French Translator Needed
If you’re a French speaker interested in becoming a translator, this is what you want to see.
I received a request the other day from a French/English speaker who was interested in becoming a translator.
First of all, that’s awesome!
I love when people find their calling as translators and realize that they can own their own freelance business doing something that they love.
Of course the first step for anyone interested in becoming a translator is to realize that the moment you have a paying client is the exact moment that you become a professional translator.
So, the first step (once you have the languages down) is to find a client.
In this case, a client that needs French/English translation services.
Before we examine where all the French translation jobs are, first let’s talk a little French.
French Language Speakers
So where does French fit in the numerical hierarchy of languages?
Well, the number of French speakers number nearly 220 million, which put it as the sixth most widely spoken language. According to the France Diplomatie:
That’s a good sign for would-be French translators.
Another good sign is that some estimates claim that the number of French speakers will grow to over 700 million by 2050, with most of that growth happening in Africa.
It’s easy to see that French could very well be considered a global language, which has good implications for French translators.
More French speakers mean more work for French translators.
French Translation Organizations
Now that we have a better understanding of the popularity of the French language, it’s time to look at the “popularity” of the French translation industry.
And one of the ways to do that is to look at how many French-language translation organizations there are and where they are located.
To do that, let’s check out some of the translation organizations there are in the two countries with the majority of French speakers, France and Canada.
- Association des anciens élèves de l’École supérieure d’interprètes et de traducteurs
- Association française des interprètes et traducteurs en langue des signes
- Association professionnelle des métiers de la traduction
- Association des Traducteurs / Adaptateurs de l’Audiovisuel
- Association des Traducteurs et Interprètes Professionnels d’Aquitaine
- Association pour la promotion de la traduction littéraire
- Association des traducteurs littéraires de France
- Compagnie des Experts Traducteurs et Interprètes en Exercice près la Cour d’Appel de Paris
- Chambre National des Entreprises de Traduction
- Chambre Régionale des Experts Traducteurs Assermentés d’Alsace
- Société française des traducteurs
- Union nationale des experts traducteurs interprètes près les cours d’appel
- Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec
- Canadian Translators,Terminologists and Interpreters Council
- Association canadienne des juristes-traducteurs
- Association of Legal Court Interpreters and Translators
All right, so if you’re in France or Canada and you’re a French translator, at least you’ll have some support from professional translation organizations if you need it.
Now, that being said, not everyone feels like they need to be a part of these types of organizations. I certainly have my own thoughts about organizations like the American Translators Association.
But just the very fact that there are organizations means that there is a need for French translators, which is a good thing to know as a translator.
In-House French Translation Jobs
OK, so the next step in finding French translation jobs is to look at where they are located. And this depends on what kind of translator you want to be: an in-house translator or a freelance translator.
There are positives and negatives to each, so it just depends on which you want to pursue (and there’s nothing that says you can’t pursue both, so there’s that).
But let’s first take a look at in-house French translation jobs.
And as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there are two places online where you want to spend your time if you’re looking for in-house jobs.
LinkedIn and Indeed.com.
First of all, LinkedIn is the only social media site you need to worry about as a freelance translator.
The other ones are OK for what they do, but they won’t help you find more work as a translator.
Doing a search on “translator” and “France” in LinkedIn produces results similar to the following:
We can do the same thing for Canada where we find even more in-house French translation jobs.
This is why it pays to become a member of LinkedIn. So that you can search on, find, and apply for these jobs. You don’t have to become a premium member; signing up is sufficient.
Now, let’s look at Indeed.
There are two tricks with Indeed that you have to be aware of when using this site to find translation job.
The first trick is to search on the specific country site where you want to find a job.
For example, if you want to find a French translation job in France, you would go to the French site, www.Indeed.fr and do your search there.
If you tried to do your search on the main Indeed site (Indeed.com), you would get zero results.
The next trick is to make sure that you search on the native language term for the position you are looking for.
For example, if you are looking for a position as a translator in France, you could search on translator or you could search on the French equivalent, traducteur.
Guess what, the results are different depending on what you search for.
And drastically different.
I did a search today on the word translator at the French site for Indeed. I got 89 results. Then I did a search on traducteur. I got 269 results.
That’s a big difference.
You’re missing a lot of potential job opportunities if you only search on the English term. I would end up searching on both to maximize the number of positions you could possibly apply for.
Here are some results for searching on traducteur.
Follow the same principles if you’re looking for French translation jobs in Canada (or in any other country).
Freelance French Translation Jobs
There are lots techniques you can use to find freelance translation jobs. However, each technique boils down to the same thing: find your first client.
As a freelancer, you have to go out and basically ask people if they need the services you offer. Then you have to convince them that you are the right person for the job.
And one of the best ways to do that as a freelancer just starting out with little to zero connections is to contact translation agencies.
A lot of translators like to badmouth translation agencies.
Translation agencies want to make money just like you do as a freelancer. Working together is the best way to accomplish that goal for the both of you.
The way to do this is to find translation agencies in the country where you’re living and contact them.
I would recommend going to their business in person.
Introduce yourself. Be prepared to explain your strengths. If possible, leave a resume and a good impression. Then they’ll be more likely to call you back when they need someone with your particular set of skills.
So that begs the question, how to find those translation agencies?
Well, it just so happens that I compiled a list of nearly 1,000 translation agencies throughout the globe that are looking for translators. You can find the book on Amazon for less than $5.
Use that to look for agencies in France and Canada for example.
The book currently lists over 50 agencies in Canada and over 40 in France, all with complete contact information including address, phone numbers, and social media accounts.
Finding work from just one of these agencies would more than pay for the $5 you would spend buying the book.
So there you have it. The comprehensive guide to finding French translation jobs. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, make contact with translation organizations, find jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed, or find translation agencies in those countries.
In the meantime, good luck on your adventure!