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Portfolio Building (and samples)

selenab19
Ace Contributor
Selena B Member Since: Jun 2, 2017
1 of 7

Hello!

 

I'd like to work on my portfolio, so at first I figured I'd just include stuff from projects I got here, but that's taking a while and the single file on my profile is looking lonely Smiley Sad

 

After spending hours and hours reading discussions regarding this topic, I've seen many people suggesting we make our own independent translations of different things to give the portfolios some variety, but I don't even know where to start, what to translate.

 

On the same page, I've also seen people saying it's a good idea to make your own samples and then attach them to proposals when bidding for a project that's similar to said sample, but I'm in stuck in the same spot: I don't really know what to do. Where do I even get stuff to translate? 

 

I know it's kind of a dumb thing, but I was hoping some of you seasoned writers and, especially, translators could help me out?

 

Thanks!

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 7

You need to take time to create unique, impressive portfolio pieces that are not paid work, but which demonstrate the types of work you can do for clients.

 

You can translate writings that are in the public domain. You can hire people to write original works for you to translate. You can ask friends to write material in their native language, which you then translate. You can find articles and stories and blog posts, etc., that you like, and then ask the writers or owners of that material for permission to translate it so that you can include the translations in your portfolio. If you offer to give them the translations for free, there is a good chance they'll give you permission.

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tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 7

@Preston H wrote:

 

You can find articles and stories and blog posts, etc., that you like, and then ask the writers or owners of that material for permission to translate it so that you can include the translations in your portfolio. If you offer to give them the translations for free, there is a good chance they'll give you permission.


 This is an excellent idea. Many years ago, a woman contacted me asking permission to translate a book I'd written into Chinese. She was traveling to China and wanted to buy several copies to share with a group she was visiting there and also provide them with a translation. I sold her the books at cost and she provided me with a lovely bound ricepaper copy of the text of my book in Chinese.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 7

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Preston H wrote:

 

You can find articles and stories and blog posts, etc., that you like, and then ask the writers or owners of that material for permission to translate it so that you can include the translations in your portfolio. If you offer to give them the translations for free, there is a good chance they'll give you permission.


 This is an excellent idea. Many years ago, a woman contacted me asking permission to translate a book I'd written into Chinese. She was traveling to China and wanted to buy several copies to share with a group she was visiting there and also provide them with a translation. I sold her the books at cost and she provided me with a lovely bound ricepaper copy of the text of my book in Chinese.


 I love that - I bet you still treasure that...

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
5 of 7

Selena, may I suggest you delete this line from your profile?

"I've never worked as a professional translator before, but I started translating parts of Young Adult novels as a hobby in my teens, so I do have the technical experience required."

 

It does not instill confidence in your translation skills in the minds of prospective buyers.  

 

Rather, to build-up your portfolio, find  a few articles - news items, short excerpts from websites or YA books (as you mentioned) and do translations.  Then create pieces for your portfolio showing the original text adjacent to the translated version.

 

As a writer I'm not qualified to suggest how you present the items but take a look at successful translator portfolios and see how they do it.  

 

Note: permission from original source is the best way to go unless the item you opt to translate is considered Public Domain.

selenab19
Ace Contributor
Selena B Member Since: Jun 2, 2017
6 of 7

@Wendy C wrote:

Selena, may I suggest you delete this line from your profile?

"I've never worked as a professional translator before, but I started translating parts of Young Adult novels as a hobby in my teens, so I do have the technical experience required."

 

It does not instill confidence in your translation skills in the minds of prospective buyers.  

 



 Yeah, I realized that, too. Thanks. I'm still working on bettering my profile.

patsfranc
Active Member
Patricia F Member Since: Jun 21, 2017
7 of 7

Hi Selena,

 

There are some sources where you can find texts to translate without having problems related to copyrights. I use texts available at Project Gutenberg or published under creative commons license, Wikipedia, for example, is a wonderful resource of samples for texts licensed under creative commons.

 

I only use samples of real jobs when I am sending a sample in private to a client and being careful to not expose my clients' identities. For a public portfolio, I prefer to use texts that were already published and with public copyright license.

 

Take your time to create your portfolio. It is better always working on building and improving it than to publish and leave it without any update.

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