Monthly Archives: January 2018

Pressing Flesh is not Just for Politicians: The Value of Face-to-Face Sales for Translators

As a follow-up to comments directed at translators who have declared or are about to declare defeat to translation market forces or some imagined structural impediments that they think hold them back from advancing from the bottom end of the market into premium translation, here is an example of some chain-reaction encounters that can happen if you hang out in the right places. It goes without saying that what follows is a personal experience, but I think it worthwhile to relate what can happen when you get out from in front of your computer, look up from your small screen, and press the flesh. To start off with some background, … Continue reading

Posted in Translation | Tagged , | Comments Off on Pressing Flesh is not Just for Politicians: The Value of Face-to-Face Sales for Translators

The Translator Echo Chamber: The Effect of Social Media

As I wrote in a recent article, it appears that translators of a feather flock together in social media groups, and that the grouping is generally in line with their position on the continuum between the bottom of the bulk market and the top of the premium market.┬áHaving come together in this manner, it appears that a group mentality is formed, with translators reinforcing each other’s views of what is common and expected in translation and resisting opposing views. If a newcomer to translation wanders into a group populated mostly by translators near the bottom of the continuum, the takeaway is likely to be that normal and expected characteristics of … Continue reading

Posted in Translation | Tagged , | Comments Off on The Translator Echo Chamber: The Effect of Social Media

Some Modest Predictions for Translation in 2018

As we start a new year, here are a few thoughts I have about how things might go in the translation field. They are subjective thoughts, of course, which is another way of saying that they are supported by my observations over decades in the translation business and, more specifically, over the past year or so. Translator upward mobility. I expect that, for most translators, upward mobility in the translation food chain, which is already difficult, will gradually become even more difficult. Additionally, in at least certain markets (such as my language pair of Japanese-to-English), there is a chance that, depending upon a translator’s current position in the market, involuntary … Continue reading

Posted in Translation | Tagged | Comments Off on Some Modest Predictions for Translation in 2018

The Basics of Qualifying Prospective Translation Clients

Regardless of whether you are out there selling your services or take a more passive approach by preferring to wait for inquiries, you will likely waste a good deal of time (and risk losing both time and money) if you do not quickly judge whether a prospective client is “real,” which is really actually just determining whether working for the client will be rewarding in the way you expect to be rewarded for your work. Because there is a wide spectrum of expectations, depending largely upon a translator’s position in the food chain, a single translator’s view of qualifying a client might not seem reasonable to another translator. Hear me … Continue reading

Posted in Translation | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Basics of Qualifying Prospective Translation Clients

Meet Me Under a Bridge for Some Exciting News

Executive summary: Anonymity in cyberspace should be eliminated. There has been lots of talk lately about the responsibility of social media companies for removing content that promotes terrorism. I agree that they should do that. But complaints about terrorist hatred and recruiting people to implement their ideas completely ignore the root problem, which is that social media companies (and the internet in general) virtually assure their customers that they can remain anonymous, even to the social media companies themselves. It becomes easier to be irresponsible or criminal if you are assured of your anonymity. For example, you can establish any number of fake accounts and anonymous pages on Facebook without … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Meet Me Under a Bridge for Some Exciting News