Tag Archives: colleagues

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Alison Hughes

12 Jun

Today’s 3 questions are with Alison Hughes, a French to English translator who is based near Glasgow and specialises in creative texts.

Here are her answers:

  • If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be? 

In an ideal world, I would have had a more structured approach and possibly specialised earlier. However, as with a lot of other female translators, I started out freelance with a 5 year old and a very young baby so it just wasn’t possible. In a way it is also nice to specialise later in my career because I feel I have the confidence that comes with experience.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general? 

This probably came from a tweet I read as recently as last Sunday. Think of how much your work is worth to the customer (and not how long it takes you to do it/how many words it is) and charge accordingly. OK so this is probably another “ideal world” situation but there are some customers it could be appropriate for and is a confidence booster in cases where you refuse to let agencies beat you down on price.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing? 

That’s easy – something to do with food. I’m coeliac and have to follow a strict gluten free diet. A couple of years ago I was looking into setting up a business called Good Life Gluten Free to advise restaurants how to cater for the GF diet and also a website with gluten free ideas. Again, circumstances weren’t right at the time and it didn’t get past a prototype of the website and business cards. The opportunity has gone as there are now many resources but running a dedicated GF cafe with my sister is a tempting proposition.

Thanks, Alison!

Alison Hughes Translator

Alison Hughes is a French to English translator specialising in marketing and creative texts. She is also the coordinator of the Media Arts and Tourism Network of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). You can take a look at her website here and follow her on Twitter @AHcreattrans.

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1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Catherine Jan

8 Jun

Today’s interviewee is Catherine Jan, a French to English translator who maintains one of my favourite translation blogs, Catherine Translates. Here are Catherine’s answers:

  • If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?

I’d like to work with a partner. I think I’m good at some aspects of translation and business and just terrible at others. It’s a dream of mine to find someone to team up with and make business decisions together, do peer-editing, check terms, share marketing efforts,and so on.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general? 

I was encouraged to join the Société Française des Traducteurs. I’ve met many SFT colleagues in the flesh at workshops or at the monthly SFT café matinale in Paris, and also online. I also get access to its private email discussion forum.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

That’s hard to imagine! I think I’d either be a corporate blogger or work with young children.

Thanks, Catherine!

Catherine JanCatherine Jan is a French to English Translator from Ontario, Canada, who is now based in Paris. She specialises in web content such as websites, press releases, blog posts and news articles. Check out her website here.

You can follow Catherine on Twitter at @TranslateTrad

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Percy Balemans

7 Jun

Today’s 3 Questions are with Percy Balemans, a German and English to Dutch translator with her own blog at Translating is an Art.

  • If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?

Nothing really. I’ve tried quite a few things in my career up until now, from working as an in-house translator for an agency to leaving the translation industry altogether and gaining experience in areas as diverse as technical writing, copywriting, system administration, website development and even teaching scuba diving courses. Looking back it almost feels as if all these different experiences have prepared me for my freelance translation career and I’m quite happy with what I’m doing right now. I would say that maybe the best preparation for a freelance career is to gain experience in other ways first.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?

Specialize and market yourself as the expert in that particular subject area. Freelancers often seem to be afraid to specialize, probably because they think they will “miss out” on jobs. But in my experience, most clients, especially direct clients, prefer someone who really knows what they are talking about in their area of specialization than someone who claims to be able to do any kind of translation, and in five or six language combinations too. It may not be easy at first to find a subject area that suits you, but that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a couple of things before you settle on one or two subjects you like and that suit you.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

I’ve been away from the translation industry for almost 15 years, so I have tried other things, although they were mostly language-related as well. Having done other things, I now know that translation is what I really want to do.

Thanks, Percy!

Percy Balemans, Translator

Percy is a  English-Dutch/German-Dutch translator specialising in advertising (transcreation) and creative translations, mainly on the subjects of fashion, art and travel and tourism. Visit her website for more information: www.pb-translations.com.

You can also follow Percy on Twitter at @pbtranslations

Introducing 1 Linguist, 3 Questions

1 Jun

Microphone - Translator Interview Blog Series

Inspired in no small part by this set of interviews carried out by Sarah Dillon on her fantastic industry blog There’s Something About Translation, I have recently been in contact with a number of my fellow linguists, in order to produce a set of brief but brilliant insights into their lives as freelance translators and interpreters. I hope that these short interviews are interesting and inspiring for newcomers to the industry, and thought-provoking for the more established among us.

The questions are the following:

  1. If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?
  2. What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?
  3. If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

Many thanks to all who responded – stay tuned for the series!

If you would like to contribute to the series, please get in touch!