Sunday, May 23, 2010

Training for Professional Translators - ProZ an untapped resource?

Nothing beats the quality of a live training event and the networking you can get from attending a professional conference on a national or local scale, but if you do not have the possibility to attend all of these, and if you want to learn more in between these occasions, then can be an good resource. There are on demand training and live sessions.

Here are some examples of what you can find there:

Translator business development - 35 courses available
Training to help translation professionals improve their business on topics including, personal branding, how to find new clients, increase rates, negotiation, etc.

Software, tools & computing - 130 courses available
Training to learn computer aided translation tools, software and to remain current and up to date on the tools used by translation professionals.

Translation skills development & client services - 36 courses availableTraining to help improve translator efficiency, develop and learn new skills.

Agency business development - 10 courses available
Training to help improve your agencies efficiency, gain certifications, implement processes, and more.

Linguistics, theory & pedagogy - 10 courses available
Training to help improve language skills, translation essentials and theory.

SDL Trados Training & Certification - 19 courses available

Now we just have to find the time to tap these resources too. Perhaps some time management tips can help. Do you have any good online training resources to share?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Utah Translators and Interpreters Association - developments and events

I am glad to see that there is finally a local association in my neck of the woods for translators and interpreters. This has not always been the case, but now Utah Translators and Interpreters Association is growing and developing.

What activities does UTIA provide for its members?
Activities include informative programs relevant to translating and interpreting, as well as social events. Networking is an important benefit of participation.
Workshops, seminars and annual conferences provide for professional development and contact with a wider circle of colleagues.
ATA accreditation examinations, sponsored once each year, are one way for members to demonstrate their translation competence. Only ATA members may sit for these exams. Please see the web site of the ATA.

Here are some of the member events that are planned:

June 9th at 6:30 pm: Code of Ethics for Medical and Legal Interpreters
July 14th at 6:30 pm: Translation tools overview

Click here for more information on Utah Translators and Interpreters Association.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Local business expo events - anything for freelance translators?

I was heeding the advise of my Entrepreneurial Linguist consultant Judy Jenner and attended a local business expo and networking event arranged by the Chamber of Commerce last week. I was very sceptical going there. Who would need my translation services there? What was I doing there? I decided to go there anyway, with the mindset that I wanted to see what kind of businesses would be there. It was also good to get out of my office chair and actually network with people in the flesh for a change.

To my surprise I had a lot of fun. What did I get out of it? No new customers off the bat, of course, but many people were interested in hearing what I did. I found a PC-consultant that can fine tune and "clean" my computer for $45 four times a year, which sounded like a good deal to me. I became a member of the Local Business Women's organization and promised to give a presentation during one of their networking events. Last but not least, I was offered to be featured in the local/regional business magazine. I also got some contacts for event planning and tourism companies, who might need translation services.

So, even if you are translating into a unique/rare language, it is well worth attending a local business networking event from time to time, especially if companies that work in your expertise areas will be there. You never know what you will get out of it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vote for Top 100 language blogs

Lexiophile's are each year giving us the opportunity to vote for the Top 100 Language Blogs. The nomination process is over and the voting has begun. I feel very honored to be nominated this year. Thank you guys! My blog has only existed for about three months, but if you like my posts, please take a moment to vote for this blog. A great motivator! Thanks again all for nominating and reading this blog.

To vote for Blogging with Swedish Translation Services, you can click here:

Vote the Top 100 Language Professionals Blogs 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Definitions of translation, localization, internationalization and transcreation

I know you all probably know what all these terms mean, but the definitions I found for translation, localization, internationalization and transcreation were very interesting. The first three terms were taken from Wikipedia, but transcreation did not exist on Wikipedia yet, also that interesting. They are all very dear terms to me, so here you go:

Translation is the comprehension of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language. The text that is translated is called the source text, and the language that it is translated into is called the target language. The product is sometimes called the target text.

Translation, when practiced by relatively bilingual individuals but especially when by persons with limited proficiency in one or both languages, involves a risk of spilling-over of idioms and usages from the source language into the target language. On the other hand, inter-linguistic spillages have also served the useful purpose of importing calques and loanwords from a source language into a target language that had previously lacked a concept or a convenient expression for the concept. Translators and interpreters have thus played an important role in the evolution of languages and cultures.[1]

However, localization and internationalization is not separated, which I think they should be. Here is the joint definition:

computing, internationalization and localization (also spelled internationalisation and localisation, see spelling differences) are means of adapting computer software to different languages and regional differences. Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Localization is the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text.

The terms are frequently abbreviated to the numeronym i18n (where 18 stands for the number of letters between the first i and last n in internationalization, a usage coined at DEC in the 1970s or 80s[1]) and L10n respectively, due to the length of the words. The capital L in L10n helps to distinguish it from the lowercase i in i18n
Some companies, like
Microsoft, IBM and Sun Microsystems, use the term "globalization" for the combination of internationalization and localization.[2][3] Globalization can also be abbreviated to g11n.[4]

Lionbridge has a good explanation of the difference between the two:

Internationalization readies your product for global markets and ensures it can be localized easily. It is the designing and re-engineering of a product so that it can be localize easily for global markets. It is important to complete internationalization before localization begins; otherwise, you may need to reengineer your product in parallel with localization.

Transcreation is perhaps such a new word that Wikipedia has no definition yet. Here is one definition I found:

Transcreation: Adaptation, mainly used in drama contexts, is defined as “the ‘freest’ form of translation” and one where “... the SL [source language] culture [is] converted to the TL [target language] culture and the text rewritten” (p. 46).The idea of rewriting a text to adapt it to the norms of the target culture, to the point that little trace is left of its source, seems to be at the root of transcreation, too. Nowadays often used in advertising and the media, transcreation is a portmanteau word made by combining together translation and creation, in order to emphasise the considerable amount of creativity required in the process. (From

Friday, May 7, 2010

What a freelance translator can use from The 4-Hour Workweek

The latest book I read for my entrepreneurial pursuit was “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. I can highly recommend it to all entrepreneurs, freelancers and business owners as an eye-opening and thought provoking reading experience.

The book in a nutshell: How to go from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week, how to outsource your life and become an escape artist in travelling the world, how to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours and trade a lifelong career to short work periods and mini-retirements. The new version also includes more than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers and much more.

I was skeptical when picking up the book, and granted, not everything can be applied to freelance translating, but here is what I found useful:

1. Resetting my system, my goals and dreams and fulfilling them.
2. How to limit my work to the most important ones to shorten work time
3. How to decrease my information-diet
4. The option of using virtual assistants for web-research, website maintenance, SEO, maintaining and updating databases etc.
5. How to become an expert in 4 weeks
6. Understanding competition and analyzing your presence on the market
7. How to plan an affordable vacation, with family, for a long period of time, while still working some.
8. Tips for further reading material

Does it sound interesting? Pick it up if you have not read it. More info can be found at What are your tips for working less and earning more?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The One Page Business Plan

I discovered the "MomBizCoach" on Twitter and love her audioblog "What Mom Entrepreneurs Need". One of the audio-seminars discussed the one page business plan, which seemed to be perfect for me. The one page business plan is a living document and seems made for all us entrepreneurs/solopreneurs working from home. I was one of those who thought that I did not really need a business plan, or that it would be incredibly hard and time consuming to create one. Now I know better. A business plan is something to bring focus to your business (yes freelance translators are also businesses), keep you on the right track and plan for the future. If you use "The one page business plan" it does not have to be very time consuming at all.

The one page business plan has five major areas:

1. Vision - What are you building?
2. Mission - Why does this business exist?
3. Objectives - What will you measure?
4. Strategies - What will make this business successful over time?
5. Action Plans - What is the work to be done?

More info, templates, coaching, work groups and books can be found at:
So now I have just eliminated all objections and hesitations for making a business plan for your freelance business (including freelance translators). Check it out, answer the questions, consult with a colleague or with an expert from this company and there you go. It’s time for me to do that in any case.