Monday, October 18, 2010

On Language and Translation: A 12-Step Program for Large Projects

On Language and Translation: A 12-Step Program for Large Projects

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting the most out of a conference

I am getting excited for American Translators Associations annual conference at the end of October and I hope to see some of you there. It is two months away but it is high time to start planning for it. Here are some tips on what to do to get the most out of a conference you are attending.

Before the conference:
- Make professional looking business cards so you can exchange them with all the people you meet.
- Polish up your resume and print out at least 50 ex to bring with you to the conference
- Contact the people you know and see if they will be attending so you can plan to meet
- Contact a few people that you would like to get to know better and suggest a meeting during the    conference
- Explore the conference schedule to see which sessions you cannot miss. Be selective and strategic about planning your schedule!
- Plan questions you would like to ask the people you want to get to know better, or potential clients
- For the ATA conference: see the insider tips provided by the Colorado Translators Association for great tips on exploring Denver and eating well.

At the conference:
- NETWORK!!! Engage others in conversation and ask for their business card
- Schedule time to meet with people you would like to speak to
- Take advantage of social events and breaks
- Attend valuable sessions and workshops (duh!)
- Distribute business cards and resumes to valuable colleagues and prospects
- Jot down a few descriptive points on the back of the business cards you receive to make it easier to follow up

After the conference:
- Review you notes and documents from the conference. Make a to do list to take action on valuable information from the conference, people to contact, business tips etc.
- Follow up with people within 1-2 weeks after the conference

Do you have any useful tips on how to make the most of a conference? Please share!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How do you keep up your native language when living abroad?

For a freelance translator living outside the country where they speak my native language, it is imperative that I work hard on keeping up my native language skills. I have several Swedish friends who are not doing that and they start sounding very "Swenglish" after a while, not to mention the writing. How do you keep up your language when living abroad? Here are some ways I do this:

1. Speak my language at home and with Swedish friends every day.
2. Read Swedish books. We have even started a Swedish book club where we read and discuss Swedish books, written by Swedish or Nordic authors.
3. Read Swedish newspapers and industry journals online every day or at least several times a week.
4. Listen to Swedish radio while working. ;-)
5. I am not much of a TV watcher, but I am grateful to be able to watch some Swedish TV-programs online every now and then.
5. Last, but not least. Travel back to Sweden as often as possible. I try to go once a year and stay for a month. Unfortunately Sweden is quite far away from Utah, US and the trip is expensive. It is also very important to me to bring my children when I go so they can keep up their second native language.

One thing that will really help is my husbands sabbatical year in two years. He is a professor at the university and will get a sabbatical year every 7 years. Then we will go to Sweden and live there for a year and a half. I am so looking forward to this, but my children not so much. Perhaps because they will be 14 and 12 then and it is a sensitive time in their life. But I know that in retrospect it will all be good for all of us.

Do you think this is working? I do. However, just to make sure, I also have a native Swedish proofreader living in Sweden that I work with. Are there any freelance translators out there reading this that are not living in their native country? How do you keep up your language skills?