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5 Ways a Freelance Translator Can Combat Work Isolation


freelance translatorFreelance translators often go freelance to escape the office banter, the water-cooler gossip, “the man,” and all of the other baggage that can come with a nine-to-five job.

It’s rather ironic therefore, that after working so hard to become a freelance translator, many of us actually start missing the very thing we were trying to escape: spending our days around lots of people.

If you’re a language translator who is experiencing work isolation, remember that one of the benefits of freelancing is that you are in control. With a little creativity and planning you can easily say goodbye to work isolation.

5 Ways Freelance Translators Can Combat Work Isolation

  • Attend conferences and, if you can, travel with another freelance translator. Not only will this connect you with a companion, it will help you cut down on travel expenses since you can split hotel and taxi costs.

    If you’re not sure where to track down translators that live near you, check out ProZ’s translator and interpreter directory. Odds are that there are lots of translators in your area.
  • Find professional development opportunities and support through organizations like the American Translators Association (ATA). ATA membership is open to anyone with an interest in translation and interpreting as a profession or scholarly pursuit.

  • Use your language skills to meet new people—and maybe even earn a little extra money.

    Thanks to the Internet, you have access to millions of language learners who are interested in sharpening their skills through Skype. There are lots of language-learning communities to choose from. To learn more about them, click here.

  • Teaching a college course is a great way to build your resume and meet new people. If you live in the States and have a master’s degree, you should have no problem getting hired as an adjunct instructor at a junior college.

  • Find an accountability partner: Our friends, spouses and partners may sympathize with the stress that comes with being a language translator, but they’ll never fully understand it. We’ve found it rewarding to have an accountability partner—that is, a fellow language translator we “check in” with at least once a day. Our partner is someone we call or email in the morning and let them know what we’re going to be working on for the next four or five hours. Around lunchtime, we speak over the phone and give a brief “account” of what we’ve accomplished. This keeps us productive, but it also keeps us connected to others.  
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on ways to combat isolation, I think you can develop much more apart from the skype, create your own blog to sell your services, we courses in French and try to spread the culture of the French language.
Posted @ Friday, January 17, 2014 2:40 AM by davdi
Great tips....I appreciate the efforts of the author to post such useful tips for the freelancers.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 5:23 AM by Mike
It is important to interact with other people once in a while in order to prevent the work isolation. Perhaps meet others for coffee once or twice a week or schedule lunch out with family or friends. It may be as simple as making a phone call to someone just to chat for a few minutes. However, you need to make sure these interactions do not take over the available work time too often. Being isolated from the world, will not make a conducive atmosphere for a freelance translator and it might not offer the flexibility freelance work brings in for it to be successful.
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Conferences are great to attend and the experience can easily lead to new contacts and eventually friends when you meet people socially during the event. The problem is the cost. Don't you find that conference fees have been rising excessively fast recently?
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