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Lindsay Gallimore

Lindsay Gallimore
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Can we live in a world where Joey Tribiani is right?

Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-09-13

Is there a selfless good deed?


According to Joey Tribiani, the selfless good deed does not exist. And frankly, I’m not about to contradict him!


When you are just starting out as a translator, it can be tough to get your first paying gig. Every job offer requires experience, but you don’t have experience yet, and you can’t get experience unless someone hires you. It’s a vicious circle. But fear no more: volunteer translating is a perfectly selfish but perfectly good deed! Certainly you get to help out a not-for-profit organization, and this is good. But you also get to beef up your résumé, which helps you get a job. Volunteer translation is a win-win situation no matter which way you look at it.


So, how do you find work as a volunteer translator? I don’t meant to toot my own horn (that’s a lie, I’m tooting away), but I’m kind of an expert in volunteer translating. I started doing it even before I started my translation program, and it was one of the things that inspired me to go into translation as a career.


To start off with, here are some websites where organizations post ads seeking volunteer translators. You can search by key word or by type of activity. I’ve checked all the databases, and they all have many requests for volunteer translators.



I have at times also found volunteer opportunities on Craigslist, so you can check there too. Organizations often contact translation departments directly, so check the bulletin boards on campus! Up next, some of my own experiences working as a volunteer translator… and of course, stay tuned as I make my way out of the Dark Ages and into the world of Twitter. (I'm even going to tweet my first tweet... a link to this post!)


(@LSGallimore… I don’t know what to do with it, but I know that’s my Twitter handle!)



Thank you for the links!
Some large Web sites (e.g. Twitter, Threadless) use volunteer translators as well, so it may be a good idea to check there too!

Yes, I just found the official Twitter translation feed:

http://twitter.com/#!/translator(external link)

Of course, they are translating FROM English, so that's no use for me, but it's a great opportunity for other languages.