Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview with the author of a new book for translators

There is a new book for all us working as freelance translators. The authors are Judy and Dagmar Jenner, and the book is "The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business School Approach to Freelance Translation". Judy Jenner has graciously granted me a "blog interview" for the new book.

1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself

I am a Spanish and German translator and community and health care interpreter in Las Vegas, NV. I was born in Austria and grew up in Mexico City. I came to the US as a teenager to play tennis for an American university and first started my translation career in 1998. I hold an MBA in Marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (summa cum laude, for what it’s worth), and I run a boutique languages services business with my twin sister. It’s aptly named Twin Translations.

2. What is an entrepreneurial linguist?

Basically, a linguist who understands that you have to be an entrepreneur first if you want to run your own business and who has the tools to operate a profitable small business.

3. What is the book about?

It will give aspiring entrepreneurial linguists lots of advice, starting with the paradigm shift from “just” linguist (as if that weren’t enough!). The chapters focus on marketing, social media and web 2.0, accounting and organization, negotiating, entrepreneurship, business development, etc. The entire book revolves around working with direct customers, as many colleagues want to shift from working with agencies to working with direct clients, which is what we due exclusively. The book is intended for both beginning and advanced linguists in all language combinations.

4. What made you want to write this book?

It’s all my dear friend Corinne McKay’s “fault.” Her outstanding book,
“How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator” on how to start your own translation business is really the only book that I know that offers insight into the practical side of translation. During a trip to Boulder, CO, where Corinne lives, she encouraged me to write a book, and after much initial resistance, here we are.

5. How long did it take to write it?

Roughly a year, I would work on it during the weekends and whenever I had a quiet moment. We had three editors, one layout designer, two writers (my twin sister Dagmar Jenner was the other one), one very talented cartoonist (
Alejandro Moreno-Ramos), hundreds of drafts, dozens of revisions, and a six-month struggle until we found a cover design we liked.

6. What recommendations would you have for someone who would like to write a book?

Find a good team! Creating a solid book is a team effort, and I couldn’t have done it without the half dozen people who were directly involved in the process. The main thing I learned during the last few months is that at some point, you have to let the book go – there’s no such thing as perfection, so instead of obsessing over it until 2012, we decided to publish it with our multiple editors’ blessing. I am a bit of a perfectionist by nature, so letting it go was a difficult.

7. What are you going to do next?

I will be speaking at the
CHICATA conference in Chicago on May 1, and at the ATA/DVTA Finance Seminar in Philadelphia on May 2. After that, I am off to Europe to visit friends and family and to speak at conferences in four countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. And there will be a five-day vacation, too!

Thank you Judy and have a great conference in Chicago and a wonderful trip to Europe!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, Tess. :) We really appreciate the publicity!