The Challenges of Regular Posting – Translation & Interpreting Blog Survey Results (Part 4)

Once you’ve started a blog, how do you keep it going? What can get in the way of posting regularly? The majority of the survey respondents (59%) admitted they didn’t update their translation and/or interpreting blogs at least once every six weeks. In this fourth and final part of the results, we’ll gain some insights into why some bloggers find it hard to publish posts frequently.

The most obvious and most frequent explanation for not writing more often was time constraints.

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What Readers Want – Translation & Interpreting Blog Survey Results (Part 3)

In Part 2 of these results we looked at the many reasons why people do and don’t blog. Unless you’re running a blog to improve your writing skills and keep a record of your ideas, you need readers. And to attract readers, you have to write about topics that interest them. Nearly 85% of the survey respondents read translation and interpreting blogs. Let’s find out why they read them and what puts the other 15% off.

As expected, the top response in favour of reading blogs was professional interest:

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To Blog or Not to Blog – Translation & Interpreting Blog Survey Results (Part 2)

Back in 2013, when I first started My Words for a Change on Blogger (before moving to WordPress in 2015), the pressure on freelance translators and interpreters to blog was quite intense. We were constantly being told that blogging was a must for marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes and to attract clients (as we learned in Part 1 of these results). I felt positively guilty for months because I had nothing to say (hard to believe now, I know, because once I started, I couldn’t stop) and felt that launching myself into the blogosphere was quite scary.

Judging by the responses to the translation & interpreting blog survey, I’m not alone in feeling compelled to blog:

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Blogging is Not Dead – Translation & Interpreting Blog Survey Results (Part 1)

Back in early January 2018, I decided to create the translation and interpreting blog survey because I wanted to find out whether blogging was a worthwhile activity for colleagues and myself. I’d noticed that many blogs listed in my blogroll had disappeared completely (so I had to remove them) and others hadn’t been updated with new posts for months and in some cases years.

It had also been suggested that Facebook, with its immediate exchanges and discussions taking place in a large number of groups ranging from general (Watercooler, The League of Extraordinary Translators, Things Translators Never Say) to specific (Tourism Translators, Translators who use Speech Recognition, memoQ Users), was the new preferred hangout for translators and interpreters.

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On Loneliness, Friendship and Resolutions

Ours can be a very lonely profession. Especially if we live on our own or are tied to the home as parents or carers. And jobs that ping into our inbox at unexpected times can make us change our plans and batten down the hatches until we meet the deadline. Because we need the money, don’t want to disappoint the client or cannot find anyone else to take the work on for us. And perhaps also because we’ve become workaholics.

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Books on My Shelves – Don’t Trust Your Spell Check

According to the back cover of Don’t Trust Your Spell Check, “Everybody makes mistakes”. Unfortunately, its author, Dean Evans, is no exception. In a book that promises “pro proofreading tactics and tests to eliminate embarrassing writing errors”, nothing could me more disappointing than finding some of the latter in the body of the text and the tests. Given that this is an independently published book, I guess there was no money for a copy editor and/or proofreader, which is a shame.

Having said that, as an experienced editor and content writer, Evans describes strategies and gives explanations that are well worth noting. And the many tests in the second half of the book are extremely helpful as a training exercise. Although it would be more useful to discuss differences of opinion in person with an experienced tutor, tackling the tests is far better than doing no practice at all.

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memoQ for the non-tech savvy – Part 2: First Translation

If you read Part 1, Introduction & Review, of this mini-series on ‘memoQ for the non-tech savvy’, you’ll know that I switched over to memoQ from Wordfast Classic a few months ago. My main reason to suddenly change from one CAT to another was because of ongoing problems using Wordfast after updating my system to the latest versions of Windows and Word. I was also fed up of the constant crashes every time I switched on Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) to dictate my translations.

In this second post on memoQ, I’ll highlight the basic steps you need to know to do your first translation in this CAT without watching any videos or webinars or reading the manual in case you’re short of time as I was.  Or your mind starts to boggle at too much techspeak.

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Why it’s not OK to say “a little bit OCD”

As wordsmiths, translators need to use language and terminology as correctly as they possibly can. And that’s why I believe we shouldn’t perpetuate the common misconception that it’s good to be “a little bit OCD”. Because it’s totally wrong to assume that being a super-organised person who pays attention to every detail and likes everything to be just so means you’re a bit OCD.

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What’s new on the updated ‘Useful Links’ page

First, I’d like to welcome all new followers to my blog. In case you haven’t come across the ‘Useful Links’ page before, it’s a list of links I originally put together for myself to make my working life easier. Over the years I’ve added many more links and divided them into over 40 categories so you can have information at your fingertips to help you work better and faster as well. I use this page every day when I’m translating and, with over 10,000 views so far, it’s also popular with colleagues.

You’ll find more details about the page in this post.

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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.

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