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Thoughts on Translation has been an online gathering place for freelance translators since February, 2008. At that time, it was pretty easy to carve out a niche as a translation blogger (since there were about four of us).  Over 800 posts later, I’m happy that Thoughts on Translation has continued to be a valuable resource for our industry, winning the community choice award for best translation blog in 2016, the best translation blog post award in 2013, and receiving over 20,000 views a month.

When I started my freelance translation business in 2002, I had a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in French, a baby, a huge dose of entrepreneurial drive, and absolutely no idea how to run my own business. After several years of trial and error (emphasis on the error), I had a viable freelance business and a fulfilling list of regular clients. But I theorized that if I struggled with the business side of language entrepreneurship, other translators probably did too. That inspired me to write the first edition of my book How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator (now in its third edition with over 10,000 copies sold) in 2006. I then started teaching classes for freelance translators, a list that has grown to include Getting Started as a Freelance Translator, Beyond the Basics of Freelancing, Breaking Into the Book Translation Market, and Marketing to Direct Clients.

Whether you’re a beginning or experienced freelance translator, I hope that this blog helps you along your freelance journey! You can contact me directly at if you have questions (note that I may not have time to respond to individual questions, but I can consider them for future blog posts). Thanks, and happy translating!


Corinne McKay’s professional bio: Corinne McKay, CT, is an ATA-certified French to English translator based in Boulder, Colorado. She has been a full-time freelancer since 2002, specializing in international development, corporate communications/content marketing, and non-fiction books. Her translation of Erhard Loretan and Jean Amman’s Night Naked: a climber’s autobiography was shortlisted for the 2017 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. In addition to her translation work, Corinne has taught online courses for freelance translators for over 10 years, and her book How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator has become a go-to reference for the industry, with over 10,000 copies in print. Corinne is serving as the President of the American Translators Association from 2017-2019. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and teenage daughter, and spends most of her non-work time skiing, hiking, and biking in the Colorado mountains and beyond.