Only Human Translators

A language love affair

A language love affair

Last week, I was invited to a language awards ceremony by a good client of mine. As I’d never met any of the many people I deal with at the organisation, I thought it might be a good idea to go along and get to know them a little. So it was that I found myself...
Tuning the machine

Tuning the machine

In my last post, as well as looking back at 2019, I described the changes I want to make this year in the way I work. This has led me to thinking about freelancing, and about what we can and can’t change in our businesses. I see freelancing as a series of inputs...
Out with the old

Out with the old

What kind of a year have you had? My 2019’s been strange. As I identified in a previous post, I put my basic agency rates up at the beginning of the year without properly combining this with a marketing effort to ensure I would have enough new direct clients to...
Remember: the expert is you

Remember: the expert is you

I’m going to remember 2019 as the year of nightmare jobs. I’ve already written earlier this year about taking work I might have known I shouldn’t have accepted. This is a tale of two jobs that have more than qualified for the nightmare category, but...
The underlying theme

The underlying theme

Themes are problematic for conferences, I always think. And for me, the title of this year’s MET conference in Split – “Make it count: communicating with clarity and concision” – was doubly so because it included a word I’m certain...
Dilemmas of an upwardly mobile translator

Dilemmas of an upwardly mobile translator

Freelance translation is full of decisions. Shall I take this job? Shall I reject that one? How much should I charge? Should I put up my rates? And all decisions have consequences. If you ask for too much, the client might go elsewhere. But if you ask for too little...
Dump the hard sell

Dump the hard sell

Start building relationships It may be a growing trend or it could be that I’m becoming more aware of it, but there seems to be an American-style sales logic creeping into the world of translation. I say “American-style” because, like many –...
Staying in or getting out

Staying in or getting out

It’s time to go when… In almost 20 years in translation now, I don’t think I can remember a time when so many people were getting out of the business. Lately it seems that hardly a day goes by when I don’t read a message from someone saying...
On the road with RevClub

On the road with RevClub

Taking our message to the translation world At the beginning of this month, I was sitting in a Scottish hotel with my friend Tim Gutteridge listening to the lively buzz of more than 50 people discussing each other’s translations in small groups. And I suddenly...
A welcome message

A welcome message

Hope for the future I went to this year’s ITI Conference in Sheffield hoping to meet friends and colleagues but not sure quite what else to expect. Many would now have us believe that the big translators’ organisations have sold out to the agencies and the...