By Marion Rhodes
English-German Translator

Last week, I represented the Colorado Translators Association at a career fair for German students at the University of Colorado Boulder. Many of the students were interested in becoming translators after graduation, but most of them had no idea how to go about it.

Stepping into a freelance translation career is no walk in the park. Talk to 100 translators and you’ll get 100 different answers how they got started. For example, for me, translation was my second career. I had studied journalism in college and worked as a newspaper reporter for several years before cross-training into translation. And by cross-training, I mean teaching myself most of what I know about this industry with the help of books, webinars and blogs.

So I thought that to help beginning translators out, I could put together a list of helpful resources to guide them along the path to freelance life.

Here it is.

Professional Associations

American Translators Association
International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters
Local associations in your state, such as the Colorado Translators Association


ATA’s The Savvy Newcomer Blog
Marta Stelmaszak’s Business School for Translators
Tess Whitty’s Marketing Tips for Translators
Corinne McKay’s Thoughts on Translation

Online courses

Corinne McKay’s Getting Started as a Freelance Translator
Marta Stelmaszak’s Business School for Translators
Nicole Y. Adams’ The A to Z of Freelance Translation
New York University Certificate in Translation
Alexandria Webinars
eCPD Webinars Webinars


How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator by Corinne McKay
The Marketing Cookbook for Translators by Tess Whitty


The American Translators Association’s Mentor Program

Have any useful resources to add? Please let me know in the comments!

About the author - Marion Rhodes


  • Ankara Tercüme

    April 16, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you for this helpful post. Every translator should certainly consider this at the begining of their career.

  • Marion Rhodes

    April 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks, Ankara! Just to add to my original post, Tess Whitty recently did a Marketing Tips for Translators episode on getting started in this business. I recommend checking that out as well!

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