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Time to make conclusions and think about new goals for 2014

It's hard to believe that it's the end of the year! In just a few days 2014 is going to begin! So I've been thinking that I really need to do some analyzing and thinking, and planning for next year.

Overall, it was a very good year for me. Some very good things happened in my life and business:
1. I reached my target monthly income.
2. I took part in organizing the world record attempt for the longest webinar. I had a fabulous time!
3. I made some new friends and met some new clients.

Merry Christmas to my European and American readers!

I really enjoy getting to know you as you are commenting my posts, sharing them and writing to me. I love it that you find my blog useful in your freelancing career, or helpful in your search for a freelance translator. I will do my very, very best to keep being useful :)
Merry Christmas to YOU, my dear readers! Joy, peace, love and all the very best to you!

Olga

How do you stay healthy and fit? Interview with Valeria Aliperta

Hello everybody! A little over a week left before 2014, can you believe it?! I can't. I am really looking forward to the Olympic Games starting in February. It's going to be a great time.

This time I am publishing an interview with Valeria Aliperta from Rainy London Translations. Valeria has something very special and very inspiring to share with you about how she stays healthy and fit. Enjoy!

How do you stay healthy and fit? Interview with Caroline Alberoni

Hi there! Happy Monday! How about starting a new week with a renewed passion for a healthy lifestyle? I have a brand new interview here packed with wonderful tips from Caroline Alberoni. Here's what Caroline has to share:

First of all, I’d like to thank Olga for this great opportunity of taking part in this new interesting interview series. It’s a real pleasure to feature on your blog! :)

How do you stay healthy and fit? Interview with Sara Colombo

Hi everybody! I know you've been looking forward to another post in the new series. I asked Sara Colombo to share her experience and was very happy when she agreed! So here's what Sara has to say about staying healthy and fit as a freelancer:

Hi Olga, hi everybody! Being here is a great pleasure and a huge honour! Talking about fitness now that I am no longer a fit teenager is such a great deal! Yes! J

Top #language and #xl8 tweets in November 2013

It’s the beginning of December, so it’s high time to share the best language and translation tweets published last month! As usual, topsy.com was my source of information about how often different messages were retweeted and mentioned. And I am very happy to share the results with you! Check out the list as there are quite a few insightful, useful and even funny new links there.

Language tweets:

New interview series start: How do you stay healthy and fit?

As you know, last week I published the post "Being a healthy freelancer: your eyesight matters". I didn't realize then how popular it would become. In fact, it turned out to be my most popular post in November. That gave me an idea to make a new series of interviews with just one question for fellow freelancers: How do you stay healthy and fit?

I posted the info about the interviews on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and I am both amazed and humbled by how many colleagues responded! If you haven't seen my posts in social media, but this topic is of interest to you and you want to share your experience please contact me at olga @ yourprofessionaltranslator (dot) com! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

The first two colleagues that want to share their experience with us are Flavia Ivascu and Olga Dyussengaliyeva.

Being a healthy freelancer: your eyesight matters!

I don't know about you, but I definitely look like that sometimes after I've had a busy day. I've been a freelancer since 2007 and I know how tough it can be. Very few people are able to stick to comfortable work schedule from day 1 for the rest of their life. In fact, I haven't met such people at all. If you are one of them, please leave a comment below and share how you do it!

How many things you love can you share in 10 minutes?

Many people in November take the 30-day gratitude challenge. This morning I read a new post by Judy Lee Dunn "Can You Name 99 Things You Love in 10 Minutes?" and I immediately felt inspired to try. Especially given the fact that I've written a post about gratitude a very loooooong time ago. So let's see how many things I can come up with in 10 minutes.

Some things stay the same as they were 2 years ago, plus there are a few more:

Top #language and #xl8 tweets in October 2013

It’s the beginning of November, so it’s time to share the best language and translation tweets published last month! As usual, topsy.com was my source of information about how often different messages were retweeted and mentioned. And I am very happy to share the results with you! Check out the list as there are quite a few insightful, useful and even funny new links there.

Language tweets:

Social media news: Now you can get a custom URL for your Google+ profile

Today when I opened my email the first thing I saw was a message from Google+. It said that from now on all Google+ users can get personalized URLs for their profiles. If you remember, until now your Google+ address was a strange and long combination of numbers. All you need to do is click on "Get custom URL" button in the message and you will be taken to a new page where you need to type in your cell phone number. Don't forget to choose the appropriate country. They will send you an SMS with the code that you need to type in a separate box and that's it! You have a custom URL! Mine is https://www.google.com/+OlgaArakelyan

Interview with Emeline Jamoul from In Touch Translations

About a month ago, before the International Translation Day, Emeline asked me to take part in a series of interviews with different translators about their life and work.
"The project is designed around one main idea: “Translation is…”. Translators all around the world are welcome to send their answer and their thoughts on this topic. By September 30, we aim to reach an important number of participations – showing the diversity of our profession. All the answers will be published on this blog, showcasing the pride that we take in being translators." (Emeline Jamoul: About the project)

13 essential things to do in order to succeed as a freelancer.

1. Before you start freelancing full-time, make sure you have enough money for the first several months when you will be searching for your first clients and just trying to spread the word about who you are and what you do. Or make sure you have a source of financing so that you do not go broke while you are just starting out. More information about freelancing and finances here.
2. Being a freelancer, it is very easy and tempting to just stay in front of your computer all day long and eat junk food or sandwiches all the time. But staying healthy is important. So make sure you eat healthy food and leave time for exercising.
3. Remember that you need a balance between your work and the rest of your life. So do leave time for your family. Freelancing most often means working more than people who have "normal" jobs. So it can be pretty exhausting no matter how much you love what you do. That's why balance is necessary.

Top #language and #xl8 tweets in September 2013

You didn't think I forgot about my monthly series, did you? Of course not! Now that we finally eliminated the source of my Internet problems which was a dying router, I am more than happy to resume the normal working and blogging schedule :) So let's see what are the top language and translation tweetsin September! I have prepared a great list for you and really hope that you will find it useful.




Language tweets:

Telma Bauer: From a Project Manager Point of View

Hi everybody and happy belated International Translation Day! I think I congratulated my colleagues in all possible social networks, but I forgot to do it here, so I'm doing it now.
I also have a small announcement for you:  maybe you've seen my messages in social media or just noticed it by yourself, but my blog url has changed. It is now http://www.yourprofessionaltranslator.com and this address is here to stay as long as I want it to :) I think it will be a pretty long time since I really like it that way.
Also, together with the website the RSS-feed address has changed, too. Those of you who subscribed via email are fine, you just automatically started to receive the new feed. But if you subscribed to my blog via an RSS feed reader, you need to subscribe again. My feed address is http://www.yourprofessionaltranslator.com/feeds/posts/default. You can also choose any of the subscription options in the right hand panel (email, RSS, social networks). If you are using RSS agg…

Guest post: 4 effective ways to deal with the translation of PDF files

At least once in our professional life, all of us translators – beginning or experienced – have dealt with the translation of Portable Document Format (PDF) files. That being the case, there is no need stating the hard times we must have had handling such files, especially when it came with deciding how to process them and reflecting on ways and means to effectively render the target document in both a convenient and presentable way. Following the steps outlined below can prevent us much headache and help us to get out of trouble.

Motorsport terms glossaries for translators and language learners

It's been a while since I published an article with useful resources for translators and language learners/teachers. This summer I did quite a lot of translations for the tourist industry and discovered a whole new phenomenon called "sports tourism". Not that I haven't heard about it before, but I definitely haven't translated anything like that until I started working with a couple very cool clients. And I've done a great deal of translations about one specific type of sports events, which is motorsport, especially Formula 1.

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in August 2013

Hi everybody! It's the beginning of September, so it's high time I shared some trending tweets related to translation and languages. Qurious what the most popular ones are? Then read further. :)

Alina Cincan: How I chose my specialty fields

After a two-week break I am back with the series about specialization. And we are going to read the story of Alina Cincan who already published a guest post in my blog once. I hope this is not the last time when we collaborate :)
So let's see what Alina has to say about her specialty fields.

Sara Colombo: How did I choose my specialisation field

Hi everybody! So how are you doing? I can't believe autumn is coming so fast! As much as I like the summer, I can't wait for September to come. If you read this announcement you'll know why :)
My second webinar for Russian-speaking translators is approaching fast, too. This time we are going to talk about blogging as part of translation business. You can check the details and register here.
And now let's get down to business :) Hope you remember that we are talking about specialisation. And this time my guest is Sara Colombo. Sara is a freelance translator, interpreter, blogger and author. She is going to be one of the speakers at our September Conference and give us some important advice about transforming a blog into a book. So if you are blogger and if you are looking for a way to make a book using your blog posts, Sara is the person you need! You can read Sara's blog at Balance Your Words and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. And here's her story:

Catherine Christaki: My top specialization - Why and how

I always knew I wanted to be a translator but my plans never went as far as choosing what my specializations would be before finishing my linguistic studies. As with many other translators I know, hobbies and personal choice were the decisive factors on what would eventually become my preferred specializations. To answer Olga’s question in this post, I’ll focus on my top and favorite specialization only, which is Information Technology. I also specialize in medical texts and gambling, but it would take a few more posts to tell the stories about those two. :)

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in July 2013

July has been a very challenging month. But it has also been very fruitful. And as usual, I can't believe how fast the time is flying! In one month my daughter will start her second year in primary school. Although she says she doesn't miss school at all :)
And it's also time to share the most popular tweets about translation and languages! As usual, topsy.com website is helping me to find those tweets and share them with you. It's unbelievable how many interesting messages have been published in July. But don't just take my word for it. Check those links because they are definitely worth it!

Language tweets:

Olesya Zaytseva shares 5 lessons she learned about translation expertise

How many times have your read about the benefits of specialisation in translation? Many, I bet. A sure-fire way to differentiate and add you credibility in an overcrowded market of language services, they say.

In my language combination (English to Russian), the competition isfierce. Numerous translators with the same education and the same tools offer their services to the same LSPs. Too often, everything comes down to price.

To land clients who do care about their translators, you definitely need some extras — subject field excellence, impressive recommendations, huge experience, etc. Your authentic point of differentiation. But here comes the tricky part. Where is the way to translation expertise?

How did you choose your specialty fields? Passion first! Ewa Erdmann's story

Would you like to know more about specialization in the language and translation industry? Ewa Erdmann is going to share her storywith you now. How did she choose her fields? Here's what she says:
Passion first Just as doctors and lawyers choose areas they want to specialise in, translators should decide what field they want to pursue. Unquestionably, it is a very important decision, since it will determine their future work, marketing efforts and lifestyle.
The reasons behind their choice vary from translator to translator, but most frequently the determining factors are experience (being previously employed in a particular industry), passion / interests (depending on how strongly they feel about this area of specialisation) or academic background.

How did you choose your specialty fields? Dr. Sarai Pahla shares her experience

I've been following Sarai's blog for a few months now, and I should say this unique lady continues to amaze me more and more. Her writing style, the issues she touches upon in her blog and her sincerity really help her to stand out among so many of her colleagues with similar specialty areas. I wrote an email to Sarai asking her to take part in my series and hoping to get a reply in the next couple days. Imagine my surprise when she wrote back immediately sharing her story! So here's what Sarai says:
How I chose my specialty fields My answer is very simple: my entry into translation was completely the “wrong” way. I studied medicine and I didn’t enjoy it, and then I worked in IT for four years and decided to go freelance.
Meanwhile, during my time at medical school, I had to do an elective rotation at a “real” hospital (i.e. not a training hospital) and they said we could go anywhere in the world – so I chose Japan. I’m fairly certain my classmates thought I was jokin…

Fields of expertise: the Search for Ithaca

Hi everybody! I am back! Pages are still being updated, but you can now search for pretty much any post (except for a couple personal ones) using the categories in the upper part of the website. I do hope that it will make the navigation easier for you. And you can still use the search field in the upper right corner of the page to look for any other topics. Marketing and social media posts are now grouped together under freelance business category, so don't worry, they did not disappear :)

So, I am back with a fresh mind, and here's what a bit of rest does to me: I get creative :) And I thought it's high time to introduce a new topic to my blog, which is specialization and its importance for freelance translators. But instead of just me preaching about it, you will learn from fellow translators who have determined their spheres of expertise and are successfully growing their business. And my first guest is Konstantina Drakou! Here's what she has to say.

What is going on here at yourprofessionaltranslator.com

Dear readers,
I know how much you like my blog and are looking forward to new posts every week. This announcement is specially for you. Some of you have noticed that I've been doing some changes here lately in order to make all posts easier to find. I am also going to rewrite most of the pages. Some older posts which are of zero (or close to zero) value are going to be deleted. The rest are going to be grouped nicely, so you can search and find them by categories listed on top: Freelance business, Professional translation, Foreign language teaching, Russian culture, Blogging, and Tips for clients. You can still use the search box in the top right corner and type any keywords, including "personal" to find the posts that have that keyword.

I am going to delete the page about guest blogging because I've been getting too many weird requests from people who can't even spell words in English. You know I am not a native English speaker, that is why I always do my very …

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in June 2013

First of all, I would like to welcome new readers to my blog! Thank you for following me. And I would also like to thank those who have been reading my blog for some time. I am happy to see you back :)

I can't believe how fast the time flies! I just realised that June is almost over and it's high time to share some language and translation related tweets for this month.

For those who just started following my blog: every month I look up and share top language and translation related tweets. I try to keep the process as objective as possible, so I go to topsy.com and choose the tweets with most retweets and mentions. The only thing is that I don't publish pure advertisements here, no matter how many times they were shared. And I also try to make sure there are useful links in the tweets. I personally check all links to make sure it's high quality content that may be interesting and useful for my readers. In case you are new to Twitter hashtags, #xl8 stands for "tr…

What can you expect from freelance translators and what can't you expect from them?

I wrote this post in Russian about a week ago and I got some amazing feedback from my Russian-speaking colleagues. Besides, I asked my colleagues whether they have experienced something similar and a few of them said they did. So I thought it would be good to translate my own post.

Dear clients, this article is written primarily for you. If you need a translation, but you don't know what to expect from a translator, this post might turn out very helpful to you. If you ever experienced misunderstanding with your translator, maybe my post will help you realise what were at least some reasons for that and how the situation could be solved.

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in May 2013

It's time for another post in the series. As usual, I found tweets with most retweets and mentions with the help of the website called topsy.com. So check out these messages! I am sure you'll find something worth reading and sharing :)

Language tweets:
sarahditumSarah Ditum
Do you like talking? Imagine your language being disappeared – it's happening to sign language at Bristol Uni: http://t.co/2nNOERPfb

Why I Chose to Work as a Freelance Translator

Just like most full-time translators working for well-known firms worldwide, I did not start my language professional career in the field of translation or interpreting. As soon as I graduated from university, I started teaching English at a secondary school. It was both challenging and fun, as working with a wide variety of students of all ages and backgrounds provided me with good knowledge of the human brain and heart.

Our trip to Suzdal, one of the oldest Russian cities and the greatest tourist magnets

Suzdal is a very special town. It is very small, only about 11,000 people live there. There are no factories, no big buildings. Nowhere else you will see so many horses. Nowhere else you will see so many churches in one place. It has a very special atmosphere which is hard to explain, yet you will definitely feel it if you visit Suzdal.

That's why I was so happy when I learned that Delia's class was going there! I couldn't miss another chance to see the town, so I went there to help the teacher. And I made some cool pictures to share them with you.

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you certainly remember this post about Vladimir and its World Heritage sites. Well, Suzdal's white stone churches and monasteries are also included in the same UNESCO list. And of course, Suzdal also belongs to the Golden Ring of Russian cities. This is a panoramic view of the town.

As you see, there are no multi-storeyed buildings, because people want to preserve the ancient …

Customs and international trade terminology for translators and language learners

Not long ago I finished a translation project related to international trade. At times I had real fun while translating. Why? Because customs seems to be that kind of service where everything, including translations, needs to be brought to some kind of a uniform standard. In reality, it's not always so (especially in the Russian-English non-native translations I came across). But I thought I'd put my discoveries here for future reference. As for those terms that have more than one variant of translation, you can always ask your client which option they prefer. Even if you are not a translator, these links may be very useful if you are learning English or Russian, especially for business. So check them out!

Some very useful information for freelance translators who want to enhance their marketing, networking and blogging skills

May is really a very special month in Sharp End Training. We are about to reach 1,000 members in our LinkedIn group called Marketing for Freelance Translators! So we thought and thought how to thank you for being with us and found two ways we can do that.

First of all, we are declaring May the social media marketing month. That means that every Tuesday at 5 pm British Summer Time starting May 14th we are going to have LIVE webinars on social media marketing for translators.

Here's a brief program:
May 14th - Jonathan Senior teaching about strategic use of Twitter. I've been through this training and I assure you it is extremely useful, especially if you feel you are drowning in the sea of information there and you are starting to forget your goals and your vision as a marketer of your own freelance business. The webinar is already announced. It costs 25 USD. You can register here: http://sharp-end-training.ru/how-to-swim-against-the-tide-in-a-sea-of-clutter-and-noise

May 21st -…

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in April 2013

This is the third post in the series. As usual, I found tweets with most retweets and mentions with the help of the website called topsy.com. April was especially fruitful on language tweets, but translation messages were no less interesting and useful. So check them out! I am sure you'll find something worth reading and sharing :)

Language tweets first:
slateSlate Moist. Slacks. Crevice? Why do certain words sound so awful? http://t.co/YAnLPfFvoC#language#WordAversion

Being a healthy freelancer

First of all, I'd like to share my impressions about yesterday's webinar on proz. I was really nervous. For some reason, teaching in Russian seemed much more of a challenge than doing the same in English. But all my fears just went away the minute the webinar started. It went very well. My Russian speaking colleagues asked great questions and I really hope my presentation helped them!

Now back to business :) Today I would like to share a little reminder with you.
It's possible to be working from home and to be healthy. We just need to remember to do at least some of the following things:

1. Exercising
If you don't know where to start, here's my favourite workout. The lady speaks Russian (with a stroooong accent though as she clearly spent no less than half of her life in the US), but you don't need to know Russian to repeat each exercise 15 times ;)

Has it ever happened to YOU? I sure hope it never happens to me again :(

I still remember what happened that day in March and that overwhelming feeling of shame... Awful. Why did that happen? It was all my fault. I knew I couldn't give my 100% to work because I was sick, but I still agreed to do it because I really, really missed translating. Money wasn't the issue. I just wanted to work.

Would you like to know more about my background as a translator, blogger and freelancer?

My friend and colleague Konstantina Drakou started a new series of guest posts in her blog called "So, graduation! Translator? And, then what?" and she kindly asked me to share my story. It always feels weird and a little awkward to speak or write about myself. Hopefully, I did a good enough job for you to see where I came from, how I became a freelance translator and in general, why I am who I am ;)
You can find the post here, in Konstantina's blog.

Happy reading!

Top #language and #xl8 related tweets in March

After I realized how popular my last post about translation and language related tweets turned out to be, I thought it would be good to publish the links to most valuable content each month. So, here's the list of most popular tweets about translation and languages in March.

Just so we are clear, it's not "my favourites" list. In order to define top tweets, I go to the website called topsy.com and find tweets for a specific month with most retweets and mentions. And then I publish them here. Last month I published tweets that got no less than 6 retweets. This month I decided to publish tweets with no less than 10 retweets and mentions.

I can't say that I don't carefully choose the content for these posts though. Sometimes there are purely promotional tweets with quite a few RTs and mentions done by the staff of the same company who published the initial tweet. I don't include those in my list. I seldom include tweets with no links to useful material, onl…

Good news for those planning to attend our next virtual conference next Tuesday and Wednesday!

Hi everybody! As you know, I am speaking at the Sharp End Training virtual worker conference this Tuesday. If you haven't heard about it yet, you can check the info here.

We already held a similar conference for freelance translators and it was a great success! But there were also quite a few people who couldn't come, so this is your chance!

The online conference features a panel of speakers all experts in aspects of virtual working, blogging, client relations, networking, presentations and more.

Good-bye to Google Reader... Welcome, Feedly!

At first I really freaked out when I heard that Google Reader is soon going to die. I've been using it for years and I really got used to it. But then I read a post in Buffer blog about 5 other services that can substitute Google Reader. I am an avid user of the Buffer application for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, so I really needed something that could seamlessly work with it, so I don’t have to change my ways too much. I have to admit, I wasn’t very creative or original when I decided to try the first item on their list, Feedly.

I have to tell you, I just love it. That’s the reason for this post actually :)

OmegaT - my two cents and useful links

I've been learning to use this translation memory tool and I think it is worth the attention of professional translators. I have been studying this whole issue of translation memory tools and trying to figure out which would suit me best. I like Wordfast, especially the Wordfast Anywhere cloud option. But it works with only a few formats, so I thought I need to discover something else. And then thanks to Rose Newell's blog I learned about OmegaT. Later I started reading Velior's blog and found out that this is a very useful tool. Since then I've been bookmarking their posts about OmegaT. A week ago I finally downloaded the program and by now I have done 4 small projects using it and I kind of like it.

So you are a busy freelancer. How to keep your blog alive?

I decided to write this post thanks to my dear Twitter friend and colleague Sarai Pahla who mentioned once on Twitter that she honestly wonders how I find time for blogging regularly. Well, I am about to share my secret with you now. I am also going to share a couple tricks that help other blogging translators. Interested? Then read further.

Top language and translation related tweets in February

February has been especially fruitful considering the number and the quality of translation and language related content published. That's why I decided to make a list of most popular and valuable tweets, so you could look through them. Who knows, maybe you will find something really useful here that you missed ;)
So here's the list!

Presentation "Machine translation versus skilled human translation"

I prepared the presentation for some people who I occasionally meet online and offline, who think that translators work the same way as Google translate does. And then I thought it would be nice to upload it to slideshare.net so anybody could see it. I should say I am amazed with the results: over 160 views and 1 download just a few hours after the presentation was uploaded. Hope you find it useful :)
Here it is:

Machine translation versus skilled human translation from Olga Arakelyan

Oh this tricky thing called marketing... How absolutely NOT to do it on LinkedIn

I would like to share something from my own experience here. Some time ago a translation agency representative sent me a connection request on LinkedIn. I accepted it. The same day I got an email from another person working with that agency where more details about the company were given. Well, I read that message and forgot about it pretty soon... Until a few days later I got another message from the same agency about quality assurance in their company. In the message, they just wrote all about how great they are again.
The problem was I couldn't understand two things:

How to benefit from your cooperation with a freelance translator: Clients' success guide

Thanks to Marta Chereshnovska and Marta Stelmaszak I learned about a new tool for presentations called prezi.com. I decided to give it a try and created this presentation called How to benefit from your cooperation with a freelance translator: Clients' guide to success.
Let me know what you think about it :) Oh, you need to click on the final words (they are red) to see them clearly, but do it after you have viewed all steps, ok?

Would you like to learn more about the speakers at the upcoming Sharp End Training conference for freelance translators? Then read further :)

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate!
But I really couldn't be silent today for one more reason: The Take Control of YOUR Business Conference starts tomorrow! So I want to make sure that all my readers have grabbed their chance to register!
If you are a member of our LinkedIn group you might have noticed that I have been doing something special this week. Each day I introduced one speaker. I'd like to do the same here, in my blog now.
1. Ewa Erdmann. Ewa Erdmann is a freelance translator and interpreter (English-Polish) running her own business – Transliteria. Ewa has linguistic and legal academic background, which enables her to specialize as a legal translator.

Ewa works closely with a marketing company and runs her own group of Polish business owners. She actually wrote a guest blog post for our blog which you can find if you follow the link: http://sharp-end-training.ru/are-you-networking-with-the-right-people

Ewa is going to speak about net…

What is translation? - Famous quotes give us the answer

What is translation? What do translators do? Those are two of the most frequent keywords people use to find my blog in search engines. So I thought it would be only natural to prepare a separate post on the topic. But instead of reading you a lecture about the importance of translation, I decided to let famous quotes about translation speak for themselves. So here are your answers. :)