The ETN is a UK forum and support network for early-career literary translators working mainly into English. They run an email-discussion group. It’s free to join but you must meet certain requirements.
Yes, Facebook is a work tool as well. Besides the option of having a page for your business, there are a number of different groups you can join to connect with colleagues and ask for advice, help with technical issues (CAT tools, Dragon Naturally Speaking, etc.) and generally chat about our profession. Some are closed groups, so you’ll have to prove you are a professional translator/interpreter to join. Erik Hansson has compiled a comprehensive list of groups for linguists, published on Lingua Greca’s blog. You can also read my post Why you might regret not being on Facebook and Claire Cox’s excellent article on social media for some more ideas.
Not long ago many if not most translators were wondering what LinkedIn could offer. In my opinion, however, it’s a great showcase for a modern version of your CV. Besides the possibility of connecting with colleagues (I often visit LinkedIn if a client needs a service I cannot provide as I like the easy-to-read format and ability to message someone as soon as I think I’ve identified a translator with the correct skill set), there are now loads of translation-related groups you can join.
If you don’t have a blog (or even if you do), LinkedIn now allows you to post articles to boost your profile. Asking your connections (if you have done work for them) for recommendations, which are then displayed on your page, will also help persuade potential clients that you might be the right translator for their job. But please use the endorsement feature with caution (I’m not a fan and you can read why here).
I have written a miniseries on LinkedIn with some tips on how to improve your profile. The first instalment is Photos and Headlines. Although it’s slightly out-of-date now as LinkedIn has made changes to its site since I first wrote the posts, I’m sure you’ll still pick up a few ideas.
Unfortunately, a lot of translation work is offered at appalling rates. Then there’s crowdsourcing and MT (machine translation) to contend with as well. I would encourage you to browse through this site and realise that you don’t need to work for next to nothing to get your foot in the sector door.
Data on the payment practices of agencies and other translation clients. Charge applies.
The largest translation portal of them all. Paying for membership is not obligatory and a lot of the resources this site offers are available free of charge. This is a good place to have a profile because many end clients and agencies go there to look for translators and/or post job offers. Other important sections are: KudoZ, where you can ask for help with tricky terms; the Blueboard, which contains colleagues’ ratings of agencies they have worked for; the education section mentioned above; terminology resources, including the dictionary and reference board, which I help moderate, and GlossPost, which is a database of online glossaries. ProZ.com also holds virtual conferences every year, as well as one international and several regional conferences. Members also organise get-togethers called powwows.
ATA’s blog for newbies to translating and interpreting.
This website, run by Nancy Matis, collates several stand-out articles and posts into different categories.
Translation Commons is a nonprofit US Public Charity whose aims are to share knowledge, provide free tools and resources and promote community initiatives. There are three main sections: Translate, Share and Learn. You need to register to access the content.
Free blacklist of agencies, scammers, non-payers and low payers.
The second largest translation portal. Paying for membership is not obligatory and a lot of the resources this site offers are available free of charge. This is another good place to have a profile because end clients and agencies post job offers and/or contact translators directly. Like ProZ.com, this site also has a terminology section where you can ask questions.
I must admit I still find it hard to believe just how many people try to scam translators, but as this site says: “They steal your CV, your work and your money”. If a job offer sounds a bit weird and alarm bells start ringing, even if only distantly, then it’s probably best to steer clear or at the very least double check before accepting.
TWB is a non-profit organisation founded by Lori Thicke and Ros Smith-Thomas in 1993. Its aim is to “close the language gaps that hinder critical humanitarian and international development efforts worldwide”. The TWB community has translated over 50 million words in over 190 language pairs. If you would like to help, you can apply to be a volunteer even if you’re not a medical translator as there is usually a range of texts that need to be translated.
Loads of translators are on Twitter, and although the site doesn’t appeal to everyone, I would encourage you to give it a go. It’s a great way of meeting colleagues virtually, finding links to interesting blog posts, hearing about translation events, etc. I produced the this version of the Links & Tips for New Translators because a newly-graduated translator asked me for advice via the direct message service on Twitter.
Most conferences are also covered by Twitter obsessives, so you can even follow sessions being held hundreds or thousands of miles away in real-time without leaving the comfort of your own chair.
Please see my post ‘Everything (!) you’ve always wanted to know about Twitter’ for more information (and read the comments too, as they contain lots of useful advice as well).
Links are generally listed in alphabetical order in the sections and they are provided for information purposes only. Under no circumstances should they be understood as a personal recommendation.
The Links & Tips pages are constantly being improved, expanded and updated, so please come back another time. If you have any comments or recommendations, please contact me.
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