1) Why do you you specialise? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this approach?
As a translator I specialize mainly in legal, business and financial texts. Specialization shows a level of expertise and you can target specific markets especially if you combine that expertise with professional experience in the field. Personally, my experience as an in-house translator with the Athens Stock Exchange where I translated many financial and legal texts gives me a competitive advantage in terms of financial & legal terminology. For example, a prospective client interested in translating such a technical text when he/she sees such a background would prefer me over other translators.
One of the drawbacks of the specialization approach is that you can’t undertake projects outside the sphere of your specialization. Also, since you are focusing in specific areas you don’t want to get out of your ‘specialization comfort zone’ and challenge yourself to do other things.
2) Do you feel that marketing yourself as a specialist allows you/would allow you to charge higher rates?
I think that to a certain degree marketing one’s self as a specialist allow you to charge higher rates. A specialized translator apart from his expertise is considered to have high standards in terms of quality, delivery of projects on-time and establishing credibility within the translation community. If you are a specialist then for most clients you are seen as a professional who knows how to do his/her work. Thus, when a client approaches you and asks you about your rates you can almost immediately charge a relatively high rate with no need to negotiate further the rate(s).
3) How and why did you select your specialist field(s)?
I selected my specialization fields based on work experience and personal knowledge. The more texts you translate in a specific field the more comfortable you feel in translating them. For example, every time I have to translate a legal text, like a court decision, or a certificate of marriage, I go back to my templates and adjust the new text to it. Experience in the field increases my level of confidence in translating such texts.
4) How would you go about adding another specialist area?I will not add another specialist area if I haven’t gain enough experience in the area I want to extend my business. I want my clients to see that I have the necessary skills and experience in the field before adding it as a specialist area. Also, most clients know that people who tend to specialize in more than five areas are certainly not so ‘specialized’ in them.
Hello everyone! My name is Ioanna Daskalopoulou and I m from Athens, Greece. Learning languages was, is and always will be my passion! I am a free lance translator/writer mainly in Greek, English, French and Spanish. I specialize in legal, business and general texts.Also, from time to time I work as an English language teacher both in language institutions and as a private tutor.
You can contact her though the following links: