7 Tips for Growing Up as a Professional Translator


Deep and insightful as anything by Paula Arturo usually is …

Originally posted on :

crying baby

I don’t usually publish two posts on the same week, especially not just one day apart, but there is a rich debate going on in one of the many online forums I check out from time to time and the Professor in me simply cannot help commenting on it while it’s still a hot topic from which we can learn a thing or two.

These are the facts as I know them. A translator with a degree in translation applied to an agency specializing in technical translation, apparently in two very specific subject areas. The agency allegedly reviewed the translator’s application and –very politely in my opinion– thanked her for applying and explained that the nature of their work requires professionals with degrees in these two subject areas. They added that, although they don’t often receive much work that fits her profile, they will keep her on record in case…

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Know more than one language? How your bilingual brain could pay dividends


What do you say to this, fellow translators and/or interpreters?

Originally posted on Quartz:

Speaking more than one language may confer significant benefits on the developing brain. Research has now shown that bilingual young adults not only fare better in the job market, but are also more likely to demonstrate empathy and problem-solving skills.

The fact is that American adults are largely monolingual English speakers, even those who began life speaking more than one language. Based on the latest research, it might be time to rethink the emphasis on monolingualism in the US.

Speaking two languages has advantages

Over the past decade, my research has focused on the academic, social, and civic development of immigrant youth, specifically the ways in which schools shape how these students experience learningfriendships, and their communities.

As a former elementary bilingual teacher, I saw how full proficiency in both languages offered students significant academic and social advantages.

What was missing…

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Making the Switch from Agency Clients to Direct Clients


A very interesting post you can learn a lot from.

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

Most translators and would-be translators have no clue how to find new clients. The best evidence of this is the fact that they keep buying useless lists of translation agencies from peddlers of useless lists of translation agencies and then fire off hundreds or thousands of e-mails with a generic cover letter to these agencies.

Many of these translators are so dumb that they even include the same idiotic cover letter that the peddlers of useless lists of translation agencies also helpfully include in their offering for a mere 150 Euros or so.

Imagine how a translation agency coordinator or an owner of a small translation agency must feel about having to delete these e-mails, every day, day after day. Although I am not really an agency, I receive these e-mails as well, usually in duplicate because I am listed under two different names in several of those useless lists…

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How to Market your Translation Services


A cool blog post by Australian (and former British) translator Andrew Bell

Originally posted on The Cycling Translator:

(First published on Watercooler)

About the author: Andrew Bell is a member of the ITI, ATA and AUSIT. He specialises in medical translation and is a full-time freelance translator and copyeditor, working from Swedish, Danish and Norwegian into English. He was born in the United Kingdom and now resides in Western Australia. This article was originally published in the newsletter of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc. (AUSIT).

Having seen average earnings (statistics from AUSIT) for translators here in Australia, and having talked with colleagues at CPD events and read e-bulletin contributions, my view is that many Australian translators/interpreters are failing to achieve a reasonable income, suffer from “sine wave” workflow or are failing to market successfully and consequently end up doing work they’d really rather not do.
By way of background, I translate from Danish, Swedish and Norwegian into English, have been a freelance translator since…

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Man vs. Machine: The Direction of Machine Translation and Questions on Its Implications

Originally posted on :


Machine translation (MT) is not the new kid on the block. It dates back to to about ~1950. But though translators have (somewhat hopelessly) been arguing about the pros and cons of MT for quite some time, it wasn’t until recently (when literally millions were poured into MT by Microsoft and other IT giants) that the general public also joined in the debate and marketing turned MT into the greatest human invention after the wheel.

Meanwhile, for quite some time, linguists have been observing a trend: more and more agencies are selling human edited MT to end clients, which means more and more linguists are shifting from translators to “MT post-editors” or other colorful terms used to describe them. The human vs. machine debate is fascinating from a linguistic point of view; and humans win every single time. But money speaks louder than words and MT saves millions; therefore, despite…

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Finish what you start: Following through on your writing goals


Writing is part of – or the very heart of – marketing, Content Marketing, to be more precise. So if you want to market, first learn how to write!

Originally posted on Write Like Rowling:

Photo by Florian Klauer @ Unsplash / CC0

It’s the end of January and the initial excitement that once emanated from your new year’s writing goals may be losing its luster. Nearly a hundred years ago Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary:

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power that bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time . . . Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in . . . keep one at it more than anything.

Austin Kleon put a modern spin on it in his book Steal Like an Artist:

The Life of a Project

It is easy to step aside and let life get in the way – to make excuses for not writing. It is very difficult to press on and follow through. In his book Coaching the Artist Within the prolific creativity coach Eric Maisel wrote:

Some determined artists weather even the most…

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A Good Time to Be in the Translation Business

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

When everyone is looking for gold, it’s a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” – Mark Twain –

As Mark Twain put it, when there is a gold rush going on, it’s good to be in the shovel and pick selling business. That was in fact how a sleepy, foggy little town called San Francisco was suddenly transformed into a bustling metropolis when gold was discovered near what is today the city of Sacramento, as San Francisco happened to have everything that the gold diggers were looking for: picks, shovels, booze, and hookers.

Information is a resource that is even more precious than gold, and unlike gold, it will never run out if you know where to find it. That is in fact why Google became one of the largest companies in the world within a few short years, bigger, more omnipresent and more powerful…

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