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The translation industry is a relatively small one but it’s also a highly competitive one. Basically, do your research on a translation agency prior to making initial contact and it will certainly pay off; perhaps not immediately because there may not be any work available at the time, so just be patient. Your application must stand out above the rest, and by following these simple steps you should have no problem whatsoever in achieving your translation goals.

Agencies receive many professional, well-written applications; however, they also receive many applications that don’t meet their high standards. Obviously, it’s the professional applications that receive the most attention. It’s extremely unfortunate that applications are submitted to translation agencies that are sub-standard because the application doesn’t necessarily correspond with the talents of the translator concerned.

A translator’s job requires many skills: the art of translation is much more than simply taking text written in one language and transferring it into another. And many people considering translation as a career wonder if being proficient in two languages is sufficient to complete specialized translations. The answer to this question is no, it’s not, and this specifically applies to legal translations.

At one time or another we’ve all asked ourselves the question: ‘Why is our doctor’s handwriting so difficult to read?’ Perhaps it’s because they have so many scripts and other forms to complete each and every day that they’re simply tired of writing, or maybe they don’t want the patient to understand what they’ve written; but the overriding question and cause for concern is this: ‘What would happen if the pharmacist misunderstood the doctor’s writing and issued the wrong medication – a medication that could well make our condition even worse’?

Terminology management allows a translator or translation agency to both store and retrieve updated terms, enabling them to be integrated into a translated document. Many businesses use a terminology management tool for just these purposes. Essentially, a terminology management tool or a database that stores updated information on terms to be used in translation, are both time-saving and energy-saving for both the freelance translator as well as translation agencies.

You may be feeling that you’re done-and-dusted with this client; however, you don’t really want to burn your bridges with them. So, take the firm-but-kind approach and say something like: ‘Thank you so much for the work you’ve sent my way over the past months/years: I’ve really enjoyed working with you. However, I’ve recently started working with higher paying clients, which means that I won’t be accepting translation work that pays less than XX cents. Please keep me in mind should you ever have projects that allow for this type of budget’.

We’ve talked in the past about marketing your translation services to higher paying clients with a view to finally getting rid of (firing or parting ways with) low-paying clients. So, once you’ve achieved this (through your great marketing efforts!) and you’re now attracting better clients, what’s the right way to fire the clients you no longer need?

This year, the winner in the fiction category was Signs Preceding the End of the World, written in Spanish by Yuri Herrera and translated into English by Lisa Dillman, and the winner in the poetry category was Rilke Shake, written in Portuguese by Angélica Freitas and translated into English by Hilary Kaplan.