Nick Rosenthal is Managing Director of Salford Translations Ltd. He is a former member of the ITI Council, immediate Past President of the UK chapter of the Society for Technical Communications and sits on the Translation Subcommittee of the OASIS Committee. Nick has also been involved in translator training and professional development since 1989, and is a tutor on the excellent ITI Professional Support Group (PSG), run online for newly-established freelance translators. He will be part of a panel discussion called Where to draw the line? on Sunday 17th.
Stefan Mikulin is a freelance interpreter and translator covering French, German, Polish and English. He was trained at the University of Salford in the UK, where he now lectures part time, and the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He is currently studying for the UK’s Diploma in Public Service Interpreting. At the session for recent graduates on 16th May, Stefan will present a paper based on his MA thesis on the evolution of simultaneous interpreting at international criminal tribunals. (If you miss him there, you can also hear Stefan present on this topic at the International Association of Forensic Linguists‘ 9th Biennial Conference in Amsterdam later this year.) Check out the rest of the ITI conference programme here. [Read more…]
Spencer Allman has been a freelance translator of Finnish into English for 18 years. He has given talks to groups of translators on various subjects, including the translation of musical texts, translation revision (the subject of his MA dissertation), and the use of the internet as a translation tool. He is also a tutor on the University of Birmingham’s MA in Translation Studies. Spencer will be presenting a paper on the notion of translational expertise on Sunday 17th May – check out the rest of the conference programme here. [Read more…]
I’m trying a little experiment*. If it works, then we should gain some interesting insights from a number of luminaries in and around the world of translation. If it doesn’t work, well, we might just learn something from that too.
The last eight months have been a real roller-coaster ride professionally speaking, as I’ve tried to settle into life on the Other Side of the World. On the one hand, despite my best efforts to stay connected virtually, at times I’ve felt isolated and demotivated without the face-to-face contact that I enjoyed with my peers in London. On the other, I’ve had a stronger sense than ever of the wealth of opportunity and choice that translation as a career can offer me – if only I could get myself focussed enough to tap into it.
Thankfully last weekend’s 2008 AUSIT Biennial National Conference in Brisbane delivered just the shot of enthusiasm I needed to top up my motivation levels. My one and only aim in attending was to gain an overview of translation in Australia. What I got was a lesson on how the oldest profession in the world is forging its place in country with needs far different to those I’d ever considered before.
Yes, this is where I live now. And yes, this is the frankly breathtaking mode of transport I used to commute to the AUSIT conference last weekend 🙂
Logan Strain’s Four Reasons Why I Don’t Want To Be A Freelancer Anymore is not ideal fare for a Monday morning. In fact, it’s such a grim read it nearly had me weeping into my cornflakes. However it’s still worth a look because I believe the chances are that most freelancers are going to feel this way at some point in their career. (And forewarned is forearmed, after all.)
What makes this article especially worthy of a hat tip, in my opinion, are the tips, suggestions and even criticisms from other freelancers in response to Logan’s tale of woe. Like Mark Smallwood‘s gem:
…The key to freelancing is to learn how to freelance, not just how to perform the task you’re selling… It seems that many people who have authority problems decide that freelancing is the way out. Unfortunately, to be a successful freelancer, you’ll need to obey the authority of more than just a sucky boss at a regular job: you need to obey the requirement to get organized, pay taxes, sell yourself, spend a certain amount of time every day or week building your network and looking for new gigs, and last but not least, dealing with often unreasonable clients while keeping a smile on your face.
There are a couple of excellent points in there.
The best way that I know for translators to “learn how to freelance” is to enrol on the ITI’s Professional Support Group, an online course for translators trying to establish themselves as freelancers in the profession. The course comes highly recommended by translators from all kinds of backgrounds, education and experience levels, including yours truly (a proud participant on the very first course in 2002!) Expect to work hard and put in a minimum of 12 hours a week for the duration of the three to four month course. At £270 for intensive support from eight senior professional translator-tutors it represents incredibly good value for money, and that’s not an honour I bestow lightly. I believe there are also a limited number of bursaries available each year, so check out this page on how to apply and get in early – there’s usually a waiting list.
Image via Wikipedia