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By Sharmishtha Samal

The society today is a highly multicultural one; with people from sundry cultures merged into each other giving rise to something which could be called a cultural diaspora. Taking any example, for instance, considering the case of Southeast Asia to Europe- specific migration, this trend of migration comes forth due to the lookout for upscale jobs with better living conditions by the population of Southeast Asia. Likewise there are are a lot of different trends seen in migration, each of them driven by wise reasons, (for which you can research on structures of migration). Societies, cuisines, fashion, music, cinema and even festivals are becoming increasingly cross-cultural today. We see fashion lines from India (like Anokhi) flourish effortlessly among the westerners and we see huge foreign brands like ZARA, Marks & Spencer, MAC, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret making huge profits in Asian countries. About cuisines, we see blends of Mexican-Asian, American-French, or Colombian-Indian dishes all the time, everybody trying to make new hybrids all the time, for instance, there is pita bread which is used as a staple throughout the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, pita pit is an American fast food chain with branches over the globe, the branch in India has its own ‘tandoori’ flavours, like the ‘tandoori chicken pita’.Similarly, music has started to find ways into the cross-cultural realm and Bollywood songs have started adding French lines into the pop songs they make, reggae, jazz, pop and a hundred other genres of music spread over hundreds of cultures all intermixing each other, pure, indigenous music has started to wipe out because of the pop culture in music. Now, this trend of cross-culturalism that has emerged over the last 100 years has amplified the requirement of translators in today’s world.
Popularising themselves in the global market is the high-reaching goal for businesses today, especially businesses that stem from developed countries like the US, France, Canada or Japan; for this, they need a target audience from countries with high populations like that of India, or China. But these are developing countries with majority of the population speaking only their native language, here emerges the need for translators who translate to Mandarin, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Punjabi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Telugu, etc. Businesses seek to make use of their translating work or use the translation programs in order to speed up their moves into the international markets.
As we see, the scope of the translation industries as well as freelance translators in the field of business today is vast.
Being bilingual or multilingual today has innumerous benefits, some of which are getting better job offers, getting better opportunities, having a larger network encompassing the globe, having preference in a few countries where speaking their native fluently counts as a bonus. As a bilingual or a multilingual, having chosen the career of translation or interpretation requires being able to strategise your moves very carefully as well as diplomatically. People either get into freelancing and become freelance translators or freelance interpreters or they dedicate themselves to a translation industry and work for them routinely. However, as a language professional for all of us, creating a name and a reputation for ourselves in this competitive field is the first and the most crucial step. Personal branding introduces itself in this step. Although  personal branding is much more important for freelance translators, it is not at all something that can be ignored by the translators working for an industry, be it a renowned industry with its own brand name or otherwise.

Unless you take personal branding seriously and execute it in a disciplined manner, you will get no clients. As an amateur translator just starting out with your career, you must remember personal branding comes in SIX main steps:

1. Authenticity-Be your authentic self and speak your truth, let people know why you should be their first choice, tell them why you started translating in the first place, tell them what drives you and why you are so passionate about this.
2. Convincing –Second step is to convince them you are their best option by building your profile, or advertising yourselves or asking your friends or family to give you a testament, or by mentioning your qualifications and achievements and highlighting them
3. Building active Social Media presence-Being active on social media is the most effective way to be seen by people, to advertise yourselves
4. Stick to Your Word – Make sure you make a schedule and stick to it and repeat it everyday, for example, if you have promised your current audience to be live on YouTube at 11 am each day, ensure that you stick to your word.
5. Build a relationship with your clients-Once you start getting your clients initially, make efforts to be in touch with them so that the first person they think of when they have projects in the future is YOU.
6. MAKE AN IMPRESSION-Know yourself well and highlight your good traits a lot and work on your bad traits, MAKE an impression and think of something that helps you stand out, so that people REMEMBER YOU!

The translation industry today is a very flourishing and competitive industry and if you take all steps possible to keep up your passion and to beat competition in this field, the journey will be nothing but rewarding.

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By Leonardo Faig

Translation is a deep and wide area where we have to deal with every kind of information. We have to adapt ourselves and read a lot to be updated with different fields within our world.

There are basically three ways of doing this job. You can work as a teacher, helping other people to develop their translation skills and other kind of information like practical classes of translation; You can work with a company, having a salary and working in a scheduled shift for some kind of corporation; Or you can work as a freelancer. Freelancers don’t have a boss. They work by themselves and they receive 100% of profits. They can do their translations in any time they want (respecting the deadlines), with a lot of clients and inside their homes. The three ways of working with translation have its pros and cons. Now we will focus on the freelance translator.

Freelancers has one tough goal: make a lot of contacts. Normally, they start working for free (or with very low prices) in websites like TranslatorCafe or Proz. You can receive more visibility if you get a lot of work. The first years are always harder. It is difficult to prove to people that you can do a good job (if you actually can). This is an area of connections. It is important to update your LinkedIn regularly as well. You can receive interesting opportunities there.

One very good tool to freelancers are the CAT Tools. And there are specific tools for people who work by themselves. One of those tools are the SmartCAT. SmartCAT is a free-to-use CAT Tool where you can optimize your work, create a TM (Translation Memory) and organize the translations in different fields, for example. But of the best things in CAT Tools are the fact that you can use a option to make contact with your client through a chat. If the client has any doubt, it will be solved instantaneously via chat. You can talk to the person asking for some guidelines if something in the source text seems weird or without coherence. Another interesting feature inside SmartCAT is the fact that you can find jobs for freelancers inside the platform. This is really interesting and a different approach to the job. You don’t need to depend only on Proz or other websites. And they have a lot of linguistic pairs in SmartCAT. With these tips, it is easier to find new clients and start to create a base for your career. Now we have another question: After we get some clients, how do we retain them?

Finding clients is just the step one. It is important to create a relation between translator and client so you can trust in each other and do future arrangements. Firstly, try to treat your client with good manners and respect (but make sure the person also respects you and your job). A lot of people have the problem to depreciate freelancers and their job, trying to pay less than they actually would have to. Secondly, it is important to make a bond between you and them. The are a lot of different ways to do that. The use of chat inside SmartCAT is one of the ways. You can also keep the contact in your LinkedIn profile or even Facebook if you have an account for your profession. Always try to show them they are important and you care about them. Another really important piece of advice: Always respect the deadlines.

The deadlines are the most important thing for a freelancer. If you don’t respect it, you will have problem to gain their trust. Of course that the trust have to be mutual. We can think about the case of receiving the money from the client. Since we don’t know if he/she will pay us for sure (except when we already know the person), the best approach to make a win-win for both of the people involved is to charge half of the price before the translation and the other half after the job is done. You can try to put in the client’s mind that the trust have to be mutual. The secret in every aspect when you deal with people is knowing how to communicate.

When we gain trust from the clients, we start to receive recommendations. This is important to develop a network. You work for some person; this person likes your job a lot and the way you treated him/her; you respected the deadline and charged a reasonable price. It is almost sure that this person will work with you in the future and also tell other people about your work when someone he/she knows need some help. And networking is the most important tool that feeds the freelancer. Having contacts is everything here. Try to invest in a durable relationship between you and them, and you won’t have problems trying to retain your clients.

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