Question: How can I become a translator?
Answer: You can register here. You fill in a form with some personal information, then you choose the languages you can translate from/to. In order to make sure that your email address is valid and is yours, we will send you an automatic message with a link to confirm your registration. Freelang will then review your registration and send you your login and your password. Thanks a lot in advance!
Q. Will you use my personal information for commercial purpose?
Q. I'm not a professional translator, can I register anyway?
A. Yes! This is an amateur service, and anybody can help anyone.
Q. Why do people volunteer to translate for free?
A. For the pleasure of practising a language, for the challenge, and for the pleasure of helping other people. It's also a way to make contacts with different people, and to show that everyone can help each other, for free.
Q. How do I reply to a request?
A. You receive an email, and you just reply to this email. You don't need to log on to our website.
Q. Do I need to send a copy of the translation to Freelang?
A. You can do it from time to time, or if you think Freelang should know about a particular request.
Q. What is the length of the texts that will be sent to me?
A. The requests are limited to 800 characters.
Q. What kind of requests should I expect?
A. You should expect any kind of requests, but it doesn't mean you have to take them all. If you have any preferences, please indicate them in your "profile".
Q. How much time can I take to answer?
A. Within three days if you can. After three days, users can contact another translator, so if you haven't replied yet, we suggest you get in touch with the user and ask her/him if (s)he still needs the translation.
Q. Can I refuse to translate something?
A. Yes, there are three cases in which you can refuse a translation:
2) the request doesn't fit what you wrote in your profile
3) you are not able to translate (because it's too difficult or you really have no time at the moment)
If you can, and especially in the last case, please inform the person that you are not able to do the translation and that (s)he should contact another translator.
Q. I helped this user in the past, can he contact me again directly by email for a new request?
A. Well he can, but we prefer that all requests should be sent through the form on our website, so that we can filter any abuse (multiple requests, long texts...). If someone contacts you again by email, you can invite him to fill in the form on our site instead.
Q. If I make mistakes when translating, will I be held responsible in case of trouble?
A. No, you won't. Please do your best to avoid mistakes, but our free service is not a professional service and nobody will expect professional skills.
Q. Somebody contacted me for a paid job, can I accept?
Q. I see you also have a professional translation service, how can I subscribe?
Q. How can I be sure that the person who sent a request has a valid email address?
A. When users fill in our form, they have to fill in their email address twice, to avoid typos, but the address may still be wrong. If you really want to make sure you can test the address by sending a message before actually translating (like "Hi, I have received your request, I will deal with it within two or three days"). Then look for an error message coming back (or you may also get a reply from the user).
Q. How do I protect myself against viruses and spam?
A. When users send a request through the form on our site, it is virus-free. If a user needs to send you an image file or even a Word document, there is little chance that the files will contain a virus. What can happen, however, is that when you reply to a user, your email address is kept in memory in the user's computer, then some time afterwards this computer is infected by a spam bot or by a virus, and you will start receiving spam and viruses yourself. So we strongly suggest that you use an anti-virus software and an anti-spam filter.
Q. How can I be sure that the person who sent a request did not contact several other translators?
A. All requests are checked everyday, to make sure it doesn't happen. If it does, you will be warned as soon as possible.
Q. I get too many requests, what can I do?
A. The best thing to do in such a case is to modify your profile. In the text area, indicate that you are busy and you can take no more than one or two requests per week.
Q. I hardly ever get a request, what can I do?
A. Your profile might be too modest (average level, little time to spare). You can also contact us if you think there may be a technical problem. Please indicate your username in the contact form.
Q. How can I modify my personal information?
A. Log on here with your login and password and modify your details. Your new profile will be updated after our validation.
Q. I'll be on holidays for a few days, how can I remove myself temporarily from the list?
A. Log on here with your login and password and change your status from "available" to "not available". Change it back when you want to start receiving requests again.
Q. How can I unsubscribe and leave the translators' team?
A. Log on here with your login and password and click on "Cancel my registration".
Q. My question is not listed, is there a human being behind this site?
A. Yes there is :-) If you have any question feel free to contact Beaumont, your webmaster, using our contact form or by email: webmaster at freelang.net
One last word
Unlike the several automatic translation services providing somewhat haphazard results, Freelang is based on services provided by real people, which can, of course, give rise to some intrinsic flaws, but also, and above all, to an extraordinary wealth of resources. Over the first 3 years of existence, we have received more than 25,000 requests, and approximately 800 translators have taken turns to reply to them, in 70 languages. Languages don't build barriers, but are treasures within each human being. Thank you to all those who help to prove this day after day...