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FAQs for Professionals and Students

Get answers to your most frequent questions. Providing linguistic services is not a simple task. We are here to help you.

Education/Training

How can I become a translator or an interpreter?

Ideally you should pursue relevant studies in translation and interpreting.

Undergraduate studies

Department of Foreign Languages, Translation & Interpreting, Ionian University.

Postgraduate studies

Private schools

There are a number of private schools and educational institutes offering undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes, in house or by distance learning.

Otherwise, you can opt for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at a university abroad.

Joining PEM

How can I become a PEM member?

Fill out the online application and attach the necessary supporting documents.

You can become:

  • A full member of PEM – if you are currently working as a translator.
  • An associate member of PEM – if you are still studying or have recently graduated.

For your application to be approved, you must meet all the criteria regarding full or associate members.

Find out more about:

What supporting documents do I need to become a member?

Depending on your profile (education, professional experience), you will be prompted by the application to attach the corresponding supporting documents.

Find out more about:

Finding work

Where can I work as a translator or an interpreter?

You can work:

  • As a freelance professional with your own customer base.
  • At companies providing linguistic services in Greece and/or abroad, either in-house or as a freelancer.
  • At the translation departments of companies involved in other business sectors.
How can I find work as a translator or an interpreter?

To find work:

  • Send your CV to organisations and companies providing linguistic services in Greece and abroad.
  • Get in touch with professional translator and interpreter associations.
  • Become members of online platforms for professional translators and interpreters (e.g. ProZ.com, TranslatorsCafé.com etc.).
  • Network with other colleagues looking for partners.

Charging for your services

How do I charge for translation?

Translations are charged:

  • By the word.
  • By the page (where 1 page is equal to 250 words).
  • By the folio (16 pages, only for books / literary translation).

On rare occasions, translations may be charged by the number of characters or by the hour.

There may also be a surcharge for:

  • Urgent translations.
  • Translations that must be completed over a weekend or holiday.

The work is usually charged based on the original text. However, in certain cases, it may be charged based on the translated text.

Furthermore, translators have a minimum charge for projects that do not exceed, for example, 250 words.

How do I charge for interpreting?

Interpreting is usually charged by the day. The charge includes the cost for blocking off the day, preparation, transport, etc.

Any transport and accommodation expenses may be charged upon agreement.

If the duration of the service significantly exceeds the duration agreed upon, there may be a surcharge.

Generally speaking, there is a minimum charge per day, especially in cases where the duration of the service is expected to be small.

Furthermore, if an interpreting assignment is cancelled, you may still charge a cancellation fee.

How do I charge for subtitling?

Subtitling is charged by the minute of the film or episode. The same applies for dubbing or audio description.

How do I charge for text editing or proofreading?

Editing/proofreading is usually charged:

  • By the hour.
  • By the word.
  • By the page (where 1 page is equal to 250 words).
  • By the folio (16 pages, only for books / literary translation).
How can I ensure I will get paid?

When you work directly with customers/companies

Prepare and send to your customer a detailed quote regarding your services, including:

  • The project particulars – language combination, type of text etc.
  • The cost – including a price break-down and the VAT.
  • The delivery time, if it is a translation job.
  • The date when the service will be provided, if it is an interpreting job.
  • The payment terms.

Do not be afraid to ask for an advance payment or even prepayment if the amount is small.

Do not start working on the project unless you receive written confirmation from the customer (an email or a signed copy of your quote, which serve as an agreement with the person receiving the services).

When you work with translation agencies

At the start of your partnership, you usually sign a confidentiality and services agreement. Normally these include the payment terms.

For every new job, the agency sends you a PO (Purchase Order) to assign the project to you.

Tax obligations

Is the provision of linguistic services subject to VAT?

Yes. Therefore, anyone working as a translator/interpreter must submit a quarterly VAT declaration.

New professional translators/interpreters may be able to benefit from the special VAT arrangement for small businesses with a turnover up to €10,000, which includes VAT exemption.

Do I need to register in the VIES system?

Yes. As of 1 January 2010, professionals offering their services in EU member states must submit a monthly recapitulative statement to the tax authority.

This means that if you are a freelancer working with companies within the EU, you must submit the recapitulative statement for intra-Community service provision every month, if you are taxed in Greece.

You can register in the VIES system at your local tax office.

Do I need to declare my account number to the tax authority?

Yes. You must keep a business bank account (e.g. sight account) with a Greek bank and declare it to the General Secretariat of Information Systems (TAXIS).

Log in to TAXIS using your username and password and select the option ΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΛΟΓΑΡΙΑΣΜΟΥ ΙΒΑΝ from the My TAXISnet menu (only available in Greek).

You can register more than one business bank account in the TAXIS system.

Do I need to get a POS machine?

Yes, the use of a POS machine is mandatory.

There are many POS system providers. However, VIVA offers a free application to this effect (20 free transactions and a €30 annual fee after that).

Find out about the VIVA POS system (only available in Greek).

Professional development

How can I continue to develop professionally?

The Panhellenic Association of Translators (PEM), as well as various other organisations, host seminars, conferences and educational events on different topics, classroom-based or online.

More specifically, every year PEM offers its members a number of training seminars as part of its continuing professional development (CPD) programme, with an array of distinguished Greek and international speakers. The subjects of the seminars are diverse and include interesting topics for translators as well as interpreters, subtitlers and editors.

To maintain your capacity as a full PEM member you must complete at least 16 hours of training per year, on average. The PEM CPD programme helps you complete these hours of training for free or at a small cost.

How can I assist PEM in its work?

PEM depends on the support of its members. Since the summer of 2018, we have been running the PEM Project Management Office (PMO). It is an office that plans and carries out PEM projects, following project management procedures.

Become a member of the working groups and contribute to the work of PEM.

T. +30 2310 266 308 • Email info@pem.gr

T. +30 2310 266 308 • Email info@pem.gr

Contact

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