My tried and tested tip for getting your first translation jobs? - Offer your services in German English translation online.
If you’re on the lookout for new clients, or are new to German translation and looking to gain experience, then rather than using an online jobs platform specifically designed for professional translators - which is what you’ll do later on with more experience or when you’re fully qualified - try advertising your German English translation services online via a general freelance job portal.
of the major challenges of working in German translation is starting
out! How do I find jobs if I have no previous experience?
When I started, word of mouth was very important in getting my first jobs. Being a native English speaker was seen as qualification enough to be a German translator. Things have changed now – for the better – but it does mean that starting a freelance career in translation can be tricky.
My suggestion - try advertising your German English translation service online:
1. Most individuals (rather than companies) rarely need translation services and aren't aware of translator communities such as ProZ. As a result, if they need online language translation services they are more likely to search more generally– e.g on a freelancer portal.
2. And as most translators will be focusing on advertising their services on translator portals, you’ll be facing much less competition.
Let’s face it, people who look to purchase translation from a general job exchange platform are usually trying to save money and/or don’t understand the input that goes into a good translation.
Your benefit –
buyers are usually a little less discriminating when it comes experience.
But you’ll need to be honest – make clear what qualifications you do have (language knowledge) and stress your enthusiasm. Are you qualified/nearly qualified in translation? What relevant experience do you have?
Try both German (your customer will most likely be German-speaking!) and English platforms. It is usually free to post your services – repost regularly as new postings often go to the top of the list.
Top German language portals:
Top English language portals:
Platforms such as these - especially the local ones - are often used by private people rather than companies. As a result, they may not be willing to pay “professional” rates.
I’ve had jobs such as translating speeches for weddings as well as company project proposals.
I tested some of these platforms earlier on in my career and have certainly found that Kijiji.at has given me jobs.
I explain how German translators charge for freelance translation jobs here .
If you are just starting out in translation, then your fees should probably reflect this.
In terms of general pricing policy, remember: it's always easier to reduce your prices than to raise them!
The benefit of offering your services in German to English translation online on a general freelance job platform is that, when you are more experienced, you can move into more professional circles (translation agencies, online translator communities) and start afresh – and with prices which better reflect your experience (i.e. higher!).