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September 4, 2014

Summer 2014 at Your Professional Translator: bad things turning out for good

Hi everybody! How are you doing?
Last time I promised to share a big summer recap post with you, so that's what I am going to do now. This summer turned out to be one of the most challenging summers in my life. At the same time, I was blessed beyond measure. That's why the title mentions bad things turning out for good. So let's start and I hope I won't scare you away :)

August 29, 2014

Your Professional Translator blog nominated for ProZ.com Community Choice Awards!

Hello everybody!

I would like to share a great joy with you and also ask you for a favor. The joy is that my blog Your Professional Translator has been nominated for ProZ.com Community Choice Awards in the best blog category. It’s a great honor for me. But that’s not all: my good friends from Alba Longa Translation Company have also been nominated for the same award thanks to the training courses they provide for translators and interpreters in St. Petersburg. So I would like to ask you to click this link and vote for this blog and for Alba Longa. If you are not registered at ProZ.com yet, you can do it quickly, easily and for free :) The voting will last till September 22nd, and the winners will be announced on the 30th of September on International Translation Day. Thank you in advance for your support!

P.S. I was volunteering at a children’s day camp this week, so no new posts from me yet. But a big summer recap post is coming soon!

August 17, 2014

Meet the linguist: Sergey Bessonov (@sergeybessonov)

Hi there, good people :)
I am happy to go on with my Meet the Linguist series and I would like you to meet Sergey Bessonov! Here's how Sergey describes himself: "Active, young and constantly developing interpreter and translator. New challenging projects are welcome". I had a chance to see the amount of energy and enthusiasm Sergey puts into his work during the three-week course for Russian translators I taught back in April. You can follow Sergey on Twitter (@sergeybessonov) or become his fan on Facebook
As usual, I asked Sergey to answer a few questions. Here are his replies:

August 10, 2014

Top language, translation, marketing and freelancing tweets: July 2014

Happy Sunday everybody! Have you noticed how quickly the summer is flying by? I can't believe it's August already. Very soon kids in Russia will start a new school year, and their freelancing parents will move to the normal crazy schedule built around school, after-class activities, sports clubs etc. Fun! ;)

It is also high time I shared some top tweets shared last month about translation, languages, marketing and freelancing! Just a little reminder: this list has nothing to do with my personal favorits. Every month I visit topsy.com and find the most trending tweets on the topics mentioned above. In other words, those are the tweets that get most retweets, favorits and mentions. And then I publish them in my blog. I preserve all hashtags, so you can go to Twitter, type the hashtag in the search field and see what other people publish on the same topic. I also preserve the names and Twitter handles of people who publish those tweets, so you could check out their profiles and follow them if you wish. So let's start! 

August 1, 2014

Have you thought about donating your translation skills to support a good cause?

I am still getting feedback from colleagues all over the world after publishing the post about 10 business mistakes I made as a startup freelance translator. And one of the things I hear a lot is that there aren't enough possibilities for beginners to build their portfolio and grow in their skills, because good clients want experienced translators. As a result, they have to make their rates as low as possible to get a project and thus gain some experience.

I strongly disagree with this practice, though I made this mistake, too, in the beginning. However, there's a chance for you now to start your career differently. True, you won't earn much at first. Nobody does anyway. But you will do work that matters. Besides, you can list this experience in your CV and LinkedIn profile.

The possibility I am talking about is volunteering for different non-profit organizations and projects in different parts of the world. I started cooperating with NGOs and donating my translation services in 2008 or so. Back then, there were not so many possibilities to volunteer (or maybe I just didn't know where to look for them!). Anyway, there are quite a few of them now!

A little note for experienced translators: Though I am speaking mainly to startup translators, it's a great chance for experienced colleagues, too. That's a chance for us all to do the work that matters and make a difference in someone's life. After all, life's not all about earning money, right? ;)

So here's a list of organizations and projects for you to check out:

July 23, 2014

Overcoming 10 worst business mistakes. Best practices from freelance translators worldwide.

Fist of all, I am amazed at how popular my previous post became. There have been over 5000 views of it already. It has never happened to any of my posts before, which tells me that the article really struck the chord with my colleagues. We need to be honest and open about mistakes we make! That's how we can learn from one another! Thanks for all your comments here and in social networks. Your opinion and your experience matter!

One of my readers asked to render an account of the ways to remedy those mistakes. I think it's a great idea, and, besides my experience, I am also going to use the experience of my colleagues, shared publicly in their blogs or in comments to the previous post.

July 12, 2014

10 worst mistakes I made as a freelancer

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
Sir Winston Churchill
Image granted by my colleague and friend
Magda Phili
If Sir Winston Churchill was right, then I should be very successful. We all make tons of mistakes. And I am not an exception. My mistakes nowadays may not be as big as they were at the beginning of my freelance career, but I still make them and do my best to learn from them. I also watch others make mistakes and I do my best to learn from them, too.

So here's the list of major mistakes in freelance business I made since 2007. Hope it helps other colleagues to learn and grow. And you are welcome to share the mistakes you made, so we can all learn from one another!