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Work as English proofreader in Poland

bolek_tusk 3 | 243
2 Jan 2019 #1
How does one get started as an English proofreader in Poland?
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Jan 2019 #2
I figure the logical follow-up question would be, why would one even need to look for work as an English proofreader in Poland? Translator/interpreter I can well

understand, but foreign-language publications I'd imagine would be so highly specialized that a native English speaker couldn't dream of being hired as they'd be deemed too expensive.

Most likely, the major publishing firms in, say, Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, would use a run-of-the-mill Pole off the streets who went beyond lyceum English and took some courses at university, possibly spending their holidays in the UK:-)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
2 Jan 2019 #3
Register as self employed, then make as many connections as you possibly can. It's a very competitive market, though earnings can be very high if you know how to do it properly. You need to hustle like hell, and make sure that marketing/PR departments in every small/medium sized company knows your name.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Jan 2019 #4
Sound advice! Seems right on the money to me.

The earnings can indeed be very high, but the trick is finding a publishing outfit WILLING to pay for quality!
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
2 Jan 2019 #5
The trick is not to go near publishing houses, but rather private clients who will pay. However, it's also important to have a clear understanding of the differences between proofreading and editing, and to charge accordingly.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Jan 2019 #6
Yup, makes sense too, delph! However niche markets are typically hard to fill as it is, no?

Text editing was my stock in trade, along with translation, for nearly fifteen years and many firms prefer in-house to freelance nowadays. In the '90's it was a

different world aka economy:-)
jon357 63 | 15,194
3 Jan 2019 #7
then make as many connections as you possibly can

This is key; you generally have to be known to the client, usually by having conducted training there or by personal recommendation.

It's a very competitive market; mostly very well-established (and highly educated and experienced) Brits doing it in Warsaw and others hoping for (and not usually getting) a few crumbs.
mafketis 24 | 8,727
3 Jan 2019 #8
How does one get started as an English proofreader in Poland?

Other people have mentioned some of the practical networking stuff, I'll mention...

The best tactic is to not need to support yourself economically right away. Living in a new country (even one you've visited some) is very different from the long haul and it takes at least a year to learn how things work - the less stress you are to find work during that necessary period of adaptation the better. NB! The less time you think you'll need to adapt the more time you'll probably actually need.

Second, polish your Polish! Ironically, the better your Polish the more work will come your way. More than once when I have gone to meet a potential client they've been nervous and awkward until they realize I speak Polish (a signal that I know how things work and won't burden them with weird foreigner requests) you can sometimes feel their tension dissipate...

Be clear about what you can and can't do. If it's not a field you're familiar with explain that and explain that you might not recognize jargon (or technical terms) in the field and that someone who does know that should check your work out. Professionals often (not always) know this, but you need to be able to explain it.

Make sure your English is up to snuff. Just being a native speaker isn't enough, you need to have a solid grasp of different registers (informal, neutral, formal, general, academic etc) and you need to be willing to look up stuff to back up your changes (many people are liable to second guess or undo your changes if you can't defend them).

Be assertive, Poland is no country for people pleasers... don't be rude (a delicate balance for anglophone people) but if you don't learn to be assertive you'll end up with footprints on your forehead.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
3 Jan 2019 #9
Be assertive, Poland is no country for people pleasers

That's by far the best bit of advice I've read on here in a long time.

I'd only add - be assertive, especially when money is concerned.

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