The A to Z of Freelance Translation

A review of Nicole Y. Adam’s course The A to Z of Freelance Translation by Sylvia Lass

A to Z of Freelance Translation

Please note that Nicole Y. Adams no longer offers this course.

As the title suggests, the online course The A to Z of Freelance Translation by Nicole Y. Adams is mainly aimed at freelance translators in their first year of self-employment, or translators who are planning to become self-employed in the near future.

There are 15 lessons in total, dealing with various topics related to launching a freelance career. After registering, participants get lifetime access to the entire course contents and can work through them in any order they like and at their own pace. The course setup is very flexible, so you can interrupt at any time or jump back and forth between the different lessons. Even after completing the course, you continue to have access to all the materials (including any updates or newly added content).

The course is conducted in English, but is intended for translators of any language combination, no matter what country they are based in.

The course

After a brief introduction that outlines how the course is organised, there are 15 lessons, all of which have several sub-chapters. They deal with various topics, issues and questions facing translators at the start of their freelance career.

Among other things, the chapters discuss the requirements for freelance translation (“Do I have what it takes to become a freelance translator?”, “What basic equipment do I need to get started?”), how to secure work and clients, and what to do if you are a recent graduate wishing to transition straight into freelance translation without the long-standing experience so often desired by clients.

In addition, course participants are introduced to issues such as pricing, the fundamentals of project management, correct invoicing, terms and conditions, and the advantages and disadvantages of using CAT tools. The course even explains how to deal with typical issues freelance translators may experience (e.g. customer complaints), provides very useful marketing tips and discusses the role of social media.

Each of the 15 lessons begins with a short introduction and then tackles various subtopics. This is followed by two or three tasks to reinforce and apply what was learned in the lesson. While it is, of course, recommended to complete all tasks and put the theory into practice, this is not a must in order to proceed to the next lesson. Each participant can decide for themselves which tasks are the most relevant and helpful for their own situation.

A variety of media, including videos, online articles and podcasts, are used to consolidate and illustrate the course content. Numerous templates (e.g. invoice, reminder, CV) can be downloaded by the course participants and used for their own business.

After all lessons have been worked through, participants receive a certificate confirming their successful completion of the course.


The A to Z of Freelance Translation is a very comprehensive online course that provides answers to the many questions beginning freelance translators have. In my opinion, the course contents are structured logically and communicated clearly, so it is very enjoyable to progress through the lessons. This also ensures that the individual lessons and sub-chapters are not overloaded with information, but what you need to know about each topic is presented concisely and clearly. Those who wish to investigate a topic in more detail benefit from the wealth of carefully selected and helpful bonus material.

What I personally really liked was the flexibility in working through the material, thanks to the online format of the course on the Ruzuku platform. Every participant can work at their own pace and in the way that suits them best, so that the course can easily be completed in your “spare time”.  Another advantage of the format, in my view, is that the course content is regularly updated by Nicole and all updates can be accessed even by alumni who have already completed the course. As a participant, you can also communicate directly with Nicole (who is very active and promptly answers any questions raised) or engage with fellow students. Each participant can decide for themselves whether or not to take advantage of these means of communication. The variety of media included in the course breaks up the lessons nicely and beautifully illustrates the taught material or explains it in more detail.

All in all, I can highly recommend The A to Z of Freelance Translation to newly self-employed freelance translators or to those who are planning to go freelance in the near future. I have definitely benefitted from this course and think it a very worthwhile investment.

Sylvia Lass, Freelance translator (M.A.)

After studying translation in Germany (BA Sprache, Kultur und Translation, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz/Germersheim) and the UK (MA Bilingual Translation, University of Westminster, London), I have recently started my own translation business in Germany. I am now working as a freelance translator offering translation services from English and Spanish into German and from German into English as well as proofreading services for texts written in or translated into German. 

For more details, please see Sylvia’s Proz page and her LinkedIn profile:

This post was first published on 22/02/2015 on my previous blog.

If you would like to write a guest post for My Words for a Change, please read this page and get in touch. You can gain an idea of the topics explored on this blog by looking at the categories page.

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