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People gravitate to freelance translation from a range of career paths and experiences. For some, it has been their dream since high school. For others, circumstance has led to their current role.
Whatever the reasons, those working in the freelance translation sector need to be the best they can possibly be in order to use their time efficiently, reduce their stress levels (by minimising the chance of unhappy clients) and maximise their earning potential. As such, here are our 5 top tips for being the best freelance translator you can be.
1. Know your skills
Consider your skills and experience when it comes to freelance translation. What do you like translating the most and what do you have a natural aptitude for? If you’re working on the kind of documents you enjoy most, chances are you will be more motivated, work harder and be less likely to procrastinate. So take the time to examine your personal preferences and then go after the work that meets them.
2. Understand your pace
This is an essential skill for freelance translators. You need to know how fast you can work in order to quote appropriately and avoid disappointing your clients. Knowing your pace will also mean you don’t spend hours of what should be your free time catching up on overdue translations.
3. Think about your workflow
Everyone has their own patterns of work. Some people are more focused in the morning, others don’t really get going until after lunch. Some people work best in absolute silence, while others need the constant hum of music or the radio in the background to keep them motivated. Understand what works best for you and you will find yourself working more productively each and every day.
4. Never stop learning
Nourish your passion for language by regular learning activities, including immersion through film, music, social groups, social media and trips overseas. Surround yourself with the languages that you love and embrace every wonderful quirk!
5. Listen to your translation
For every translation that you produce, read a few sentences or paragraphs aloud. Listen to the flow of the language and ensure that it sounds right to your trained linguist’s ear.
What other tips can you share with your fellow freelance translators to ensure that they are operating at maximum productivity levels and being the best they can be? Share your thoughts via the comments.