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The business of translation for interpreters

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Slides from my presentation for interpreters thinking of branching into translation

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The business of translation for interpreters

  1. 1. The business of translation for interpreters Marta Stelmaszak April 2015
  2. 2. About the speaker • Polish – English translator and interpreter • Based in London • BA, PgCert in language-related disciplines • MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation • Training in marketing, e-business, economics • Certificate in business mentoring • Publications, presentations, articles • www.wantwords.co.uk/school • @mstelmaszak
  3. 3. Our agenda • Differences between the translation and interpreting industries • Overview of the translation industry • Qualification requirements • Translator’s office, including translation tools • Marketing translation services to agencies and direct clients
  4. 4. But first… • Tell me a bit about you
  5. 5. A day in the life of a… • Interpreter • Translator
  6. 6. The difference between… • Interpreters • Translators
  7. 7. The difference between… • Type of work • Challenges • Type of clients • Way of pricing • Tools • Requirements • Qualifications • Personality • http://wantwords.co.uk/school/lesson-119-does-your- personality-impact-your-translation-career-introverts- and-extroverts/
  8. 8. Overview of the translation industry • Universities and courses • Qualifications • Professional associations • Continuing Professional Development • Agencies • Direct clients • Translation technology companies
  9. 9. Overview of the translation industry • Market trends and demand • Secondary market research can be particularly useful when comes to researching market trends. As a good starting point, I recommend this Study on the size of the language industry in the EU. It contains a good outline and plenty of country-specific resources. Mapping best multilingual business practices in the EU is another important report, though again only EU-wide. I also do recommend looking into The Status of the Translation Profession in the European Union report.
  10. 10. Overview of the translation industry • Clients • Looking outside our own industry, you may want to look at your international Chamber of Commerce. These institutions, apart from organising promising events, often research and survey their members and bilateral business relations. In terms of our fields of specialisation, look into industry-specific publications, trade directories, governmental reports and studies on these specific fields, export reports, or even commercial market research reports (still related to the field you specialise in). Examples of resources are listed here and here.
  11. 11. Overview of the translation industry • Competition • To learn more about competition, I recommend the same EU reports to start with. Many more of them are available here. You’ll find plenty of information on websites of translation agencies or other translators in your language combination, for that matter. You may also want to look at internet fora for translators or LinkedIn discussion groups. You’ll find plenty of news on ELIA, ATC and GALA websites (for example member surveys).
  12. 12. Overview of the translation industry • Rates and charges • The best and most reliable sources of researching rates and charges are primary resources which I’m going to discuss in the next post. However, there are some secondary resources available that are very helpful indeed. I suggest starting with professional translation organisations which often conduct member surveys. For example, take a look at BDÜ, SFT or CIOL/ITI surveys.
  13. 13. Overview of the translation industry • Professional organisations • A thorough analysis of translation-related professional organisations is contained in The Status of the Translation Profession in the European Union report. However, it’s equally important that you look into your regional associations, too. What I’d like to underline in this point is that we should be researching associations related to the fields of our expertise, too. They are a good starting point for familiarising ourselves with the markets we operate on, and often contain invaluable market data on our potential clients.
  14. 14. Overview of the translation industry • Qualifications and CPD • Perhaps the best sources of information about qualifications available are translation-related professional organisations and universities. In terms of CPD, I found the International Calendar of Events very useful, MultiLingual as well as ELIA’s calendar and networking with colleagues. It’s also vital that you keep up with qualifications and CPD events in your areas of specialisation.
  15. 15. Overview of the translation industry • Translation technology • When comes to Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, you can get a good overview here: http://www.proz.com/software-comparison- tool/cat/cat_tools/2 and looking at course structures, for example here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/centras/prof- courses/summer-translation/translation-tech-intensive. • Trends: machine translation, post-editing, crowdsourcing, TAUS report
  16. 16. Overview of the translation industry • Do you think you need new skills or develop existing ones? In which areas? Do you need to learn more?
  17. 17. Overview of the translation industry • Different types of “translation” work – General translation – Specialised translation – Technical/medical/legal translation – Creative translation – Transcreation – Copywriting – SEO translation – Editing – Proofreading – Machine translation post-editing (PEMT) – Transcription
  18. 18. Overview of the translation industry • Different types of clients – Individuals – Businesses – Translation agencies – Government organisations – NGOs and charities
  19. 19. Overview of the translation industry • With different expectations – Needs – Volume of work – Types of documents – Communication – Marketing
  20. 20. Qualification requirements • Best case scenario: qualified translator with background in the field (two degrees) • More difficult: expert in the field with no degree in translation • Most difficult: a qualified translator without background in the field • However, translation is a performance-based profession
  21. 21. Qualification requirements • How to become more competitive on the market? • What to add to existing qualifications?
  22. 22. Translator’s office • Translation qualifications • QA system • CV • Field-related qualifications • Support network • Cover email • Communication skills • Insurance • References • Marketing skills • Invoicing system • Brochure or leaflet • Pro email and signature • Payment tracking system • Website • Rates chart and calculator • Bank accounts • Online marketing • Surcharges • Accounting and taxes • Business card • Terms and Conditions • Reliable internet access • Professional membership • Software • Printer • CPD plan and record • Resources • Scanner • Marketing strategy
  23. 23. Marketing translation services • How would you approach translation agencies? • Have you had any success? • Why is that so?
  24. 24. Marketing translation services • What do you need? – CVs – Cover letters – Rates chart – Tools – Sales pitch – Brochures – List of benefits – Website or profile – References
  25. 25. Questions? Marta Stelmaszak www.wantwords.co.uk marta@wantwords.co.uk @mstelmaszak

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