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Introduction to translation career blogging
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 24, 2010

Let me make this crystal clear: I agree that anyone who wants to make a career translating should accept sooner rather than later that, to begin, you can't just submit a CV to a few forums like ProZ and Traduguide and wait. You have to be... active, active, active. But we are well and truly into the age of digital communication; when you are not too concerned with your marketing campaign and tailoring and updating the information, or pondering the issue of professional indemnity insurance, or availing yourself of the equipment you really need, or dealing with tax issues, or - God forbid - actually doing translation work (including research and invoice sending of course), we have now reached a day and age where it is as good as officially unheard of for a professional translator not to have established an online blogging record. In all candour, I am proud of myself for all the blogs I have managed to write to date on my BT Tradespace and my Google Blogger account... and on ProZ.

...And why not? Am I the only one who openly sympathises with start-up translators who just don't know what to write for their first blogs? Anything - just anything - that is connected to language, or the practice of translation, or the translation industry, and it cannot be anything that is merely amusing on a campy level, like this:

"Here's something to be careful of when you are translating from English into French, but you are not a native speaker of French - but it's really funny! Don't translate "The shop's been robbed!' as 'Le magasin a été volé!', because that doesn't mean 'The shop's been robbed!' at all! It means 'The shop's been stolen!' But LOL!"

I myself follow a number of translation blogs on Google Reader - I have finally mastered RSS feed. Even the blogs there are not exactly what you would call "the random translation-related ramblings of Mr. X". Most of them discuss upcoming events or the latest translation software and translation software deals, or mention what particular people or companies have done recently in the translation industry.

Wishing you a prosperous and happy translation career.

By George Trail, professional freelance translator (French and German to English)


 

Cintia Allsup  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thank you Apr 26, 2010

I'm start-up translator that has been staring at her new blog thinking about that first post. I still don't know about what I'll write, but I will. I totally agree that a blog is a great way to present yourself on the web.

Thanks for the motivation


 

Desdemone (X)
Local time: 09:26
French to English
Hmmm Apr 26, 2010

George Trail wrote:

it is as good as officially unheard of for a professional translator not to have established an online blogging record.


Where on earth did you get this idea? Most of us are too busy.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hear, Hear! Apr 26, 2010

Paula Rennie wrote:

George Trail wrote:

it is as good as officially unheard of for a professional translator not to have established an online blogging record.


Where on earth did you get this idea? Most of us are too busy.


My thoughts exactly!


 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 14:26
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
active, active, active ... Apr 26, 2010

yes. Until the orders start coming in, I guess. Full disclosure: I do blog, but for my own private self. When I find some time of course. Sounds probably outdated, so ... 20th century (g)
Wish you all the best.


Regards

Vito

[Edited at 2010-04-26 20:26 GMT]


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Swedish to English
+ ...
A bit off topic Apr 26, 2010

George Trail wrote:

But we are well and truly into the age of digital communication; when you are not too concerned with your marketing campaign and tailoring and updating the information, or pondering the issue of professional indemnity insurance, or availing yourself of the equipment you really need, or dealing with tax issues, or - God forbid - actually doing translation work (including research and invoice sending of course), we have now reached a day and age where it is as good as officially unheard of for a professional translator not to have established an online blogging record.


Your native language might be English, but the length of your sentences still seem German to me. Although your topics often appear interesting, you generally loose me after about two lines without any kind of logical break (and the layout in ProZ forums is very generous - lines are much longer than generally acceptable from a typographical, i.e. readability, angle).


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Blog Apr 26, 2010

I do have a blog, but do not add to it very often because I don't usually have time. On my blog, I write some articles of interest to the translation world (false cognates and things like that) and also general information about my two countries - Brazil, which I call home, and the United Kingdom where I was born. All my posts are in English and Portuguese, in all cases I myself did the translation.

Anyone wanting ideas about how to structure a blog is welcome to visit my blog at www.paul-translator.blogspot.com


 

Cintia Allsup  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanks again Apr 27, 2010

As a new translator on the block I do appreciate you who spend some of your time writing and sharing through your blog. It's true we are all too busy, and that's why I appreciate it even more. I do read a few blogs on translation that are of great encouragement to me.

Thank you.


 

David Sirett
Local time: 14:26
French to English
+ ...
Why bother? May 21, 2010

Cintia Allsup wrote:

I'm start-up translator that has been staring at her new blog thinking about that first post. I still don't know about what I'll write, but I will. I totally agree that a blog is a great way to present yourself on the web.

Thanks for the motivation


Why on earth would anyone start a blog without having anything to write in it?!

David


 

Patrice Da Lage
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
Thanks George May 23, 2010

Thanks George and remermber : Les chiens aboient tandis que la caravane passe !

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I am incredibly old fashioned, but... May 25, 2010

Blogs leave me cold, and apart from the forums here, I do not blog. My life is too short, and many of them seem so egocentric!

Instead, I have been hassling with Trados 2009 lately and boasting about it as an aside in mails to clients about other things.

I have also boasted that it has PAID OFF in terms of making a really tedious job with 56 small files manageable. It has a Merge Files feature that allows me to view them all in one long sequence, search and replace, and see all the matches.

I haven´t learnt all the tricks yet, and Multiterm is down. (After all, we ARE talking about Trados...) but to my enormous surprise, I am getting to like the thing.

Admittedly, you need to have clients before you can boast to them, and you need a job or two to be able to afford Trados, even if it does pay its way afterwards. I see it could be a vicious circle for many beginners.

My advice is: find a free CAT tool and learn to use it, not forgetting to refer to it in the searchable places on your profile (and/or blog).

If you do blog, don´t just blog, remember to use some of the keywords about the kinds of jobs you prefer, so you attract the Bots and the right sort of CLIENTS.

Otherwise, get some fresh air and exercise, read a textbook or two, or make out a terminology list to add to your Glossary. Join in KudoZ, and draw attention to your expertise in any way you can.

Blogging is just another way of making yourself visible. However you do it, the important thing is to be visible to the right people for the right reasons.

Chacun à son goût!
There are not too many really good translators about, so best of luck!

icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Swedish to English
+ ...
Better get a blog Christine May 25, 2010

That looks very much as a blog entry. Although with more sense and reason than most blogs I've encounteredicon_smile.gif

 

Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:26
Danish to English
Blogs? and CAT tools May 25, 2010

I agree with Christine that most blogs leave me cold. I almost never read any blogs, but I did just have a look at Paul's, which is an exception. He makes a great effort at providing some useful information, and I think he has succeeded. Most blogs are just exercises in vanity and self awareness, and I could not imagine ever doing one.
The best way to promote yourself is to make the most of your translations. They are your calling cards in this business. They form the trail that you leave behind.
A well done, professional looking website would be better than a blog in my opinion.
As for CAT tools, my own personal choice is never to use them. I do not want to do the type of translation that they might be helpful for. I could not imagine getting into these struggles with software that seem to dominate a great deal of what is posted on Proz. I am still learning new things in Word, so that is enough software for me.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I knew it.... May 26, 2010

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

That looks very much as a blog entry.icon_smile.gif


I am afraid that goes for a lot of my forum posts on this site.
The sad fact is that hypocrisy gets you a long way in the world icon_biggrin.gif


 

Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:26
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Obviously too busy Jul 12, 2010

Paula Rennie wrote:

George Trail wrote:

it is as good as officially unheard of for a professional translator not to have established an online blogging record.


Where on earth did you get this idea? Most of us are too busy.


Fully agree, Paula. It has taken me 33 years in the profession before I started a blog on translation.

For those that want to check it out, see the SEO translator blog.


 
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