freelance translation - online
February 16, 2008 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to hear other people's experience in doing online translation work.

I'm looking for work online and found this company. I have previous experience in english-to-french (and some french-to-english) translation and would like to do it as a freelancer, online (I'm not a in major city). I'm looking for advices, and comments about this or other online companies. Thanks mefites!
posted by ddaavviidd to Work & Money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not sure what you mean by "online" translation. Translation agencies have been using the Internet since the late 80s in some cases. I've been a translator since the late 80s, and have had long and productive business relationships with agencies where I've never met anyone at the other end, and in some cases, never even spoken to them on the phone. Unless you're working in-house, all translation work is effectively "online."

That said: Transperfect, from what I understand, operates like a franchise. They have different locations that are more or less independent and are in competition with each other.

You register with the Transperfect mothership, sign up for certain areas of translation (medical, computing, etc) and language pairs, and they test you on those subjects and language pairs. Their testing is pretty rigorous—they've got well-defined metrics, and they expect you to score something like 98% on each test. I'm guessing this means that they don't check your work (a colleague calls this an "envelope to envelope agency"—they take the job out of your envelope, put it in their envelope, and send it along) or budget very little time to check your work.

They get big jobs on short deadlines. They send an e-mail blast to everyone who is in their database as a match for the language pair and subject matter of the job, and the first people to reply get the job (these jobs typically need to be divided among many people). Based on what I see, they frequently don't get enough replies—presumably because the terms aren't very good—so the same request will go out more than once.

That said, this is the only translation agency I've dealt with that is so impersonal. Most agencies have coordinators who get to know your strengths and weaknesses, and allocate work to you accordingly.
posted by adamrice at 9:23 AM on February 16, 2008

I read about something similar just yesterday. Looks like there might be multiple services you could hitch your star to.
posted by rhizome at 9:37 AM on February 16, 2008

Response by poster: thanks Adam--by "online" I indeed meant not in-house.
posted by ddaavviidd at 9:39 AM on February 16, 2008

Best answer: is the major community for translators online. They have forums and a marketplace where you can post your stats for people to find you. But if you want this to be a job and not just a hobby you need to submit your resume to as many agencies as possible. There are a bajillion.
Here is my earlier response to someone looking to do freelance work. You might find some of the information there appropriate. I'm in the business - feel free to me-mail me if you have more specific questions.
posted by Wolfie at 5:52 PM on February 16, 2008

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