The Freelance Translator’s Reading List

3 May

Over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in the number of books written by, and for, freelance translators and writers.

I have built up a collection (and wish list) of freelancing, language and translation books. Here are some of them:

I have read:

  • In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation – Mona Baker
  • Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language – David Crystal
  • Words Words Words – David Crystal
  • The Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy and Dagmar Jenner
  • The Brilliant Freelancer – Leif Kendall
  • How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator by Corinne McKay
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation – Lynne Truss

I’d love to read:

  • That a Fish In Your Ear? – David Bellos
  • Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson
  • The Prosperous Translator – Chris Durban
  • Mox’s Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation – Alejandro Moreno-Ramos

I also remember reading about a fun children’s book on punctuation on Brave New Words, the treasure trove of resources provided by B.J. Epstein. The book is called Alfie the Apostrophe, the post can be read here, and information about the book and its author can be found here.

I think that’s enough to get us all thinking and reading for now!

Can anyone give me a review of one of the books on my to-read list? I’ve heard great things!


6 Responses to “The Freelance Translator’s Reading List”

  1. Chiara Vecchi 03/05/2012 at 14:38 #

    Hi Megan!

    Thanks for this post and for sharing your reading list. Although at the moment I can’t help with any of your to-read books, I would like to know if you liked The entrepreneurial Linguist, as I was considering to buy it.

    • Megan Onions 03/05/2012 at 15:07 #

      Hi Chiara,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I absolutely loved the Entrepreneurial Linguist. It was written in a way that really inspires, and contains a wealth of practical advice and information that can be used immediately. I can’t recommend it enough!

      Don’t just take my word for it though. There are reviews of the book on Sarah Dillon’s blog here, on Corinne McKay’s here, and on Rose Newell’s here.

  2. Alison Hughes 10/05/2012 at 09:11 #

    Great idea to compile a list Megan. Enjoying your blog – it’s really dynamic – well done! My suggestions:
    “On Writing” by Stephen King as recommended by Chris Durban at the Style Matters workshop. Not translation-related, but motivational: Screw it, Let’s Do it” by Richard Branson

    • Megan Onions 10/05/2012 at 09:17 #

      Thanks very much for your positive feedback, Alison. It’s great to know that I’m going in the right direction – the blog is still very young! Thank you for your suggestions. I’ll compile the ideas I have had from fellow linguists and add them to the list when I have some spare time (the next few days are not looking promising!).


  1. Freelance Translation Starter Kit: A Guide to Setting Up Shop – Part. I « Muse Translation News - 03/05/2012

    […] research and read as much as possible, and ensure that you’re absolutely ready before you start selling your services. There […]

  2. The Freelance Translator’s Reading List: Additions « Speech Marks Translation - 14/05/2012

    […] Apologies for the extreme lack of posts lately. Now that the academic year is racing to a close, my MA commitments are inevitably taking over for a few weeks. Nevertheless, I have managed to find some time to add some of the great suggestions I have had from colleagues to the Freelance Translator’s Reading List (original post here). […]

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