Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Working with translation agencies: how to find and keep the best

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns

Many people think translation agencies don’t pay well or are too demanding. In this webinar, experienced freelance translator Anne de Freyman definitely dispelled these myths and more, and in the process covered everything a freelance translator could want to know about working with translation agencies.

What stuck with me was Anne's point that as freelancers, we must change our mindset towards agencies. In no way does a translation agency owe us. Instead, we should view it as a business-to-business (B2B) partnership where we each have expectations and responsibilities.

We may choose to work for an agency for any number of reasons (e.g. because agencies screen clients, there’s a doublecheck system in place, direct clients are more work) but the agency is still a client. We should always bear this in mind while working towards our common goal. 

In this in-depth discussion on working with agencies, Anne covered:
  • How to find agencies to work with (either by approaching them ourselves or by being in the right place at the right time)
  • Building a mailing list (how to go about it and useful resources)
  • Choosing the right agencies (spotting the “bad” guys and choosing the right agencies to work with)
  • Establishing a presence so that agencies come to you
Anne also discussed some of the thorniest questions in the translation industry, such as test translations, rates and terms and conditions. She gave some great practical advice and alternative solutions to these issues.

She ended the webinar with a discussion of how to impress translation agencies and how to retain them. She concluded that our attitude and our work is in effect our business card.

Back by popular demand: This webinar will be re-run live on 21 February. The recording will be available afterwards for those who are unable to attend. Registration details on our website.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.