Trying to find some translating work

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Wuppertal
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Trying to find some translating work

Post by Wuppertal » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:00 am

I see this is a very viable and worthwhile means of additional income for while I'm studying and indeed through the holidays - part-time work at any time.

Problem is, absolutely everywhere I look requires the dreaded 'experience'. I wonder, how on earth do young people start in life if every single employer on the face of the earth wants 30 years' experience?! Seems a bit of an impossible and vicious circle to me, and, I regret to say, does not make me the slightest bit confident for when I graduate.

I have done a few official, paid translations but only on odd occasions when someone else was busy, rather than actually being offered the job myself on merit.

Sorry, I haven't actually asked a question yet - but basically if anyone could point me in the direction of a translation agency that is willing to offer jobs to new and young people without loads of experience, I would be extremely grateful. Or if not an agency, any kind of source where I could stand a chance. Surely they must all start somewhere - but where?

I am bilingual, have a good command of three other foreign languages, have lived in 5 different countries and am doing a degree in modern languages at university. But I am finding it near-enough impossible to find any part-time translation work. I would in addition be able to provide any prospective takers with sample of work that I have done, in the form of a French medical paper that I translated into English. Any recommendations to where I should look to, what I should do, what not to do, etc., would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Ajarn Philip » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:21 am

The first thing I would do is Google something like 'translation services'(/agencies/etc. - you get the picture). Many of these places are based all over Europe and have good websites which include application forms...

for example

http://www.dsdb.be/en/index.htm

Sorry, you've probably done this already.

Also, there are many (free) translation resources on line. Are you familiar with them (IATE, Grand Dictionnaire Technologique, etc.)? There are also forums for translators where you can ask for help, but also advertise yourself for work. You'd need to set up paypal about which I know nussink.


Are German and/or Dutch included in your list? I'm having a word with a friend who works from Thailand (I work for him myself) pretty much exclusively via the internet, but the logistics of contacting/paying you between here and there might well mean he's not interested, so don't get your hopes up. And he'd probably be most interested in the 2 languages mentioned above.

And I think there's another member of the forum who does translation (maybe michael scuffil?) - it might be worth sending him a pm in case he hasn't seen this post.

Good luck, regardless, and as soon as I hear from my friend I'll let you know. (hopefully later today)
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Ajarn Philip » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:11 pm

No promises whatsoever, but check your pm.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Wuppertal » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:11 pm

Thanks again for your help, it's much appreciated.

I have indeed looked all over Google, but largely to no avail - although I wasn't familiar with the link that you put up, so thanks for that. The big problem is experience, and I find with many agencies that anyone without much of it is immediately and indescriminately overlooked and therefore not allowed to gain any experience for themselves, which can make breaking into the trade very difficult, I find.

But thank you very much again, I will write to your friend to see if anything is possible :)

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Result!

Post by Wuppertal » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:37 pm

I have contacted Philip personally but just to let anyone else who browses through here know that my enquiry was successful and I have found something.

So if anyone else is looking for any type of work or experience, this part of the forum just might have a solution for you; you never know who might come across your posts or there could be a friendly Old Blue out there who has just the answers you are looking for.

Best wishes to anyone else looking for something and I hope it can come your way, and thanks Julian for this brilliant usage for the CH Forum. :)

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by sejintenej » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:51 pm

Good to see that Wuppertal has "been suited" as they used to say. However, he raises a very valid question - if you haven't got experience thdn how do you get it?

Following the example of a young acquaintance (she was sweet 15 when all this started), her teacher arranged for her to give extra (paid) Spanish lessons to pupils and then gave recommendations to outsiders in the town. She ended up standing in when the regular teacher was ill.

The ironic thing was that she only got a B grade at A level in Spanish depite the fact that it is one of her two native languages - the one she and her sisters use at home. Since leaving school her abilities have not been forgotten.

That is an unusual situation but why not go round your local industrial / import / export areas and check who has lorries from / to the countries whose languages you can handle. Then just go in, get the buying manager or sales manager and offer to do their translation business. If you get one job in 10 calls then you have made a start - and they could easily say "we don't need you but Mr ...... at ............... could use you"

British business is abominible in respect of foreign languages. I worked in the head office of an international bank (offices all over the place) with over 500 in Head Office. We had a Frenchman who was acknowledged as speaking French (!). We had a Brazilian who was acknowledged as speaking Portuguese (!!) and an official translator for Dutch (never used) German and I suspect French. They paid for lessons for me so after that out of 500 staff only 4 could speak / read a foreign language - and it called itself an international bank.
Some companies are far better but there are opportunities wide open out there for linguists.
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Wuppertal » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:12 pm

sejintenej wrote:Good to see that Wuppertal has "been suited" as they used to say. However, he raises a very valid question - if you haven't got experience thdn how do you get it?
I think life can be quite hard for us youngsters at times. This thing with experience is one example. However before I have my small rant, the source that Ajarn Philip pointed me to is completely appreciative and understanding of this situation, and it has not impeded me from being given a chance, and for that I am truly grateul because it seems a rarity in today's world of employment.

Now for my small rant about how life can be very difficult for young people (from my personal perspective anyway)

-I do not qualify for the national minimum wage. I have a summer job at a visitor centre for a touristic village. I do exactly the same work as anyone else but some people are earning a lot more than me for doing this identical work just because they are a couple of years older, and I can't even get minimum wage.

-I have had my full driving licence for two years. My record is completely clean, no offenses, tickets, whatsoever to my name. But I pay insurances prices which suggest that I am some kind of criminal who can't be trusted with a car. Just because other people drive neglectfully, that somehow means that I must do as well - and I believe that no-one deserves to be punished for other people's mistakes. I addition to that, I find it very difficult to hire a car without paying extreme daily surcharges as punishment for being young.

Rant over for the moment, but I don't doubt I will find more to add another time! :wine:

As to your suggestion of going to depots etc. to look for work, that's an interesting idea, thanks for pointing it out, could be worth a try. I'm fine for the moment thanks to this thread but at a future date it could be a possibility, thanks.

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by sejintenej » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:33 pm

Wuppertal wrote:
sejintenej wrote:Good to see that Wuppertal has "been suited" as they used to say. However, he raises a very valid question - if you haven't got experience thdn how do you get it?
I think life can be quite hard for us youngsters at times. This thing with experience is one example. However before I have my small rant, the source that Ajarn Philip pointed me to is completely appreciative and understanding of this situation, and it has not impeded me from being given a chance, and for that I am truly grateul because it seems a rarity in today's world of employment.
There are people like that but it is hard to find them. The job search section of this forum seems not to be very effective - OK so I am no longer an employer!
Wuppertal wrote:-I do not qualify for the national minimum wage. I have a summer job at a visitor centre for a touristic village. I do exactly the same work as anyone else but some people are earning a lot more than me for doing this identical work just because they are a couple of years older, and I can't even get minimum wage.
No employer will employ a person at more than the minimum wage that he can get away with.
However, an idea. My younger son cannot do interviews; he never admits to being dyslexic and, so far as I know no employer has yet suspected. However, he gets jobs through temp agancies and each time the company has then employed him full time and on each occasion he had been promoted purely on the ability and dedication he has shown in the company. Why change? at the forst he actually worked himself out of the job, the second went bust (nowt to do with him) and he has gone up 4 rungs and 6 wage rises in the current job.
Wuppertal wrote: -I have had my full driving licence for two years. My record is completely clean, no offenses, tickets, whatsoever to my name. But I pay insurances prices which suggest that I am some kind of criminal who can't be trusted with a car. Just because other people drive neglectfully, that somehow means that I must do as well - and I believe that no-one deserves to be punished for other people's mistakes. I addition to that, I find it very difficult to hire a car without paying extreme daily surcharges as punishment for being young.
There's statistics, statistics abnd dam**d lies. The statistics show that people in your age range are more likely to be involved in an accident so they assume that you will present a claim and cost them money. To bear out the statistics I had 2 sons; the elder had a mini and passing the local high school his brain moved from his head to the space at the top of his thighs . The car was constructive total loss. Now, if he had been a woman of 75 that bit of skirt would not have attracted his attention. The younger, coming back from a date 100 miles away, late at night was tired and hit the kerb a bit of damage but an older person would have hopefully not allowed himself to drive so far when already exhausted. Sorry, Wuppertal; that is the way of the world. By contrast we oldies cannot get the medical treatment that you can have because we simply are not economically worth it.
Wuppertal wrote: As to your suggestion of going to depots etc. to look for work, that's an interesting idea, thanks for pointing it out, could be worth a try. I'm fine for the moment thanks to this thread but at a future date it could be a possibility, thanks.
My post was actually intended for a wider audience - yours was an example I could use to illustrate a point.
For about 5 years I knew that the company I worked for was a takeover target and that my job would go. The City of London Library subscribed to a magazine called the Small Business Digest which had reams of five line stories of what people had acheived in setting up their own businesses with nothing or very little. (It also had a lot on legalities, sourcing materials, accounts ...... all the useful background stuff). My Filofax (can I use that name?) had pages of jobs which I could do in extremis; some would only bring in a few hundred pounds a week but there was scope for running four of five different businesses at the same time. I am not a salesman so I ignored 60% of the suggestions but at the end I had perhaps a hundred possibilities which others have made work elsewhere in the country on an investment of under 3 figures.
The moral - look round at what needs doing; does the council need somebody to cycle round at night and tell them which lights have failed? Does that firm need the parking lines on its forecourt repainted? What about repainting the pub ceiling overnight - that used to be £500 upwards per room!
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Wuppertal » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:08 pm

sejintenej wrote:No employer will employ a person at more than the minimum wage that he can get away with.
However, an idea. My younger son cannot do interviews; he never admits to being dyslexic and, so far as I know no employer has yet suspected. However, he gets jobs through temp agancies and each time the company has then employed him full time and on each occasion he had been promoted purely on the ability and dedication he has shown in the company. Why change? at the forst he actually worked himself out of the job, the second went bust (nowt to do with him) and he has gone up 4 rungs and 6 wage rises in the current job.
That's good that it's not compulsory to write down things like being dyslexic (or is it?) - I guess many bosses would prejudge you against that and not give you the job when if you weren't dyslexic they would give you the job.
I remember my total joy of my last payrise at my summer job - a real price hike from £4.50 an hour to £5! And no tax! (That's a good thing about being a student :wink: )
sejintenej wrote:The moral - look round at what needs doing; does the council need somebody to cycle round at night and tell them which lights have failed? Does that firm need the parking lines on its forecourt repainted? What about repainting the pub ceiling overnight - that used to be £500 upwards per room!
Funnily enough I had a small "business" going with a friend when I was at CH. We washed people's cars - mainly around Bluecoat Pond. We charged such pathetically low prices that people always gave us generous tips. Though being 14, we didn't know a great deal about pricing. Then we "diversified" to doing gardening for a few of the teachers. This paid better. It lasted about a year and a half before we stopped as we had too much work for our GCSEs. But it was a good little earner and by the time we stopped, our individual takings were into four figures.

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Great Plum » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:18 am

I thought everyone was eligable for the minimum wage...
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by gma » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:47 am

Alas for young people, no! I took a couple of years out from mainstream busines and taught apprenticeships in IT and Business, nothing highbrow, to teenagers who had failed in school due to personal circumstances rather than ability.

Apprentices under 19 can be paid pretty much what an employer wants, one client of mine were paying full time clerks £100 a week only three years ago! Once qualified they then go to minimum wage at rate of £4.60 per hour at aged 18-21. (The aforementioned client then kicks them out and starts again (unless they are extemely good then they might be offered a permanant trainee place but that's pretty rare), please note they are a massive lending arm of a high street bank!!)

If they are in work and not on apprenticeship then from 16-18 it's £3.40 per hour

However, most large employers pay marginally over min wage but as most students or young people are 'gaining in experience and training' they justify poor pay rates against the benefits, long term, to the student or young person!

Wouldn't be 18 again if you paid me 10 times the minimum wage per hour!! I think all the above were in place Oct 07 so don't think any of that's changed since then!
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by Wuppertal » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:42 pm

gma wrote:Wouldn't be 18 again if you paid me 10 times the minimum wage per hour!! I think all the above were in place Oct 07 so don't think any of that's changed since then!
That's right! It's great to hear you say that! I get fed up of people telling you patrosnisingly that life's a breeze when you're young - well it depends in what aspect of course, but in terms of finances I think it's a lot more difficult than for practically any other section of the population.

I think it's terrible that people over the "age of majority" (18) can't get minimum wage if their employer chooses not to pay it to them. This is especially bad if that person is working full time (i.e. not a student). How can they be expected to live, eat and pay the rent on this? Also, many young people either can't drive or can't afford their own car - because of this, about two hours' wages often goes straightaway on the transport to get to and from work.

I'm looking forward to turning 21 in about 7 weeks' time as I will finally (after two years of waiting) be able to afford to insure a car for myself.

Young people have two choices: (i) go to university, and accrue tens of thousands of pounds of debt that takes many years to repay, or (ii) go to work, get paid less than minimum wage and therefore still rely on your parents/family when ideally you want to start your own life and be indepent, but your wages do not allow you to live, eat or pay the rent, so you have no chance of starting your own life.

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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by englishangel » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:31 pm

And from the other side, when are these poor young people going to move out and let me get on with what remains of my life?
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by gma » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:35 pm

I'm lucky enough to have a 'pool' of them to borrow, from my brothers and friends, but none of my own, so I get all the fun, major ratings as the cool Aunt (mostly from having no competition around, I'm guessing!), and then when I'm tired out and broke and/or they're sugared up and exhausted I send them back!! :twisted:
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Re: Trying to find some translating work

Post by sejintenej » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:02 pm

Wuppertal wrote:
That's good that it's not compulsory to write down things like being dyslexic (or is it?) - I guess many bosses would prejudge you against that and not give you the job when if you weren't dyslexic they would give you the job.
I remember my total joy of my last payrise at my summer job - a real price hike from £4.50 an hour to £5! And no tax! (That's a good thing about being a student :wink: )
:offtopic: (well, maybe)

If a dyslexic cannot read a job sheet, a sign-on sheet, safety instructions or takes a very long time to do so would you employ him/her in an office?

There is a lot of ignorance so it is worth naming a few dyslexics; General Patton could literally see how a battle would pan out - that was why he was so good. How about Michaelangelo? There are companies which will not emply non-dyslexics because of their special skills - usually architects who can glance at plans upside down and see what the finished building will look like both inside and out.

There are over 40 different types of dyslexia (which includes dyspraxia). Some are severe, some are very minor but none are "curable"; it is a case of learning to live with them. Many dyuslexics are highly intelligent, brilliant people and especially good at the arts. I suspect that Professor Hawkings may be a dyslexic from the work he has done.

Dyslexia involves the brain's pathways being ordered in a different manner to those of the 85 - 90 % who are "normal". The types are very very widesread; we have seen on TV dyslexics being put through their paces like circus horses; I remember one young lad who, having seen it for a few minutes, was able to draw St Pancras Station perfectly but as a mirror image. An adult American was taken for a 30 minute helicopter ride and in the ensuing three days drew an almost perfect 360 degree aerial view of Rome (he got the number of arches in the Colisseum wrong and apparently made just two other mistakes) That is just one type.
If I switch left and right by mistake forgive me.
Logic is controlled in the right forelobe of the brain. Hands, eyes, ears and movement are controlled from the left side of the brain according to instructions from the logic centre. Imagine if the connection between the two front lobes is restricted. A student in a lecture hears the lecturer in the logic centre via the single connection between the two front lobes. Therefore the logic centre simply cannot instruct the student what and how to write notes because the pathaway is already in use. That is a common form of dyslexia. It gets worse that that; the dyslexic is virtually unable to write by hand; a few universities allow extra time, writers, readers etc to allow the dysexic to work in a "normal" environment. PCs are a boon - for some reason that form of dyslexic can write using a PC withiout restriction - but he still has trouble reading - it is painfully slow.
Imagine that the idea of letters is a no-no. Say "orange" and the dyslexic literally sees a round coloured object and the following words in the sentence specify the plate which appears under the orange ....... There are about 15 words which simply cannot be illustrated in this way so they simply do not exist for that type of dyslexic; say a sentence with those words and the dyslexic simply hears a blank period. Ok so lets think about that orange; your dyslexic can see it in three-D - from all directions and in some cases from 4 - D - he will be able to see inside it and see it as it disintegrates with time.
So take those last two types of dyslexia and imagine a person finding out, in his early twenties that all his understanding is false - that his parents cannot see inside the orange as it ages, that they can write notes as a lecturer speaks; it is the stuff of nightmares and is what SWMBO and I went through. For his part he cannot understand that letters and words are merely collections of straighs and curves and he cannot understand how we make sense of them

There are other types - those who cannot see the difference between similar letters like b and d, those who simply cannot remember anything with certain associations....... With some the eye pathways, though normally good, supply multiple images to the brain of writing each very slightly offset so it is almost impossible for an ordinary person to decipher; I've seen demos of what their brains receive and it is weird, an eyestrain and painful to try to read. Sometimes it can be overcome with coloured lenses but to find the right lenses can take months, years and sometimes cannot be done. Girls, women are more prone to dyspraxia which is a problem with numbers .

As I wrote, there are over 40 accepted types of dyslexia and they may be hereditary. Mine is totally different to that of my son but those of you have met me would never realise. We do learn to deal with the situation and usually fool everyone else; even my wife often forgets but then she will go back to the verbal stimuli needed if she is around. (Oh, and Jo, I do have a speeeeling problem when we talk about palissades! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: )

Not all children inherit it - my daughter is a MA and elder son was a PhD - neither had any problems and they don't know the full extent of how the younger son has had to work to overcome the difficulties. A dyslexic with a BSc or BA has worked just as hard or harder than a PhD to get even there.

:backtotopic:
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