Three of the most popular posts on my blog over the years have explored the relationship between translators and agencies: ‘18 reasons why an agency might stop working with you’; its sequel, based on feedback on the original post, ‘22 more reasons why an agency might stop working with you’; and a post looking at this relationship from the opposite perspective, ‘Thirteenish reasons why you might stop working for an agency’.
Today’s post is a sequel to the latter based on comments made on the original post, my own experience and opinions I have read in forums or discussed with colleagues in person.
The word is out: having your translations revised is THE way to grow as a translator. If you continue to work in your bubble without any feedback, you’ll make the same mistakes again and again, your word choices will remain narrow, you’ll never learn to think outside the box and your translations might never ever sing.
“I am not sure that one gains too much useful knowledge from a course on revision. Experience of being revised (whether monolingually or via translation) and revising is what makes you a better revisor. The interaction involved in close translator/reviser collaborations on big projects can be an abundant source of learning.”
“I work in a team of three where one person translates, another revises the translation (and the translator accepts/rejects the changes) and a third colleague does a final proof. This system generally works well and we all learn from each other too.”
“My case is special, because we are essentially an in-house team (some of us off-site), working for a host of departments/divisions as our ‘clients’. We have the same cycle for nearly all projects: translator – content reviser – translator – language reviser – translator – final approval (head of team). Therefore the translator has the final say in what to accept or reject from the reviser’s changes. But again, it is generally based on discussion and consensus.”
In August I rediscovered what an exceptionally beautiful part of the world the Lake District is (we were blessed with sunshine throughout our stay, however). Now that Brexit has probably scuppered my plans of moving back to the Continent to retire near the lakes in northern Italy to be close to family, I might just end up in the Lake District instead.
Back in October 2014 on my old blog I wrote about some reasons why an agency might stop working with you. As both the original post and the republished version on this blog on WordPress, My Words for a Change, amassed a lot of interest and comments, I’ve highlighted some more reasons below why you might suddenly find an agency no longer calls or emails you. They are based on the feedback and a few of my own observations.
Although this and the previous post focus on working with agencies, some of the points are equally valid for working with direct clients. I hope you find them useful.
That the free in freelancer means just that. Free to do a test or not. Free to refuse if you feel unwell, have no time, or just don’t like the look of the test (why do some agencies insist on using a cutting from a newspaper that has absolutely nothing to do with the types of texts you will supposedly end up translating for them?). And, of course, as I discussed with Elena Tereschenkova and Dmitry Kornyukov when they kindly invited me to chat with them one Wednesday on their live Blab chat show on translation called Blabbing Translators, free to pick and choose the advice we are bombarded with in this profession on social media without worrying about ignoring something often portrayed as essential.
This is just a quick post to ask you all if you could please complete the survey on revisions that I have created using Google Forms.
Regular readers will know that revisions is a pet subject, although I promise I do have lots of other posts/ideas in the pipeline. I just need to find some time to finish writing them (hopefully during the summer).
Thanks very much. I will blog about the results of this revisions survey at the beginning of the next academic year.
Is it just a box-ticking exercise to comply with the ISO 17100:2015 International Quality Standard?
Is it a chance to find a mistake in the translation as an excuse to pay the translator less or not at all?
Or is it an essential step in the translation process with the aim of delivering the best possible text to the end client?
Unfortunately, I learned in May, and not for the first time either, that some clients show no respect for me at all. After chasing payment from a direct client for three months and listening patiently to their promises and excuses, I decided to send them another invoice detailing the late interest* now due. This is the second time I’ve had to reissue an invoice and demonstrate to a direct client that I mean business. But it’s also the second time that interest has not been paid.
Although in both cases the new invoice met with an immediate response (agreed new payment date one week later that was met, and same-day payment), I’m rather dismayed that the interest I added (which, let’s face it, is a paltry sum) was totally ignored. Besides complete non-payment and ignoring reminder emails, nothing else feels like such a slap in the face.
As I’m not the most tech-savvy of people, it usually takes me a while to pick up the basics, let alone the niceties, of any program. In March I finally learned a few more commands in DNS (Dragon NaturallySpeaking), specifically how to underline, put in italics and make bold. For example, in the previous sentence, if you want to put “specifically” in italics, you say “select specifically” followed by “italicise that”. If you want to underline it, you select it and then say “underline that” and (I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now) if you want it to be bold, you say “bold that”.
Made a mistake and want to reverse what you’ve done? Just select the word again and repeat the same commands. In other words, if specifically is already in italics and you say “select specifically, italicise that”, it will revert back to normal Roman type. I also tried this with “All caps that” (the command to capitalise a word or phrase you’ve previously selected), but unfortunately it didn’t work.
In February I learned that LinkedIn lets you classify your connections using a feature called tagging. By using simple keywords, you can group people by where you met them, the language combination they translate, whether they interpret, live in your country, etc. I must admit I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound quite useful.
If you’d like to find out more about how to get the most out of LinkedIn, please see my miniseries on the topic. I’ve written five parts so far and I still have at least two more to go. As with most things connected with my blog, my problem is not finding the ideas, but the time, especially as I’ve been spending a lot more it with my family recently.