Setting up shop in Jakarta Indonesia (part one)

It is easy setting up shop in Indonesia, translation service that is. Previous encounters with peers in the field helps in composing all this information together. Hence, this account is of a personal account that I hope will help newcomers or would be translators to have a better view, a bird’s eye view, in setting up an individual professional service to the world.

Of course, the first thing that tops of all the important aspects of this business is the tool. And, what better way than to just explore all possible means to inform readers than elaborating and scrutinizing what equipment or tools in mind that is or are needed.

The simple gear that you may want to prepare, especially with the help of an online forum such as and others, is ‘Hardware’ plus ‘Software’ (‘H’ and ‘S’ in capitals). Hardware here relates to the hardware and software (‘h’ and ‘s’ in lower case) in connection to computers. Software (capital ‘S’) here denotes the ability or skill in mastering one or more foreign languages (the more the better) into your mother tongue with great flexibility and panache.

Buying a computer is easy here in Jakarta Indonesia, whether you are thinking of buying a non-brand to high-end brand, it’s all here. And, the next crucial and vital question to think of is or better put what should be on one’s mind for tools, i.e. the question: do you have the ready money necessary to be exhausted for all this?

To start, a modest Personal Computer (PC) may cost around USD 500 or cheaper depending how far you want to have a go at finding the right powerful machine to help your business. Whether the PC has a level 4 chip or lower, inside the PC or other brands, it is you who decides not the hardware/computer store you go into. What better way than to browse the Internet in the ‘Warnet’ (government sponsored public internet cafés offering reasonable rates) or read magazines, journals, ask friends who know computers. So, basically browse around before buying, don’t hesitate to ask and don’t rush into buying, take your time.

This PC of course, should be equipped with a printer, scanner, and other necessary hardware (extra memory, a more powerful ROM reader (DVD vs. CD), a camera, etc.) that you may feel that you need. All these (PC, printer and scanner) checks out at a grand total of USD 600 (excluding extra memory, camera, etc).

Next, concerning software you can opt for copyrighted materials or you may install your PC with an open source ones. Whichever software suits you, as long as the machine provides a workplace where you as the translator work to process the transferring of one language to another in a comfortable manner, a state in which you are confident, then be my guess, pick the one that you alone are at ease.

The best that you can equip yourself with is of course all the publishing software available, since clients may and will give you materials to translate from all preferences. This can be further informed in your subscribed or free space in your profile on the Web.
Clients proposing to utilize your service will send materials that include a .doc, .txt, .pdf, and other extensions. As a result, at the end of each working day, it is you who will transfer and render also edit all terms in the source language in mind into the targeted language without having to deal with further problems of materials extension sent by clients. Luckily though, nearly all materials sent by clients are usually in Microsoft Word or .doc extension.

Another step that you will have to go through is that you’ve got to have a phone line for an Internet dial-up access. Consider two lines, one for calls in and one for Internet. Another way of course, is to use a pre-paid mobile service from mobile provider, this would cost you around USD 25 a month, think also about the cost of getting the chip for your mobile necessary. Here browsing for available service benefiting you should be highly thought of.

As for usage there is a fixed price for limited access and obviously, unlimited at a more variable cost, the choices here, will be depended on the quota you used. Consideration: if, by any chance you still live with your parent that’s good for expenses, but of course you’ve got to be able to give a clear picture of expenditure to your parents. On the other hand, if you are on your own, this is a different matter.

However, I feel that the best choice one may have is to get an ADSL connection or cable, but as expected this would again set you up to around USD 210 for the hardware (modem, a subscription to a cable company) and the monthly fee of about USD 70. Yet again, all the cost may depend on which company is providing service and at what price range or at what period of time in mind this would be (consider promotions, or programs set by cable companies), the key here is to uncover places where this kind of information is easily available. Just for information: for the examples here, the prices are for year 2005.

Overall, the cost needed for initial set-up would and should be around USD 900, but again, initial accurate price list is relative in that if you are able to cut the estimated price quoted in this article, then you are set to go with a more reasonable tool in mind.

(Next time: on ‘S’oftware)

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