've been a member of translatorscafe since October 8th, 2006 which is a little more than two months at the time of this writing. During that time, I received 10 job alerts from them, which is not bad at all since my languages are small and there is no big demand for them. I didn't apply to any of these jobs because they were highly technical, and my knowledge wouldn't be sufficient.
At a first glance the site looks very confusing. There are so many buttons and links and it takes time to get used to it. Of course all these features have their purpose and most of them are very convenient.
Once you start browsing the site you'll find out that every question you might think of is already answered somewhere. There are no gaps as far as I got, and it's obvious that a lot of time and effort has been invested into TranslatorsCafe to make it as good as possible.
TranslatorsCafe was launched August 1, 2002 and currently there are 3564 translation agencies and 47929 registered members.
Putting your profile together is a bit exhausting because there are 9 different sections - each one with questions that need to be answered. If you have a resume written already then it's a lot faster.
The bad news is - it will never end! It is highly important to update your profile as often as possible, because that will put you on the top of the search result list when a client searches for a translator.
There is also an Upload Photo option, which is completely irrelevant in terms of telecommuting translation, though the site statistics say that profiles with photos are rewiewed 6.1 times more frequently.
There are 4 categories of users:
This brings us to the conclusion that competition is deadly. For a simple translator with a modest resume like me, it may be hard to compete with big agencies with highly skilled language professionals. It also seems a bit unfair - a client will probably choose an agency over me, but there is always hope. Maybe my rates will be lower then the agencies.
There is one most lovable thing on this site - community. A true community of translators that meet in forums and help each other. If you ever get stuck in translation, you can post your question and get an email alert once someone answers it. Even if you never get a job through this site, this single feature could be very helpful with all your future translating jobs anywhere else.
You can also search dictionaries or buy some fancy translation software at TranslatorsCafe.com
The help section at TranslatorsCafe is truly very helpful, especially when it comes to dealing with agencies, and checking potential clients prior to accepting a job.
Overall impression of TranslatorsCafe: confusing and overwhelming at first, but as you get to know it - you get to love it. It is imagined as a single site a translator will ever need and you will probably never want to go any further...Everything you want and need in one place for anybody to use for free.
There are some other features that I find less important so I didn't list them here.
Doesn't sound like much, right? One would say it's not worth the money (45$ for 3 months, 75$ for 6 month and 120$ for 12 months at the time of this writing) when you get everything else for free.
But that's not the point. Anatoly Zolotkov (the site founder and administrator) says that the site is free and he intends to keep it that way.
The Master membership is for those who actually want to support the site and keep it alive. It is a way of saying "Thanks" to him and other people involved in creating the site, because they really deserve it.
They put so much time and effort in making a website so big that you need a few days to find your way around - a website that contains everything a translator will ever need in one place.
Mr. Zolotkov is one of "A Few Good Men" you will ever find on the Internet, one of those who believe that certain basic services must be free and available to everyone (some other are Google and Patrick M. Kolla, a man who created Spybot Search & Destroy - a free anti-spyware program, and of course mrwork@home of WorkAtHomeTruth).
They are people who will never try to trick you into bying something worthless and who will always share their knowledge for free because that's the way it should be. They definitelly deserve our support.
The Bottom Line on TranslatorsCafe: you can remain a free member for as long as you want, but sooner or later you will realize that a free membership is worth much, much more then a Master membership fee. And then you will simply want to contribute to the website that is so good that it doesn't even ask you for money. Even if you live in a low-standard country and can't afford a fee, when you earn your first honorarium through translatorscafe you will want to share it with them. And you should do it.
Jelena Francic is a translator who specializes in the following: