Analog words in the digital age

Here’s a random linguistic observation… Earlier this week, I was translating away on some public health materials, and came to the expression “composer notre numéro sans frais.” Knee-jerk translation: call our toll-free number (to get information about this public health initiative). And then it occurred to me, is it still correct to call something a

Non-billable work: learn to live with it!

Thanks to reader Lisa Rodriguez for suggesting this post! Lisa (correctly) points out that “even with well-oiled procedures, it is *normal* to spend hours” on tasks like record-keeping, cleaning up bills and outstanding invoices, etc. As Lisa comments, “It’s part of the job…no point in getting bent out of shape about it.” Yes. Amen. I

“Agencies won’t pay my rates, and I can’t find direct clients”: what to do?

Here’s a conundrum that I hear frequently from freelancers at all experience levels: agencies won’t pay my rates, and I can’t find any direct clients. What should I do? Well, let’s see: First, adjust your mindset. Tough love tip: if you truly believe that *zero* agencies will pay your desired rates, and that you will

OT: Bicycling from Martigny to Bolzano

The Thoughts on Translation family just returned from our summer vacation: a week of family time in Switzerland, then a three-week bike trip through the Italian Alps, from Martigny, Switzerland to Bolzano, Italy (actually Trento, a little south of Bolzano!). As usual, feel free to skip this post if you’re not into bike touring or

New podcast: outsourcing for translators

Eve Bodeux and I recently recorded a joint podcast with Tess Whitty, host of the popular Marketing Tips for Translators podcast. The topic is outsourcing for translators: not outsourcing your actual translation work, but outsourcing business, marketing and productivity tasks so that you can focus on the work that you enjoy and do best (while