Tips for New Translators

Tips for New Translators

Did you know? The American Translators Association has a blog full of tips just for new translators and interpreters. Check out their recent post all about what translators should do, from a project manager’s perspective:

  • Don’t take a project that you aren’t comfortable with. If you don’t know the subject matter or the schedule isn’t good for you, it’s okay to say no.
  • Read the instructions! Although work orders are often very similar, many times there’s a unique instruction or two that you’ll miss if you don’t read them carefully.
  • Look at the files first thing. Don’t accept a project until you’ve examined all the files and confirmed they’re in the correct format and there aren’t any issues. If you wait until the delivery deadline to tell the project manager the file was incomplete, you’ll cause delays that could have been avoided if you’d looked at the file early on.
  • Use the correct files. If the project manager sent you files initially for a bid and then sent new files once the project was confirmed, make sure to use the most recently received files, in case any changes were made to the source text in the interim.
  • Ask questions! If something is unclear, ask. It’s better to ask a lot of questions than to complete the project incorrectly.
  • Make sure you understand the instructions. This goes along with reading the work order when you receive it—make sure you understand every detail of the assignment and ask all the necessary questions before starting, so that you make sure to complete the project in the way the client needs.
  • Format your invoice appropriately. Make sure you don’t duplicate invoice numbers, that you have your company name and the project manager’s name on the invoice, and that you include your address and preferred payment methods. Often the invoices are processed by another department entirely, so even if you’ve discussed payment details with the project manager, make sure all the information is there on your invoice for processing.

Above all, making sure to follow instructions to the letter, deliver projects on time or early, and keeping in close contact with the project manager will help you become a valued and trusted translator with your clients.

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