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Proz, an Online Community for Professional Translators and Interpreters

Online Community for Translators; <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=3237649">Alexa</a> from <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=3237649">Pixabay</a>

It is often said that a translator’s best resource are his or her own colleagues. They are the ones who have the knowledge we need, and the expertise we trust. We go to them for help with a term that we can’t quite put our finger on, for a second opinion when we don’t trust our own judgment, for a peek into someone else’s business practices, or simply for the sympathetic ear of a friend who understands our struggles.

This blog is an effort to join a larger community, to reach other translators that might find this community helpful. Because this is a lonely profession. Many of us work from home and have most of our contact with other professionals via email, with the occasional video call or text. Often, we need to make a deliberate effort to connect with other translators, to create our own community, beyond our trusted college classmates. For this, online communities such as Proz can be a life-saver.

Proz was founded in 1999 with the stated goal to “[e]mpower language industry professionals to achieve their business objectives and realize their full potential.” It allows paid and unpaid memberships, with the latter offering advantages such as priority access to job postings, the ability to use their invoice-creating system, and in general making the member appear more professional to potential clients.

Perhaps the most interesting aspects of this site are the ample database for colleagues and agencies, which can help a translator create professional relationships, the job listings, which are a great way of finding new clients, the professional forums, and the terminology feature. In the forums, linguists discuss topics such as fees, best practices, technology issues and more. The terminology feature is useful not only for specialized translation, but also for finding the idiomatic uses of specific terms, with the expert advice of colleagues who have faced similar translation problems before.

However, translators must be warned that scams are frequent on the site. Sometimes, a professional might receive an offer than seems fishy from a disreputable source. Thankfully, they are often not very sophisticated, and a little bit of common sense and research are enough to avoid the worse.

In conclusion, this is an excellent resource for everything related to a community of professional linguists, be it career opportunities, linguistic expertise or business practices. Like always in the internet, caution is recommended while judging things such as expertise, professionalism and honesty.

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