Category Archives: Translation

Mostly content for fellow 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

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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

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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

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Hoping

Countless times I have heard translators say things like “I hope to get work like that someday.” The reality is that almost none of these translators will ever get “work like that,” and hoping won’t change that reality. The people who have those hopes usually don’t have a clue as to what they would need to do to get what they want. Nor are many of them even aware of how slim their chances are of getting “work like that.” For almost all translators, the outlook is dismal at best. For the sake of this discussion, I will define “work like that” as follows. These characteristics happen to apply to … Continue reading

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