The translation market really explodes with a growing demand for several years. Yet competition between Chinese translators intensifies, among others, due to the emergence of free machine translation solutions. This competition is particularly tough for young translators who have not yet solid customer portfolio.
In response, some choose to lower their rates. But the best solution is obviously to provide the best quality service. But how do you become the best in your field?
We have identified some good habits for you to inspire you and help you to become a better translator.
Quality, always Quality
Quality is your watchword! Do not cause damage to your customers by producing bad translations that may have negative implications for them. For example, a drug user’s manual translation can have serious consequences for not only your customers, but also their own customers. We encourage you to work as much as possible in the languages that you know best to faithfully reproduce the message to be translated. You can also use the terminology databases in the field and ask for help from other more experienced linguists. Never forget that your client has given you full confidence in choosing you for his translations.
Always revise translations
As a prerequisite for a quality translation, proofreading must be systematic. Spelling, grammar, conjugation, punctuation, should be examined several times if necessary. In fact, you need to be careful and make sure you have not left any errors. Feel free to read your translation aloud to identify potential problems invisible in writing or have it read by other translators.
The customer is king but …
Building a customer base takes time, so it is necessary to think long term. You have an interest in your customers being happy with your partnership and repeatedly appeal to you for future projects. But remain in control of choosing your customers! You are not obliged to accept all the demands that they have. By focusing on customers who respect payment deadlines, with whom you have a good relationship and do not seek to constantly negotiate your rates, you will save a lot of time and energy.
Seek to improve and progress
As a beginner, volunteering to translate can be a good approach to progress with associations who may not have the budget dedicated to quality translations. You will be subject to the same problems of time or location with paid translations and so you will be better prepared to face such situations.
Of course, it’s a normal practice to translate documents of interest (it is important to have a specialty), but feel free to also get out of your comfort zone. For this, the treatment of volunteer translation projects is, again, a good solution but it must remain limited. All translators experience peak periods. Grow these periods by embracing new challenges (new specialty, new language).
Get organized to manage time
Time is one of your priorities as a translator. Late translations negatively impact your schedule. It is advisable to always leave some time to handle unexpected issues and especially to develop your own brand.
Stand firm on your rate
Set the cheapest price that you can accept and hold onto it to find customers willing to pay for good quality translations. If you pull your prices down, it will become more and more difficult for your career. The price war is against the image of quality you want to give your customers. In contrast, careful not to overestimate your skills, it’s also a common mistake.
Help each other and build brand
Participate in discussion groups with other translators. Do not hesitate to ask for advice and review your translations and helping other translators to find the meaning of complex words … In short, grow your network! The translators’ community is a highly competitive one. There are many internet translators communities for you to stay abreast of the latest trends. All this will help you build a strong reputation on the web especially if you are a freelancer.