If Only Everything in Life was as Reliable as a Translation

looking for a reliable translator

You’ve hired a translator to have a document translated into French, thinking that all is tickety boo. Suddenly, everything goes so wrong.

Ever had some pretty Bad experiences with translators?

15 things that could go wrong with your translator

_ Poor translation: Typos, Spelling mistakes, Inconsistencies, Omissions, Terminology is all wrong

_ Translator has clearly not proofread his/her work before delivery

_ Has only a basic school level/understanding of the English language

_ Poor writing skills/no subtleties in the French language

_ Tells you he/she is familiar with a subject when it is clear they are not

_ You get No feedback on the current translating job. Translator is not answering their phone. Worse, they are clearly Ignoring your calls

_ Your Instructions are being followed

_ Wrong format used

_ Translator changed the Names of all (200) files, for no apparent reason

“I’ve been ill, my car/computer/house/dog broke down”

_ Translator tells you his/her computer has crashed and they’ve lost everything, preferably 2 days before delivery of a large and very important document

_ LATE DELIVERY or NO DELIVERY without notification

_ Translator is giving up in the middle of a project or simply disappearing and never sending you the translation?

You’ve probably heard/seen it all, when they are disorganized or simply don’t care

_ Translator HIRED somebody else to do the job behind your back

_ Using Machine Translation

_ Claiming they’re using a CAT tool but they DON’T and/or don’t know how

_ They’re being RUDE and/or lack of professionalism

_ Translator contacting your client to steal him away from you or bad-mouth you

Finding the right English into French translator for your translation project can be a Real Nightmare

Well, at Extra Speech, I work differently and this is why:

Meeting the basic requirements and more

  • French Native
  • Highly Proficient in English: Lived 14 years in the UK, South Africa, Australia and Canada

Years of study and practice

  • 25+ years experience in the translation industry
  • Several million words translated
  • Qualified:
    • MA in Translation Studies from the University of Portsmouth
    • LEA (Hons) in English Language from the Université of Lyon, France

Relevant Expertise to Your project

Only accept subjects I know well – If I’m out of my depth, I will find you the right translator for your translation project

Better Translations

  • A translator who lives in France, with the target audience
  • Natural French – A Translation that won’t feel like a translation

Accuracy and Technical Expertise

  • All your CAT Tool projects handled and a Greater Consistency using SDL Studio (preferred), memoQ or WordFast Pro
  • Right Terminology, with MultiTerm and glossaries compiled over the years for your benefit
  • Most file formats handled, with documents whose layout mirrors the original as closely as possible

Giving You peace of mind

  • Confidentiality and discretion, according to the Code of Professional Conduct of the Société Française des Traducteurs (SFT)
  • Your translation on time, When You Want it:
    • Out of 78 projects this year, every one of which I delivered by the deadline, more than half of which I delivered early!

Making your life easy, saving your time

  • A translator who reads and adheres to your instructions
  • Independent but ability to work with other translators and proofreaders
  • Easy to contact
  • Easy payment
    • Any currency via PayPal or Transfer

So, if you are looking for a smooth translation experience with a reliable English to French translator, contact me now.

15 tips to get a translation job with an agency

How to be a successful freelance translator

My freelance translation business hardly ever advertise for a translation job, since I do most of my work in house or with the help of a tiny team of trusted other translators.

However, nearly every day, I receive an average of a dozen emails from translators offering their translation services with different language combinations and areas of expertise. Unfortunately, these types of emails are written in such a way that it ensures they very often end up in my spam folder or in my trash folder.
Here are some of the tips you could find helpful to increase your chances of getting a translation job from translation agencies.

Research your translation agencies

Find out who they really are and to whom your email should be addressed to. If you are sending your message without specifying whom you are sending it to, it is very likely to be sent to the spam folder. Most of your prospects are translation agencies? Try and find out their email address: many translation organisations prefer candidates to fill out a questionnaire on their web site for new translators to contact them. If this is the way they like it and this is how they want to gather data from freelance translators, if you contact them by email, you’re wasting your time.

Find out the types of translation jobs the agency offers

You need to know what areas of expertise they are looking for in their translators. This will help you create an even more targeted email with a better chance of success. A translation agency will be more interested in receiving an email that says ‘I’m an English into French freelance translator with a degree in civil engineering and more than 15 years’ experience in translating user guides for the automobile industry’ than a standard ‘I translate from English, French, German and Portuguese into Greek’.

Keep the Subject of the email as brief as possible

A great subject, for example, might be ‘English > French translator with many years (15) of experience, specialised in civil engineering’ which is absolutely better than, let’s say ‘French Freelance Translator/Proofreader’ and far better than ‘Seeking opportunity at your esteem company’, often a subject line I receive from misguided translators

Write your message very carefully

If it happens that you are not a native speaker of the language that you are writing into, I suggest that you have a native speaker proof read your copy. Keep in mind: the goal of your email is to persuade your translation agency to open your CV.

Don’t say that you translate from your language – French – into a second language

Doing such a thing will guarantee that the translation company thinks that you are not a professional. Unless you are one of those extremely rare people who are native speakers of several languages, that is to say you are a true bilingual, you should say so but you must be prepared to explain how you became a true bilingual. For example, ‘My mother is French, my father is British, each of my parents decided to speak to me in their native language from my very early age and while I was living in Switzerland, I studied from grade 1 until high school in an international school where most subjects were taught in English.

Mention your language pair and your name within the heading of your CV

For example, “Olivier Den Hartigh, English into French translator”.

Keep your CV as brief as possible

No further than 1 page if you don’t have a considerable experience and no more than 2 pages in other circumstances.

Don’t include your translation rates in your email or your CV

If you want to speak about rates, that should come later.

Do not include any references

Provide them at a later stage if the translation agency requires them.

Ensure your CV is written without errors

Once again, if it’s written in a language that is not your native language, envisage having it proofread.

Localize your CV according to your target

For example, a CV for a prospect who is French should really contain your photo, but not for an American company.

Make sure your CV contains all the information that is important

Forget the irrelevant information. If you have a very small experience, it is all right for your CV to include information concerning other types of translation job that you have done. As soon as you start having experience in translation, delete the unnecessary information.

Make certain that all the given information you provide in your email and in your CV can be verified

Information you should include in your CV

Your working language pairs, how to contact you, your translation experience, other translation job that is relevant, education, expertise with certain applications (as an example, CAT tools or DTP programs – don’t mention in the various applications that you know how to use Word or Excel – translation agencies will assume that you know how to work those.

Information you should not include in your CV

Private information such as your age or marital status. If you find out that the translation agency you are targeting usually includes this type of information, I suggest you use your best judgement and decide by yourself whether you wish to include this information or not. Moreover, you should not include information such as your interests and your hobbies unless your hobbies contribute to your area of expertise. For example, “I play golf, that is something I am passionate about and this experience helps me when I translate notices about golf equipment”.

Finally, something utterly crucial:
You must remember that you are the person who decides about your rates, not the translation agencies. In the same way, translation agencies are free to simply accept your rates, or refuse them or try to make you lower those rates. This is simply business.