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More letters after my name!

11 Jun

I got a lovely letter a few days ago to tell me that I have been accepted as a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CioL), and can now call myself Megan Onions BA MCIL AITI. Obviously, this isn’t the only reason that I applied for membership, but it is very satisfying, as I’m sure my fellow members will agree!

I had planned to give some detail about the association and what it means to be a member, but I won’t for two reasons:

  • the subject has already been covered extremely well by Kate Larkin over at the Lingo Woman blog
  • this week is going to be manic due to a couple of large translations, with little time for long blog posts!

For more information about joining either of the professional associations that I belong to, take a look at the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting online – or contact them directly (they’re very nice!).

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Internet Inconvenience

13 Apr

The internet connection goes down: disaster!

While you are scrabbling around for the instructions for your wireless router, what can you do, without the internet, to further your business while the problem gets fixed? This actually happened to me a few days ago, so I was very glad that I had read this post on Freelance Switch.

Although the break from online work was forced upon me, I took the opportunity to get some other tasks ticked off my to-do list, which the constant access to emails, reference material and social media sites sometimes make it difficult to do. It seems strange how just a few years ago (well, more than a few years, but you get my point), the internet was a rare tool. It is now an integral and vital part of so many lives, and businesses. Despite this, it is so important to know when to shut down that laptop and take a break. In addition, the break from online activities can result in other progress.

I took the time to write some content for my upcoming website, as well as sort out some of the less thrilling aspects of my business, such as updating my expenses spreadsheet and offline research (yes, it does still work!). One area that I do enjoy, rightly or wrongly, is updating and reworking my CV and portfolio. I recently read Marta Stelmaszak’s ebook with interest and I have taken a lot of her tips on board.

The third main activity that I managed to complete before the internet problem was fixed, and my online distractions caught up with me, was updating my business to-do list. As well as a paper notepad, I use Anxiety, which I love. Being able to physically tick things off on my screen is satisfying (geeky, I know!) and the tasks are synchronised with iCalendar and Mail, which is another useful feature.

How do you cope in situations where there is no internet access? Do you manage your tasks with a to-do list or a whiteboard? I’d love to hear from you. One of the main things I love about this industry is that we can always learn from each other.

Oh, and happy Friday!

Advertise = Capitalise

2 Apr

Translation and Branding - Empty BillboardI’m back!

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few days. The stream of translation, editing and MA work (plus packing and heading back to my parents for a few weeks) were threatening to take over, but I have managed to carve out some time to get back into the swing of things.

Today’s thoughts centre on using the great ideas that I read on other translators’ blogs to grow my own business and work on consolidating my brand. A lot of the people I speak to about branding (note: friends and family) seem to think that the even word itself sounds too ‘corporate’ for what I do, but it is vital for every freelance translator to think of him or herself as a business, and work on their online and ‘real-life’ presence accordingly.

Due to a fortunate gap between translation assignments, I will take the time to really concentrate on this over the next few days, as well as working on the ongoing project of writing copy for my website (watch this space!). Two main sources of ideas have come from Marta Stelmaszak at Want Words, whose excellently presented portfolio has inspired me to work on my own.

Secondly, I read a great post (as always!) on Catherine Jan’s blog about the need (or not) for translators to have taglines. The post highlighted some great examples, and I plan to have a brainstorming session in the next few days to try and come up with something as snappy and memorable as Céline Graciet’s: “Perfect English, now available in French”. What a fantastic slogan!

Do you have any other examples of great taglines? Please do share them in the comments section!