how do you ever get enough experience to make