Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New Book: How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator

Boulder-based freelance translator Corinne McKay has just published "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator," a book for people who want to become translators.

According to this press release, this "is the book that author [...] Corinne McKay wishes she could have read when she launched her freelance translation business".

I've not read the book, yet, but from the description it might be useful for people starting out in our profession.


  1. She charges $300 for an online course on how to become a freelance translator? You can get all the practical advice you need for free from other freelancers, online or in real life. The rest you just have to do yourself, and it's not going to be the same for everybody.

    It's a shame translators can be (in my admittedly unlucky experience) some of the least inclined to collaborative spirit and mutual support among freelance professionals, but the answer is not charging people for what should be either a spontaneous effort, or the job of translators associations.

    I also don't like the emphasis on 'freelance translation [as] an excellent part-time career option for foreign language teachers, graduate students, at-home parents and semi-retired people'. This is *exactly* the problem with freelance translation, its being devalued as an easy 'make money working from home' scheme anybody can get into. Funny, that attitude is also the reason rates are being driven down, even for graduates of translation studies. So much for promises to earn one's 'highest income ever' working only 20 hours a week!

  2. I agree with everything you say, Nina. I looked at this book on Amazon, as I thought it might be interesting, but I couldn't see it being anything other than a money-making scheme (for the author). What can possibly be in this book (and in her course) to make it worth paying that kind of money for it? And as for the whole "part-time career" for randomers part, don't even get me started...

  3. "That kind of money", as regards the book (not the online course) is just $ 19.95. I find that the book contains practical advice for beginning freelancers. Nothing earthshaking, perhaps, but useful information, including the kind of things that beginners sometimes don't realize they need to know (things such as how to structure your résumé, setting your rates, and so on).
    It is probably not as useful for those of us who have been working for a while, but I then, I don't think it is aimed at experienced professionals.

    I am teaching an introductory course on translation at the University of Denver (MODL 3950, Foundations of Translation), and have in fact adopted for the course this book, together with Douglas Robinson's Becoming A Translator.

  4. Hi,

    I have "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator," and having been a freelance Arabic translator for over 8 years, I can safely say that this book is really great for beginners as well as old-timers.

    I'm writing a review about this book on my website. You can find it at...

    All the best,


Thank you for your comment!

Unfortunately, comment spam has grown to the point that all comments need to be moderated. All legitimate comments will be published as soon as possible.