Showing posts with label spanish translation company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spanish translation company. Show all posts

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Getting Translation Work in Spain and keeping it!

Unfortunately, the C.Vs for Spanish <> English translators arrive thick and fast from an agency point of view! In our experience we tend to average 5 Spanish C.Vs a day and between part time translators and full time translators the supply far exceeds the demand. However, if you are a freelance Spanish translator there is no need to discourage. Being a translation company CEO I have a lot of experience on factors that effect my decision when choosing a Spanish translator. Read the following post for some tips on getting yourself to the top of the pile!

Your C.V.

Spanish C.V.

Send two versions of your C.V. one in English and one in Spanish. From a recruitment perspective you have to bear in mind that some of the recruitment personnel may not have proficiency in both languages. Define your C.V. from the rest. Emphasize your experience and qualifications for your language combinations and specialties. Mention specific projects from Spanish Blue Chip Companies, with word counts. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter, for example if they are looking for a pharmaceutical patent translator and you mention projects from industry leaders such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson you have a better chance than another pharmaceutical patent translator who has just mentioned pharmaceutical patent translation experience. Small additions such as this may even allow you to charge that little bit more. Emphasize your academic qualifications in translation if you have them, there are many translators out there who have fallen into the profession by coincidence and necessity. If you have made a concerted effort to have a career in translation from an early age it's a great selling point.

Your Cover Letter

Cover Letter

As with your C.V. send two versions of your C.V. one in English and one in Spanish. If you are sending your cover letter to a specialized translation company emphasize the skills and experience you have relevant to them, for instance, in the case of a translation company specialized in financial translation do as above and mention blue chip Spanish banks, such as Santander and BBVA and specifics of the projects completed such as word counts

Mass e-mail the Spanish translation agencies and Persistence

mass mai to translation agencies

Lists of agencies can be found via obvious google searches, and the Spanish yellow pages! Be sure to mass mail the same agencies periodically. Depending on the filing system of the agencies the most recent mails may have a better chance, you also have a better chance of being noticed. The mass mail does have it's problems in that you may be inundated with registrations and screening tests such as a translation of about three hundred words on a specific topic which most Spanish translation companies expect for free. This can be very time consuming but one way around this is to suggest providing samples of your work in the related field requested which I think is a reasonable compromise.

Availability and Translation Quoting

Quick translation quote

Always remember that the person recruiting the translator is often under a lot of time pressure. Respond to quote requests within the hour. As soon as you receive the quote request, send a quick mail to inform the agency you will send the quote within the hour! Ring the agency and try to do a little "fishing". You may need to clarify the deadline and subject matter, strike a personal cord with the person sourcing the work, tell them what they want to hear! To speed up the quote process have a bilingual quote template, itemize the costs of the work as specifically as possible, this gives the translation agency an exact idea of what they are paying for and conveys honesty. Download a translation quote template here! Finally, hook your work mail into your smart phone for 24 hours availability!

Your translation targets


A freelance Spanish translator should aim to translate approximately 3,000 words a day. During the translation process don't be afraid to ask questions. It shows the project manager your diligence and can often highlight errors in the source text winning you extra Brownie points with the Translation agency. If you have a large project and a lot of queries per day don't ask each query individually but send a consolidated queries file at the end of the day to save time on your side and the client side. Ask the agency for all the reference material possible such as style guides and glossaries. Say yes to all offered work and never miss a deadline!

Use the latest Translation Tools

translation tools

There are fantastic translation tools on the market such as Wordfast and SDLX (try trial version first) with time saving, consistency and quality features such as translation memories and Glossaries. However, they tend to be expensive and require a lot of time to get up to speed on them but in the long run save time and money on previously translated texts and increase consistency and quality.

Deciding your rate per word


Expect to get between 4.5 to 6 cents per word from Spanish agencies, and 6 to 8 from direct Spanish clients. Rates per word of course, vary for language combinations for instance German translation rates tend to be about 40% higher! If you intend to be a full time freelance translator in Spain you will have to be self-employed or "autonmo".

Tow the line with potential clients on Social Networks

Social Networking is becoming ever more important for being noticed. Get involved with potential client social Networks, like, Share, post and comment on their networks will help you get noticed and will also help your own presence on the world wide web.

Avail of the multitude of online Spanish resources

Spanish tools

There are many Spanish online quality resources such as glossaries, online dictionaries and online translators. Have a look here at some of the Spanish resources at your disposal

Linguistic Quality Checks

linguistic tests

Before submitting your final translation have a routine of quality checks such as a spell check, consistency check, revision or style check. You'd be surprised how many little errors that these can bring to your attention. If you have the time take a small break before the final QA and do it with as fresh a head as possible



Be patient and never give up. It takes a lot of time to build up a regular flow of work. The marketing at the start is very hard to measure at the start but worth it in the long run.

So there you have it, I hope this post has helped you in your quest to becoming a Spanish freelancer. I think if you follow these points as much as possible you should have a long and fruitful career of being your own boss, your own hours and traveling when and where you want!

If you have any queries, please feel free to reply below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can, Suerte!!!!...

About the Author

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

Mark is the CEO of One Stop Shop Translations,a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain. When he is not blogging he spends most of his time taking care of the operations of the company.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Translation rates and Prices

One of the main difficulties when choosing a Translation services company is understanding why the translation prices vary so much from vendor to vendor.

There are many factors that contribute to the price of translation apart from straight forward translation. Many translation companies include the revision cost within their translation rates whereas other translation company’s prices simply cover just translation within their translation rate.

With regard to the language combination it tends to be reliant on different factors:
• The supply of the language combination. The rarer the combination the more expensive it tends to be.
• The cost of living in that particular target language country. For instance the cost of Scandinavian languages tends to be a lot higher than other languages as the living costs and average wage costs in countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark tend to be much higher. Translation into Spanish is one of the cheapest rates per word as there is a high supply of Spanish translators and the cost of living in these countries tends to be much lower.

The level of expertise required for the subject matter. In addition to be being a qualified translator the translator may also need to be qualified in the subject matter being translated. For instance a general business text will cost a lot less to translate than a medical text that requires a medical qualification in addition to a translation qualification.

The type of translation requested has a bearing on the translation rate. For instance in the case of software localization the rate may be higher as the translation rate includes resizing of the translated strings. In other cases the translation rate is charged separately to the additional services. For instance, in the case of desk top publishing the typesetting of the translated pages is charged separately to the translation itself.

Finally, does the company use translation memories? This may increase the rate. Translation memories involve a complicated workflow where the files to be translated need to be converted into a compatible for the TM environment. However, this extra work and cost is beneficial in the long run as previously translated texts can be re-used thus saving time, ensuring consistency and quality and cost in the long run.

As one can see there are many factors that have a bearing on the translation rate. The best thing to do is to shop around when requesting a translation quote. Request an itemized translation quote per word, language combination and additional translation service required. If you have requested three to four different translation quotes and you receive an itemized quote in this format it should be easy to compare which agency is the cheapest. Alternatively, it may give us an idea of where to outsource different translation services. For instance we may outsource French, German and Italian to company A, Spanish to Firm B and Publishing to Firm C as they are the cheapest in these respective services.