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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Freelance Translators: Benefits And Pitfalls Of Working From Home

Working from home as a freelance translator sounds very appealing, especially if you have worked in an office environment for a long time. If you considering making the move to work from home, be aware on the downside as well.
The advantages of working from home are well known; your commute time is eliminated and you do not have to follow a dress code. However, if you currently perform all of your tasks in the office, you might have to purchase the tools you need to do your work at home.
Setting up a freelance translator home office can be expensive; Trados computer aided translation software costs $900.00. In addition to your computer hardware and software, you may need fax machine, reference books and office supplies.
Another factor that plays a large role in successfully making the transition to working from home as a freelance translator is your personal work style. Are you more comfortable working in a group with supervision or working on your own in solitude where you have to make all of the decisions regarding how your work is completed?
Working independently as a freelance translator gives you the ability to create your own work schedule, but you must have self discipline about your time or you will begin to lose income. You may find that you miss the daily interactions with your coworkers; working in isolation challenges you to remain motivated.
As a freelance translator working from home for a company or “telecommuting” can give you the best of both worlds; you are able to work according to your style with the input of a supervisor to provide support.
Start by working from home 1 day a week and gradually increase the days as you work through the different situations that have to be resolved for you to successfully complete your projects as a freelance translator.


Anonymous said...

Trados is a translation memory system which may be of much help if you translate a large amount of similar texts. But don't forget that this software by itself cannot provide translation until you put the corresponding contexts into the database. On the other hand, it can be combined with a traditional MT system. Surely, the accuracy of machine translation is far from perfect, but correcting the text produced by the computer, instead of writing a translation "from the group up" saves up to 50% of the human translator's time, especially if the translation system can be customized by adding necessary words and collocation into the dictionaries. The same MT system can support connecting electronic dictionaries for reference and special dictionaries for more accurate translation of thematic texts.

Unknown said...

Thank you.