Dos And Don'ts For Freelance Translators: How To Get More Work Through Email

Freelance translators often try to market their services through emails. Unfortunately, many new translators make the same mistakes when they first contact a translations company, reducing their chance of ever being awarded a translation project. Translators who follow the dos and don’ts of contacting a translations company will stand out and be rewarded with more work.


Use proper English. Companies don’t expect a perfectly written email from translators whose native language is not English, but abbreviations used in text messaging are unacceptable. If an email refers to someone as “u” instead of “you”, it will probably be deleted immediately.

Put your language pairs in the subject line, for example,”English>German translator”. This is common practice and it will increase the chances of someone actually opening and reading the email.

Tell the translations company if you provide other services such as transcription, voice overs, desktop publishing, etc. Every agency needs these services and they increase your chances of being hired.

Send a short sample of something you’ve translated when you contact a company for the first time. It shows them the quality of your work and puts you ahead of other translators in your language pairs.

Include several references in your email or on your CV. The translations company will not contact them unless they want to assign you a project, but it will save time if the company has that information on file.

Include your rates for translating, proofreading, and any other services you provide. Translation agencies need to know what you charge before they assign a project to you.

Keep track of invoices you send to your clients and what payments you have received. Check your records before you contact a translations company to ask if they have paid you.


Send a short email that says “If you’re interested in learning more about me, let me know and I’ll send my CV.” It is unlikely that the translations company will respond and you will have missed out on an opportunity.

Send a blank email with your CV as an attachment. Introduce yourself in the email so that someone opens and reads your CV.

Submit your qualifications through a site like Use the site to research translations companies and then contact each company directly. Personal messages matter even in emails.

Send your rates in Euros to US-based companies or in US dollars to a translations agency in London. Convert your rate to local currencies as a courtesy to your potential clients.

Source by Janine Libbey

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