Getting things done

When asked why they failed at freelancing, many former freelancers say that they simply couldn’t deal with the unstructured nature of the freelance day and ended up working out/watching TV/cleaning the closets etc. instead of working. Succeeding as a freelancer (translator or any other freelance job) requires that you be able to meet tight deadlines

IBM's new English>Arabic translation device

Here is an interesting article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on IBM’s new English>Arabic translation software and hardware, with an interesting comment from ATA public relations guru Kevin Hendzel. I actually found the most disturbing part of the article to be the statistic that of 1,000 employees at the newly constructed U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, only

It's not just Facebook…

Here’s a post from the blog of Canadian communications consultant Deborah Zanke, dealing with poorly done translations at 5-star resorts in Cuba (which are understandably popular with Canadians at this time of year). She poses the question of whether these translations should be criticized if the resort staff’s spoken English is excellent, and also highlights

The 9 out of 10 factor

A few years ago, I wrote an article for NewsForge about Linux consultants, and in the course of researching the article, I interviewed Sean Reifschneider, the founder of Colorado-based Linux consultancy ltd.. When I asked Sean to compare working for someone else with working for himself, he said “At the large company [I worked

Freelance translation FAQ, part 1

I love to read lists of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on topics that interest me, so I thought that I would periodically post some freelance translation FAQs. The questions are based on my experience and opinions and those of translators I’ve worked with and taught. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the Comments

The grass is always greener…

As translators, I think we often feel that we have toughest job in the document workflow; we don’t get to choose what to write, but we have to make the translation sound at least as good as the original and deal with issues like cultural connotations, idioms and untranslatable linguistic tricks. On the other hand,

Announcing the launch of Adventure Translators

My good friend and excellent colleague Eve Bodeux has just launched a new boutique translation company catering to the specific needs of the outdoor and adventure sports industries, the aptly named Adventure Translators. I’m going to be working with her as Chief Translator; Eve has run a very successful localization company, Bodeux International for many