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Found 23 results

  1. I've briefly touched upon the idea that language has power to influence our thoughts in some of my previous shares before. By the way, thanks @Becky for adding her own share. Today, I've found numerous articles that spoke of this very idea. One of them, the one I'm going to be referencing here now, tells us how language has the power to influence social statuses, opinions, your feelings, and mostly the norms. It's called "Why you should use gender-neutral language in the workplace" and I quite enjoyed reading through it. While it does have an initial focus on the work environment, it touches on numerous other grounds. I found these extremely useful. Most people wouldn't glimpse over that, but if you can keep this consideration in mind you can help your clients to achieve a more friendly corporate personality in your translations. They may even be worried about such things themselves and you can help hem achieve neutrality with your suggestions in their source material as well. That's yet another important consideration worthy to keep in mind during translations. That's something I've noticed and spoke of before in our Senior conversations at the forum. The words chosen for a job ad can make a considerable difference in finding the right candidates. Much like that, it can also lead people away from it with the wrong use of words, and that applies to different genders as well. A great parting message. This is something we need to keep in mind on our translations, especially leading with materials for a global audience. It can be life-defining for corporate entities, and you can be responsible for making people feel included. I've also found similar stories that I won't be separately sharing but which are related, such as how cartoon Villains speaks in foreign accents and the sinful language of food in the industry, and they might interesting for you.
  2. Patrik Dholakiya wrote an article on Entrepreneur talking about techniques for building trust with your customer. While aimed at companies, its tips does have meaningfulness with freelancers as well. After all, freelancers are but a solo company. There's a good chance that you've already faced at least one situation in which a client needed your immediate attention on a weekend, a holiday, your regular day off or even after your work hours. While you can't make place work over all your life priorities, it does pay off to be accessible and take a few minutes of your day to be connected (if you can, of course) and reply to queries, even if to just make people at ease. It can help you retain a client, help that new client build confidence in your capabilities, and even save a lot of headaches for your partners and clients without much effort on your part. People get impressed when they get a reply with a short period of time. A real, human, reply. In my opinion this is the best tip from the four, but there are some observations to it. Small talk isn't really a raport-building practice. You don't become a friend particularly because you asked them about the weather. By the way, that's a very old and often lame way of getting them annoyed. Most people don't care about the weather too much. What you need to do is show interest in their lives. Be curious about their business (not necessarily their family, or hobbies), be involved. Ask about their workflow (if it isn't something out of context or obvious already), provide value by hinting at techniques or solutions for their issues. Offer to help, take a step above everyone else. That builds rapport, interest in the other. Especially useful when you are talking to a new client for the first time, laying out the details of your work can do two things: Either breaking apart their confidence in you, or help improve it. Some clients are just looking for a quick solution. They don't want someone to write a novel about it, they want someone to fix it. Like when you call a repairman. You want him or her to fix the issue, not give you a 10-minute worth of reading over how he's going to fix the issue. However, when starting something new, when forming an agreement, when deciding how to tackle a project it's important that you have the details laid out for yourself, and getting access to that can make the client confident you are the right person for the job. So use your own judgement and experience with this. Being respectful is always important. Giving the options to the client won't always work, however. Just like in the repairman case, some clients want very little to do with the system, they don't want to make decisions, they want you to take them. Part of the reason why people go looking for agencies is because they don't want to decide things for themselves. Ironically, neither do most agencies. They just want to get their problems solved, so they hire people who can do the job and lay the responsibility on them if anything goes wrong. So, when you are not working with an agency, but with a direct client, and you know you have an open line of communication, use that line to provide him the choices he's meant to make if he doesn't expect you to make them yourself. As a translator you need to be able to figure most aspects for yourself, but some things are exclusive to the business being translated. That's it! Check out the full article if you want to read Pratik's reasoning and find useful and interesting links and tools you may use. Let me know your thoughts below.
  3. Today I'm bringing something relatively different from other posts I shared. I want to connect you with an interesting blog post from Financial Translation. It's about a conversation between two players of the translation industry in different levels and scales. One of them is Miguel Llorens, a highly specialized translator in finances, and the other is Renato Beninatto, a highly respected localization expert, now more businessman than translator. The two had considerably different views on the common practices of larger agencies, and that was the main topic for discussion. Here are some snippets from the post: Down here we can notice some mentions that are likely references to other things Mr. Llorens talks about in his blog. Still, one can understand his points. Now in here we get some interesting mentions about output. Most people would be quite shocked at it: To me, personally, I'm faster typing than speaking out loud. But hey, ought to be something to try out. Something stood out for me in the whole conversation, too: I find that all too common these days, particularly with agencies. The rest of the conversation take many turns and touches on numerous subjects. It's was interesting to read about their chat and it gave me quite a few things to think about. Maybe it will for you too. What do you think? What jumped to your attention in the story? Tell us below.
  4. Words without borders brings us a quite neat interview with Ilan Stavans, publisher of Restless Books and their imprint for children's and young adults (YA), Yonder. We've covered the translation of children books before from the translator point of view, now we're showing the publisher's one. The interview covers a few different and interesting topics. Here are some of the questions being asked: And a veritable quote here: You can read the full interview here. It's quite interesting, indeed. I hope that got you inspired with it today! Let me know your thoughts below.
  5. Today I'm going to talk about something significantly different than most shares, yet continuing on the topic of productivity. I've found a very interesting article from Tania Luna and Jordan Cohen. They talk about a characteristic that induces people to choose one path over another. Here's the basic idea of it: What a lovely pun. Now, you tell me this isn't amazingly fun to imagine. People come to an orange and tell themselves: "bah, this is too difficult to handle. I'm better of without the effort." xD In any case, the articles goes on to state numerous ways in which reducing this characteristic, friction, has been responsible for helping people make positive changes in their work environment, their lives... Or reversely, by introducing friction into an activity, help people deviate from an unwanted path or action. Interesting to note: good behaviors may actually be discouraged in some places and companies by making it harder for the person to act on those behaviors. But we are mostly freelancers, right? Let's use examples that we can relate to. Imagine you want to do more physical activities. Perhaps you enjoy biking. You really miss the times you went biking for hours on end. Thing is, in order to go biking in these freelancing days of yours you need to get at least 30 minutes of preparation, you need to let everyone in your environment know you are going out, you need to log off every instant messaging app you have, you need to make sure it isn't raining outside, you need to carry your bike from a very hard-to-get spot, and you need to travel with it by foot until you find a spot which isn't crowded. That's an awful lot of friction for something good that you want back in your life. So what do you do? You: Get your uniform set and separated the day before; Store your bike in a more accessible spot; Set up a schedule for biking every day, at a specific time; Check the forecast and plan ahead; Go traveling to your biking spot by car, if you can; Or even better, you buy a stationary bicycle. That's the entire principle of reducing friction in order to encourage a positive behavior. Much in the same way, you can reduce your bad habits by introducing friction. So let's say you want to stop smoking, by starting with smoking less. Here's what you can do: Place your pack far away from, maybe even on another room; Put inside a box, within a box, within a box; Let's say you hate passwords. Lock the box with a password lock. Place the box in a hard to reach-spot, such as on top of a shelf, or under a sofa, or bed; Place it outside your home, so you need to unlock your doors, go out, then back in and lock everything again (make sure you are safe, please); Just some ideas. So that's the entire principle of adding and removing friction in order to incentive or discourage behavior from yourself. You can read the full article on friction here. Additionally, if you want to make going to work harder, use Coca-Cola as fuel for your car. Still in the spirit of good behaviors and productivity, you can also watch this video over here on how to find more time in your day (for employees, but you might be able to make connections to your own workflow, I'm sure).
  6. Since most of you already work as freelancers for a while you probably already have a certain grasp of what isolation can be like. To some, this is blessing, and to others it is detrimental. To those who feel isolation isn't their preferred situation, and to those that haven't quite transitioned into freelancing, these tips from Maria Castellano might help alleviate the matter. That's good advice. In my particular case, I don't distinguish the environment from different kinds of work or play. But what I do make is create different groups of applications, looks and sounds for different activities. So when working with Smartcat I'm making things all purple and white. When freelancing, I'm working on darker colors, grey and deep blue, and on play I'm seeing mostly black. Sounds differ as well. Like mentioned before, the Noisli app helps create different sound sets for you to work with depending on the noise around and mood. I found the idea particularly good on the matter of physical exercise. That's often neglected, but taking care of your mind helps you take care of your own happiness, productivity, and even your sensation of isolation. Being without sunlight for ages can make you feel all sorts of uncomfortable sensations, including that of loneliness. A fixed timetable is mostly the way I went with. If you are constantly switching back and forth between activities, you can feel quickly strained and at loss. Having a separate time for each thing will make you feel like you've accomplished a lot in very little time (which you really did, given focus) and will open up your calendar for different activities. By the way, mixing fun into it will keep you refreshed for the work-related activities. That's it! What are your own techniques? Did you manage to practice any of those around here? What did you think of them? Tell us! P.S.: We know there's no such word as "freelancemanship"!
  7. While our most important skill is undoubtedly our linguistic ones, our translation competency, there are numerous other considerations to be successful, especially as a freelancer. We may often neglect some of these competencies for no good reason. Maybe we don't want to put the effort on it, maybe we think we don't need it, maybe we've gotten used to rolling the way we have been so far. In most cases, it's important to make a self-assessment and realize where you're lacking. Nothing better than structured thinking in order to do that. I found a method by Christelle Maignan which she calls Business Priority Wheel. She then explains how it works step-by-step, and how you can use it efficiently to manage your own business. I'm certain that's useful to more than just freelancers, but especially so for us. You can download the clean wheel here. Read the instructions in her post, and get to working on yourself. What are your wheel categories? Leave us a comment!
  8. I'd like to cover a little further the branch of rates and negotiations when it comes to us freelancers. So I looked it up and I found this great blog by Marta Stelmaszak which covers numerous situations in our lives. Marta made a list with 9 of what she believes to be the most common mistakes in translation negotiations. I imagine that some of her pointers might not be fitting to you at some point. Cultures vary, right? But, keeping them in mind may help you realize when you could have done more, and when you should have done less. Here are the ones I appreciated the most: Go check out what she has to say and let us know what you think of, whether it's applicable to you, and what you hadn't thought about before! She also has quite a large archive of numerous other interesting topics. Worth exploring. She's no longer maintaining it, but the knowledge there is still quite valuable.
  9. I found an a-m-a-z-i-n-g resource for those of you wanting to assert and negotiate your translation rates. Tom Ewer, the author, is a freelance writer that has a blog about his experiences leaving a job and building an online business. He covers many topics, successes and failures alike, and has many tips to share. This post in particular, titled Freelancing: a Complete Guide to Setting and Negotiating Rates, was quite a masterpiece in my opinion and I'm happy to share it over here. He begins by talking about how you can assert your Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR), and expands to an extensive and detailed post: As you can see, this post covers a variety of important topics you ought to know. In his website you can also find many other useful topics and materials to research. As a blogger, he also has information on how you can benefit from blogging in your career. What are your best negotiation tactics? Have some examples to share? Post them below!
  10. Today I'm sharing a post from Sherif Abuzid, on TOM, where he talks about some of the practices that translators can observe from translation agencies and replicate to their own benefit. Without further ado, these four things are: He expands on them. I like the idea of considering freelancers as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a mouthful, but it's one of my favorite words. In reality though, most translators do not treat themselves as a serious business. Which makes it harder for others to treat them like that as well. These are simple lessons, and we covered them already in our various conversations, yet there's always room for one more little reminder. Sometimes we need to be reminded just enough times for it to break the barrier of inaction. Would you add any lessons to that list? What have you been consistently doing from this list already?
  11. As linguists we are often interested to see the latest technologies, the best tools available, the best techniques, 7 amazing features that will increase your client base by 3%... But there are way simpler practices that can already help you achieve a greater satisfaction and performance. I'm talking about resting. This guest post by Louise Taylor, from Tomedes, talks about the benefits of taking regular breaks and resting your mind. And I totally agree with it. I have proven myself over and over that recentering, regular breaks, and proper sleep have always improved my work. Combined with that, waking up earlier than everyone else works well too (fewer distractions, and a sense of... being ahead). If you want to take regular breaks, a 25 minutes of work/5 minutes of break works nicely. You can track that with an alarm clock, but there are apps specific for this. The one I know of is called Toggl. On those breaks, stretch yourself, look at the distance or close your eyes. This will also help you prevent physical issues such as arthritis and macular degeneration of the eye. Also, in the matter of sleep, I know an app called Sleep Cycle that wakes you up when you are not slumbering into a deep sleep. In other words, it wakes you up at the right time so you feel more energetic. Share your tips below, or just leave your comment on how productivity is linked to better sleep and focus to regular breaks!
  12. That’s a quote from an old but good article titled “Bambi vs. Godzilla: how to work with very big clients” by @Matthew Stibbe. The article makes quite a few good points both on why big companies need small vendors, and on how small companies can get past the typical obstacles. Here are some more quotes: “Your first objective is to make contact with individuals inside large corporations who can become your champion.” “Your objective is to get rostered. Once you are on the roster of approved suppliers, the nice people in the marketing department can give you work simply by raising a purchase order.” “'Avoid the trap of subcontracting for a larger agency that is already rostered.” “The more unique or specialist or niche your services, the harder it is for a purchasing department to haggle about prices or play you off against other providers.” “Try to avoid giving a daily or hourly rate as this is easily negotiated away.” (@Tanya Quintieri, I wonder what you have to say about this, as I know you are an advocate of hourly or per-project pricing.) What do you guys think? How many of you are used to working with big clients? What tips and tricks you can share? I’ll tell you mine if you tell us yours P.S. Thanks to @Alessandra Checcarelli for sharing this on Facebook!
  13. I was taking a look at this post from Atlas Translations and they included a 12-points list on how to make a difference in one's business through translation related activities. While the post itself was focused on company owners, freelancers are company owners themselves, they own their own business. So I figured we could make use of some of these tips, with some repurposing. Firstly, there is something nice which the author said that gave me some new thoughts: In the spirit of ticking things off, there is a free game called Habitica which rewards you (in-game) for completing your real life goals. It's a great way to have some fun (especially in groups!) while keeping yourself accountable, and also have a better vision of your priorities. Now, on to the tips themselves. 1) Research the area around you. It's easy to neglect that because we are always so focused on our internet business that we forget how potent face-to-face interactions can be. For instance, you may find that there are companies in your region that would like to expand their business but they don't know how, or they constantly order products that come in a foreign language, and they need someone to translate it. Looking at the people around you can be an unexpected yet powerful way to acquire new clients--that no one else is able to help. 2) Have something to convince them. Plenty of businesses would gain some benefit from translation, they just don't recognize it. Not everyone has global mindset, not everyone can see opportunities in plain sight, so be an entrepreneur yourself and have something to show these people what they're missing by now hiring your services (Ahem, by now working with translations I mean). A chart, a white paper, some case studies, or simply a smart and efficient way of communicating can go a long way on that. 3) Research your colleagues. That's not about copying others, but sometimes people from totally different specializations and language pairs have amazing ideas that you could be applying on your business as well. Be that a specific technology, a marketing practice, or a clever way to do business. Don't be a copycat, but do learn from others! Agencies can teach you a thing or two as well. 4) Research the marketplace. That's another thing easy to neglect: can you sell your services to more than one country? Maybe there are clients that would love to reach you, but for some reason they can't--payment methods aren't available, they don't have a proper internet connection, they don't know how to reach you... But you might be able to help them in some way, and make some new friends. 5) Translate your website. If you own a website (or a translation group) wouldn't it be smart to have translations for it? You work with that, after all! Maybe your friends can help you on that, maybe you can invest some money into translating a sales page, or you happen to be able to work on another language with the help of Machine Translation. Either way, you may be missing out on good opportunities by now having translations on your website, especially if you sell to more than one language pair! 6) Use analytics to learn more about the traffic you get. How many of you actually bother about knowing who visits your profile pages? What about reaaally knowing them? By being introspective and using the right tools, you can find out that most of your work is coming from an unexpected region or country, or that you are pushing certain kinds of clients away by a misuse of words! Analyze your data. 7) Make your website globalization-friendly. Remember that we deal with a global audience all the while. You should avoid having ambiguous content that could potentially be offensive to certain cultures if possible. You can ask a friend especialized in localizations, or the translators themselves who work on setting up your website in multiple languages. 8 ) Be aware of the trends. 9) List prices in various currencies. You're likely already working with multiple currencies, and there are numerous ways to convert money these days. Save your clients the effort and list those prices in more currencies! 10) Understand the internet. I'm not a huge fan of SEO myself, but there are numerous free techniques that one can use for making it simpler and more efficient to search engines to find you, and for people to understand and remember you. So invest some time in learning how it works and make use of them. You don't need to take a degree on SEO to make great progress in little time. 11) Make voluntary translations. When reaching out to new groups, you need authority, experience, and contacts, and performing voluntary translations is a great way to acquiring it all. 12) Have a blog, vary your content! Blogs are great ways to show the world what you think, build authority, relax, and make new friends. If you are a video person, think about creating a great video presentation in your sales page, or simply talking about the business in general. Participate in webinars. Write a book. Start a community forum topict! That's what I have today. I hope it gives you some new ideas. @Fleur Depriester, maybe you can share some thoughts on a few simple tactics to SEO?
  14. Hello everyone! Many of you might know me from my webinars on Smartcat Academy. Based on these webinars and the discussions that followed, I’m planning to launch a paying online course to help aspiring translators who need a little more personalised guidance and motivation to set up their freelance translation business. The free webinars we recorded will still be available, but this course takes things a step further by including live group coaching and feedback sessions each week, as well as concrete tasks and worksheets to be completed. The aim is that each week, participants will be making specific steps towards becoming full-time freelance translators (and getting feedback and guidance on their progress from me). So it would be like participating in 8 weekly coaching sessions but at fraction of the price that individual coaching sessions would normally cost. I’d like to put some feelers out there and ask you, as part of the Smartcat Community: Would you be interested in attending such an exclusive, paid course? We’re still determining the specifics, but the idea is: The full course would cost $250. It would include 8 weekly sessions, to be completed before the end of the year, including: Pre-recorded, concise presentations (30 mins max.), one for each weekly topic, An online group coaching session with participants that includes discussions, feedback and specific advice (live with replay available), Tasks or worksheets to be completed by the participants each week and reviewed by me before the next session. The group would be made up of a maximum of 10 participants, with at least 3 needed to run the course You can find further information on my new website. I would love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions regarding this course, or if you think you might be interested in participating. If you could take 30 seconds to vote in the above polls or leave a comment below, that would be great!
  15. until
    Are you a newbie freelance translator? Then you must have tons of questions! This Thursday, we will host a live Q&A webinar with @Una D. aimed at translators who are just starting out in the freelancing world. We want to hear about the issues and challenges you’re facing, be it related to your client outreach, time management, mental well-being or anything else, in order to provide our two cents and hopefully help you as you launch your career. We’ ll also be talking about Una’s new online platform, The Translator’s Aunt, where she will be providing further guidance and support for budding translators. Make sure to come along with all your questions — however pertinent, silly or bizarre they may seem — in the comments below. Sign up to watch the webinar on this page. Also on Crowdcast.
  16. I read an article from Thoughts on Translation on Work/Life balance, written by @Corinne McKay. Though it used examples mostly from mommy freelancers, it raised an important topic for every freelancer, entrepreneur and goal-seeker. It made me think about how many times we cut off opportunities from our lives with that thinking pattern. That's not the case with everyone, but people in general tend to find ways, excuses really, for not pursuing their desires. Whether they want to become an astronaut or a fisherman, to train Judo or sculpting, to live somewhere else or quit a job that's killing you. It's perfectly fine and understandable to have responsibilities that require some degree of sacrifice, such as raising kids, building something, or working as a volunteer. However, limiting your potential reach by leaning on these responsibilities puts you down. It puts you down because you could very well be dedicating some time to pursuing those goals, and it would not only not draw you away from your responsibilities, it would also likely improve your mood, and consequently your satisfaction in life. Everyone has a goal in life. Everyone feels that goal at some point. Some choose not to listen to it, some do. Those that do and act on it thrive sooner. Those that don't will eventually realise they've been wasting their time and will have to pursue them later, rather than sooner. Whichever are your conditions, your desires, and your needs, you have to ask yourself: You can't, or you chose not to? If you cannot, you may find a way to change that in the future. If you chose not to, be safe with your choice and know that you can choose something else whenever you want to. Some of you may be at peace with your decisions, some of you may be stuck and wanting to get out. Know where you stand, and your life will be better for it. And what is it that you're holding back on doing in your life right now? I'd bet plenty of people here had to face a difficult decision in life at some point, possibly having to leave their safety and comfort in order to look for something greater, though initially daunting. I bet the move to freelancing has been such a decision for many of us. It was for me. Would you like to share your own insights on mindset shifts? Everyone can learn from you, too, if you want to.
  17. until
    If you have a website (or planning to create one) for your personal translation business but don’t know how to attract visitors and convert them into customers, this webinar is for you. Join us with @Simon Akhrameev to learn how to apply a content marketing strategy to your translation business through a simple three-step process: Content creation, Content publishing, Content distribution. The webinar will cover the process from developing a content plan for each type of prospects (cold/hot leads) based on the customer persona, to sharing content via certain distribution channels (social media, forums, and other platforms). After the webinar, you will be able to create in-demand, targeted content that will bring value to your potential customers and attract new clients through organic searches (Google, Bing, etc.) and social media. Sign up to watch the webinar on this page. Make sure to follow the event in order not to miss it! Also on Crowdcast
  18. As you can read from the description of the referral program, you can only earn on inviting paying customers — not your translator colleagues. To balance out this inequality, we are test-running the following offering: You will get $10 for each invited freelancer who translates more than 10,000 words in one month from the invitation date. The offer is time- and volume-limited: It will only apply to freelancers invited within one month from now (i.e., until September 10, 2017). It will only apply to the first 50 freelancers who achieve the goal. If and when we see that the offering works well, we might prolong the offering. No promises though
  19. As you can read from the description of the referral program, you can only earn on inviting paying customers — not your translator colleagues. To balance out this inequality, we are test-running the following offering: You will get $10 for each invited freelancer who translates more than 10,000 words in one month from the invitation date. The offer is time- and volume-limited: It will only apply to freelancers invited within one month from now (i.e., until September 10, 2017). It will only apply to the first 50 freelancers who achieve the goal. If and when we see that the offering works well, we might prolong the offering. No promises though View full article
  20. Getting orders on Smartcat

    until
    In this webinar, we’ll learn the basics of getting translation jobs through Smartcat. In particular: how customers find you, what your search ranking depends on, and how to look for jobs by yourself In this webinar, we’ll learn the basics of getting translation jobs through Smartcat. In particular, we’ll discuss: How the Smartcat marketplace works, What your search ranking depends on, How to make your profile attractive for customers, and How to look for jobs by yourself. The session will take around an hour and include a presentation, a live demo, and answers to your questions. For the best experience, join the event on Crowdcast. For the lazy, watch below
  21. until
    Изучаем основы получения заказов на перевод через Smartcat. В частности: как вас находят заказчики, от чего зависит положение в поиске и как искать работу самому. This event is canceled. Please join the English version instead.
  22. That was awesome — thank you all for coming and being so actively engaged in the conversation! In case you missed, the webinar's replay is available here! Now, a few very important questions: Did you enjoy the webinar? What could be improved? What topics were not covered sufficiently? Make sure to comment to let us improve our next runs with Simon (which will surely come)!
  23. We will be talking with Simon Akhrameev (@RussianTranslatorPro) and plan to cover the most basic topics that should get you started as a SMM-active freelancer! Sign up, join, or watch in replay (in case you missed it) here → smtc.at/sm-webinar!
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