As you probably already know, just because you delivered a stellar test translation and were added to a translation agency’s database does not mean you will be assigned projects. So how do project managers select which translators to work with? I came across a great podcast with useful tips on this subject by Eve Lindemuth Bodeux and Corinne McKay where they interview a project manager turned freelance translator. Given my background as a project manager for a fashion retail company, everything she said resonated with me.

Here are four of her parameters for choosing a translator, besides the obvious: great translation skills.

Right area of specialization

Be sure of what your strengths are and market your expertise. They will not pick a medical translator to work on translating a contract.


Project managers have a thousand things to do and to check off their lists. If you respond fast you are more likely to get the job. The early bird really does get the worm.

Great attitude & a proactive approach

Don’t wait until the last hour to ask questions for clarification about the text, or even worse, tell the project manager that a file is missing.

Follow instructions

Be clear on exactly what you are expected to deliver and when. If you cannot follow instructions you will probably be passed up when the bigger projects come in.

You can listen to the full podcast here.