15 First-Rate Resources for Starting Translators

15 First-Rate Resources for Starting Translators

I have been in the translation business for five years and I always enjoy helping starting translators. I often receive questions about starting a career as a professional and freelance translator, but I have noticed that answering every person individually requires too much time. This is why I write this blog.

I aim to create an ultimate list of resources that I feel you should read as a starting translator. There is much great content out there but unfortunately, also much dated content. I mostly share content from other people, but I also add four blog posts I have written on this topic. The resources are divided into blog posts, websites, and books, so you can pick the form of your preference.

‘15 First-Rate Resources for Starting Translators’ I have created the ultimate list of resources that starting translators should read. The resources are divided into blog posts, websites and books. This way, you can find all the answers to your questions if you are thinking about starting a career in the translation business. Read the blog at https://budgetvertalingonline.nl/translations/15-first-rate-resources-for-starting-translators/

10 blog posts for starting translators

  • Five things you need to know before starting working as a translator/interpreter / no longer available

by Tim Parker

This blog post highlights the industry and the best customers. It also addresses the question of whether to be a freelancer or work for an agency.

by René Seidel

This blog post talks about the business side of translating. It provides you with information on how to set up your translation business. Marketing your translation services is key, so be sure to know how you can best do this.

by Jill Sommer

This blog post discusses a real question that Sommer has received from a starting translator: how can I best hunt for translation jobs? She gives her ten pieces of advice and asks people to comment on them, resulting in even more tips.

by Job Monkey

Like Seidel’s blog post, this blog post addresses the business side of translating. It also offers tips on etiquette and payment.

by Alyssa Gregory

If you want a quick read, this blog post is your go-to source. It offers six pros and five cons. It is a good start and overview, but please make sure to do some more research.

Blog posts by me

by Greetje den Holder

Saint Jerome is the patron saint of translators, so you should know a thing or two about him. I have listed five fun facts, so you have the basic background information.

by Greetje den Holder 

You will sometimes hear customers say that they only want to pay for a specific term once.  I address this issue in my blog and give you three examples of how that would work out.

by Greetje den Holder 

You will sometimes be asked whether you are a native speaker in a certain language. I discuss this question here, so you can form your own opinion on it. This way, you know what to answer when you are asked this question yourself.

by Greetje den Holder 

As a freelance translator, you are always hunting for translation jobs. In addition, as working at home can be quite lonely, finding someone with whom you can chat offers a nice break from work and keeps you sane.  Online translation communities can be the answer. Here, you find the top five.

Websites for starting translators

What I like about this website is that it is an extensive piece of work. TranslateMedia even calls their website “the definitive guide to freelance translation.” You can download the website as an E-book too if you prefer reading the chapters offline.  The guide is divided into three parts: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

The Beginner section addresses the translation industry, gives answers to FAQs, and provides information about educational requirements and credentials. The Intermediate section addresses how to go freelance; it includes tips on how to set up a business, acquire clients, set rates and stand out from the crowd. The Advanced section is for translators who are already freelancing and who would like to earn more, to be more organized, and to take their career to the next level.

I like the tagline: “if you’re not a monkey, stop working for peanuts!” It addresses the issue of which translation rates to ask and other payment-related topics. The website’s aim is to provide “support and resources to professional translators and interpreters in demanding and receiving a fair and honest living from their work.”

Books for starting translators

The following three books are frequently mentioned on fora and blogs as a great tool to get started as a translator.

by Corinne McKay 

As the author says: “Now in its third edition with over 10,000 copies in print, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator has become a go-to reference for beginning and experienced translators alike. With over 240 pages of practical advice about how to launch and run a successful translation business.”

by Judy and Dagmar Jenner 

As the twin sisters say: “The “Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation” book gives freelance linguists all the tools they need to go from “just” linguists to being Entrepreneurial Linguists. It includes easy-to-understand lessons based on teachings of business school, with many case studies, examples, etc. The book focuses on how to market yourself, how to reap the benefits of web 2.0, what economics can do for you, advertising strategies, how to streamline your bookkeeping, how to build long-term relationships, insightful tips on productivity, time management, and life/work balance, professional development, and much, much more.”

by Petro Dudi 

As the author says: “Your personal guide to becoming a proficient translator in no time. Take advantage of 17 years of Translation Industry experience distilled into 146 pages of pure, easy-to-follow knowledge.”

More translation blog posts?

Interested in reading more translation blog posts? Here is Why to Include Social Media Translations in Your Marketing Strategy. Don’t forget to share with other starting translators!