Articles of Special Interest to New Translators

1557501_10202947257020762_895164918_nThe blogosphere is teeming with advice for translators, both new and old alike. Naturally, the same subjects come round again and again as different bloggers give their particular slant on how we should be going about our business.

But in this crowded space, with countless writers vying for attention, some posts stand out more than others. Perhaps because their advice is spot on, or the clever way they’ve been written, or both. They deserve to reach a wider audience rather than slip into obscurity after just a few weeks. That’s why I’ve collated this list of posts. They’re either specifically targeted at newcomers to the translation profession or ones I think they would benefit from reading.

They cover a range of topics, which I’ve divided into some broad categories, and you’ll find that some opinions contradict  others. That’s because no single path leads to success and colleagues’ experiences vary depending on their language pairs, specialisms and markets.

Where these categories overlap with ones I have on this blog, I’ve made the heading clickable so you can read more on the topic.

This list was originally included in the Links & Tips for New Translators page. There you’ll find loads more links, recommendations and information on business and translation courses, social media, qualifications, associations, webinars, software and much more.

Please feel free to suggest other posts I could add. Thank you!

Art of Translating

Cardinal Sins of Translation #2: Translating without the Dictionary by Christiana Hills (for Intralingo)

Cardinal Sins of Translation #5 – Making a “Messy” First Draft by Christiana Hills (for Intralingo)

Faithful to what? Accuracy “vs” clarity in translation by Oliver Lawrence (Incisive)

On Hard Skills by Paula Arturo (guest post for Caroline Alberoni’s blog Carol’s Adventures in Translation)

Seven Super Skills: Progressing in Translation by Joseph Lambert (reblogged on The Savvy Newcomer – ATA’s Blog for Newbies to Translation and Interpreting)

Translating: is there method in the madness? by Joseph Lambert (Jaltranslation)

CAT Tools

CAT Tools and Translation Style by Riccardo Schiaffino (About Translation)

CAT Tools Comparative Review by Francesco Pugliano (Localization in Silicon Valley)

CAT Tools – The Definitive Guide by Hyperlingo

My (layman’s) take on CAT tools: Wordfast Classic vs Trados Studio 2014 by Claire Cox (Lines from a Linguist)

SDL Trados Studio and Déjà Vu: side by side by Emma Goldsmith (Signs & Symptoms of Translation)

SDL Trados Studio and memoQ: side by side by Emma Goldsmith (Signs & Symptoms of Translation)

The usefulness of CAT tools by Percy Balemans (Translating is an Art)

What’s a CAT tool? What’s a TM? by Emma Goldsmith (Signs & Symptoms of Translation)

Why bother with term bases, glossaries and style guides? by Oleg Semerikov (guest post for Adventures in Technical Translation on Lingua Greca)

CPD

Creative ways to pep up your CPD on a budget by Oliver Lawrence (guest post for ECPD Webinars)

Dealing with Complaints

Lessons learned at the wordface: dealing with complaints by Megan Onions (Speech Marks Translation)

Negative Translation Feedback – What an Opportunity! by Dennis Brown (PacTranz)

When a client is dissatisfied by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Editing, Proofreading, Revision and Review

Better Together by Simon Berrill (Only Human Translators on SJB Translations)

The Case for a Collaborative Revision Process by David Friedman

A Crash Course in Proofreading Translations by Martin Boyd (Diálogos)

Client review changes – Part Two: How to handle them by Angela Benoit

A lucrative sideline: editing for non-native speakers by Karen Tkaczyk (guest post for Corinne McKay’s Thoughts on Translation)

Minimalism in translation revision by Elisabeth Hippe-Heisler (Translation and Minimalism)

PDF proofreading – essential first-step checks by Louise Harnby

The Proofreader’s Corner: Untangling Proofreading by Louise Harnby

Proofreading, Editing, Revising: What’s the Difference? by Else Gellinek (Sprachrausch Blog)

Quality control in translation by Dr Andrew Godfrey

Revise that! by Allison Wright (That elusive pair of jeans)

Revision tips for translators – Part 1 , revising your own work by Kari Koonin

Revision tips for translators – Part 2 , revising someone else’s work by Kari Koonin

Revision workshop with Sue Young by Elisabeth Hippe-Heisler (Translation and Minimalism)

SfEP proofreading training by Dr Andrew Godfrey

When is your translation finished? by Tomedes

Finding and Keeping Clients

10 Ideas for Getting New Clients by Jo Rourke (Silver Tongue)

10 secrets to a successful collaboration with translation agencies by Letraduct

11 tips for new freelance translators on the hunt for their first assignments by Nicole Y. Adams (NYA Communications)

Advice for a new translator on job hunting by Jill Sommer (Musings from an overworked translator)

“Agencies won’t pay my rates and I can’t find direct clients”: what to do? by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Attending the right client events by Timothy Barton (AngloPremier Professional Translation Services)

Become a Project Manager’s favorite translator by Angela Benoit

Bulk versus premium translation: insight from Chris Durban by Jayne Fox (Between Translations)

Client Satisfaction Surveys for Freelance Translators by Michael Farrell (for The ATA Chronicle)

Creative Destruction Engulfs the Translation Industry: Move Upmarket Now or Risk Becoming Obsolete by Kevin Hendzel (Word Prisms)

Do’s and Don’ts for sending your CV to translation agencies and outsourcers by Kari Koonin

Hidden Customers by Simon Berrill (Only Human Translators on SJB Translations)

How I Built My Direct Client Base (Without Using Translation Portals) by Paula Arturo (Translator’s Digest)

How to get hired (and hired again): advice for linguists by Hanna Golota (Globalme)

In Defense of Working with Translation Agencies by Ted R. Wozniak

Manners maketh the translator – client relations or how not to do it by Claire Cox (Lines from a Linguist)

Need More Work? It’s Not Them, It’s You… and That’s the Best News You’ve Heard All Day by Jenae Spry (Success by Rx)

Out and about as an ambassador for the translation industry by Giselle Chaumien (Rüsterweg)

Saying no nicely by Simon Berrill (Only Human Translators on SJB Translations)

Spider Marketing: How to Get Clients to Come to You by Simon Berrill (for The ATA Chronicle)

Top 6 Tips on How to Work With Translation Agencies by Karen Hodgson (Translation Journal)

Ultimate List of Places to Find Translation Work Online by Simon Akhrameev

Working with individuals: why do so many translators avoid it? by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

General Advice

4 Common Mistakes many Translators Make by Véronique (Vling)0

5 Things You Need to Know before Starting Work as a Translator/Interpreter by Alina Cincan (Closer Wor(l)ds by Inbox Translation)

6-Step Strategy to Translators’ Visibility by Carlos Djomo (guest post for Adventures in Technical Translation on Lingua Greca)

9 Mistakes Freelance Translators Should Avoid by Levent Yildizgoren (TTC wetranslate)

10 Top Tips for Emerging Translators by Rosalind Harvey (Free Word)

10 worst mistakes I made as a freelancer by Olga Arakelyan (Your Professional Translator)

12 traps newbie translators fall into (Part 1/3) by Rose Newell (The Translator’s Teacup)

12 traps newbie translators fall into (Part 2/3) by Rose Newell (The Translator’s Teacup)

48 Short Pieces of Advice for Translators and Interpreters by Judy Jenner (guest post for Adventures in Technical Translation on Lingua Greca)

53 Freelancing mistakes that are costing you clients, cash and credibility by Samar Owais (guest post for Copyblogger)

A letter to my younger self as a translator by Marta Stelmaszak (Business School for Translators on Want Words)

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Working in the Translation Industry by Hyperlingo

Advice and Information for Prospective Translators: A Compilation of Articles Gleaned from the Internet by Dr. Leland D. Wright, Jr. on behalf of NOTA (Northeast Ohio Translators Association)

Bad Advice for Novice Skydivers: “Learn As You Go” by Kevin Hendzel (Word Prisms)

Common pitfalls for first-time translators by Jennifer Ball (London Translations)

Developing the skills to succeed as a professional translator by Jayne Fox (Between Translations)

Eight Unusual Tips for Newcomers by Steven Marzuola (for The Savvy Newcomer – ATA’s Blog for Newbies to Translation and Interpreting)

Fail early and often by Kevin Hendzel (guest post for The Pillar Box on the Institute of Translation & Interpreting)

Greatest Women in Translation: Nicole Y. Adams by Caroline Alberoni (Carol’s Adventures in Translation)

Chris Durban and the Chamber of Secrets by Maria Leridi (PEEMPIP Blog)

Getting started in freelance translation: what we wish we’d known by Oleg Semerikov (guest post for Adventures in Technical Translation on Lingua Greca)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times redux – translations in the 21st c. by Chris Durban (altMBA)

Newbies, clients will not knock on your door nor fall on your laps by Caroline Alberoni (Carol’s Adventures in Translation)

Starting Out as a Freelance Translator by Joseph Lambert (Jaltranslation)

The Ten Commandments of How to Be a Good Translator by Galina Green (Brit Bitch Berlin)

Top 10 Tips for New Freelance Translators by Jennifer Lee (Translator’s Thoughts)

Translation Terms for Beginners by Emily Rossi (Globalme)

Translators on… by Lloyd Bingham (several contributors’ thoughts collated on the Capital Translations Blog)

What to ask your client before starting a translation by Oleg Semerikov (reblogged on The Savvy Newcomer – ATA’s Blog for Newbies to Translation and Interpreting)

Machine Translation

How translators can assess post-editing MT opportunities by Kirti Vashee (eMpTy Pages)

Machine translation: Cause or solution of all evils? by Federico Gaspari (guest post for Translator T.O. on ProZ.com)

Post-editing: Blessing or curse for translators? by Federico Gaspari (guest post for Translator T.O. on ProZ.com)

What does the Future Hold for Translators by Christelle Maignan (Coaching for Translators)

Marketing

Basic and magnetic marketing tools for your freelance translation or interpretation business by Tess Whitty (Marketing Tips for Translators)

Cold Emailing: What Not To Do by Martin Boyd (Diálogos)

Corinne McKay’s ‘Marketing to Direct Clients’ Course – a Review by Claire Harmer (The Deep End)

How to market yourself as a brand new translator by Audra de Falco

Things to Avoid When Marketing Your Translation Service by Chiara Grassilli (Translator’s Thoughts)

Translator’s Guide to Contacting Translation Agencies by Email by Ron McCoy (Affinity Translation)

Mentoring

Starting out in translation? Find a mentor! by Maria Karra (sciword)

Networking

Mastermind groups and how they can benefit translators by Jane Eggers (guest post on Karen Rückert’s blog Translator Mentoring Blog)

Networking by Alison Hughes (guest post for Caroline Alberoni’s blog Carol’s Adventures in Translation)

Networking: Top Tips to Improve Your Skills and Learn to Love it by Martina Eco (3P Translation Blog)

Posts Clients Should Read

12 myths busted to help you buy a quality translation by Gwenydd Jones (Translator’s Studio)

Back to Basics: 5 things to ask yourself before buying translation services by Natalie Soper (Bellingua)

Pricing

9 of the most common translation negotiation mistakes by Marta Stelmaszak (Business School for Translators on Want Words)

Charging for Translations Jobs by Joanna Scudamore-Trezek (German Translation Tips & Resources)

Chris Durban on translation pricing by Jayne Fox (Between Translations)

Freelance Translator’s Fair Pay Rates and Income Calculator by Dennis Brown (PacTranz – Pacific International Translations)

Pricing for Translators by Dimitra Stafilia (for the PEEMPIP Blog)

Revisiting the “Poverty Cult” 20 Years On by Neil Inglis (for The ATA Chronicle)

Six figures as a translator: how to get there? by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Sub-optimal rates: “better than nothing,” or not? by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Tips for setting your translation rates for professional translators by Popie Matsouka (PEEMPIP)

To break out of the low-rate market, change these three things by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Translator survival guide to profitable PDF pricing by Gwenydd Jones (Translator’s Studio)

What is the “right rate” for your translation services? by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Productivity and Time Management

Managing your time as a freelancer can be quite challenging at times when you are bombarded with emails, have a heavy workload and other non-work-related activities vie for your attention.

5 Steps to Empty Email Inbox Heaven by Kari Koonin

A freelancer’s guide to taking time off by Kari Koonin

Boosting Your Productivity as a Translator by Transpanish

Five Articles to Help You Improve Your Time Management by Marie Jackson

Eight Articles to Help You Improve Your Health and Productivity by Marie Jackson

Why multiple screens can help you translate faster by Dorota Pawlak

Professional Associations

Why join a professional association for translators and interpreters by Jayne Fox (Between Translations)

Qualifications

How do you get from a language degree to being a professional translator? by Gwenydd Jones (Translator’s Studio)

Quality Control

Back translations – what are they, and are they useful? by Craig (Dora Wirth Languages)

Quality control in translation by Dr Andrew Godfrey

Scams

Translations Scams: Tips for Avoiding them and Protecting Your Identity by Carola F Berger  (guest post for Adventures in Technical Translation on Lingua Greca)

Social Media

Getting Started with Twitter for Freelance Translators by Simon Akhrameev (Successful Freelance Translator)

Translator’s Guide to Blogging by Ron McCoy (Affinity Translation)

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Translators by Chiara Grassilli (Translator’s Thoughts)

Specialising

Is fashion translation a good fit for you? by Lucy Williams for Gwenydd Jones’s Blog (Translator’s Studio)

Four Strategies on Specialising in Legal Translation by Lucie Davioud (guest post for Lloyd Bingham’s Capital Translations Blog)

Technical Translation

Savvy Technical Translators: What do They Have that You Need? by Karen Tkaczyk (for The Savvy Newcomer – ATA’s Blog for Newbies to Translation and Interpreting)

Tools

Professional-Quality Translation at Light Speed: Why Voice Recognition May Well be the Most Disruptive Translation Technology You’ve Never Heard of by Kevin Hendzel (Word Prisms)

Taming the Dragon by Claire Cox (Lines from a Linguist)

Unlocking the Secrets of Dictation Software by Jenae Spry (Success by Rx)

Using Corpora in Translation by Sandra Young (Deep End Blog)

Transcreation and Writing Skills

25 Ways to Boost Your Writing Skills by Saga Briggs (informED by Open Colleges)

How to Spice Up Your Translation by Percy Balemans (for The ATA Chronicle)

Translation vs. Transcreation by Matthew Stibbe (guest post on Articulate inbound content marketing blog)

The Whys and Hows of Translation Style Guides. A Case Study by Francesca Airaghi (FA Traduzioni)

Work–Life Balance

Juggling work and caring responsibilities – top tips for freelancers by Ofer Tirosh (Tomedes)

Video Karen Tkaczyk’s sit/stand desk by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

Work & life balance has everything to do with your rates by Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz (Gos Talks)

Work/life balance advice for beginners: pace yourself by Corinne McKay (Thoughts on Translation)

 

19 thoughts on “Articles of Special Interest to New Translators

  1. Thanks so much for including my post (especially since I still consider myself a “new” translator)! This is quite a comprehensive list – I’m definitely going to bookmark it and work my way through!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nikki! A nice tutorial for every translator! Thank you! I want to share something. Today newbie translators are left alone in a busy world of the translation industry. Most of them don’t know how to start, because nobody gave lectures on how to start. This is an amazing post that will help them make first steps. And it seems to me it is very important if a translator would see and develop additional skills and knowledge (how to promote services online, how to create a website, how to implement essential tools for productivity etc). And the best way to do that could be to follow successful freelance translators from around the world on facebook: https://goo.gl/wngiIf

    Like

    1. Hi Hanna, I’m glad you like the page. I decided to produce this page of articles and the ‘Links & Tips for New Translators’ when I was asked for advice by a newcomer. I thought it would be more useful if I made the information available to everyone and I don’t always have time to stop what I’m doing to answer people’s lengthy questions.
      I agree that it is helpful to follow colleagues on Facebook and also join some translation-related groups.

      Like

  3. Wow! This is a great article for new translators. Thanks for all the hard work, Nikki. I’m sure it took you a lot of time to find all these articles. As a freelance translator, I can only thank you for all the good recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

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