Networking with another professionals and companies is the key to grow freelance translation or interpretation business sector. It is also very challenging to develop steady cooperation with perspective clients since the market is overwhelmed with any type of translation services. However, if one possesses creativity, and knows which domains are demanding, and less competitive, he or she may find networking and self-promotion easier to conduct. By brainstorming an interpreter or a translator may discover, for instance that a Speech- Language Pathologist will need his or her services.
What does a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) do? SLP evaluates, diagnoses and treats individuals who exhibit speech, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing disorders. Now, you may wonder why this professional needs your interpretation or translation services. SLP who works in culturally diverse areas such as Australia, Canada or United States (USA), he/she finds working face-to-face with an interpreter necessary. For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau there are approximately 50 million people in the USA who speak a language other then English at home. (American Community Survey, 2002). In Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the USA there are 150 languages spoken in public schools, and many cultural communities such as: African American, Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian and other. When working in US public schools, SLP is required by the law (Special Education Legislation) to conduct assessment in student’s native language. That’s when an interpreter or a translator plays an important role. An interpreter can be involved in many different tasks such as participating in process of evaluation, diagnosis and treatment when collaborating with SLP. One of the responsibilities is to translate spoken words from one language to another when SLP performs the standardized or non-standardized testing, and gives instructions to a patient. In addition, an interpreter will be involved in some type of analysis that will help SLP to distinguish between language difference and language disorder. An interpreter therefore, will not only interpret words but also pay close attention to the production of sounds, language competence such as grammar, pragmatics of given culture and cognitive behavior of a patient. An interpreter will help SLP to determine if a mother tongue of a client is deviant, and if the “errors” that occur in second language are due to interference of first language. Moreover, an interpreter will be needed during an interview when SLP collects background information from a client such as medical, developmental history, speech/language acquisition history, and family and social history. Furthermore, an interpreter may be needed during treatment when SLP or a client decides that therapy in native language is necessary and beneficial. A translator may offer his/ her services to SLP since the questionnaire forms, consent forms, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and progress reports should also be presented in native language of a client who may not be able to read in his second language.
How can I network with those professionals? First of all find places that are cultural and linguistically diverse. Promote your services by contacting or even visiting public schools, private practices that offer speech/language therapy, hospitals, local clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, colleges and universities, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, home health agencies. Also, visit ASHA ( American Speech Hearing Assosiation) website.