Meet the team: freelance translator
Have you ever wondered what things are like at a translation agency? Wonder no more! Over the next couple of months we will give you a peek behind the scenes of our translation agency. Through interviews and stories, you will get to know the language professionals that work together to translate your documents, websites, articles and other texts.
You will get to read about our traffic managers, in-house translators, editors and general manager, but we will kick off by introducing you to one of our favourite freelance Dutch to English translators.
As an ISO 17100 certified translation agency, UvA Talen only works with qualified translators. Translators are often also specialised in a particular field and can put their diverse expertises to good use in medical, commercial or legal translations, for example:
‘I always fancied the idea of translating for a living, but that's easier said than done. I taught languages at secondary schools for a few years instead. Then my partner was offered a job in the Netherlands. I decided to try a career in translation, did the IOL DipTrans from German into English and passed.
My plan was to work at an agency for about three years and then go freelance. Basically I enjoy translation because I love languages and writing but I'm not particularly creative or full of ideas. It's the perfect job for an introvert like me.’
In-house versus freelance translator
Most translation agencies use freelance translators in addition to their in-house staff. Using in-house translators means that the project managers can always rely on their availability during office hours. However, freelance translators can work more flexibly, for example in the evenings or at weekends. Many translators enjoy the freedom that comes with being a freelancer:
‘It was always the plan to work as a freelance translator, but I enjoyed work at the agency so much that it took a while. Because I can translate very fast, it makes sense to work for myself. I like being able to choose the work that I do and decide on my own schedule.
In theory, it also allows you to work anywhere in the world, which is how I ended up in England after almost fifteen years in the Netherlands. Perhaps most of all, I enjoy the anonymity life as a freelance translator gives you, which explains why my picture shows the view from my window rather than me!’
Flexible working hours
You won't find many freelancers with a nine-to-five mentality:
‘I wake up and spend an hour or two working before breakfast. I work most of the day until 5.30 pm Dutch time, usually with a brief nap in the early afternoon. I very rarely work weekends or evenings and generally stick to the Dutch working week, taking days off for long walks when the sun shines.’
Working for several translation agencies
Freelance translators often work for several translation agencies, so UvA Talen is one of the agencies this translator works for:
‘I’ve enjoyed working with UvA Talen since the start, finding it an extremely friendly agency offering a wide variety of jobs. They’re a really great team who treat you as a person rather than a vendor or resource and really listen. It’s also a fun agency to work with!’