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How to start working !

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Active Member
Seagull F Member Since: Jul 27, 2017
1 of 19

I have created my profile, but only 40% is completed. I dont know how to complete the rest since I don't have ant specific project right now and I haven't any special experience ine the field aprt from experience at the university doing translation assignments which is of course consisting of alot of translation documents: media, business, technical ...and so on.

So any help please? I have been blocked and cant get a work to start with even if I make many bids. However, no client responds to my bids? Im confused! what to do please?

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Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 19

how do you expect to take on projects if you have experience in nothing? maybe the system is giving you a clue.

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Active Member
Seagull F Member Since: Jul 27, 2017
3 of 19
 

Thank you Jennifer for your observation. None is born with previous experience. It is acquired through work and difficulties one faces in everyday life. My point was that I'm preparing a MA degree in translation, and I have  in fact translated many documents and articles my teachers brought to class. These documùents concerns media, business, and technical documents. Legal and medicat translation is still coming next semester. The problem is that I haven't had the chance to get into field practice. That's why I'm trying to use the system as you mentioned ( upwork for instance ) to sharpen my experience. This of course needs some guidance and some help. And I 'm sure these two will be put me on the right rail, because I'm sure I can give a quality product.  However, the problem that imposes itself is that how can a client trust me for the first time and my profile shows "newbie" even if I can translate almost like, if not better than, an exprienced one. I bid on client's request and I see the attached file. I can do it with a better quality, but the client doesnt trust me with "NO" previous work on my profile. And that's the big question facing me right now!

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 19

Seagull, you have a few problems.

 

One is that although you are correct and no one is "born with experience," freelancing is largely for the experienced. Clients come to Upwork and other freelancing platforms to hire experts--people who they know can reliably perform tasks that they may be unable to complete in-house. Often, when a skill like translation is involved, the client doesn't have the expertise to judge the quality of the work and must be able to rely on the professional.

 

Another problem is that the Arabic translation market on Upwork is flooded with freelancers. You have quite a lot of competition, much from more experienced freelancers.

 

You also call yourself out as an amateur by offering bi-directional translation, a practice that is frowned upon by respected and credentialed translators. 

 

Finally, your English is not good enough to be translating into English. Your English writing, while understandable, is a mass of small grammatical errors, strange word choices and other problems that would render a document useless for anything beyond gaining basic understanding of the content.

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John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
5 of 19

Tiffany is correct, you shouldn't be attempting to translate into English until you have more proficiency with English. To take one example, in your reply to Jennifer, you wrote,

"And I 'm sure these two will be put me on the right rail, because I'm sure I can give a quality product."

 

Just one sentence, with at least 2 obvious errors in it. The correct version should read something like this:

"And I 'm sure these two will put me on the right track, because I'm sure I can give a quality product." And that's not to say it can't be improved further, for instance, by replacing "give" with another verb, such as deliver or provide, because you want to be paid for your product, so you probably don't want to give it.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
6 of 19

@John K wrote:

Tiffany is correct, you shouldn't be attempting to translate into English until you have more proficiency with English.


Not even then, John. The first skill a translator needs to have is writing in his or her native language (*). They teach you writing techniques in translation classes, way before they teach you linguistics. It is only in your native language that you can demonstrate the best of your writing skills. This is the reason why professional translators only translate into their native language.

 

(*) A person's native language may not be their usual language anymore in some cases. They may even have attained a native command of another language while their native language skills had faded away, but those cases are exceptions.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
7 of 19

@Rene K wrote:

(*) A person's native language may not be their usual language anymore in some cases. They may even have attained a native command of another language while their native language skills had faded away, but those cases are exceptions.


 It so happens I'm one of those cases, by the way. English is not my mother tongue, but it became my native language in my late teens. It's mysterious how without being aware of a transition, you end up thinking in a different language than the one one you grew up with.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
8 of 19

@John K wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

(*) A person's native language may not be their usual language anymore in some cases. They may even have attained a native command of another language while their native language skills had faded away, but those cases are exceptions.


 It so happens I'm one of those cases, by the way. English is not my mother tongue, but it became my native language in my late teens. It's mysterious how without being aware of a transition, you end up thinking in a different language than the one one you grew up with.


One learns a language very fast at a young age. Late teens is almost late so it usually requires more time than let's say when you're 7 or 10, but eventually if you grow up in a country and if you use the local language daily, it becomes your native language.

 

What was your mother tongue? Were you speaking it at home when young? Do you still speak it?

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
9 of 19

Rene, Japanese is my mother tongue, so until my mother passed away, I spoke it regularly. When I moved to Hawaii from the US mainland, I did a stint early on as a Japanese-speaking tour guide, with mixed results, but that's the last time I spoke it with regularity, so it's rusty, especially in vocabulary.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Ace Contributor
Noelia B Member Since: Apr 25, 2017
10 of 19

@Rene K wrote:

@John K wrote:

Tiffany is correct, you shouldn't be attempting to translate into English until you have more proficiency with English.


Not even then, John. The first skill a translator needs to have is writing in his or her native language (*). They teach you writing techniques in translation classes, way before they teach you linguistics. It is only in your native language that you can demonstrate the best of your writing skills. This is the reason why professional translators only translate into their native language.

 _____

 

That is absolutely right. Sometimes I get invitations to jobs requiring translation into English and politely decline them because I do not feel I can provide a high-quality task, despite I've been working with and for English speakers for 15 years now, simply because I am not English native; my Spanish will always be better than my English.  

 

On the other hand, a couple of days ago I applied to a job requiring translation into Spanish (Spain), even though one of the requirements was to also have a native level of English. I just explained the reason why I was bidding even considering my English is Fluent and not Native or Bilingual. I focused on the fact that I was required to translate into Spanish, and proved my Spanish native level and writing skills when answering a couple of questions the Client wanted to be answered in Spanish. There you go... I got the job. Smiley Happy 

 

I'm not saying this always works for me to get jobs, 'cause it doesn't, but this is always my line of thinking so I act and bid consequently.

 

 

 

 

Noelia B.
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