• Mateus Marques

(En)Translating skills into a dependable livelihood

Translation work has permeated my professional trajectory from the very start and the resulting decade-long experience as a translator has no doubt lead me to hone some important skills and increase my proficiency and competence. However, what I failed to realize until quite recently is just how broad and dynamic the translation and interpretation industry really is. I understood, from personal experience, how lucrative the translation business could be if you are a good translator who puts in all the effort to read up on novel fields of study and delve deep into the technical jargon that comes with virtually every professional territory. Although I was aware of just how rewarding a translation project could be, I also believed the market to be limited and saturated where a career in translation that offered a steady flow of work and income required you to rely on door to door and mouth to mouth client prospecting strategies and this was why I had come to terms with translation work being a part-time and seasonal endeavor that would help me bolster a healthier bank statement as the universities' semesters came to a close with a flash flood of scientific articles urgently needing to be translated in order to be published in international specialty niche journals. I was wrong, and in retrospect it seems obvious!

Apart from how rewarding translation work can be (especially for those who live in countries where the currency is not as strong as the currencies typically employed by international translation companies) it also offers up quite a few other advantages over most other professional activities: you can easily be self-employed and that comes with a great deal of freedom such as the freedom to mold your own work hours and routines; you can have mobility to travel or even live in different places while retaining your source of income; you are constantly put into a position that will promote learning while working and making a living. But how does one set up professionally in order to rely more exclusively on their work as a translator? That was the question I started asking myself as I sought to be able to reap some of the advantages that I listed above, after all I was starting a second major at the university, this time in architecture and I needed a well-paying source of income that would allow me to have flexible hours.

One day my mother sent me a text message with a link to a course called "Vivendo de Tradução" (Living off of Translations"); it caught my attention immediately. I read through the syllabus and I was sold... well, almost sold because it sounded a bit too good to be true. I purchased the course after doing a bit of research independently in order to find out if there were any blemishes to that course's name. "Vivendo de Tradução" is a course run by an experienced Brazilian translator called Marlon Jacobi. In it, Jacobi teaches us the ins and outs of the translation business: the best auxiliary translation software, and which of them are worth an additional investment; how to set prices for translation services; how to draft an efficient CV and cover letter specifically for freelance translation work; tips concerning invoicing and paying the appropriate taxes; and other hacks he learned through years of experience which should be used in order to improve the quality of your work as well as your customer services. He also shares some valuable managerial tools he developed for organizing project timelines and finances as well as extensive database containing potential translation companies who might be looking for translator applications.

It has been incredible to perceive just how much opportunity there is out there for skilled and committed translators and interpreters. I am very happy with what I was able to pick up through the course and feel motivated to keep investing in this dynamic career that is translation work. If you are interested in this course, you will be happy to know that I will be posting two helpful links down bellow. The first one will lead you to a website by the name of "Seja Tradutor" (Be a translator) which is run by Marlon and the second will leave you to a page that regards his course "Vivendo de Tradução" more specifically. Full disclosure: I have absolutely no monetary links to Marlon Jacobi other than the one previously stated in the text (I purchased his course). This is an unpaid promotion that I am carrying out in the interest of my fellow translators future translators who may come to read this article.



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