• Jasmine Heesaker

Updated: May 25

4 templates I wish I knew about when I was starting out as a freelance translator


Add these free templates to your freelance translation toolkit! You can thank me later.


  1. Email Signature Template

Since freelance translators mainly communicate through email, it is a great idea to add a professional email signature to the bottom of all of your correspondence. It will make you look more professional and potential, existing and brand new clients will have easy access to the information that matters most. I know that when I started out as a freelance translator, I didn't know where to begin with email signatures. How was I supposed to create one? How do they work? I found a really easy-to-use and customizable set of email signature templates from the Microsoft Outlook website here, that you can use to get started. Remember that the most important things to include in your email signature are: your first and last name, phone number, website URL and links to your social media platforms. Below is a Word doc. with over 20 different templates to choose from.


Email Signaturesdotx


2. Invoice Template (that calculates totals!)


As a freelance translator, having access to a simple and easy-to-use invoice template will save you loads of time... seeing as any work that you do will need to be invoiced. The invoice template that I once again found on the Microsoft Office website here, is a great place to start. You can easily add in your personal information and then change the amounts (pricing) and client details for each job/agency/client. The invoice comes as an excel spreadsheet but once you input all of your details, you can easily save it as a PDF and send it off to get paid (promptly!). Many clients and agencies have their own specific invoice format that you can easily apply using this template. You can find the template that I first used to get my freelance translation business started below.


Customizable Invoice Templatexlsx

3. Resume Template


When starting out as a freelance translator, you are going to need a clear and concise resume to send out to potential clients. As a rule of thumb, you should really try and keep your resume to 1 page and make it stand out from the crowd. Insert a photo of yourself (professional, of course), add your business logo and use colour! Try and show your personality through your resume. Many agencies and clients receive tons of resumes each and every day so make yours as attention grabbing as possible. I found a set of unique and modern 1-page resume templates on the Novoresume website here that can be downloaded for free. Tip: keep a PDF and a Word doc. version of your resume on hand at all times and only include the most important information such as: certifications, awards, memberships, education, work experience, CAT tools, specific skills and specializations. I have provided one of my favourite customizable templates for translators below.


Customizable Resume Templatedocx


4. Website/Social Media Banner Template


This may sound a little strange, but a nicely designed banner can go a long way. As a freelance translator, your online presence means a lot. I suggest creating a unique banner that you can use on your Facebook page, website, LinkedIn page, Twitter account... you name it! It really adds a professional flare to your business and allows those who you are interacting with online to know what you and your business are all about. The Canva website is great for this. There are tons of free (and paid) templates you can check out here. The website is super easy to use and you can save your work in several different formats. Below is one of my favourite simple and eye-catching banner templates to use. You can really go wild with this and change the colours, add your logo... anything goes. You just want to make sure that you include your name/business name, language combination and what it is you do—simple as that!


Banner Templatepdf


I hope these templates will help save you some time when building your freelance translation business!






5 tips from my creativity toolkit


As a marketing translator, creativity is key. Coming up with trendy catchphrases, witty one-liners and unforgettable taglines can become exhausting day after day. I know I sometimes feel as though I just can't muster enough flare. If that sounds all too familiar, I have put together 5 quick tips to help you keep your creativity at an all-time high, your puns quirky and your marketing translations on point.


1) Read

Oh no, here we go again. I might sound like a broken record, but reading is a fantastic pass-time for creative types like marketing translators. I'm not suggesting reading large tomes on marketing techniques or translation through the ages.... I am suggesting that you pick up something completely unrelated to your profession so that you can allow your mind to switch gears. Reading is the perfect way to wind down and allow your mind to be consumed by something other than translating. I always pick up fantastic new vocabulary words or remind myself of some fabulous words that I should be using in my translations. Sometimes one magic word can sneak its way into various translations for weeks to come.


2) Get out

Moving your translation workstation outdoors or simply to another location other than the comfort of your own home is a great way to get some inspiration. Breathing in the fresh air outside or people watching at your favourite café are great ways to refill your well of creativity. Taking yourself out of your daily routine and opening your mind to a new atmosphere can help give you a new perspective and a renewed sense of motivation. This can be just the push you need to shift your thinking so that you can muster up some creativity bombs.


3) Get crafty

Allowing yourself to get creative in other ways outside of work is a great way to boost your marketing translation creativity. Zoning out and letting your thoughts run wild is sometimes what you need to recharge your creative battery. Getty crafty and changing up how you get creative in your daily life is a great way to round out your creative side. Try picking up an adult paint by numbers or colour by numbers book. I know it sounds childish, but I find it extremely therapeutic and calming. It relaxes my mind and allows me the freedom to think about anything other than translation so that I can give myself a fresh start.


4) Exercise

Of course, exercise had to make it onto the list. I don't expect you to become a marathon runner or a bodybuilder, but moving your body is a great way to calm the body and rejuvenate the mind. I usually opt for short yoga sessions or brisk walks. I find that once I step away from my computer and start moving my body, my mind (and creative juices) also starts to get moving. All of a sudden, great catchphrases or perfectly charismatic words start flooding in and I feel ready to get back on the horse.


5) Browse social media

This may seem counter intuitive to some... but I find that browsing social media, listening to the radio and watching TV helps me flick on my creative lightbulb. It can be easy to get carried away with browsing social media, but when used in moderation, I find that it can help spark my creativity. As a marketing translator, staying up to date on the latest trends is crucial. Browsing social media to find out the latest news, discover which ads are drawing people in and observing how brands interact with their audiences to keep them coming back for more is invaluable information.


How do you stay creative? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Jasmine Heesaker

October 2019 Edition


October's language news stories were interesting and engaging. A lot of good things are happening to keep Canada's language diversity alive and well.


1. Partnerships to help save Indigenous languages lauded with humanities research award

(Oct 9, 2019)

A Simon Fraser University professor’s decades-long journey to document and preserve British Columbia Indigenous languages and create the partnerships and tools to keep those languages alive is being honoured by Canada’s social sciences research community


2. Yukon First Nations aim to preserve, revitalize their languages through video

(Oct 11, 2019)

A project is underway to help preserve and revitalize the languages of Yukon First Nations, entailing the production of 280 videos recorded in the territory's 14 First Nations.


3. Keepers of the Language: 'If you don't use it, you lose it,' says Tlicho host

(Oct 6, 2019)

Cecilia Boyd, host of Tide Gode, CBC's Tlicho-language program, says adults shouldn't be discouraged from learning their language, but it takes work.


4. 'Underfunding' remains big issue for P.E.I. French Language School Board

(Oct 15, 2019)

The French Language School Board on P.E.I. says it's dealing with a deficit of more than $253,000 from the 2018-19 fiscal year. Talks are underway with the province on required funding and levels of service as enrolment continues to grow.


5. 'Cree is my language': School janitor says she was told not to speak Cree

(Oct 12, 2019)

A school division in northern Saskatchewan is investigating after a staff member says she was told by a principal not to speak Cree.


6. Canada Post's English-only URL violates language rights: Commissioner of Official Languages

(Oct 28, 2019)

The Commissioner of Official Languages ​​has ruled that the Canada Post Corporation is not fully respecting the linguistic rights of Francophones by using only an English-language URL for its website.


Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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