When the unthinkable happens and giving up work isn’t an option

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and the unthinkable happens: a family member is struck with a long-term illness and you suddenly have to take on the role of carer. Caring for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining and as time-consuming as looking after a baby, but often with none of the happy milestones marking a transition from one phase to another. Not only does caring take huge bites out of your available work time, it often does not put you in the frame of mind to focus when you finally do manage to sit down at your desk.

Giving up work entirely is not always a financially viable option for the family. In my case, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on my hours and learn to work smarter. Although my earnings have dropped by about 20% in the past two years I’ve been a carer, I reckon the time I spend translating, on admin and other work-related matters is 50% less. I now very rarely work in the evenings or at weekends and I certainly don’t always work a full day either during the week. My aim is to get back to the same level of earnings without increasing the number of my working hours. In this post I’d like to share a few of the ways I’ve managed to ensure that the unthinkable didn’t turn into a financial disaster for my family.

Continue reading

4 Reasons Why Every Translator Should Blog

Today’s guest post is by Hanna Sles who translates from English into Russian and Ukrainian.

You have heard the wisdom:

“To be visible online, a translator’s website should have a blog.”

 

“Blogging will drive more traffic to a translator’s website.”

 

“Why aren’t you blogging yet?”

Blogging is becoming more and more popular in the translation and localization industry.

Think about it:

Everyone knows that blogging has gained mainstream popularity among freelance translators. But if you wish to start your own blog, it can be difficult to grasp why you should.

And today’s post will convince you to start blogging in a heartbeat.

Continue reading

Review of Advanced Subtitling Course at CenTraS

Back in February I managed to escape to London for the day to attend an advanced subtitling course given by Adriana Tortoriello at CenTraS (Centre for Translation Studies) at the UCL (University College London). Imagining I wouldn’t know anyone except Adriana, I was surprised to see that I’d sat down next to a fellow ITI Wessex member, Gina. We’d only met once before, but it was great to have someone to talk to, especially during the exercises that came later as some were none too easy.

Continue reading

How my MA in Translation from Exeter University helped me launch my career

I graduated from the University of Exeter with an MA in Translation in 2011. After submitting my dissertation, I remember feeling daunted at the prospect of starting my career as a freelance translator – how on Earth was I going to snap up my first client? It wasn’t until I started working at Amazon with colleagues who had completed MA Translation programmes at other universities that I realised how my degree gave me an advantage.

Continue reading

Bite-sized Tips No. 24: Quotation Marks or Italics

During my translation work I often come across words that the author has put in italics, quotations marks, or in italics within quotation marks. And often the way they use them throughout the text is inconsistent.

As translators, we have to take a step back from the usage in the original document and remember the rules of our own brand of English. Mirroring the source is not an option. And we also have to smooth out all the inconsistencies.

Whether you put words, terms, titles, etc., into italics, quotations or in roman type will depend on the style manual you have been told to follow. And if you haven’t been given any specific instructions, it’ll depend on whether you use a British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc., guide for your work. You’ll find a long list of style guides (over 40) towards the bottom of my ‘Useful Links’ page.

Continue reading

How I Passed the DipTrans: Top Five Tips

Today’s guest post is by Lucy Williams and was originally published on her own blog. As it is currently not available on her site, Lucy has kindly given me permission to reproduce two of her posts on the DipTrans on My Words for a Change since they contain valuable information for anyone thinking of taking the exam.

The title of this blog post is a bit tongue in cheek. I don’t pretend to be an expert. I am, it must be said, hugely proud of my two merits and a pass this January, but I can only say what helped me get there. Everyone has their own path.

Here are my top five tips:

Continue reading

The Diploma in Translation. What is it? Why do I want it?

Today’s guest post is by Lucy Williams and was originally published on her own blog. As it is currently not available on her site, Lucy has kindly given me permission to reproduce two of her posts on the DipTrans on My Words for a Change since they contain valuable information for anyone thinking of taking the exam.

If you are looking for a recognised translation qualification, there are two main options: a master’s in translation or the Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. I have chosen to take the Diploma. What is it and what are the advantages of this qualification over a master’s in translation?

Continue reading

Updated ‘Useful Links’ Page

The ‘Useful Links’ page on my blog is by far the most popular with almost 9,500 views so far. I’ve been working on it in recent weeks, adding some new links that I’ve come across over the past few months. Some of you may have noticed that the clickable ‘Back to top’ hasn’t been working. For some unknown reason, every time I add anything to the page, all the ‘Back to tops’ stop functioning and I have to fix the coding one by one. They should all be working properly again now.

Continue reading

Máster de Traducción Médico-Sanitaria de la UJI

Agradezco de corazón a Nikki que me haya propuesto participar en su blog como firma invitada con una reseña del máster en traducción médico-sanitaria que cursé durante el año lectivo 2012-2013. Mucho ha llovido desde que obtuve el título e imagino que algunos aspectos habrán cambiado en los últimos años. Aun así, me gustaría compartir aquí esa vivencia con todo aquel que esté interesado en cursarlo. Puesto que ya existen otras reseñas en la blogosfera que tratan las asignaturas y el funcionamiento en detalle, me centraré en otros aspectos.

Continue reading

The truth and nothing but: 2017 update on my stand-up desk set-up with treadmill and Steppie

It’s been over two years since I decided my bottom was going to spread no further and that it was high time I got off it and started being more active. Walking the dog (I’ve got a greyhound) just wasn’t enough to counteract the huge amount of time I was spending sitting down either at my desk or with the family on cold winter nights in front of the TV or playing board games.

Galvanised by all the New Year’s resolutions popping up on social media and after reading yet another article on the dangers of our current lifestyle, I decided to get a stand-up desk and a treadmill to go with it in 2015. You can read all about my purchases in my first post on the topic and more details in ‘Answers to Your Questions on the Pros and Cons of Using a Stand-Up Treadmill Desk’.

Continue reading