Seven Unique Selling Points (USPs) Distinguishing Translators from the Translation Industry

Patenttranslator's Blog

In one of my silly posts in which I was complaining about how sick and tired I am of being surrounded by marketing everywhere I go and everywhere I look, I said that after World War III, only two things will remain on this earth virtually intact: cockroaches and marketing. That’s how I feel about marketing. There’s just too much of it in this world. When my children told me that several of their friends majored in marketing after graduating from high school, I thought to myself: such a nice kid, what a waste of life. Almost as tragic as joining the army. Why didn’t he decide instead to do something useful with the rest of his life?

But the fact is that although there is too much marketing everywhere, we all have to market ourselves and do it well if we want to be able to pay our bills…

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Split the American Translators Association in Two – an Update for 2015

Very good post!

Patenttranslator's Blog


Eleven years ago I received a letter from a fellow translator who lives in Florida. I checked on Google, he still lives there, although I’m not sure whether he is still a translator.

Many readers of my silly blog may not remember it, but before the invention of Twitter, the greatest invention since slice bread (… wait, that would be Facebook … let’s make it the second greatest invention since slice bread), people used to write whole letters to each other, usually on several pages that were covered with whole sentences, without a single emoticon!

All they had in those ancient, backward times was bolding, italics, CAPS and exclamation points!

I kept the letter, which contained at least eight pages, though I have only seven of them; it looks like I lost the last page. The letter, that was sent to me along with a number of other America Translators…

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The Pyramid of Translation Rates and Your Place in It

Patenttranslator's Blog


Some people think that Egyptian pyramids were built by aliens from faraway planets. But I think it is more likely that an ancient architect came up with the concept of the structure of a tomb worthy of a pharaoh because it reflected so perfectly the structure of the society at the time.

Pyramid of classes in Egypt

In my scholarly analysis today, I will try to address the issue of different rates that are paid to translators for their work by likening the pyramid of the different types of translation rates in “the translation industry” to the social pyramid based on the roles and functions of different people and professions that existed already some 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt.

At the bottom of the pyramid in ancient Egypt were slaves who had to perform the most arduous tasks while working basically for food. They were also the ones who had to build the pyramid…

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I Don’t Sell Hot Dogs – So Why Are You Calling Me “A Vendor”?

Selling hot-dogs LOL

Patenttranslator's Blog


I received the following e-mail from an agency in Europe. I translated a few Japanese patents for them a few years ago, but I have not heard from them in quite a while.
This is what the e-mail said:

Dear translator,

I would like to inform you that we are now working with a new Management System for our translation jobs.

This new system allows the interaction with you through our Vendor Portal.
The Vendor Portal is a tool designed for fast and easy cooperation with our Project Management Portal. With it you can:

• Update your personal data
• Receive and accept job offers
• Download and upload files
• Notify about your vacations (days off)
• And much more!

You will receive an email within the next few minutes with your login and password to enter the Portal. Please check you spam folder if you do not receive…

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Robotization of Translation – A Reflection of a World Gone Mad

Patenttranslator's Blog


The word “robot” was created by the Czech writer and playwright Karel Čapek in 1921, almost a hundred years ago, for one of his science-fiction plays called R.U.R., which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots. It is likely that the word was suggested to him by his brother, Joseph Čapek, after Karel Čapek attempted to coin a new word for his new play from the English word “labor” (or “labour”, probably).

It is interesting to me that the following three words that have been borrowed from Czech, or from what is now called Czech Republic, became English words: pistol (from píšt’ala, which now means “flute” or “whistle” in Czech), dollar (via German from a place in Bohemia called in German Joachimsthall, the origin of silver coins that were called “tolars” in Czech, very popular in Europe about four hundred years ago), and the word “robot”…

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7 Tips for Growing Up as a Professional Translator

Deep and insightful as anything by Paula Arturo usually is …

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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