Freelance Translation Jobs: Freelance Contract Dos and Don'ts

Whenever you are considering freelance translation jobs, it is highly probable that you would be asked to sign a contract before starting to work with a direct client or an agency. Then, the most sensitive thing you can do is to hire a lawyer, unless you are a public translator and are fully aware of legal matters. After hiring a lawyer, you should keep in mind which clauses may be beneficial to you and which may not in order to disagree with some of them and come to an agreement with the client.

1: Do not agree to translate more than what you are able to.

If the client establishes a clause which states the number of words you are supposed to translate until a certain day and you know that you are not capable of translating so many words, try to lower the number. There is nothing wrong in politely making such a request, otherwise you would be subject to accomplishing something you know you would not be able to finish, or that it would be translated badly because of the hurry.

2: Do agree to get paid after the agency’s client approves your translation.

Agencies cannot take the risk of paying you for a translation that the client may not approve afterwards. This is also a risk for you because you may not be paid after translating something that will have meant effort and time. However, if you work for an agency, it is always like this and you have to be prepared for it. Nevertheless, following the guidelines word by word for the translation is a way to make sure that the translation will be approved.

3: Do not agree if the client wants to pay you much less than what you ask.

Most of the time, although the client establishes “the rules,” you are asked how much you want to be paid per word. Start with a high fee so as to bargain the price if the client does not agree with the fee. Nevertheless, if the client refuses to pay more than half the fee you were asking for, you should not accept it no matter the longing you have for that job. It is also part of your job as a translator to make your work valuable and not underrated.

4:  Do agree to act according with confidentiality standards.

Especially when you are a public a translator, you are always in contact with confidential information that you can give away under no circumstances. You must accept this, and be really cautious with what you translate because it may cost you not only your job with the agency but also your public translator license.