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Hi all!

We'd like to start the new Faces of Gengo format by learning more about each and every one of our translators.

Specifically, this month we'd like to hear about how long you've been translating for Gengo, and how Gengo has impacted your life :) Feel free to share your Gengo story -- how did you find us, what made you decide to join us, your experience, and any anecdotes that make Gengo a memorable part of your life!

The purpose of this thread is for our translators to interact and get to know each other -- of course, we will be reading along as well, and we'll select a comment to be featured in our Newsletter next month too! (We'll reach out to the selected person via email)

Looking forward to reading all your stories!

Lara

8 comments

  • 1
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    Sumanrazz

    Hello Netizens, I have been working as a Gengo translator for the last 2 months in the Oriya>English language pair. I came across this Gengo recruiter on freelancer.com and after taking the test and passing successfully, I became a standard translator. there weren't many projects available at that time. After a few days, projects started coming in incessant amounts. I was overwhelmed while working as they pay a good sum even for 50 sentences. I have made closely 600$ previous month which is the most I have ever made in my entire freelancing career. They have a brilliant support team working to help all of its employees at any time of the day in an efficient manner. I have to admit that I was quite skeptical about how project review, payout, and approval of project work. Every now and then their language specialist checks on the work you're doing as they are responsible for the quality of the jobs. They don't do checking for all jobs, but some of the jobs, for QA purposes. And the customer on their side also checks the jobs and after their approval, the job rewards start to appear on your profile and on every 10th and 25th you will be able to receive the payout given that you have requested for one before 3rd and 18th respectively. So that is all I have to share from my experience. After completing close to 3400 jobs and 66 hours of translation my translation score is 9/10 and I couldn't be any happier. Thank you, Gengo. And thank you to the lady who let me know about this platform. To all the aspiring translators, all the best, you're in for a great experience and brilliant work culture. 

  • 2
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    Michael (Chen-hao) Ni

    Dear all,

    I have been working as a Gengo translator translating Japanese --> English for I can't even remember how long now, but I would just like to tell you all that my experience with Gengo has been a great one - both in terms of the kinds of translations I get to work on, how much I am getting paid for, and just the fact that I don't need to be physically tied down to one location all the time to earn an extra source of income.

    Through my time here with Gengo, I have translated (customer name)'s site policy for their JAPAN OFFICIAL SITE, (customer name), (customer name), to name a few. I can't picture myself working with star clients like these working anywhere else. Also, while my pay per word was, I would say, on the lower side when I was only able to translate standard cases, my pay per word went up 2.4 times when I passed my Pro test last month, and I earned a whopping 1.2 grand last month alone - all while I was away at home from my day job for the past 2 weeks traveling all over different cities and hanging out with people I love. This simply wouldn't have been possible without Gengo.

    Oh and, did I mention that I think Gengo's support team is super awesome? Need an extension past midnight because you are too tired to go on? Don't be shy. Submit a request asking for a reasonable request, and in a few minutes you will get a reply from someone on the support team telling you that they have added however many hours you had asked for to your collection.

    For those of you who are new to Gengo - trust your senpais that you will not regret this experience!

  • 1
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    khairanidiah

    My very first time hear Gengo is from Lionbridge. I apply in Lionbridge and I got an email to become translator in Gengo. I apply a lot of translation position but Gengo is the first to respond my application. I already work with Gengo for a month and I feel grateful to work with Gengo. The payment is clear, the jobs are suitable with me, and I can work EVERYWHERE and ANYTIME. I think my decision to apply in Gengo is a great decision. I still work in Gengo and I wish to keep working in Gengo as translator as long as possible.

  • 3
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    gunnarbu

    I came across Gengo by pure chance at a website with work recommendations for senior citizens back in 2014, and at the time I was still working full time. Having spent 3 years at an English secondary school abroad, studied for a master’s degree in the UK and had many jobs with English as work language, I felt that I could command the English language very well, and decided to try the Gengo tests. A bit to my surprise I passed, and that became the start of my part time translation career. In the beginning not very high volumes, on the side of a full job, but now I am retired and use more and more time on Gengo. It is great to combine with life as a pensioner, deciding myself how much and when I translate. I translate in the English-Norwegian language pair, but I have yet to see any jobs from Norwegian to English, so far, all the jobs are from English to Norwegian. The greatest challenge for me in the beginning was actually Norwegian grammar. In my experience, most people, apart from language teachers and professional authors and translators, know and speak their language more than well enough to get by without being 100% grammatically correct. However, that will not work when translating, so I have spent a lot of time on re-educating myself on pedantically correct grammar, punctuation rules, correct use of interjections, abbreviation nomenclature and so on. Fortunately, the internet makes it very easy to do self-study on these subjects. To be able to follow my scores and get senior translator reviews every now and then is great for motivating me to constantly improve. Having become preferred translator for several customers, even some world-famous brand names, is also a great motivation. Lately I have also started translating some of the popular SMS stories – great fun, and exciting to be surprised by the unexpected story endings!

  • 1
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    Lê Ngọc Bảo Thịnh

    Good morning Gengo and my translator fellows from Vietnam.

    My name is Thinh Le and I have been working for Gengo since October 2015. I was a senior student back then and about to finish my Bachelor Degree in Marketing. I had been spending over one year exploring the freelance opportunity and I finally found Gengo via a blog about freelancer translation jobs. As it sounded promising for a fresh, green translator, a novice, like me I decided to give it a shot and the rest is history.

    Gengo has taught me many useful things about translation via its reviews. The most memorable moment is when my standard level qualification got revoked in April 2017. I was very disappointed in myself and started doubting my skills and ability to be a translator. This was exactly the moment Gengo changed my life. I decided to gather all Gengo reviews and learnt from them. I finally had a stunning comeback when I gained both Standard and Pro level qualifications in October 2017. The tide then seemed to turn in my favor. Gengo won a huge project from the client F--- and there were tons collections from this client in the En>Vi pair. I along with many other En>Vi translators took this opportunity to contribute to this project and in December 2018 I finally achieved the Gengo Word Smith badge.

    Thanks to Gengo I have been able to learn new things, improve and polish my translation skills. Gengo also helped me secure my finance in 2018 and have a decent saving.

    Love and appreciation!

    Thinh Le

  • 2
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    KevanSF

    Hi Lara and all my Gengo colleagues all over the world!

     

    What a great idea your topic is, Lara! I've already enjoyed reading the previous responses, and will check back frequently to see the new ones!

     

    My name is Kevan Houser, and one evening in 2014 I was reading an article on my iPad in a San Francisco coffee shop about various side gigs for earning additional income at home. Despite having a well-paying health care career and honestly not looking for more work, I read the article out of curiosity, wondering if perhaps I might some day want to switch careers and do something a little more creative and be my own boss...

     

    Anyway, one of the "jobs" in the article was freelance translating. Having a degree and reasonable fluency in Italian (I'd been reading Italian novels for personal enjoyment for years and years), I thought this might be fun, so I made a note of the five companies mentioned in the article. A few days later, I investigated them. Only two seemed interesting and legit to me, one being Gengo, of course.

     

    Unfortunately, when I checked, Gengo had no openings for Italian to English translators, but I left my email address for future notification and forgot about it. As is often the case, life marches on, and I got busy and pretty much put the thought of translating on the back burner until one day, months later (early 2015), I got a surprising email from Gengo: They had opened testing for my language pair.

     

    To be honest, I almost ignored the email. As I said, I had a (stressful) career, I didn't need additional income, and I had never done professional translating, although I had taken a number of journalism and writing classes in college and felt I could write reasonably well. Was I really qualified to be a translator?

     

    This is where the beauty of Gengo comes in. I had to take a test! (Two, if you count the multiple-choice pretest.) So I didn't have to decide if I was qualified—I could let Gengo decide! The pressure was off. I would take the test and if I failed, fine, that was my answer.

     

    The multiple-choice test had a tricky question in it that I spotted right off the bat. I doubt they still use the same question after all this time, but of course I won't reveal any specifics. It features a word with two possible English translations, and you would only know which is correct if you knew something about Italian grammar and noticed which of two prepositions was used in the source sentence.

     

    Having passed the multiple-choice exam, it was off to the written!

     

    I don't remember a lot about it (I was pretty stressed out!) except that it honestly wasn't that hard. Basically a short newspaper-style article. I looked up one expression I hadn't heard before, but which was easily found. Still, I agonized over practically every word:  Too literal? Too loose? Too stuffy and artificial? Too flippant for a newspaper article? Blah! I think I went over that thing at least a hundred times, polishing, rewriting, adjusting, until my time was nearly up. I began to think I would be far too slow as a translator to ever make a go of it!

     

    Well, obviously, I passed the test, because here I am now. I believe I did my first job for Gengo in February of 2015. I'm up over 850,000 words so far, but sadly I haven't done all too much in the past year here because I've been busy.

     

    Busy how? Here's where the story takes off: Working for Gengo gave me the experience and confidence to find clients of my own through other avenues. I started mostly with business-related translations, but gradually found what I seem to enjoy most and what I seem to have the best knack for, and that's literary translation.

     

    I quit my health care job a couple of years ago and moved back home to Oregon. My only "real" job now is translating and writing and enjoying life.

     

    I've translated maybe a dozen novels so far, with a rather broad range. Some were for popular Italian self-published genre writers wanting to dip a toe into the Anglophone market. Some were projects I selected myself. One notable example is that I did an entirely new (and much needed, in my opinion) American English translation of Pirandello's "One, No One & 100,000" which has been selling surprisingly well in both the US and the UK (available in both paperback and Kindle e-book format on Amazon, sorry about the shameless plug!)

     

    My latest avocation is discovering classic Italian literature that has never been translated into English and translating it. I did a Gerolamo Rovetta novella "Countess Baby" (Original title: "Baby," first published in 1886) which is truly a wonderful little (maybe 60 pages) gem, and surprisingly modern. A good read, especially for fans of shows such as Downton Abbey or maybe Jane Austin's work. I remember being amused at Rovetta's prose and internal dialogue, thinking it sounded far more emotional and giddy (and even air-headed) at times than I would have expected from a man of the late 19th century! Yes, there's a hint of melodrama, and also a good old-fashioned duel!

     

    I have other "classics" in the works as other assignments permit, including a very interesting woman writer who seems virtually unknown in the English speaking world today...

     

    The icing on the cake is that last year I published my first original novel—"Karma's Envoy"—which has received good/very good customer and critical reviews (also available on Amazon, naturally!).

     

    So, thinking back, had I not happened to read that article that day, I probably never would have discovered Gengo, and might still be living in SF, doing my same health care job, wondering how life might have been different!

     

    And even if I don't currently do a lot of work for Gengo, I still love them and am exceptionally grateful for the experience and opportunity they gave me to learn a new skill and break into a new profession!

     

    Good luck to you all, and may Gengo help lead you towards your dreams!

     

     

     

     

     

  • 1
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    nurul nahdiah

    Hello all!

    I am interested in writing my comment here because Gengo has been playing an important role in my life. I have been working on Gengo since 2012 in Japanese to Indonesian language pair and now it's been 7 years and still counting! I am very grateful to find Gengo as my platform that has helped me realizing my dream to become a translator. 

    Let me flashback to tell my story. When I was in university back in 2007-2012, I had a dream to become a Japanese translator because I love foreign languages, especially Japanese. I am the kind of person who is better in written language than verbal language, so translator is a great fit job to my personality. I heard of Gengo from my junior in university, he applied as a freelance Japanese translator in Gengo and he was selected back in 2012 when we were still university and classmate in University of Indonesia.  So, I think if my junior can be a translator in Gengo, surely I can be translator too here. After I finished my graduation thesis in June 2012, I straight applied in Gengo but I did not pass the test on my first attempt. In the meantime, I kept learning and brushing up my Japanese. Then, in December 2012, on my second attempt, I took the test again during my lunchtime in office (I have graduated university and have started my first job at that time) and was surprised and very happy to know that I passed the test. 

     

    What I like about Gengo is the Gengo team and the clients are very helpful, appreciating and nice! If you face a problem in doing the job that you receive, like system error, the Gengo customer support can help us instantly and nicely if we ask them via Customer support feature, or if we find any typo in the client's document, the client usually will automatically correct their file/ meaning first before we ask them for clarification. So, you may not feel that you are working alone and bearing the responsibility alone, because people around you who related to this job are welcome to help you too. Also about the deadline, clients are very cooperative and helpful. The clients don't mind if we ask for additional time that still reasonable to complete the translation job. As a professional translator, of course we commit to complete our task as soon as possible, but sometimes we might find that the document level is difficult more than we expected or simply when we get tired, we can request to the client for additional time to take a rest shortly then continue to complete the task, that's what I usually did. 

     

    With Gengo, I got my dream, confidence, portfolio, with which I can expand my experience in translating. Thanks to Gengo, now I have been working as a freelance translator in some translation agency other than Gengo. But still, Gengo has a special room in my heart since Gengo is my first love and my career milestone. I am very grateful to those who invented Gengo! and to all Gengo teams for the trust and the opportunity you gave me. I wish Gengo a great success!

     

     

     

    Edited by nurul nahdiah
  • 2
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    Mami

    Hi all, my name is Mami. I translate from English to Japanese in the PRO level.

    I joined in the Gengo community in late 2017 when I was about to move to the US from Japan.

    My intention at that time was to have at least one potential source of income in the states because I wasn't sure if I would be able to find a job soon enough even after I got authorized to work.

    I tried multiple work-from-home type of online services and found out that Gengo was the most user-friendly, trust-worthy one and kept my account for it.

     

    To be honest, I hadn't really used the service up until this March, which was when a huge change happened with my household. My husband was diagnosed with cancer. Long story short, I wasn't able to go to work and had to stay at home to take care of him.

    Then, I remembered of Gengo. I logged back into it after a long time and was really happy to find all those job postings on the feed!

    I felt so much better after I started to make some money while staying at home and working flexibly. It was of course not enough to fully support us but was a world of difference between not earning anything and getting some income to cover some major living expenses such as the housing fee.

    Better yet, the joy was not just coming from the income. I also felt the true happiness to work for people using my ability, improve my translation skill, and get new knowledge through the process of translation (because a high-quality translation requires a lot of research in various industries!). Gengo showed me a new world that I would have not known about otherwise. It brought so much joy into my life.

     

    I sometimes felt doomed because of the situation at first, but now I feel so much happier together with Gengo and especially, soon-to-end treatment of my husband's! Now that I know how fun and flexible this is, I will continue to translate with Gengo even after I start to work full-time in a different field in the near future!

    I am truly thankful that Gengo was there for me, and I believe it has and will help numerous other people who are in some complicated situations like me as well. Thank you very much!

    Edited by Mami
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