Gaining entry as freelancer into most translation agencies can be difficult; most are extremely cautious when it comes to new freelancers becoming part of their networks. An agency has to consider several points; will the freelancer be able to meet deadlines and perform their translation tasks professionally with a consistent level of quality? Can the freelancer be trusted to consult relevant reference resources and also use the various registers effectively? All of these factors are important to agencies who regularly receive client requests for specialized translations; for commercial, technical, medical, financial industry use.
While there are some translation agencies that assign a seasoned translator to “mentor” a new staff translator, in the case of a freelancer, in addition to only accepting applications from those with at least 1 year full time translator experience, most agencies require at least 1 or 2 years of experience. Some may be considered with a “trial period” where all of the assignments are monitored to reduce the risk of a fiasco and its associated costs.
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