Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator

Rate this book
Are you bilingual? Have you ever dreamed of the freedom of working for yourself? Are you already a translator or interpreter, but would like to be earning more money or managing your business more efficiently? If so, let How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator show you how to achieve your goals. Written by a certified translator who built her own freelance translation business from the ground up, this book teaches readers how to find and keep well-paying translation clients, pursue translator certification, work effectively from home, develop translation specializations, and more! Visit the author's website: www.translatewrite.com An excellent introductory text. How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator gives the aspiring translator a comprehensive idea of what to expect and how to succeed in this burgeoning virtual and international industry. -The Rat Race Rebellion virtual work e-newsletter

141 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2006

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Corinne McKay

12 books8 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
95 (33%)
4 stars
129 (45%)
3 stars
47 (16%)
2 stars
6 (2%)
1 star
5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,214 reviews61 followers
January 26, 2011
This is a great book for beginning translators or just as an overview of the profession. Back when I could remember the languages I actually learned (before losing them due to not using them) I had thought about becoming a translator. This book made me realize I still wasn't ready at that point, but it still remains a great book for those who may be at a sufficient proficiency level for translation/interpretation work.

The beginning of the book has an introduction that explains why one would want to work as a free-lance translator. She outlines how to be your own boss and work from home, and what the average salary might be for a free-lancer.

Chapter one is an overview of the business of freelancing itself. Such topics as translator vs. interpreter, the different types of work environments, and the different tasks that a translator might come across are listed in this area. As well, she lists out the links and information for obtaining certification and joining professional associations related to the business.

Chapter two covers how to start the business and get a client base. Most importantly, she goes over how to detail your resume for a specific position, and how to make it more relatable for the country you are sending it to (resumes are different in different areas of the world). She also tells a little bit about the other skill sets necessary to run your own business aside from just knowing how to translate.

Home Office Setup is gone over in the third chapter and while this seems like a useless chapter for those used to working in an office, it does have some important information in it. Most specifically, she includes sections on Translation Memory Software, non-western character sets, speech recognition software, and system programs; she also includes where to get these programs and even lists some links to some free software.

Chapter four goes over how to set up your rates, what contracts you should enter into, and the terms of service you should set up if working directly with clients. If you don't read any other chapter read this one! It lists some very important ways to protect yourself legally and provide protection from liability.

The last chapter covers business growth. This includes tax planning, how to raise rates with existing clients, and ways to please your client and establish a good business relationship.

The fun doesn't end there though. There are a ton of resources in the back with links, agencies, and a lot of other useful information for those in translation. While this isn't the most in-depth book, and there is a lot of common sense information, it is entirely appropriate for those getting an idea about the business or those interested in how it works. And if it turns out that this job isn't for you, the book gives you some great resources for language users in general for outside of translation work.

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator
Copyright 2006
141 pages including resources, glossary, etc.

Review by M. Reynard 2011
Profile Image for Carrie Asagiri.
75 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2017
Guía muy interesante y práctica sobre cómo encarar el trabajo como traductor freelance. Si bien varios consejos y cuestiones son de más utilidad si se vive en EE. UU. muestra cómo funciona el panorama de esta profesión, y cómo encarar un negocio independiente con la misma.
Recomendable para todo traductor y estudiante de la carrera que esté considerando iniciarse en la profesión o buscar un rumbo más personal en la misma.
Profile Image for Dana.
Author 2 books13 followers
April 22, 2019
Very practical guide with lots of common-sense advice.
Profile Image for Timothy Gregory.
Author 2 books3 followers
January 26, 2016
In her book, Corinne provides excellent advice to people just getting started in their career as freelance translators. Much of this advice will seem simple to translators who have been in the business for several years, but they are not necessarily her target audience. Even so, she provides excellent advice about calculating your desired rates, the information to include in a translator's resume, and non-traditional places to seek direct clients (rather than always working only for agencies). I've been an in-house translator for something like 15 years and I do a little freelance work on the side; I bought her book in order to start making plans to make the switch to working fully for myself. It provided just the information I was looking for in a very practical, no-nonsense way.
Profile Image for Ahmad Hossam.
276 reviews83 followers
August 4, 2017
Very informative. It is written mainly for U. S. based translators and some chapters can be skipped if you're not one, but the rest is excellent. My favourite parts are the ones that address translator resumes and methods of collecting due payments, and certainly the most useful tip is to market extensively.

It would have been priceless to read if I read it 2 years ago when I started my career as a translator.
Profile Image for Haya Tamimi.
23 reviews13 followers
March 6, 2019
Amazing book if you want to be a translator but didn't go to translation school
January 4, 2020
While it is kind of hard to give a true review about a field of expertise I'm no expert, I can say that from the perspective of someone who wants to become a translator and doesn't know enough about the do's and don't's and even on how to start, and from this perspective the book is really good. It has direct facts and experiences from the author as well as some common events that happen in the life of a freelance translator. While the book doesn't explore some deep problems in this industry, this isn't a problem since most beginners doesn't really want the deep, I, at least, don't want the really deep problems of a field, I want only to know what the main problems are and if I could overcome or live with them enough to make a decent living.
Based on the things I stated on this review, I do recommend to those interested in freelancing or are at least curious on what would take to become one.
February 26, 2021
A very good book for a starting freelance translator. A bit less useful for a seasoned one, although you can still find plenty of useful information and advice. I read the 3rd edition, and quite a lot of information had clearly been added or updated. However, some might have been deleted, in particular when it comes to obsolete technology. A large part of the book is valid for translators from any geographical origin. When it comes to the business side (types of companies, taxes, etc.), or anything involving interacting with the larger society (translator association, certifications), the book is extremely US-centric. Overall, a few bucks well spent. And of course, the book was typeset in LyX. An extra star for that.
Profile Image for Leah.
275 reviews4 followers
January 30, 2020
This book is very, very detailed about the industry of translating. Despite being an easy read, it's actually quite dense. Though some of the information is outdated it still provides a lot of good websites and resources.

Even though I'm at the stage where I'm just kind of musing about it, this really gave me a great idea of the translating business and and concrete examples of how to start/operate as a freelancer.
Profile Image for Volker Rivinius.
178 reviews10 followers
March 13, 2023
Da ich schon seit einiger Zeit im Geschäft bin, war nicht viel Neues für mich dabei. Trotzdem denke ich, dass das Buch ein guter Ratgeber für alle Freelance-Übersetzer in spe ist. Seit Erscheinen hat sich auf dem Übersetzermarkt einiges getan, zum Beispiel DeepL, aber trotzdem: eine AI, die einem die Übersetzungsarbeit vollständig abnimmt, gibt es auch heute noch nicht, erst recht nicht für Literaturübersetzungen.
Profile Image for Ilaria Gerace.
6 reviews
December 18, 2022
È stata una lettura davvero utile. Si tratta di una guida su come diventare un traduttore freelance; nonostante sia per certi versi un po' datato perché scritto nel 2006 e si riferisca spesso alla realtà americana, ci sono comunque molti passaggi interessanti che trovano applicazione anche nella realtà di oggi. Consigliato se si è interessati all'argomento!
Profile Image for Gabriel.
7 reviews
May 11, 2018
Good, but it feels mostly like general guidelines for any kind of self-employed occupation. It doesn't have any information that you can't surmise yourself from a translation degree or just by talking to a translator or even by doing some basic research.
Profile Image for Sara.
1 review
February 16, 2022
The book has great tips and advice to start a career as a freelance translator. However it's a little outdated.
Profile Image for Fan Ny.
11 reviews
May 29, 2022
Some chapters are only targeted to US freelancers but overall very good tips and tricks and great insight into the translation business
5 reviews
March 23, 2021
It was a really good and insightful book. I already knew a lot of the technical information from doing a master’s degree in translation, but Corinne’s business insights were invaluable. My main take away from this book was managing my expectations and knowing my self-worth as a translator. If I were based in the US, I may have found this book even more useful given all the American based examples, but despite that I believe I have still benefited from this reading this book.
Profile Image for Andrew.
143 reviews12 followers
August 24, 2016
A useful reference for business aspects of being a freelance translator such as suggestions and examples for writing cover letters, invoices, how to build your business, recommendations for CAD software for translators, Rate sheets, tips for dealing with clients, tax information, etc. Chapter 8 on Translation tools is very useful, discussing the pros and cons of various software programs for translators, so you can make a better researched investment in translation software.

Do not get this book with the expectation of it teaching you techniques for translation since there are only 4 pages very briefly discussing translation principles in Ch. 14: Basic Translation Techniques. This book is targeted at an audience seeking to learn more business skills to improve their freelance translator client base via direct clients and translation agencies.
Profile Image for Katy.
404 reviews4 followers
June 8, 2012
A very readable and informative guide as to what to expect and what needs to be done in order to do what the title describes. A lot of the advice is quite obvious but still, I found it useful to be reminded of it, and there are definitely some aspects I hadn't considered before reading this book as well as a lot of useful links. I found the advice in the following quote quite surprising (and therefore useful!): "If you would like to find four to eight agencies that will become regular clients, plan on applying to at least 300 to 400 agencies during your first year in business."

One thing to point out is that the author of this book is American and so some sections, such as the section on tax, are very American-centric.
Profile Image for Grazyna Nawrocka.
444 reviews1 follower
December 3, 2015
The software changes so rapidly that book from 2007 is already outdated. That's why I couldn't rate it at 5 stars. The information about running the business, dealing with non-paying clients, managing time and resources is priceless. I'm glad I've had an opportunity to read this book. I already know what questions to ask at the beginning of the project, how to assess if I have enough time for translation, how to deal with invoices and payments. There are good tips about taxes and incorporating, but those might not be right for Canada. Well, at least I know that I need to search for information about those issues.
Profile Image for Antonio.
31 reviews1 follower
November 21, 2016
An easy and complete guide for those who want to become a freelance translator and did not know the world of businness. I've a degree in translation and i miss a lot that part of businness: vat, rates, clients, website, etc. Thnks to this book, I know now the basics for beginning in translation world. Even if you can find the information a bit repetitive, it's a good way to keep the important things in mind.
Profile Image for Teresa Carbajal Ravet.
81 reviews6 followers
April 9, 2013
Great resource book to have on your shelf along with your other small business resource texts, reference books, dictionaries, etc. one can and will be referencing this book throughout one's freelance career. Only chapter missing is the one on writing a business plan as step one in launching a small 'freelance' business.
Profile Image for Stephen Bruce.
99 reviews15 followers
June 3, 2016
Quite comprehensive, covering everything from setting up a home office to using computer-assisted translation. That means that some of the advice will be obvious and some of it irrelevant, depending on the reader. Some of the material is out of date (does anyone still use rolodexes?). Still, I found it quite useful both as an overview and as a reference.
Profile Image for Ruben.
104 reviews44 followers
March 18, 2009
This book is a good resource for anyone considering translating words in exchange for money. It's hard to gauge the effectiveness of her advice, but she certainly provides plenty of resources and helps the reader to see what's involved in professional translation.
Profile Image for Sadie Hall.
42 reviews15 followers
December 13, 2013
Corinne's book is wonderful. I received my copy as part of the Getting Started as a Freelance Translator online course. It is encouraging and informative, and the writing is a pleasure to read. Straight-forward advice served up simply. Must read!
262 reviews5 followers
August 4, 2011
Very interesting. Answered a lot of my questions about an industry I'm interested in using for a side income.
Profile Image for Beth.
32 reviews
August 22, 2012
Very useful guide on setting up a freelance translation business. I wish it was longer and more detailed, but I guess you can't have everything.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.