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New to freelance translation

Hey everyone, I just found this community. The thought of possibly trying my hand at freelance translation projects has been at the back of my mind for a couple years now, and I've decided it's time to give it a shot. The thing is that, while most, if not all of my job experience has included translation between Bulgarian and English to a serious degree, it's always been as part of a long-term contract, working for a large corporate entity. Which means that I practically have no idea how to market myself as a private provider, what rates to charge for my work etc. I do realize I'm realistically entry level at the moment, and am not expecting to make as much as many of you guys who, from what I see around this site, have been doing this for noticeably longer and have much more experience. But I'd really appreciate any tips on getting started, setting up my profile properly to avoid discrepancies, choosing my rates and building a decent portfolio as a newcomer. 

Community Member

Here is some advice. First, you need to state explicitly in your job title and in your profile overview that you translate from English into Bulgarian, to avoid any confusion and unfit invites.


You need to remove the following skill: Translation Bulgarian English. You do not translate into English. Don't even try. You do that and you'll stumble upon a client that is a native speaker of English and they will ruin your profile with a bad rating. A professional translator only translates into a language they have a native command of. You are not a native speaker of English and it shows.


You need to change the Languages section on your profile so it reflects your language skills. You are a fluent speaker of English and a native speaker of Bulgarian. Which is what your clients want.


You need to rewrite your overview. Right now it is all about you. Clients don't care about you, they care about what you can do for them, so this is what you need to focus on. You are providing two different services: English into Bulgarian translation and editing of Bulgarian content. Explain in detail what you do and how it will help them. Actually you may want to add proofreading as well. I mean if you have the perfect skills in Bulgarian that are needed to sell editing and translation services, you definitely can proofread as well.


You need to add some English to Bulgarian translation samples to your portfolio. You certainly cannot use the material from your company, so you need to make some ad hoc pieces.


And finally, be careful. In-house translation and in-house use of a foreign language are definitely not the same as working for clients. This is why you think you can offer symmetric translation. Because this is what you do in-house. Don't try this with clients.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Member

You can still put your experience as an employee in the job experience section of your profile. Including your job details (duties, responsiblities, etc.) will help your profile pop up when clients search for your specialties. I also agree with everything Rene said.

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