Conference program

Translators for NGOs

Date and time: 11:45-12:30, Saturday, 4 July, 2009
NOTE: This session has already been held

Room: Car Samoil Hall

Getting the first contract and reference is a milestone in a freelancer's career. Voluntary work is widely considered as an option. But how to choose whom to work for, and how to make the most of a first pro bono experience?

In this presentation I will consider a couple of common choices – from participating in crowdsourced work, such as for Wikipedia, to working for NGOs – focusing on the pros and cons of each approach. I will then try to outline a framework in which the participants get the most for their invested work – i.e., a framework with a double aim: to provide pro bono linguistic aid to the beneficiaries, AND to help translators to get established, to network, and to work in a team.

By sharing my experience gained in nine projects of about 200,000 words in total with the Solidarités team of, I will try to show that many transaltors, including well established professionals, can benefit from such a cooperation. I will argue that such a joint effort offer can offer certain advantages that a paid work, completed alone with a short deadline, cannot.

Our collaboration with the French NGO Solidarités has now reached a point where very serious help can be given to translators starting their career. I also will outline a possibility to expand our network and to establish best practices for a mentoring program.

Attila Piróth (France)

Bio: Attila Piróth holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MSc in scientific translation. He made the choice between the two careers when he had the opportunity to translate some of Einstein’s original articles. In 2007, Attila passed the American Translators Association certification exam, which boosted his freelance career. In the same year he set up the Solidarités translation team with the twin aim of providing linguistic aid to a humanitarian organization and of creating a unique working environment in which translators can network around worthy projects. In 2009 he started mentoring new translators, and in 2010 he joined IAPTI to promote ethical business practices in the translation and interpreting sectors. Attila has given workshops and conference talks in 12 countries.

Web site: member: Attila Piróth

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Registered for conference Victoria Andreevskaya Registered for conference Gabriela Nikolova Registered for conference Peter Cox
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