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First contact with translation companies: some tips for translators

By 19 agosto, 2015English, Translation

Estimated time to read it: 2 min 48sec


Most of translator’s messages offering their services for various language combinations are written in a way that guarantees they end in the rubbish mail folder.

Here are some tips to increase your chances your messages be read and taken into consideration:


  • Name of contact: Find out who they are and to whom your message should be addressed. If you don’t do that, your message will be treated as spam.
  • Form or e-mail: Some translation companies prefer candidates to fill a form on their website. In that case, contacting them by email is a waste of your time. 
  • Specialization: You need to know what specializations they need from their translators. It is more interesting to send a message that says “I’m an Spanish into German translator with a Master’s in Educational Psychology Degree and over 5 years’ experience translating psychology books” than a generic “I translate from Portuguese into Japanese”.
  • Subject: Forget the generic “Spanish Freelance Translator/Proofreader” or  “Searching better opportunity at your respective company”. We advise you a subject brief and to the point; it could be, for instance “English > Spanish translator with 5 years of experience, specialized in Educational Psychology”.


  • Into native language: We strongly advise you to translate out of the foreign language and into your native language. Always. A native speaker of the target language will produce the more fluent translation and will make less mistakes.
  • Brief is better: A résumé is a document intended to present you, your skills, and your experience in the strongest light. Don’t send more than 2 pages and don’t include the one month jobs you have had.


  • Photo or not: It depends; a résumé for an American company should not include your photo, but in a French one you should.
  • Résumé information: How best to contact you, working language pairs, translation experience, education, expertise with specific software programs (CAT tools or DTP programs) and platform (PC or Mac.)
  • Rates: You can include your rates, file attached. Translation companies are free to accept your rates, reject them, or try to get you to lower them. But you decide your rates, not them. Experience, Education deserve a fair rates. Respect yourself and put a rate that let you pay your bills.
  • Proofreading: You need a native speaker to proofread your message; there are always some mistakes, even if you have read it several times.


We know it can be difficult to know how to first make contact with them. So we hope this tips have been useful and increase your possibilities of success.


See you soon, here, in Translage