Two steps to be a more credible freelance translator and get more jobs (Part I)

To reach the next level as a professional linguist and increase your income, your skills whether in IT or communication, need to improve. First, I will talk about multilingual DTP, second about how to become more responsive.

I – Learn DTP

Desktop publishing (abbreviated DTP) is the creation of documents using page layout skills on a personal computer primarily for print. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images comparable to traditional typography and printing.”


Even Though DTP is not the primary linguist’s skill, in some specific tasks learning DTP enables you to complete the whole project by yourself and thus have the status of an accomplished professional. Your task is to format the target document as the source document, this is called multilingual DTP. The most important DTP tools are MS Office, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and CorelDRAW.

Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop are the most important DTP tools

Multilingual DTP is better done by a language expert than a designer who is not aware of the specificities of that language as a result punctuation, line break, etc mistakes can occur.

These details can only be spotted and mastered by a professional linguist.

In conclusion, even having an intermediate level in DTP will open the door for more opportunities and will boost your income and image.

Below find free selected courses for DTP, I advise to start with Adobe InDesign and Illustrator as there are the most popular:

Free Adobe InDesign videos with 13 lessons

Free Adobe Illustrator tutorials with 19 lessons

Free Adobe Photoshop tutorials with 33 Lessons

Free CoralDraw videos with 116 lessons (mainly very short videos)

II- Respond fast to inquiries

Being kind and caring towards our clients is vital to building trust and long-term relationships. You can show that by simply reading every email carefully and responding in less than 1h, and ideally in less than 30min.

Even if you are unavailable for a specific project respond and you will be remembered and thanked. Responding to every email shows that you respect the sender and the time he/ she put to write you.
This maximizes the chances of being contacted again for future jobs.

Time is precious respond fast
Fast response time is of a paramount importance. It is worth buying a few tools for that reason. Continue reading and you will discover these tools.

Keep in mind that no one will ever complain that you reply to emails quickly, but when you respond after a long time you will have a lot to lose.

Tips to reply fast to email:

– Write short emails and be to the point.

– Use underline, bold, and colors to highlight key points of your message

– If you have no choice and you should write 5 lines or more avoid writing a block of text and use a blank line for every 3 sentences. Each paragraph should contain a unit of meaning.

In case you are not home you should carry your smartphone with you and enable data connection. Moreover, it is essential to buy a power bank to avoid running out of juice and be unreachable at a critical moment.

Besides carrying your smartphone and a power bank, other tools like wireless headphones will give you more freedom when walking, driving and guarantee a faster answer. Another piece of hardware is a smartwatch. The smartwatch assures that you won’t miss any email, call, text or any other notification.

Even though a smartwatch is rather expensive it has its usefulness as you won’t need to get your smartphone out of your pocket or bag to check the notifications.
Another article will be written on this subject, it won’t be lengthy. It will contain only two main points.

If you have any addition or comment feel free to email me or leave a suggestion below.

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