Featured Posts

November 6, 2016

How to become a freelance translator: freelancing with direct clients or agencies?

Hi everybody! How are you? I've been missing you a lot! Seems like life's going faster and faster. Since I've been in touch with you last time, a lot of things have changed. Nancy Matis has finished her training course on Translation Project Management with our translator school, there have been a few more courses taught by Russian-speaking trainers, and some other courses have just started, including a brand new military translation course

Today I'd like to share a guest post written by Hanna Sles, a fellow translator and blogger. So let's welcome Hanna! Let us know what you think about this post in comments!

How to become a freelance translator: freelancing with direct clients or agencies?

Freelancing is an excellent opportunity to be your own boss, work your own hours, and be responsible for your success. While some freelancers thrive on being their own boss, others find that they’re not as good at working for themselves as they were working for a company. The challenges a freelancer faces are not properly grounded marketing strategies and tactics.

Having a solid freelance translator strategy is the only solution to success in the digital world today. In the first place with a particular focus on your strategy you should ensure that you do know what it is you are trying to do. A good marketing strategy is a great deal like a map. That’s because it gets you where you want to go and helps you find your way if you’re lost.

A framework for your freelance translator strategy

The most effective way how to become a freelance translator is to address a freelance translator’s challenges by using a technique known as 5 W’s and 1 H or the Kipling Method. This method, consists of a list of the fundamental questions What? Why? Who? Where? When? and How?
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 “Just So Stories.”
Once answered it will provide you with a complete framework of your translation business and ground your freelance marketing strategy. 5 W’s and 1 H are the elements which will provide a framework to define your translation marketing strategy and build your freelance translator’s brand. With the six serving-men you will get thought-provoking ideas and tools that will change how you think about your freelance language services. You can discover more about this in my article about Freelance Translator Strategy. But now let’s have a closer look at Who within freelance translation business.

Who are you serving: direct clients or agencies?

While this might seem like a simple question to most of you, but there's no simple answer. The majority of freelance translators mistakenly think that only big translation agencies with big budgets and teams will be able to sell successfully language services. And there are quite a few reasons for that:
- Translation agencies deal with marketing campaigns (marketing strategies, branding, online reputation, website, blog) and selling efforts.
- Translation agencies handle a variety of languages and services which a freelancer is not able to offer.
- Translation agencies has got a lot of professionals to solve different issues.

Dwarfed by the above-mentioned reasons / leading language service providers, many end up submitting resume to translation agencies.

How to become a freelance translator: market your freelance services to direct customers like a pro 

A closer look to the “Who” element of the Kipling’s framework reveals that some of the leading translation agencies with a big budget and many years of marketing efforts behind them only rank in the single digits. What does this mean for freelance translators with WordPress skills, primary SEO and elementary marketing knowledge? It means that before you fall prey to the Big, you have the potential to build a freelance translator brand online.

According to the latest research in marketing, today new media levels are the playing field in ways that we have never seen in the history of marketing. Businesses of all sizes, either translation agencies or freelance translators, can gain greater transparency and trust. Be your own boss sounds very lucrative. To keep up with big brands, big teams and budgets, you will have to develop and permanently improve a range of skills, abilities and knowledge such as:

- website building (advisable WordPress), writing blog posts;
- keyword research in the market you are going to offer your services
- on-page and off-page optimization;
- basic image editing skills (e.g. with Canva);
- marketing knowledge;
- social networks knowledge (e.g. create business pages like mine on Facebook and Twitter)

If you possess the above-mentioned knowledge and skills or if you are eager to tackle them, then you should certainly build your own freelance translator's brand, develop a freelance translator's marketing strategy according to Kipling's method and shatter the myth that only big brands with big teams and big budgets can do big things.

If you have questions how to become a freelance translator, you are welcome to address them to my Twitter account.

Dear Hanna, many thanks for your sharing your post with us! I wish you good luck and success in your business!

Hanna Sles: Translator & localization specialist, WordPress website developer, SEO and online marketing expert. Able to develop and shape your company's voice and style in Russian & Ukrainian to ensure that it’s clear, accessible, and culturally relevant for your customers and partners throughout the Russian- and Ukrainian speaking world. Creative-minded and passionate about impacting business results through localizations.


September 25, 2016

Guest post: 50 Untranslatable Words from Around the World

Hi everybody!
I remember my promise to you about the linguistic side of the Translation Forum Russia conference and I am going to keep it. One thing I learned throughout the past couple months is that I'm probably never going to be completely free to write a blog post, and that's probably a good thing! So I will use whatever spare time I have to update this blog. The post about the conference will be the first to come, but I will also share more about my day job, and the amazing colleagues we are working with, like Nancy Matis. I will do my best to publish new articles regularly (or as regularly as I can)!


Today I would like to share a guest post written by Rachel Campbell from Morningside Translations. It's going to be about 50 words untranslatable into English. Enjoy!

Language is a truly remarkable thing in that around the world, you can find thousands of unique, complex variations, each of which offer a way for people to communicate and enjoy a conversation together.

English is one of the world’s most spoken languages and yet, even with well over 1 million words making up this popular way of communicating, there are all kinds of words which stem from other languages, that cannot be translated into English. From indescribable emotions to particular acts of doing things, stunning sights to personality traits, there are plenty of people speaking the languages from all over the world, who have a particular way of saying things, that sometimes cannot be explained or described in one word in English.

While there thousands, if not millions of words that fall into this category, here are just 50 of these untranslatable words, highlighted in an infographic by professional translation company, Morningside Translations. The original post is here.


Note from Olga: As I was looking through the infographic, I noticed word No. 50. The thing is, for some reason there are quite a few English-language resources mentioning this word, but I have never heard it, and you will not find it in Russian dictionaries. In some EN resources it says that this word is a neologism. Well, in this case it must be really new and used by a handful of people somewhere far, far away... If you speak any of the other languages mentioned in the infographic, please check if words in those languages are correct. I surely hope so!

About the Author: 
Rachel Campbell is a content writer for MorningTrans.com who provide specialist global translation services. Rachel specialises in writing content to promote the legal translation services offered by Morningside Translations.

July 10, 2016

Translation Forum Russia 2016. 1st part.

Translation Forum Russia 2016
The latest Translation Forum Russia conference took place in Astrakhan on 1-3 July 2016. For those of you who haven't yet heard about this conference, it's an annual event which happens in a different city every time. The conference is universal in scope as it covers all the players on the market, including translation suppliers and customers, managers of translation agencies and translation departments, company managers, freelance and in-house translators and interpreters, teachers and trainers, producers of CAT tools and other translation-related software, translators’ associations, government bodies, and publishers. Its website is tconference.ru and you might want to bookmark it, just in case you haven't yet. ;-)

I will definitely need to make several posts about the conference as it is virtually impossible to share my thoughts and impressions in one message. It was my second conference, so I was happy to see the colleagues I met last year and those who I used to know only virtually thanks to social networks. I also met a lot of new people who are all helping the Russian translation market to grow and develop.

The first post is going to be about the city of Astrakhan. It's beautiful, and very diverse. It's an ancient city located on the Silk Route which used to connect the East and West. And you can literally see and feel this cultural symbiosis there even now. It's definitely a unique place which is worth visiting, even if it's just for a weekend.

Here are some pictures of the city for you.
This is the road which leads to the Astrakhan Balley and Opera Theatre. I actually lived not far from it. Here is a closer picture of the theatre.
Almost on the bank of the Volga river, there's a hotel. I could imagine seeing a building like that somewhere in Dubai, but it was a surprise to see it in Astrakhan.
The Kremlin there is beautiful. It's several centuries younger than the one we have in Vladimir, and it's not made of white stone, but painted white. It has fabulous carving and lots of beatiful details.




If you look closer you will see that the bell tower is falling. Our guide told us that an architect came there a couple years ago and helped to strengthen the foundation, so the bell tower should stay for a long time. By the way, the Kremlin in Astrakhan is one of UNESCO world heritage sites now.
But the most beautiful thing about Astrakhan is.. the Volga. Just look at it. Isn't it wonderful? The forest you see on the other side is actually an island, so there's more water on the other side. That side of the Volga you see below is for small boats. The other side is for barges and cargo ships.



Astrakhan is beautiful and diverse, even in architecture. Just look at the different types of buildings and houses.






What is Astrakhan famous for among the Russians? It's one of the best places for fishermen and those who like fish and caviar. The Astrakhan fish market is even included in the tripadviser list of the Astrakhan tourist sites.

So this is it for now. Next time (hopefully in the next couple weeks) I'll share more about the translation side of the trip, including the challenges of migration and uncommon languages in Europe, differences between the Russian and European translation markets, simultaneous interpretation as a martial art and more.

May 14, 2016

Going to take part in Jost Zetzsche's master class on May 20th?

I love my job!
Never thought I'd ever say that, because I was 100% confident that freelancing was the only way for me to live and work. Imagine my surprise when I realised that I can actually work for a company and I can actually love it.

I love what I am doing now. I love inviting new teachers and learning from them. I know, they are normally called trainers at other CPD courses. But I like the word "teacher" much more because teachers show the way, not just deliver information or help to master a new skill.

Today I would like to share my excitement with you. Yes, this is going to be an announcement. But hey, it's my blog and I can share everything I want. :-)

Next Friday, on May 20th, Jost Zetzsche is going to hold a webinar called "Is translation technology really the great equalizer? A look into why and how translation technology is opening up many new possibilities for creative minds".

I feel very priviledged now as I followed Jost on Twitter for years, and I remember how happy I was to hold in interview with him back in 2014 when I just started working with LinguaContact as a freelance blogger and social media manager. We had a great time then. Moreover, Jost promised to Fedor, our CEO, that he would be happy to have a webinar or a course at our translation training school whenever he had a chance. You can listen to the interview here.

So now the time has come. And it will be great. That's why I am inviting YOU, my readers, to take part in the webinar! This is not a free event, but if you are like me you have probably listened to 100,000 free webinars and you know how little useful info they actually give. And that's logical. So this is a paid event, but it will be worth every penny.

You can learn more on the English version of the webinar webpage. And if you have any questions, please use "Contact me" page of this blog. I will be happy to help, as usual.

See you on May 20th!

April 24, 2016

6 Marketing tips for translators

Hello everybody! How are you doing? Hope spring is bringing new blessings and challenges to you and your business. Please welcome Aniello Attianese with his first guest post in my blog. The topic we are going to talk about is marketing for freelance translators. Enjoy!

Whether you’re just a rookie at the very beginning of your great translation journey or an experienced translator with years of work behind your belt, one thing simply doesn’t change – in order to get business, you must market yourself successfully to the potential clients. It is extremely important to find the appropriate methods which will maximise results for the effort you put in.

This however, might sound much easier to do than it actually is. Remember, your goal is to stand out from the crowd of translators who might be just as talented and qualified as you are. Marketing your translation services isn’t just about getting out there and stopping. It is a constant effort to show your potential customers that you are qualified, professional and up-to-date with the industry.

March 21, 2016

How do you stay healthy and fit? Alina Cincan shares her experience.

Welcome back the series that started in 2014! Indeed, a lot has changed since then. I finally managed to put on some weight and become stronger. As for Alina Cincan, the changes were quite opposite, but the result is the same - better health, more confidence and enhanced wellbeing.
So I am giving the floor to Alina now. Let's see what she has to share and what changes occurred in her life since 2014. We decided not to change the original post written two years ago, but to add updates for each section. Please let us know in comments what you think!

February 8, 2016

How I became a freelancer and where it has led me...

It's all here, in my new interview to freelancermap.com. I am grateful for a chance to share my experience and some tips with the subscribers of this wonderful website. The interview was an interesting process. I've been kind of silent here, because now being only a part-time freelancer, I can't decide what to write about. There are a couple posts in my drafts, but I've been hesitating about publishing them. So big thanks to Doreen for showing me that my experience can still be valuable for others. Dear Doreen, I promise, I will keep this blog living and active!


So, things you will learn from this interview include:
1. How I became a freelancer (though you might already know that part ;-))
2. Why freelancing is a part-time business for me now and how that transition actually happened.
3. What do I do to find new clients and keep them :-)
4. Some marketing and success tips from me.

And of course, I will be happy to read your stories!
Here's what you can do: