Translator and globalization: page 4  

Please keep in mind from the very beginning that the main asset of a freelance translator is his reputation. Try to keep it untainted as hard as possible. Never rush for any order - it is a great temptation for novice translators when there are almost no orders. It is better to clearly define the range of areas of knowledge in which you are competent. In the long run, this will bring you more dividends. Avoid the common mistake of beginners and non-professional translators - do not try to attract customers by low prices of your services. On the Internet, as anywhere, there is a very cautious attitude to the cheap: people remember the saying about free cheese, and under the conditions of the Internet anonymity and the abundance of frauds there, it is particularly relevant. “Cheapies&кdquo;, as they are called on the Internet, are mostly popular only among “swag lovers”, and while contacting with such clients, you can run into a simple hoax. Big companies, businessmen, public figures are not looking for the cheapest designers, consultants, lawyers and financiers. They are looking for the best quality and are ready to pay for it. So, when these highly paid professionals finish their work, and it should be translated, do you really think that they will entrust it to an amateur with the lowest price for translation services? To enhance the competitiveness of the services you can offer rates, say, 10% lower than the European. 20% in a pinch, which mean that 3-times lowered prices are nonsense.

Many people refer to the fact that our life is supposedly cheap. See, they say, the minimum wage is only $ 20. I want to note here that unless we talk about our local Russian prejudices about the minimum wage, the cost of living is not much lower than in the so-called developed countries. On the Internet there is the international salary calculator that allows to calculate the revenue that must be obtained in various cities around the world to provide a comparable standard of living. Calculations are made in compliance with a large scope of factors and as experts claim, are very close to the truth. Using this calculator I found out that if, for example, a person earns $ 30,000, living in Moscow, he must earn the following amounts, living in the following cities, to maintain the same standard of living:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 23,873; Washington, the USA – 25,415, London, the United Kingdom – 31,056

You will say: it’s Moscow! But the comparison is made between the capitals. And the fact that we have many socially relevant professions, such as teacher, doctor, scientist (with “translator“ falling under the same category), which are very undervalued, is not a reason to dutifully throw up the sponge.

You need to learn the basics of marketing and be able to analyze the state of the market and find your niche there. The freelance translator has three main ways to find customers: through an Internet site, by sending offers with his services to translation agencies and by advertising of his services (free and paid).

Create your web page and make it your business card. Don’t ever forget about the side effects of Internet anonymity and be as transparent and honest as possible. It is important that the visitor sees not only your e-mail, but also the physical and postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers so that he could be sure that you are a real person and not some mythical figure. Better yet, buy or register your own domain name of the second level, while using this name it is very easy to verify the owner, and it will give more confidence to the potential customer. Don’t though expect high inflow of orders from the visitors of your page or site. There are billions of such sites on the Internet, and even pages dedicated to the Russian translation already amount to the millions. The probability that the visitor can find exactly your page is similar to that of accidentally spilled printer’s type, if dropped, composes “Iliad” by Homer. I would again highlight that a page or site, should be your business card with detailed information about you and your services, where you should send the clients for a review. You should refer to this page as much as possible.

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