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I'm looking to begin work translating.


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johnrichardandersen

I have studied chinese for years and lived in taiwan for a couple years. I am now attending university in the united states and am looking for some work to help pay the bills. I have always loved chinese and i am currently studying manufacturing science. I have thought that providing translation for chinese sellers that sell to english speaking regions of the world would be a good way to make use of my knowledge of chinese and manufacturing. I have reached out to sellers in the couple places Ive been able to find them but finding their contacts has still been the largest obstacle. Anyone have any experience doing that or have any tips on how i can find some work doing translation that would work well for a busy college student? Thanks!

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Tomsima

Great advice from Lu (as always!) 

 

From my experience, cold-calling to get the ball rolling is painful but does work, and improving your English is very important, as the standard required to prove why clients should be paying you for so-called quality is very high.

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My mom is a French translator who got started by getting accredited with the ATA (American Translators Association), which you can get through a test for a translation-direction. You can also have a look at project-bidding sites such as Proz, but you might wind up depressed. Most languages, not just Chinese, are also getting squeezed on rates these days(/decades). Freelance translating is definitely not easy money... and many agencies require translators to purchase expensive software like Trados or MemoQ. I'd consider it much more of a career choice than a side gig.

 

On a related note, I'm curious if anyone has experience translating more interesting materials as a hobby, and whether you've found it to be a fulfilling pastime.

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I wrote a post about doing translations as a hobbie: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/60261-a-workflow-for-amateur-translators/?tab=comments#comment-470803

 

I find it fulfilling and I think it’s very good language practice, but on the other hand it’s very difficult and I’ve thought about giving it up multiple times before reaching my goal of translating 100 songs. But the nice thing about doing it as a hobbie is that I can start a difficult translation and then put it aside for months or even completely abandon it.

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Tomsima

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:10 AM, Ohlan said:

You can also have a look at project-bidding sites such as Proz, but you might wind up depressed. Most languages, not just Chinese, are also getting squeezed on rates these days(/decades)

 

Very true. I've never got any well paid gigs on proz, just agencies doing the rounds low balling people new to the industry. I guess that's what you get for being an unregulated market. I only take direct-to-client jobs, which means I don't have a steady income stream from translating, but I really enjoy the translation process and get paid well to do it this way. That being said, the amount of time and experience you need to sink in order to be able to make those kind of demands still means it would have to be something you pursue more than just a side hustle.

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Leslie Frank
On 11/28/2020 at 4:10 PM, Ohlan said:On a related note, I'm curious if anyone has experience translating more interesting materials as a hobby, and whether you've found it to be a fulfilling pastime.


Ok, not so much hobby but my life's pursuit--I purposefully sought jobs that were meaningful, mission wise, but usually end up becoming disenchanted or disappointed. More recently, I have been seeking jobs with a Chinese language component to it and healthcare is an obvious choice because everyone needs to look after their health in some way, shape or form, and obviously helping monolingual Chinese speakers navigate their healthcare is bound to be fulfilling.
 

Mostly.

 

It can be a bit exasperating when some folks want to continue risky behavior (some ppl still question the existence of COVID, or its severity), or overwhelming if they've not bothered to attend to claims or health issues because they didn't understand their insurance or English.

 

For the most part, it's fulfilling to help patients understand their condition, how treatment works, resolve a claims misunderstanding, etc. My Chinese skills improve with all my cases, and my own drive to learn more by way of researching for my podcast, and more recently my YouTube channel makes the whole experience that much more fulfilling, albeit time draining.

 

I'm sorry to get up on my soapbox again, but I have always recommended ppl who are learning a language to start their own podcast and/or videos because unless you don't give a crap about what you sound like, you're gonna do the research to craft the sentences and practice, practice, practice until you sound decent and that can only help you in the long run.

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