Freelance Translator Essential Skills for Success (Part II)

This is the second part of the Freelance Translator Essential Skills for Success series click here to read the first article.

III- Marketing

As a professional freelance translator it is required to have your own website and with it a professional email address (not a Yahoo, Gmail, or Microsoft live email address). You can show your portfolio on your website and write a blog for a better visibility and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Creating your own website is not a difficult task using WordPress here is a youtube video that shows you how. Please note that you don’t need to have any coding experience to create a website with WordPress you can do everything with mouse clicks.

Meantime, you need to be aware that your website needs maintenance and you will have to be a little techie and patient to solve issues that may occur. To set up your own website I advise you to choose a hosting service that uses Cpanel as this will make many tasks simpler and faster.

The cost of the website, if you do it yourself, is less than 40 USD a year. There are free WordPress themes that will do the main job such as Zerif Lite, Parallax One, and Hestia (the one I am using on this website is Parallax One).

It goes without saying that you will need a business card, a resume, and network online and offline.

IV- Search capabilities

Advanced Google search capabilities will not only make your work easier but also feasible in some cases, especially if you are not sure of the results found in popular bilingual dictionaries such as reverso.

Below you will find 10 Google must know search techniques:

1- Use multiple keywords to narrow down your query and be more precise.

2- Don’t use stop words like the, in, at, of etc as Google adds them automatically.

3- Word order is important and different word order yields different results.

4- Exact phrases: To search for a phrase in an exact order put these words between quotation marks keywords to search. Thus Google will look for the exact phrase in that exact order. Otherwise, your result page will show the result of these words in any order.

5- Punctuation: most punctuation is ignored except the hyphen, accent, and the apostrophe.

6- Singular and plural: pay attention to singular and plural they don’t yield the same results.

7- Stemming: means that when you type a word to search on Google, its variations will be generated automatically by the search engine. If you want to search only that specific word add + before that keyword. For example:

financial +glossary will not generate dictionary, terms etc it will search glossary only. The result is also different. financial +glossary generate fewer results and is narrowed down.

These two screenshots below show the difference in using + sign before a keyword.


Search results without + sign
Search results without + sign yields a large number of results and generates glossary synonyms such as “dictionary”


Search results with sign
Search results with + sign, fewer results, and more precision and no stemming.



Wildcard: You can use asterisk  * to substitute for a word you can’t remember. For example San Francisco * Camry. * sign will substitute used, new or 2017, 2016 etc.

9- Look for specialized glossaries in PDF and word file format.

You can do that by using “filetype:pdf “ keyword. This will provide you with a list of terminology that you can use. If you find that gem pdf file it will save hours of research and also help you double check specific words. Example:
IT glossary French English filetype:pdf

Don’t forget to check if the file is current otherwise, in some cases, it won’t be very helpful.

Then, I advise you to use Foxit Reader to open PDF files since it is faster than Adobe product. If you happen to download a scanned document use and an OCR software so that you can copy text from the file or search the whole file for a specific word or phrase. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition

10- Search for keywords in a specific site for example: PTSD that is site: URL Keyword.

If you are interested in a full free course about Google Advanced search check this link.

Finally, if you work mainly with the English language it is far better to always use For this install this extension in Google Chrome you will find equivalents in other browsers. It is mainly called NCR No Country Redirect extension.

If you have any addition feel free to comment. Another part of this series is coming soon.

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