Every time I see a post or a publicity or a Blog's article from a translator offering a systematic help to other translators, I get a bit suspicious. Why? Because usually, there is a personal interest behind it. An interest that is not directly related (or not related at all) to "helping" itself.

Today it has just happened. I came across with a site from a "translator" that is busy with all ways to help translators (in getting well succeed, in getting paid and better paid, in getting noticed, in getting successful) when, in fact, the person concerned is retired and since long do not translate anymore. Making use of a "TWB Member" which is normally provided to general (not necessarily translation-related) companies that make donations in order to somehow enhance their commercial profile (note that the official TWB badge distributed to translators who are volunteering is quite different, displays the language pairs and number of words (in real-time) translated by the translator volunteer itself), and declaring an experience of 30+ years in the translation market, the site was supposed to be a company created together two other people. For what? Providing translation services? No. Creating a global payment platform to help translators being paid... Let's say, playing PayPal from home. Isn't it interesting that someone is so concerned on helping translators getting paid when the person itself cannot even profit from the service he/she has created seeing he/she is retired and no longer translates?

Well, it makes me think about those freelance translators who provide 20 different (paid) online courses to "help" translators on different matters in their freelancer career (how getting clients, how getting better rates, how getting successful...) and still declare that they are translators, well-paid and very successful translators. No they are not, in my opinion. They are well paid and successful online marketers. They are wonderful self-image sellers. They are marketing genius. They are pseudo-translators who are living from the income of their paid online courses. Only. Otherwise, why creating them? Generosity? A deep wish to increase their own profession competition? Come on...

The translation market is getting dangerously and abusively well-known by all sort of people: professionals, non-professionals and online profiteers. The fact is that this profession is not yet regulated or enough controlled (in contradiction with the fact that more and more skills, knowledge, certifications, specializations and professional documentary proof are required to the translator itself in order to let him/her enter and (hopefully) get a place in the real translation market), the fact is that anyone who is able to somehow speak a foreign language and/or to click the button of Google Translate is allowed to "play translator" in many ways:

1. You can access online sites made for "translators" that don't require nor control any translators' professional degrees or . certificates, or the native language(s) of the candidates, or their foreign language degrees. No need of CVs to be evaluated. No need of specializations. You are only supposed to make a limited time little language test online and it is done! You are a professional translator now! And so, you can display your coordinates and your rates, you can access your dashboard and accept or refuse translation jobs published from the entire world in 250 different language pairs...

2. You can follow the step-by-step guide to "how becoming a freelance translator" provided by Translation Agencies hungry for new tax-free, easy and unpaid labor. You do everything for nothing, they receive everything doing nothing. You become then, what they expect: a concurrence-free freelance linguist that provides them with high-quality unpaid or underpaid translation jobs, that will be then transformed in a huge incoming (for them only) after being re-sold to their direct clients...

3. You can accept invitations from freelance translators who suddenly became "international translation agencies" dealing with at least 300 different language pairs due to (underpaid) outsourcing. Due to the lack of well-remunerated business and unfair concurrence in the translation market, they opt for becoming the multinational, multilingual, multiservice online agency they actually are not. They are freelancers making use of their colleagues in the profession. Removing the almost totality of their "virtual agency" staff (poor online freelance linguists all over the world, found at ProZ, desperate to have a job and inconsequential enough to accept such low rates and unfair conditions that put in danger the entire translation market economy for professional translators), they are actually made of 1 or two people maximum, frequently dealing with one same language pair...


1. You can proudly admit and impose your professional translator condition. By yourself. It requires a certain attitude. You will categorically refuse low and unfair rates, underpaid translation job offers and Translation Agencies' absurd conditions and terms. Because if it is YOU the supplier, it is you who may establish the conditions and terms and prices. Not the agency who is your client. (Yes, an agency is your client. You didn't sign an employment agreement as an employee with them. They don't pay you a salary, employment guarantees, assurance or year-end bonus... You are a freelance professional offering your services against your terms, conditions and payment. Take it or leave it. Do you go to a restaurant or to a hair dresser and impose them the amount of money you wish to pay for their menu dish, or the price you intend to pay for the haircut?). Impose your conditions and prices. Get respect from the knowledge, skills and degrees you hardly acquired.

2. You can join professional translators associations related to your country and/or the language pairs you work with, and promote there your services and abilities as the real professional translator you are. Looking for an official recognition for your professional class and getting respect from colleagues and potential clients that are looking for real and serious professional linguists in serious and official platforms, where actually they should be found. And not in private or public prostitution-translation platforms where unknown and unqualified people passing for professionals are postulating, accepting or bidding translation job offers under no other qualifications than price, just like a public "translation auction". You will definitely ignore all unprofessional, unofficial and disrespectful online platform created for all public "translators".

3. You can continuously work on your skills, languages, marketing and time management in order to become a better professional everyday. A better and more experimented professional who can demand better payments and obtain better respect and recognition. Even if in the long-term. Try to specialize in some sub-domain you are interested and really like in order to stand out from the mass (for example, as a translator, you don't specialize in "medical" but in "gastroenterology" or "nuclear medicine"...) or, if you don't specialize at all, try to add a new and less common subjects (culinary or literature) to your workflow and check its profitability.

4. You can invest in new technologies (CAT tools, time management software...) and marketing campaigns (online professional sites, blogs and social media; hard copy professional cards, motivation letters and unsolicited applications...) in order to better sell your professional profile. You can open a free online profile or build a professional website, for example.

5. You can help the professional translators' class to affirm its position, recognition and credibility in the market. The more you (client) rely on prices, and you (professional translator) accept unfair underpaid rates and conditions, the more devalued and disrespected become our profession.

Say YES to dignity and fair competition in the translation industry refusing low and unfair translation rates and conditions!

Say YES to quality and trustful results contracting translation services from certified, qualified and professional translators specialized in their fields and native in their languages combinations!