UK Pensions Basics for Freelance Translators

Great news! Human life expectancy is increasing. Earlier this year, The Independent newspaper published an article with the bold headline: There is someone alive today who will live to be 1,000 years-old. “Hurray, more time to translate!” I hear you cry. But what if, secretly, you’d really rather not? Perhaps you quite fancy taking a break to travel the world in your golden years? Maybe, by then, it could even be a space shuttle cruise around the galaxy.

Even if we live to the more widely-expected average age of around 80, we might just have to think about that thing that 43% of freelancers in the UK (compared to only 4% of those in employment) don’t yet have: a personal pension.

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Bump up your CPD with BP translation conference videos

You have until 4 November to take advantage of special discounts to watch BP conference videos. You can decide to watch just one, all of the BP18 videos, the current library (BP16 to BP18) or everything plus lifetime access to future videos. Your purchase (except buying just one video) will also give you chances to win a ticket to the next conference, BP19 in Bologna, at the beginning of May.

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How ‘No’ Days Can Be Good for Your Business

In a recent panel discussion during a Wordbee webinar on freelance translation management, we talked about how it’s important to specialise. This helps you stand out from the crowd of translators that offer to translate everything or almost everything under the sun. It also makes you more credible. Because being good at every subject is impossible, even if you do pride yourself on your research skills.

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October 2018 Update of ‘Useful Links’ Page

Welcome to the latest update of the ‘Useful Links’ page. This major update has been underway for a few months and I apologise that the “Back to top” has not been working during that time (fixed now).

Besides adding lots of new links to help you with your translations and running your business, I’ve divided the page into four main sections and added nine new subsections.

The first section contains the general monolingual resources (now divided into three different subsections to make links easier to find) and general multilingual resources.

New additions include British, Scottish, Canadian and American English dictionaries. With around 100 links in total in this section, there’s lots to explore.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 25: False Friends on Hotel Websites

A usual sight on British beaches, deckchairs are not found that often around hotel pools in Spain

A recent tourism editing job had me scouring through many translated websites of hotels (Spanish to English, my pair) and I was appalled to see the same mistakes made again and again.

Of course, this might be because the company used machine translation (MT) or non-native speakers for the job. Because a lot of people think tourism texts are so simple that MT will be good enough.

Unfortunately, that’s why many in the sector refuse to allocate a high enough budget to translating their marketing material. The less they are willing to spend, the more likely their translated text will fail.

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The four o’clockish in the morning club: a tale of insomnia

The other day I was speaking to my niece, who lives abroad, on the phone, not something we do regularly, and she asked how I was. ‘Tired,’ I answered. ‘You’re always tired,’ she sighed back. And she’s right. But there’s generally not much else an insomniac can say.

While some people seem to manage on just a few hours of sleep (lots of politicians only get four to five hours, apparently, including Trump,  but I’m not sure that’s worked in his favour as he doesn’t make much sense most of the time), if I get less than six hours too many days in a row, my brain switches off.

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When things go wrong

I had pink roses in my bouquet and in the table top display

Watching the royal wedding earlier this month reminded me of my own almost 11 years ago. Ours was obviously not nearly as grand and since we didn’t want a church ceremony and had young children, we opted to tie the knot at a zoo. Although we had gone for a more casual affair, we still hoped it would be perfect. Sadly, it was anything but.

So many things went wrong on the day and leading up to it that I don’t know where to start. Because this is a tale of service providers failing to do what we hired them to do.

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