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Lesson 140: All 139 lessons in one free ebook

After four years of blogging and just under three years in the current form of lessons, I decided to put together a publication containing all 139 lessons published here on the blog. The ebook version was suggested some time ago by a couple of colleagues. I liked the idea, and I knew it may be […]

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Lesson 139: What can a professional translator learn from translation students?

If you think that I nearly became a teacher, some of the elements of my career may make more sense. I present or blog because there must be a bit of a teacher in me. This is also the reason why I called my blog and course the Business School for Translators. So when a […]

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Lesson 138: A letter to my younger self as a translator

I recently gave a talk at my Alma Mater to a group of translation students. Seeing my lecturers, the building I knew so well, hearing questions I swear I had when I was on the other side… All this made me reflect and go back in time to the days when I was a student. […]

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Protected: One Month Business Camp

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Lesson 137: Seeing your translation business from the process perspective – useful or over the top?

Like many linguists, I really like studying and discovering new fields. It’s part and parcel of our job. What works really well with me is to set goals in my learning. And by that I don’t mean aspirational timelines or ephemeral end points, but real, concrete goals. Most of them take the form of official […]

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Lesson 136: The shoemaker’s children. Do we apply the rules of successful communication?

I’m quieter than usual on my blog and social media, perhaps slowly turning into a lurking type. I committed to switch to listening instead of talking and I’ve observed (and at times been dragged into) some interesting exchanges, both online and off-line. One of my “favourite” theories on communication is Paul Grice’s cooperative principle focusing […]

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Lesson 135: 5 mistakes more experienced translators make

I’ve recently been invited to moderate a panel on social media networking at Translating Europe Forum in Brussels. This was one of my last presentations for a while. Plus, Translating Europe’s goal this year was empowering young translators, so the room was filled with students and recent graduates. Put these two together and you’ll inevitably […]

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Lesson 134: Slides from my past presentations and talks for translators released

The first public speaking appearance I’ve ever made was a webinar I delivered for eCPD Webinars in 2012. Lucy from eCPD Webinars approached me following the publication of my ebook and asked if I was interested in giving a talk on this topic. At the time, I thought of it as a one-off. Always the […]

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Lesson 133: 7 ways to grow as translators: where can you take your business after it’s plateaued?

Sooner or later, we all get to grow as translators and reach a point in our careers where things are going satisfactorily well, we have a large and diverse pot of clients and we’re generally happy with the business and career. It’s often referred to in business as “plateau”: after climbing up for a while […]

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Lesson 132: 7 translation business paradoxes that are surprisingly true

Though the business world may seem paradoxical, especially if you’re facing tough and puzzling situations at various stages of your career, I’ve identified some translation business paradoxes that are in fact true. Even more so, they’re true and helpful. Sometimes looking at sentences that make you think twice forces you to reconsider your beliefs and […]

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Lesson 131: Paradoxes in a freelance translator’s career

As part of my recent presentation in Rotterdam, I did a small experiment and I applied some of my favourite social science approaches to a freelance translator’s career. We talked about paradoxes, wicked problems and messes. The translation profession is full of them, you can’t deny that! Our working definition for the talk, and how […]

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Lesson 130: Managing non-translation projects for business development

Thank you for following this series on putting things into practice so closely! We’ve had some great discussions and it’s good to know you’re benefitting from this topic. I wanted to dedicate the last article in this series to managing non-translation projects, that is everything related to running our marketing, sales, business development or even […]

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Lesson 129: How to apply business knowledge to your actual translation business?

Surrounded with a variety of sources (including this blog), we’re exposed to tips and pieces of advice on how to run a translation business on a day to day basis. Add several books and a couple of translation conferences a year and you’ll end up with a great collection of useful bits… on paper. I […]

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Lesson 128: How to apply what you’ve learned at a translation conference?

Last weekend Csaba Ban hosted yet another BP conference, this time in Zagreb, Croatia. This independently organised translation conference attracted a pool of colleagues and speakers, and it was great to see so many new faces, too. I’ve been to a few conferences in the past three or four years. Usually I’m looking forward to […]

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Lesson 127: What’s behind the scenes of success as a translator?

The topic for the last part of the behind the scenes series has been following me for a while, and I think it’s time to talk about success. The first time I thought about this article, a few months back, it was prompted by a conversation I had with a colleague in a different industry. […]

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Lesson 126: Where can a translator find the strength and motivation?

Last week we discussed fears and insecurities and to balance things out, I wanted to look at the opposite end of the scale: what motivates us and gives us strength to work as a freelance translator, where can a translator find the strength and motivation. Because it’s “behind the scenes” series, I’m going to draw […]

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Lesson 125: Translation fears, worries and insecurities. Do we all have them?

Thank you for your wonderful response to my idea of the “behind the scenes” series. This month, I’d like to look deeper, look behind the nice images and see what’s going on below the surface of working as a translator. I asked you both in my newsletter and on Facebook to suggest the areas and […]

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Lesson 124: Where can a translator use a translation USP?

In the previous weeks, we talked about creating and crafting your translation USP and what to take into account. We’ve looked at several elements and aspects to consider, and now it’s time to think about where you can use your USP. I wouldn’t like you to think that USP is all about finding what makes […]

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Lesson 123: Developing a translator’s USP – challenges and opportunities

Continuing this month’s thread, I wanted to look at the ways to develop your USP. I’ve read several articles on this topic, and while they’re obviously useful, they’re concentrating mostly on USP for companies. As much as I agree that a freelancer is a company in its full rights, I’m sure you’ll agree with me […]

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Lesson 122: What is a USP for translators?

The one piece of advice for freelancers you’ll find everywhere is as follows: you need to find your USP, something that makes you different from others. USP, Unique Selling Proposition, is your differentiator, the quality that makes your offering different from others. It doesn’t mean you’re trying to be better or get rid of competitors, […]

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Lesson 121: Translation and personality: a perfectionist with controlling here, and you?

Whenever I’m writing about a certain topic on my blog, I always research it. This month, researching translation and personality, has been particularly insightful. I managed to look at some of my strengths and weaknesses as a freelancer and start working on some elements that weren’t quite right. This weekend I came across an interesting […]

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Lesson 120: Personality and translation: navigating the profession between analysts, diplomats, sentinels and explorers.

Personality and translation is the topic for me this month. Following my last week’s post on introverts and extraverts, I wanted to explore the aspect of personalities a bit more. Based on MBTI, several tests and theories have developed underlining the dichotomies between four factors: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, judging/perception. One of the theories that I […]

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Lesson 119: Does your personality impact your translation career? Introverts and extroverts.

I like taking online personality tests, from the really silly ones on Buzzfeed (e.g. what house should you live in or what’s your hidden nationality), to a bit more serious ones, like http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. Most of the time it’s just pure fun and distraction from work, but the more I work, the more I’m convinced that […]

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Tell me a story about your job as a translator in six words.

Have you heard of six-word novels, popularised apparently by Ernest Hemingway? The idea is to write a story in no more, no less than six words. Here you can see some great examples: http://www.sixwordstories.net/. The beginning of this trend is rather sad. Ernest Hemingway is believed to have won a competition for the best dramatic […]

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Lesson 118: How not to be an expert in translation?

Whether you accept that there’s such a thing as an expert, or that this is just a marketing technique gaining popularity these days, or, like me, you’re considering the possibility that some translators may become experts or that some subject matter experts become translators, we can surely agree on some things that an expert in […]

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# WantWordsTV Episodes

WantWordsTV Episodes As some of you might know, I am a naturally introvert person and I really enjoy new challenges. WantWordsTV is a visual accompaniment to my blog, where I can experiment with a visual delivery and maybe even connect with you more. I hope you enjoy the episodes! WantWords TV 17: How to make […]

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Lesson 117: What is niche marketing and how can expert translators use it?

I can’t really talk about experts and specialists without mentioning niche marketing. This concept has been gaining popularity over the past few years, with marketers trying to find the right term to cover marketing to narrow, specific segments of clients. This is what niche marketing really is, and by large it uses the same strategies […]

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Lesson 116: How to find your translation niche?

The more I look into the topic of experts, the more fascinated I become. Today, when preparing to write this article on translation niches, I came across the following explanation: “The power of the niche is the old “big fish in a little pond” theory. It’s more likely that you’ll become well known for something […]

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Lesson 115: Why professional translators want to become experts?

The expert theme is going to be a bit longer than one month, mostly because it requires a bit more in-depth perspective than just three articles. I also wanted to keep a form of continuity between December and January this year, rather than saying ‘ok, 2014 is gone and it’s time to dive into the […]

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Lesson 114: Quotes and sentences that might inspire you to become an expert translator

Still under the expert theme, I wanted to share some of the most interesting and inspirational quotes about becoming or being an expert I found. Can you add yours? “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” – Niels Bohr “An expert is someone […]

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Lesson 113: How to survive in the world where everybody tells you to become an expert translator?

About a year ago, when I first started studying the future patterns of work, I came across many predictions about how employment (in fact, any form of work) is going to look like in the future. One of such potential developments, perhaps supported with strongest evidence and research, is so-called hyperspecialisation (for more read Thomas […]

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Do you want to give your business a boost? Join the free January Business Camp

You probably know by now that I do the majority of my business planning every year in January. I dedicate this month to analysing the previous year, assessing my situation and setting goals for the following 12 months. I consider myself quite good when comes to self-discipline, yet sometimes, especially during these dark, windy January […]

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Lesson 112: How and why to develop your own translation code of ethics?

Increasingly and among a larger variety of professions, companies and solo entrepreneurs alike adopt codes of ethics for their businesses. The partial reason for it is the overall dramatic increase in the ethical expectations of businesses and professions: customers, clients and employees expect commercial entities to act ethically. But codes of ethics are not there […]

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Lesson 111: Business ethics: what’s ethical and what’s not in a freelance translator’s business

Ethics seems to be discussed these days mostly in reference to “agency unethical behaviours” or unethical treatment of translators by other entities. The argument of ethics, professional or business, is often brought up when comes to rates, agreements, terms and conditions or the use of technology. And of course it’s good that these elements are […]

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Lesson 110: Codes of conduct: more paperwork or a backbone of a freelance translator?

Joining just about any translation or interpreting organisation means that you have to sign a copy of its code of conduct to confirm you’re going to run your business in line with the provisions. A careful professional, or maybe a novice joining their first organisation, will read every point and analyse the details. But with […]

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Lesson 109: The introvert’s guide to translator conferences

Attending this year’s American Translators Conference in Chicago is (yes, still here as I’m writing this article) an amazing experience. The sheer number of attendees and size of the venue make it a one of a kind experience for me, an ATA newbie. I’ve heard rumours that there are over 1,800 translators and interpreters in […]

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Lesson 108: How to make the most of a trip to another country as a travelling translator

This autumn, I was away working and enjoying both South and North America. I spent 25 days in Argentina, Uruguay and the United States. Apart from working in the mornings and sight-seeing in the evenings, which in itself is a great bonus of being a freelancer, I used the trip to do some business development. […]

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Lesson 107: The Business Guide for Translators

For the past year or so, colleagues have been asking me if I planned to write a book. Of course, I’ve been thinking about it for ages, but you know what a freelancer’s lifestyle is like. On the 30th of April 2014, I released the book for pre-order, reversing the publishing process a bit. While […]

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Lesson 106: Articles and posts on finance for freelance translators

In the search for articles under the topic of finance, I came across a range of useful resources, so I thought that the best thing I could do was to share them with you. And of course, ask for your contributions to the topic. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to create a small collection […]

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Lesson 105: Why should you invest in your freelance translation business?

The idea of investing in a freelance translation business very often ends on start-up costs. We take into account what we need to get properly set up, for example a computer, a chair, CAT tools, dictionaries, maybe a website, and off we go into the freelancing world. Later on we may need a software update […]

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Lesson 104: Financial tips for freelance translators

The subject of finance is usually treated either as endless complaining about low rates or how to set prices for translation or interpreting. I wanted to take a different approach to discussing finance on my blog and start with some tips that will help you maintain a healthy financial condition. You know my writing style […]

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Thank you for your support and votes

I wanted to thank you ever so much for showing all this great support in the recent Proz Community Choice Awards. Thanks to your votes, I came first in six categories. For me, it’s a sign that you value and appreciate the work I’m doing. I’ll keep on going. Best translation blog Best translator’s website […]

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Lesson 103: Free e-books for translators – on business, marketing and management

This time I’d like to share some of my favourite and most useful free e-books for translators I found online. Some of them require an e-mail sign-up to download, but it’s well worth it. Browse through and read my descriptions. Time Management for Creative People – this free e-book is not only for creative people, […]

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Lesson 102: Resources in a cloud-based translator’s office

As I hinted at in one of my previous blog posts, this summer has largely been dominated by three projects I worked on: the book, Negocia Vende Traduce and… my dissertation. Over the past few months or so I was looking at how freelancers incorporate technology in their work patterns and what are the underlying […]

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Lesson 101: Best business advice blogs for freelancer translators I found around

I know that it takes up a lot of time to stay up to date with all blogs and articles written by fellow translators and interpreters. Very often it’s hard enough to cover all of them, not to mention reaching out and reading other useful blogs. This is why I decided to share my collection […]

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Lesson 100: Why translation downtime is a good thing and how to make the most of it?

You’ll find this post interesting because unlike my usual ‘how to find more work’, I’m going to advocate for finding time off work. This year I worked flat out until the 15th of July and I planned a longer period of downtime right through until the end of September to concentrate on writing the book, […]

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Lesson 99: What to do in the United Kingdom if you’re a translator or interpreter on holidays?

Following a question and a short discussion I had with one of our colleagues and readers of my blog, I decided to compile a shortlist of things to see, do and experience if you’re a translator or interpreter on holidays in the UK. Being based in London, my idea of holidays is getting out of […]

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Lesson 98: Holidays for freelance translators

A few weeks ago I had this idea that this year I’ll go on real holidays, you know, when you don’t check email and don’t think about work. But a few great opportunities came along and while I’m still planning a significantly reduced number of working hours, I’ll be working on some translation projects. However, […]

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Lesson 97: Expert Level Bootcamp for Translators

If you’re following my blog and Facebook page, you must have noticed the Business School for Translators course I’m doing in partnership with eCPD Webinars. Following the encouragement of my students and graduates, we decided to put another course together: Expert Level Bootcamp for Translators. The whole idea behind the bootcamp is to spend a […]

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Lesson 96: Techniques of persuasion in negotiation for translators

In previous posts on negotiation, we talked about the process of negotiating from preparations to closing the deal. I’ve underlined that it’s important to argue your case when explaining to the client why the rates or the deadline should be what we’re saying, not what they’re saying. It made me think about the course I […]

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Lesson 95: How to negotiate fees for translation projects?

In the previous article, I tried to convince you that negotiation should be a part of each new project coming in, but I also explained that negotiation is not about bargaining or getting the most out of the client. Just to reiterate, negotiation means arriving at a win-win situation for both parties. Right, but it […]

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Lesson 94: 9 of the most common translation negotiation mistakes

… but before I get on to the topic, I’d really like to thank you for your continuing support. Thanks to you, I’ve been voted the second best professional blogger in the languages industry. It means a lot to me and now I’ll try even harder to bring you the best content and best articles […]

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Lesson 93: How to segment your translation market?

In my previous article, we looked at segmentation and how does it help us selling translation. This week’s much more practical. I’d like to walk you through the process of segmenting your customers. It’s very hands-on and practical, so just follow it step by step. No woolly introductions this time. 1) Identifying real segments Customer […]

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Lesson 92: What’s segmentation and does it go with selling translation?

In the previous post, I made the point that we need to be able to offer services adapted to our clients’ needs. You agreed with me on Twitter and in conversations that we had. I also mentioned that the article was the first point in understanding customer segmentation, our theme this month. Here’s a very […]

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The Language Lovers 2014. Who are you voting for?

Quite surprisingly, I’ve just realised that this year’s Language Lovers competition opened for voting almost the same time as local and European elections. I remember reading an article a few days ago which encouraged freelancers to vote for parties and representatives who can bring positive changes to the situation of the self-employed. Of course, without […]

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Lesson 91: Can we (and should we) sell the same translation to all clients?

At the recent conference in Budapest where I had the pleasure of attending and presenting, the first conference morning included a panel discussion with the representatives of LSPs and freelance translators. One of the claims made, to which I opposed, was that LSPs (no matter if large of single freelancers) should offer their clients “fit […]

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Lesson 90: Book overview released! The Business Guide for Translators is coming your way

When I first decided I was going to write a book (as a result of encouragement from quite a few colleagues – you know who you are!), I haven’t expected such great, warm and supportive feedback from you. Releasing it for pre-order and receiving all your comments has been such a huge motivator to work […]

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Lesson 89: Ok, but where to find people interested in translation for direct mailing?

After talking to a few colleagues on Facebook and Twitter about potential uses of direct mail, I know that some of you are considering implementing it in your marketing efforts. But the ever recurrent question is as follows: where should we take good leads from? And by good leads I mean prospects, potential customers, who […]

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Lesson 88: How to start using email marketing for translation business?

Last time we talked about email marketing for translation business and discussed what it is and whether it can be useful in promoting translation or interpreting services. In this article, I wanted to bring you a bit closer to this whole newsletter, subscription and mailing lists story. Apart from perhaps encouraging you to use one […]

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Lesson 87: What is email marketing and does it have a place in a translation business?

As a marketing strategy that’s talked about quite extensively, email marketing has been brought up by one of my students in the previous edition of the Business School. I think it’s time to look at it in detail and discuss whether freelance translators and interpreters can actually use it to promote their services.

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Lesson 86: SEO Copywriting for translation business – what you can do to make your website rank a bit higher

When I was getting my first website and then redesigning it to the existing one I was wondering how to ensure that it ranks high enough to be noticed. If you have a website or are considering investing in one, you must be wondering about the same. For a handful of keywords, my website now […]

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Lesson 85: How to write a good direct email or letter to promote your translation services?

You may or may not have a website and be into web copywriting, you may or may not want to get a brochure and learn how to write one, but you’re exposed to writing direct email or letters on a day-to-day basis. You may not be conscious of it, but every time you write something […]

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Lesson 84: A variety of tips and resources to improve copywriting for your translation business

In my previous post I argued that copywriting skills are indeed useful if you’re a translator. Apart from simply helping you to write better, good copywriting can improve your marketing. This article is rather different from my other articles because I wanted to show you some of the best resources I found online that can improve […]

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Lesson 83: How can a translator benefit from improving copywriting skills?

Following up on my last post in February on how to write effective brochures and leaflets, I dedicated this month to talking about improving copywriting skills. It brings me a few years back, when I was still in high school and I wanted to become a writer. Having always been passionate about poetry and literature, […]

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Lesson 82: How to write effective translator’s brochures and leaflets?

Now that we’ve covered how to structure a leaflet and brochure and what to include in them, I wanted to share some brochure copywriting tips to wrap up the topic for this month. A few years back I completed a training course on copywriting and writing effective translator’s brochures and leaflets. I must say that […]

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Lesson 81: What can you do with leaflets promoting your translation services?

With a new batch of my own leaflets being produced as I write, I wanted to make sure I make the most of them and share my ideas with you. I compiled this short list of seven potential opportunities where you can use brochures or leaflets promoting your translation services. If you have any other […]

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Lesson 80: What to include in a brochure promoting your translation services?

After the first introductory article on using brochures and leaflets to promote a translation business, this week I’d like to concentrate on discussing what should be included in a leaf;et or brochure promoting your translation services. While there are no set rules and often breaking the usual pattern will grab the reader’s attention, we still […]

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Lesson 79: Have you considered using leaflets or brochures to promote your translation business?

Now that we finished talking about blogging, I thought it was a good idea to discuss another means of promotion, both online and offline. I’ve been using leaflets and brochures for about two years now (mostly digital versions), and I found it a very good investment. There are some other colleagues out there who’ve been […]

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Lesson 78: 7 important decisions about blogging for translators

Now that we went through the most troubling issues around blogging and we discussed the technical side of setting one up, it’s high time we talk about some important decisions related to starting a blog. I wish I’d thought about all that when I first established my blog – having all the answers back then […]

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Lesson 77: All the geeky techy things around blogging about translation

Some of the questions I received related to blogging about translation covered the more technical aspects of setting up, running and analysing a blog. Let’s deal with them first.

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Question or doubt about blogging in translation?

By the end of this month, I’m planning to release a post answering all questions about blogging in translation coming from fellow translators and interpreters. I’m also going to deliver a workshop on blogging and social media in Leeds soon and your questions would make a great addition on the day! Here’s how it works. […]

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Lesson 76: Do you have to blog to market your translation business successfully?

In the recent years, you might’ve noticed an explosion of blogs written by translators. It feels like there’s a new one launching almost every day. I write mine quite regularly as well. All this may lead to some confusion and perhaps even a feeling of being behind if you don’t write a blog, for a […]

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Lesson 75: A translator’s business plan

This month we looked at how freelancers can make the most of business planning through SMART goals, writing everything down and carefully selecting how and when to write. In the last post under this topic, I’d like to discuss what sections you may want to include in your translator’s business plan – of course if […]

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Lesson 74: Do freelance translators need business plans?

The topic of business plans for freelancers has always been raising doubts and causing controversies. In the beginning, when I was learning about the principles of setting up a freelance business, I’ve always been confused by conflicting pieces of advice: yes, you absolutely need a business plan, or on the other hand no, business plans […]

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Lesson 73: When planning how to grow your translation business, plan smart

In December, we’re going to talk about business planning, in other words planning to develop or grow your translation business. You usually either consciously or subconsciously think about how your business is going to evolve in the next 12 months, and this inherent business planning takes place in January. It’s a good month to plan: […]

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Lesson 72: If we have to compete with other translators, what should we compete on?

In the past weeks I tried to explain my point of view on competition: that in fact, freelance translators shouldn’t compete with other translators. I talked about making competition irrelevant and avoiding competing on price.

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Lesson 71: 7 ways to make your translation competition irrelevant

In my previous post, I looked at the definition of competition and I argued that in fact translators hardly ever are competitors, because they provide distinctively different services. This week, I want to look a bit more in detail at how translators can make competition irrelevant. I encourage you to give it a go!

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Lesson 70: Translation is a very competitive profession, translation is not a very competitive profession.

As I’ve already mentioned to my subscribers earlier on this week, November is going to be all about competition and making competition irrelevant. Again, many thoughts and ideas I’m going to share have been inspired by the Blue Ocean Strategy, which is an amazingly powerful tool to transform your business (and I don’t have any […]

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Lesson 69: Translator’s strategy canvas: providing value by being different

As the last element in the creating value theme, I would like to look at a tool which is directly related to what we discussed last week. This tool is called “strategy canvas” and forms a part of the Blue Ocean Strategy (which I’m a big fan of, as you may know). Let me explain […]

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Lesson 68: Value innovation in translation: what can you offer that nobody else does?

We’re half-way through the month of value creation in which I’m talking about tools and strategies to create value of translation in the eyes of our clients for the benefit of our businesses. This week I’m going to look at Value Innovation in translation, a concept further explained as a part of the Blue Ocean […]

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Lesson 67: How to stop talking about features and start presenting the benefits to translation clients

In my previous post, I argued that to attract the most promising prospects and turn them into loyal clients, we need to present the value of the work we’re doing. This attitude requires a shift in the way we think about translation and interpreting as a profession we engage in, but also a change in […]

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Why do you translate? Replies from #iapti2013

You may already know that I use the same thread at all conferences where I present. I ask: Why do you translate? and collect paper or digital replies, like I did in Madrid or in Porto. This time I took it further and retyped all paper replies from the First IAPTI International Conference. Read through […]

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Lesson 66: Can we make translation more valuable in the eyes of our clients?

Having spent a month looking at market research, I decided to talk about value and value creation in October. My intention was to post it in the beginning of the month, but as you may know the fabulous IAPTI First International Conference was taking place in London and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else than […]

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Lesson 65: 4 steps to market research for freelance translators or interpreters

To wrap up the market research for freelance translators or interpreters month, following a series of posts on the importance of market research in translation to market research resources, let’s look at how to conduct market research if you are a freelance translator or interpreter and cannot really pay thousands of pounds to a market […]

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Lesson 64: Market research resources for translators and interpreters

As promised, this week I’m looking at market research resources for translators and interpreters. The main aim of this article is to collect resources or suggestions where to look for them that you can use when researching your particular markets. But before we move into specific examples, let’s look at the scope of resources we […]

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Lesson 63: Translation market research: what areas to include?

Last week I tried to convince you why doing a proper translation market research is an important step for your business. This week, we’re digging deeper! I’d like to look at eight areas that I found necessary to research and talk about them a bit more in detail. And next week we’ll discuss where to […]

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Lesson 62: What is market research for translation business and why you should’ve done it when starting out?

When I was doing a business course a while back, one of the first things the tutor asked was whether we’ve done some research about our intended markets. At that point, many of the start-up entrepreneurs who were participating in the course with me had a number of ideas, limitless passion and willingness to work […]

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Lesson 61: How to protect your translator CV from scammers?

In the past few months we’ve been witnessing an increasing activity of translator CV scammers and thieves. As a part of this scam, scammers may pretend they have a project for you or would like to include you in their database, while in fact they’re harvesting your CV, replacing your email address (and sometimes your […]

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Lesson 60: When a CV doesn’t work for a translator and what to use instead?

I’ve been concentrating quite a lot on CV-writing recently, discussing whether to take a skill-based or chronological approach, and whether we need CVs at all. There’s a reason to that. I strongly believe that our CVs are the first marketing tools we use with a number of clients. I, for that matter, send my CV […]

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Lesson 59: Do translators need CVs?

When I published my new ebook on CVs in the translation industry, I also invited all readers to answer a few questions in an online survey. Apart from feedback from my publication, I also wanted to know your views on the importance of CVs in our profession – do translators need CVs? It seems to […]

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Confessions of the Business School for Translators’ tutor

In one month’s time, the fourth edition of the Business School for Translators course (5 1/5 lessons on working as a freelance translator) will begin, with continuing support from eCPD Webinars. Recently, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time on improving the course and preparing for the September group. Analysing feedback, introducing new elements, […]

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Lesson 58: Chronological or skills-based CVs for translators?

My recent new ebook on CVs for translators and interpreters resulted in a number of very important questions and discussions which I want to tackle in the next few blog posts. Thank you for being so responsive and productive, providing me with so much food for thought in your comments.

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Lesson 57: "You need a CV that works" – ebook on CV-writing in translation

Previous ebook When I wrote “Curriculum Vitae that works in the translation industry” back in 2011, I never expected it to be read by over 25,000 colleagues. It’s a great honour and I’m happy that so many have found my publication useful.

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Lesson 56: Why do you translate?

I’m sure that by now you’ve learned I’m fascinated by grand ideas and big questions, also in business. And it turns out I’m not the only one. One of my long-standing fascinations is related to a concept of “The Golden Circle” by Simon Sinek. Before I go any further and try to apply it to […]

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Top 100 Language Blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts 2013 – vote for freelance translation now!

Yes, it’s this time of the year again! Bab.la and Lexiophiles are running their Language Lovers competition again. Last year, I was entrusted with your vote and I ended up as #20 Language Twitterer and #17 Facebook page. Thank you ever so much! I have a confession to make: this competition is important to me […]

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Lesson 55: How to use case studies to promote your translation business?

One of the tips I’m giving at the Business School for Translators course is to start using case studies to talk about the work we’re doing and promote your translation business. The whole idea of using case studies came to me when I realised that clients very often don’t see the real value of translation […]

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People who rock the industry: technical translator and business mind Nick Rosenthal

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we continue our series series: “People who rock the translation industry!”. We are interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level. Meet, or get to know better, a great […]

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Lesson 54: Leverage the theory covered as a part of your translation degree

I know that many readers are translation students or translation graduates. And this post is for you! You’ll be sitting exams soon, and then there’s the dissertation… I thought that you could do with some motivation to carry on. Maybe even those of the readers who graduated a while back will find some useful ideas […]

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Lesson 53: How direct clients go about getting translation?

Last week I spent three days in Germany at one of the biggest IT fairs in Europe – CeBIT – together with Rose Newell from The Translator’s Teacup (lingocode). The event was co-hosted by Poland, with over 200 Polish companies exhibiting. Apart from networking and chatting with potential clients, I also picked their brains about […]

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People who rock the industry: speaker and translator Lucy Brooks

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we continue our series series: “People who rock the translation industry!”. We are interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level. Meet, or get to know better, a fantastic […]

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Lesson 52: Visual CV for translation: do we need it?

I often get asked how to make a CV stand out from the crowd of other applications. And I always say to get some basics things right (have a look here), including the headline, profile, or some data-heavy bits. But I know sometimes it’s not enough. That’s why I think visual CV can be useful, […]

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People who rock the industry: translator and brand specialist Valeria Aliperta

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we continue our series series: “People who rock the translation industry!”. We are interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level. Meet, or get to know better, a translator […]

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Lesson 51: It’s never too late to go back to school for translators

I’ve been blogging on WantWords for some one year and a half, sharing my experience as a freelance translator and giving tips to other freelancers out there. Then, in the beginning, I had a conversation with a colleague, telling her that I’d love to establish a business school for translators. In fact, that’s how I […]

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Previous People who rock the industry – translator and interpreter interviews

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle we’re delighted to announce a new series: “People who rock the translation industry!”, in which we will be interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level.

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People who rock the industry: teacher and translator Corinne McKay

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we continue our series series: “People who rock the translation industry!”. We are interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level. Meet, or get to know better, a fantastic […]

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Lesson 50: 2013 – The Year of Translators

January is the best month to plan new strategies, implement radical changes, or enforce our resolutions. I don’t remember where, but I encountered this question: Is 2013 going to be the best year in your life? It was a title of a self-help article, aiming to motivate us to change our destructive habits and behaviours […]

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People who rock the industry: legal translator Aurora Humaran

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we continue our series series: “People who rock the translation industry!”. We are interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or local level. Meet, or get to know better, a legendary […]

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Lesson 49: Do we use right words on our websites? Part 3: Copywriting tips for translators

As promised, here comes the third part of “Do we use right words on our websites to offer translation services” series. In this last post, I’d like to draw some conclusions from the agency approach and sum up my findings regarding translators’ websites. But I’m sure that what you’re really waiting for are the copywriting […]

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Lesson 48: Do we use right words on our websites to offer translation services? Part 2: Translators’ websites

What makes clients chose one agency over another? What makes them go to an agency in the first place? We’re all wondering about that and we’re trying to find our own marketing advantages. Competing with giants is much easier on the internet. You get yourself a website, spice it up with custom-made design and write […]

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Lesson 47: Do we use right words on our websites to offer translation services? Part 1: Agencies’ websites

What makes clients chose one agency over another? What makes them go to an agency in the first place? We’re all wondering about that and we’re trying to find our own marketing advantages. Competing with giants is much easier on the internet. You get yourself a website, spice it up with custom-made design and write […]

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People who rock the industry – legal interpreter and translator Geoffrey Buckingham

Together with Anne Diamantidis of The Stinging Nettle, we were delighted to announce a new series: “People who rock the translation industry!” two weeks ago. In the series we will be interviewing people who have made a positive contribution, no matter how small or large, to the translation industry – at the international, national or […]

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Lesson 46: 10 things every freelance translator should do at least once to be noticed

Popular freelancers have more work. They are well-known, recommended, referred to when needed. This sense of professional popularity, or fame, boosts productivity, self-confidence, and in the end: income. Who wouldn’t like that?

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Lesson 45: Slides and handouts on online marketing and social media for translators

The Language Show Live 2012 is behind us. Three days of exhibiting, talking, presenting, exchanging ideas and business cards…. It was great and I’d like to thank everyone who listened to my presentations. I hope you’ve enjoyed them and you’ve learnt how to use online tools to make your business even more successful! Many thanks […]

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Lesson 44: The basic know-how on networking for translators

In an article I wrote some time ago, I encouraged you to attend all sorts of professional events. I’m a huge fan of online presentations, webinars and chats, but I must admit that meetings in person are irreplaceable. Apart from the obvious aspect of professional development, all face-to-face events give us great opportunities to network […]

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Lesson 43: Give me your translator’s business card…

The Chartered Institute of Linguists’ event on last Saturday – Members’ Day – was full of interesting seminars, networking opportunities and professional debates. I also managed to talk to a few colleagues and I added some new business cards to my collection. While I was filing them in my business card holder (by language, of […]

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Lesson 42: What’s the easiest way to make money in translation?

There’s no one single way to make a living from translation. We all come to the industry from many different paths. Some of us take the unexpected route: we suddenly discover that translation is something we love doing and we’ll never do anything else again. Or the long way: we work for a number of […]

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Lesson 41: Must-haves of a translator’s CV

It’s been over a year since I published my “How to write a translator’s CV” and taking into account the number of downloads a day you still think it’s relevant. I’m very happy that I could help some of you with my advice, and you’re always welcome to send your translator’s CV to me to […]

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Lesson 40: New ideas, new translation business branding

As you can see, WantWords new identity is now introduced on every platform (here on the web, on Facebook, Twitter, Visualize.me, and everywhere else). I thought that I could share some of my ideas behind this change in a post. I had some doubts about changing the identity and find strong arguments in favour of […]

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Lesson 39: Let’s learn translation together this autumn… online or in-person

This year is rich in translation and interpreting events, and I’m not going to miss any of them! I was asked to present at some of these events, and I would like to invite you to join me and learn translation. In a chronological order, the best ways to learn more about marketing your services […]

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Lesson 38: Review and summarise to track your translation business development

Here it is, la rentrée. We’re all coming back to work. Early September has always been an energetic and active period for me. Holiday mood is over, minds are sharper, and the heat is not so bothersome. It’s easier to translate, and even late payers finally process the invoices. There’s something about this period that […]

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Lesson 37: Working holidays, a.k.a isn’t translation the best profession in the world?

You’ve had a long break from me, haven’t you? A couple of weeks with no posts and almost no Twitter and Facebook presence. How is that possible? Well, for the first time in my life I went on working holidays, which in total lasted just over a month. Imagine translating from a sunny terrace over […]

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Lesson 36: What does it mean to be a successful translator?

We had a lovely meeting with translation and interpreting colleagues in London yesterday. It was 15 of us, all coming from different backgrounds and doing different languages. Meeting so many happy and satisfied colleagues left me really warm-hearted and made me think with a lot of optimism about the profession.

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Lesson 35: Translation competition, co-operation, or both?

Translator is not only and not always just a translator. We take on different professional hats, we are flexible and we look for opportunities around us. This is my excuse for this long gap in posting, but also a good starting point for today’s discussion.

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Lesson 34: The specialised translator

Everything is being translated: from flashy product descriptions, through church brochures, to nuclear plant designs. Some of these domains give more pleasure to translate, and some of them bring more money. This is why the decision a specialised translator makes on what area to concentrate on may be crucial to the whole career. Not specialising […]

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Lesson 33: Translators and paranoid thoughts

I have a colleague who’s just starting out as a legal interpreter. She’s not too experienced, but she’s trained and she’ll make a good professional in this field. She admitted to me some time ago that there are nights when she wakes up terrified and frightened, because in her dream, she was interpreting in court […]

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Lesson 32: No translator has ever been sued, so translator’s professional indemnity insurance is a waste of money

I’m generally a healthy person. But just because I haven’t broken anything yet, I won’t give up my medical cover. Why? I could save so much money every month! Or take a car. If you haven’t had an accident yet, why on Earth would you pay for your insurance? Same with translation. If no-one ever heard […]

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Lesson 31: Should all translators become entrepreneurs?

I met one of my translation friends for a coffee, and she quite openly admitted she was struggling due to recession. “Agencies keep lowering their rates and it’s either accept it or go somewhere else. And whenever I send my CV to a new one, they start at half my rate.” Well, why don’t you […]

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Lesson 30: Practical guide to social media for translators

I’m happy to share this practical guide to social media, where I present my personal experience and some truly practical tips on how to use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for marketing. Please, go through it and tell me what you think!

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Lesson 29: Don’t even start a translation business without a logo

I love words, same as you. I was never particularly gifted when comes to drawing or painting, or designing. I’d rather write a short novel than express the same concept visually! I think we all have that in common. However, we just can’t do without logos anymore. It’s business time, even for translators. And logos […]

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Lesson 28: Translation events all of us should attend

Even though I don’t particularly enjoy the tube, crowded buses, and long queues, I must admit that living in London has huge advantages for active professionals. In my opinion, this year is filled with interesting and helpful translation events, and I’m trying to squeeze in as many of them as possible. I do recommend attending […]

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Lesson 27: Taking care of a translating brain

Most of the time I work on shorter and easier to digest projects. I like this mode of work: it’s more dynamic, less boring and equally rewarding. I can translate for some time and spend the rest of it perfecting my work, polishing the surface and rounding up the edges. But larger projects do come […]

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Lesson 26: Stop doubting your skills in languages and deliver confident translation and interpreting

One of most significant and potentially life-changing advice I’ve ever received in relation to my work as a translator and interpreter came from an ex-actor. She said that she knew lots of conference interpreters making a similar mistake that a lot of actors make: they don’t trust their basic skill, and instead of delivering outstanding […]

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Lesson 25: Should translators use free e-mail accounts?

There’s a number of websites and articles online providing tips and trick for translators, and advising on growing freelance businesses. A vast majority of them suggests really useful solutions, like having your own website, or proofreading your CV one hundred times before sending it out. It’s not uncommon to learn that one of the very […]

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Lesson 24: Communicating quality of translation

When I first started as a translator, I had bits of background knowledge in economics that helped me run my business. One of the things I knew back then was that, in broad terms, all companies can compete between each other on price, service, time of delivery, or quality. Of course, I knew that it’s […]

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Lesson 23: Why would you translate for free?

Usually, I am really strict when comes to my rates. I have them set and I hardly ever agree to work for less. Recently one of my old colleagues asked me to get a diploma translated from Polish into English in a “you-know-I-always-liked-you” kind of style. I was asked about my rates, and then if […]

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Lesson 22: Online marketplaces and translators?

Rated People – for quality, local tradesmen. I’ve seen it for the first time while enjoying my morning gym session about 2 weeks ago, happily entertaining me on a treadmill. I bothered to think of sending them a note about the lack of political correctness, but gave up the idea in the end. Then it […]

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Lesson 21: Translator’s block

I was sitting and staring at a blank piece of paper for some time. Around 5 weeks, to be precise. It’s not that I didn’t know what to write, I just had to translate. But believe me, even though I am just a translator, I have just experienced the longest and most terrifying writer’s block […]

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Lesson 20: So you want to be a translation project manager

During my recent webinar with eCPD webinars, I mentioned that I’ve seen tons of CVs as a project manager in my last in-house job. I was then asked by one of attendees what to do to become a project manager. Just one sentence of warning before we start: project management has very little to do […]

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Lesson 19: Terms and conditions for translators

Translators are still scarily passive when comes to terms and conditions – we keep signing them (hopefully, after reading) for agencies, we do that sometimes for bigger direct clients, but only a very small percentage of us actually have their own terms and conditions. Well, are you wondering why would you need them? When I’ve […]

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Lesson 18: Steering your translation career

Would you be able to drive to your destination if your car had no steering wheel? You have it all: a strong engine, enough fuel, comfortable chairs, but for a steering wheel. How far would you go? Would you even start? When would you crash? It’s the same with our careers in translation. If we […]

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Lesson 17: Translation and thinking

In our work as translators we have to deal with numerous problems every day. Here’s a sentence we don’t understand, here’s a word we can translate into 15 different equivalents, here’s a mistake we have made. Solving problems is our specialty, and one of our most precious tools. However, we don’t really pay attention to […]

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Lesson 16: What are the benefits of distance learning for translators?

We work in the distant mode, we live in the distant mode, and we’re starting to learn in the distant mode. In my home country, distance learning is not even in its infancy. But the United Kingdom is passionate about distance learning. And guess what? More and more translation courses, trainings and degrees do offer […]

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Lesson 15: Dear Santa… – on gifts for translators

Your situation may be different from mine, but I keep getting all the same questions every year starting from the mid of November. Friends and family keep asking me what do I want to get as my Christmas gift. I don’t blame them for the fact that they can’t choose anything themselves. I do admit […]

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Lesson 14: Time planning for translators – the ultimate answer to coping with workload

Ruined nights, tones of e-mails sent to clients with apologies, family life in pieces, no time for yourself, empty fridge, stress overload. How many times did that happen to you? (It must have happened at least once to everybody, so be honest here!) We’re all busy, trying to meet deadlines and still provide quality translations. […]

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Lesson 13: Becoming a creative translator

Translators very often suffer from creativity deficiency, tired by thousands of thousands words that need their logical abilities, but not necessarily these of imagination. After some time, we all end up (temporarily or for good) too fed up with our profession and desperate to go out there and paint a chapel, or write a 3-volume […]

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Lesson 12: Unforeseen: how to deal with translation problem-solving

Most of the time when you get a project, you translate it, send it within the deadline and wait for payment. That’s the 90% of cases. You learn how to plan your professional life, you know how long it will take you to translate or proofread. And then the 10% comes, ruins your routine and […]

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Lesson 11: Overcoming barriers to translation creativity

So you want to start a blog on freelance translation, or you want to try to translate a book and get it published, or you want to write an article to a renown translation journal, but… Whenever you sit down to do it, your mind is completely empty, you’re struggling to get anything on paper […]

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Lesson 10: Service quality: working with SMEs for freelance translators

Meet John. John runs a successful local vintage clothes store and he wants to invest in his business. One of the steps John wants to take is to translate his online store and precious product descriptions into several languages. John doesn’t want to give this job to an agency, that’s why he tries to find […]

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Lesson 9: Dear freelance translators, never bury your talents

Dear freelance translators, I planned to write this post in 3 days time, but I’ve underestimated the power of Twitter again. I’ll start with a background story. For some time now, apart from translating, I have also been working with some translators (hi!) to help them establish their freelance businesses. It involved working on their […]

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Lesson 8: 8 weird opinions on translators and how to educate the public

“Lay people” tend to have a whole lot of weird, unsubstantiated and simply harmful opinions on translators. Taken away all wrongful misconceptions (like earning much for not doing anything, etc.) there’s still plenty of myths about translators that you can come across. Those listed below are taken from my own experience: believe it or not, […]

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Lesson 7: 10 managerial skills for freelance translators

So you thought you’re going to be a freelancer and you’ll be free from any managerial stuff? Is this why you left your full-time job? Well, bad news today. Every freelance translator is a manager. Have a look at this list of managerial skills and audit your own staff! 1. Relevant professional knowledge You have […]

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Lesson 6: Introduction to branding for freelance translators

Ok, so you walk into a supermarket to do your shopping. Here’s your list: bread, hummus, baked beans and washing powder. How do you do your shopping? Do you know your way to these products by heart and you mechanically take the same as always? I bet you do. Now, how on Earth is anyone […]

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Lesson 5: 7 things you can do today to help other translators

Freelance translators spend most of their time alone, locked in their offices in front of PCs. We are lonely, in fact. If something goes wrong or if we’re stuck over a problem, or if we made a terrible proofreading mistake and feel worthless, there’s no-one around to wipe our tears. Or simply to make us […]

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Lesson 4: 7 days guide to get started as a freelance translator

The decision is made, or there is no other choice, and you become a freelancer. In this important moment of your life, it is very easy to either start running to fast and miss some essential points, or to go too slow to make any progress. The first week of a freelancing career is essential. […]

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Lesson 3: Fears about freelance translation… and how to fight them

I’m not educated enough. I have to wait at least to my MA! There’s a million of other translators in my languages. How can I ever get through? I don’t even have a website. It will take a lot of time and money to get one. I know nothing about running my own business, including […]

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Lesson 2: Do you know your translation clients?

You know what marketing is, don’t you? Almost everyone linked to doing business knows some basic details or blurry definitions. Let’s assume all marketing activities have one common goal: to attract potential clients. Freelance translators and translation agencies spend quite a chunk of time on devising marketing strategies and tactics, establishing their position and creating […]

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Lesson 1: Introducing business skills for translators

Hello everyone. I would like to start today with introducing two interesting translators: Marta and Magda. They’ve been friends for years, share the same interests and went to the same school. Now they both live together and they are both decided to do their own businesses in translation. Everyone say hi to Marta and Magda! […]

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Business School for Translators?

Here’s my idea to use a part of the time that I’ve earned while quitting my in-house job. I’m going to share all that I already know and what I learn about doing business. It will be a great opportunity for us to share our experience and points of view in discussions and comments, as […]

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My freelance translation journey

For quite a few months I was tempted to work for a translation and interpreting agency as their project person. Recently I have been asked to carry out duties that were against all the Codes of Conduct I have signed, that showed no respect towards translators and interpreters in general, no understanding of their principles […]

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Where do translation mistakes come from?

I’m sure we all make mistakes in translation from time to time. Our experience doesn’t help, our knowledge doesn’t change much, they just happen. Ever wondered where on Earth to translation mistakes come from? Or do you have some ideas how to eliminate them? 1) Poor proofreading Most of translation mistakes could be saved from […]

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Why being on social media is not bringing any #xl8 clients?

Ok, so you are on Twitter, you have your Facebook fan page, your LinkedIn profile is shiny and polished. You are more than ready to accept all these new clients streamlined to your contact page. Whops, nothing like that happens. Ever wondered why? Well, would you expect that buying a new mobile phone will bring […]

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So you think theory for freelance translators doesn’t matter?

Although I’ve spent my holidays in Norway, some parts of this country (deprived of adjectives on purpose) made me think of the Netherlands. It was all about houses. In Norway, you see, houses are tall and very often stand on concrete pillars, just to keep them safe in case of heavy rain or muddy floods. […]

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In-house translation versus freelance translation

It’s the ultimate dream: do your translation degree, get some experience and land in a cosy, comfortable office doing translation nine to five. Is it really? In-house translation pros and freelance translation cons No need to worry about the clients Freelance translators spend amazing amounts of time simply getting the work, not to mention getting […]

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On becoming a translator: a discussion with Anna Kiciak (@amkiciak)

It’s finally here! I had a very nice conversation with Anna some time ago an we finally managed to get it online. We were both very excited to talk to each other, usually communicating with letters. Feel more than invited to listen to our conversation on becoming a translator, studying translation in the UK and […]

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Generation X and Y of translators?

Demographers like categorising people and sticking labels to their personalities. They even think they can describe whole generations! Inspired by the theory of Generation X and Generation Y, I tried to find out if these differences apply to generation X and Y of translators. But please note, I don’t really think that translators can be […]

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How to be a professional professional translator?

It’s not just some sort of punchy headline trick that every other translator can use. Professionalism is something much more than just a word. And against popular opinions, not only lawyers, doctors or architects can be professional. Inspired by that thought, I decided to try to identify these crucial qualities, I tried to catch what […]

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Translator’s self-evaluation

U.S. Government agency developed the following evaluation scheme few years ago. It helps in an honest and private evaluation of your skills. There’s nothing bad in admitting that you still need to develop. On the contrary, performing this translator’s self-evaluation and realising where you stand can help you in drawing a professional development plan! Morry […]

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Should freelance translators charge more?

Transaction cost theory might not be everybody’s oyster. It’s not mine either (no offence, my dear economists!), but studying it underlined one important issue and armoured me with strong arguments to prove that freelance translators shouldn’t price less. As a translator, you can be in one of three market positions: you can be either an […]

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10 bad translator qualities

Hey, why everyone talks only about being a good or excellent translator? What if someone wants to be a really bad one? Here are some tips for those of you who are tired with trying to do your best and developing your freelance business – here are bad translator qualities. 1. Poor knowledge If you […]

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When not to go into freelance translation?

Right, so you want to be a freelance translator. Do you know what are the biggest obstacles on your way? I definitely wouldn’t recommend to go into freelance translation (or any other freelance business), if: You fear failure You will be failing a lot, especially in your early days. There will be others getting projects, […]

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Do you want a CV that will get you more translation jobs? FREE EBOOK

Are you struggling with your CV being ignored by translation companies? Do you want to improve your CV and get more more translation jobs? Are you sure you have everything in there to get you your project? Well, my ebook will help you with these questions. It’s absolutely free to view or download. Please share […]

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9 pages a translator’s website should have

Is there anyone out there without a translator’s website? Well, you’d better get one then! If you do have one, make sure it has all the necessary pages to make it work! Home Home page is very much a leaflet, brochure or even an online business card. Its main goal is to grab attention and […]

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8 Reasons to hate freelance translation

Hint for readers: Irony Well yes, there are some good points about it, but… Sorry, after a few long years in the business, I think there are some serious drawbacks to consider – these are my reasons to hate freelance translation. 1. Unstable income Sure, you can earn quite a lot (so some fellow translators […]

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Customize LinkedIn for the translation business

LinkedIn is the most effective Social Media platform for professionals. Well, I was wondering for some time what makes it so effective, as it clearly didn’t work that amazingly well for me. I started sniffing around and found a quite useful guide how to customize my LinkedIn for the translation business. Step 1: The summary […]

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How much of yourself should you show to translation clients?

Because of the nature of our job, all of us are struggling between being transparent and verifiable online and keeping our lives as private as possible. Have you ever wondered what should you reveal to be reliable and earn trust of translation clients? Your job It is important to communicate clearly and concisely what do […]

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Freelance translators, do you know that QWERTY slows you down?

Freelance translators, do you know the layout of the keyboard is a fascinating example of what economists call collective switching costs? QWERTY actually makes us write slower. So why we are still using it? Old typewriters First typewriters had their letters laid down alphabetically. It was easy to learn and remember where all the keys […]

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Stop worrying! Translation never dies.

The thesis today is quite controversial: despite menacing voices and dark prognosis, translation never dies. And it’s not because we are so great or irreplaceable. It’s only because of the economy. Before the industrial revolution Paper and writing were always terribly expensive: Egypt, China, mediaeval monks. It got a bit better with Gutenberg, but we […]

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Startup translators! Organisations you must contact when starting in the UK

Startup translators, when starting up a new business, you have to make sure it’s all done legally. Well, it is a bit of paperwork: you have to contact several different organisations. It depends on what kind of legal structure you adopt (sole trader, limited company?). But there are some steps that every startup translator has […]

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Professional translators! Who do you think you are?

In the maze of bureaucratic or sometimes just buzz descriptions, professional translators can be anything from freelancers, through ministers and gurus to SMEs. What are the differences? Who do you think you are? And who you are, really? Translator as an entrepreneur? The term “entrepreneur” has been coined and used in the UK to describe […]

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You’re not getting a translation discount!

I’m not going to give you a translation discount…     1. … because you are a new client, and I don’t know what to expect. 2. … because you are an old client and you know my rates. 3. … because this job is for a new client. 4. … because this job is […]

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Learning from successful translators – Diane Di Biasio

1. You do have to love books Well, it’s true that successful translators spend a lot of time flicking through pages of endless dictionaries. Either you like it, or you should consider another language career. I got unexpected personal satisfaction out of riffling through dictionaries in search of just the right word, discovered that (some) […]

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Do you think like a translator?

When I was visiting home and family few days ago, one of my much younger cousins asked me after a bit of a conversation: ‘Do you translate everything you hear or read?’ I could see where he was coming from and his question made me start thinking if I think like a translator, or a […]

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Would you like to know how many #translators are on #twitter?

So would I!   I am a Polish English translator and interpreter, but most of all I research translation studies. It means that I also take theoretical approach to our job. I would like to ask for your help in a new research project: “Social Media in Translation”, on how many #translators are on #twitter […]

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Are translators right- or left-brained and does it really matter?

It is common knowledge that there are two brain hemispheres, left and right, and they have different functions in processing information. Usually, it is believed, and I believed so till today, that if you are right-handed you are left-brained and vice versa (I’m left handed for that matter, but the right-brained description never actually resembled […]

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Is LinkedIn worth the translator’s attention?

Digging here and there, I have came across some posts on the topic I’m researching now: Linked In. Of course I have a profile, of course I follow groups… But is there more potential in LinkedIn? Is it worth translator’s attention? Matthew Stibbe (Bad Language) describes 7 ideas on how to enhance your Linked In […]

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Get people talking about you: Twitter Tips for Translators presentation

Having some success with my post introducing Twitter for translators, I have decided to prepare this presentation on Twitter Tips for Translators. It guides through setting up and using twitter for professional purposes in translation. Twitter for translators View more presentations from Marta Stelmaszak There’s quite a lot of resources out there! To get more […]

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