Image: Shutterstock/ J. Lekavicius
Successful translators need a broad skill-set to complement their language skills
Keeping our knowledge up to date is a vital part of our daily work. Happily for us, resources for translators abound.
If you know of a valuable resource missing on my list, feel free to drop me a line.
The Prosperous Translator: Advice from Fire Ant and Worker Bee, Chris Durban: A compilation of all the answers to translation-related questions posed in the identically named advice column in Translation Journal. A no-nonsense approach that I find very refreshing.
The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation, Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner: It’s all in the title. Be a smart translator and take yourself seriously — translators are entrepreneurs and should act accordingly.
How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, Corinne McKay: Very comprehensive help on getting it right when starting up. Extremely useful!
The Translator’s Toolbox: A Computer Primer for Translators, Jost Zetzsche (e-book): Full of helpful advice on computer and tech-related issues. Buying the book means you also receive a free year’s subscription to the premium version of his newsletter, the Toolbox Journal.
The Translation Sales Handbook: A Roadmap to Higher Rates, Better Clients, Luke Spears (e-book): This one may be more suited for experienced translators. If you’re just starting out, you might want to read it to get a feel for future decisions you will face. Update December 2014: The book can be read for free as an HTML-version on Luke’s website.
Diversification in the Language Industry: Success Beyond Translation, Nicole Y. Adams (available in print and as an e-book): If you’re thinking about offering more than pure translation services, this book will provide a slew of ideas for possible diversification. I highly enjoyed the book and wrote a pretty positive review about it, if you want to find out more.
21 Free Tools and Utilities for Translators, Alessandra Martelli (free e-book): Alessandra tested and compared free software to make things easier for us when looking for a new tool.
The Business Guide for Translators, Marta Stelmaszak: If you’re not familiar with Marta’s work yet, then it’s about time! This is a rock-solid introduction to a very structured and business-minded approach to your translation career. Marta has a very quiet and clear way of introducing big concepts and breaking them down. She also provides links to other resources and for further reading. This book is beyond recommendable.
The Marketing Cookbook for Translators, Tess Whitty: Successfully marketing yourself can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Where to start and what to do? Tess has written a book that lets you tackle marketing in very clear steps, keeping you in control. Choose a marketing recipe and get started — it’s that simple!
CAT guru review of translation tools on Youtube: Extremely helpful tutorials and discussions for various CAT tools.
SDL Translationzone: A lot of Trados webinars, but also general topics.
SDL Trados on Youtube: (I’m a Trados user, if you hadn’t guessed).
eCPD Webinars for translators and interpreters: Nice range of topics, affordable prices and very helpful team. Good selection of on-demand content. (Look out for their special offers such as 2-for-3)
ProZ Education: Wide range of topics. Free webinars are often available (charity events, ProZ virtual conferences, etc.).
ATA webinars: The American Translators Association has a huge selection of topics. Go learn something from them.
Society for Editing and Proofreading: The SfEP offers online courses in proofreading and editing. (Not strictly webinars, but close enough)
The Toolbox Journal: Jost Zetzsche’s biweekly newsletter for translators. A free and a premium version are available (and the premium version is definitely worth its very reasonable price tag).
www.jobsfortranslators.com: A Yahoo Group for translators. Have job listings sent to your inbox.
Business School for Translators | Marta Stelmaszak: Marta is very generous with her knowledge. Visit her website to read her blog, download free resources, get her business tips and watch her videos. She teaches her Business School at eCPD webinars as well, if you’d prefer a more interactive learning experience.
Adventures in Freelance Translation | Lingua Greca Translations: Broad range of topics, excellent guest posts and the Weekly Favorites series published every Friday featuring a selection of the week’s hottest topics.
Twitter: Get thee on Twitter, if you’re not already there. Smart translators posting content worth sharing — what’s not to want about that?
Translation Ethics’ Translation Agencies Blacklist: There are always black sheep and we should keep ourselves informed of them.
No Peanuts! for Translators: This website is real wake-up call that the translation profession struggles to gain respect and proper pay. For anyone considering selling their services under cost this website provides valuable insights — setting a suitable price for your services is a matter of paying your rent and of professional pride.
Payment Practices: THE online database of the payment practices of translation agencies and other translation buyers. Access available for a small annual fee.
Translator Scammers Directory: João Roque Dias got the ball rolling by collecting and publishing the details of scammers who have stolen the identities of real translators. Starting February 15, 2014, he has passed the torch to the Translator Scammers Intelligence Group. Visit their website to check a suspicious CV, report a scammer or find out more about what they do.
Multifarious | Paul Filkin: Paul is Client Services Director at SDL. He uses his blog to share very useful insights about Studio and IT-related issues. His blog also features a great page called SDL sustenance where he collects information about Studio, including where to find the many Studio resources online, how to get support and much more. What’s more, Paul is insanely helpful if you tweet a question at him. And he has a Youtube channel where he posts Studio help videos.
Glossarissimo: Are you looking for a glossary? Look no further! Glossarissimo is a constantly updated collection of glossaries and other resources for translators and interpreters.
TermCoord: The website of the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament is full of useful information. You can find the terminology database IATE there as well as the TermCoord blog full of resources and publications available for download. The TermCoord Unit is also very active on Twitter.
Translation Bookmarking: Nancy Matis has made it her mission to create a central site for collecting interesting articles about the many aspects of translation. You can head there to read some of the resources she has discovered or you can suggest something that should be included on the site.
The Open Mic Project: This is an ambitious project launched and maintained by Dmitry Kornyukhov who had the vision of creating a place for translators to gather and share their expertise. It’s a blogging platform and a social network and a repository of knowledge where industry newcomers are welcome to quietly read or raise their their voices and be heard.
Otherwise, check out my blogroll, which features a nice long list of translation-related blogs.
Marketing Tips for Translators | Tess Whitty: Tess offers interviews with well-know translators about various aspects of marketing as well as occasional solo shows. The podcast is available on iTunes as well.
The Vocal Fries | According to the hosts Carrie Gillan and Megan Figueroa, this is a podcast about linguistic discrimination— and that it is! If you want to learn more about how we judge how other people when they speak, this is the podcast for you.
Speaking of Translation | Corinne McKay and Eve Bodeux: Corinne and Eve host occasional free conference calls and make the recording available afterward.
Troublesome Terps | Hosted by Jonathan Downie, Alexander Gansmeier and Alexander Drechsel, this is a fun show about interpreting and working in the language industry.
High-Income Business Writing | Ed Gandia: Ed Gandia is a celebrity copywriter and consultant (and co-author of the highly recommended Wealthy Freelancer book). His podcasts are fun to listen to and full of extremely useful advice, especially if you are thinking of adding copywriting to your skills. (And he has the most lovely voice.) Also available on iTunes.
Hot Copy | Belinda Weaver and Kate Toon: Belinda and Kate are well-known Australian copywriters and copywriting trainers. They’re industry experts and they’re also hilarious and blunt in that typical Aussie way. So, listen, laugh and learn something! (If you’re strapped for time, they provide transcripts of each episode.)
Lexicon Valley: As it says on iTunes, this “is a podcast about language, from pet peeves, syntax and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of language.” It is also proof that linguistics’ reputation for being dull is completely unwarranted.
The Allusionist: “Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman”— sounds good, right? It is.
Translators on Air: The brainchild of Dmitry Kornyukhov and Elena Tereschenkova, this is a live show featuring interviews with other translators. It’s new, it’s raw and that makes it a welcome break from other podcasts.
The Culture Guy Podcast: Christan Höferle from The Culture Mastery is an expert on how culture shapes everything we think or do and he started this podcast to share his insights with us.
Globally Speaking Radio with Renato Beninaoto and Michael Stevens: As it says on the website: “Globally Speaking Radio isn’t just about how language professionals can improve our skills. It’s also about building awareness of how important translation and localization services are in helping global brands succeed in foreign markets—no matter where their business takes them.” Interesting stuff!
The Worldly Marketer Podcast with Kathrin Bussmann: Kathrin’s mission is to explore how savvy SMEs can best benefit from today’s social, multicultural and multilingual marketplace. Tune in for weekly interviews with people in the know!
Lingthusiasm: A podcast for lovers of linguistics hosted by Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch. It’s a fun, smart show that is definitely worth listening to!
Good Job, Brain: This is a podcast that will appeal to geeks, nerds and puzzle freaks. 4 friends share quirky quizzes, whacky word games and a lot of belly laughs. Perfect for honing your lateral thinking and creative language skills.
Watercooler: For Translators and Interpreters: Closed group. Several interesting (and often robust) debates happening here.
The League of Extraordinary Translators: Open group, but only professional translators can join. English is the only language allowed (and they’re quite strict about it). You’ll also find some interesting discussions here.
Things Translators Never Say: A more lighthearted group that still offers very real insights into the trials and tribulations of being a freelance translator.
Übersetzer/innen: A German group offering a very pleasing mix of translation-related posts and more personal interaction.
Marketing for Translators and Interpreters: A closed group that is very warm, welcoming and positive. Come here to ask your questions and celebrates your successes.
DE<> EN Translator & Translation Support: The name says it all. This is the closed Facebook Group to join if you work with German and English.
All translator associations are a valuable source of information, training and support. If you’re a translator you should be a member of one. Make use of them for professional development and peer advice.
ATICOM — Fachverband der Berufsübersetzer und Berufsdolmetscher
ADÜ — Assoziierte Übersetzer und Dolmetscher in Norddeutschland
tekom — Gesellschaft für Technische Kommunikation
BDÜ — Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer
DVÜD — Deutscher Verband der freien Übersetzer und Dolmetscher
DTT – Deutscher Terminologie Tag
IAPTI — International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters: Occasionally, the IAPTI also stages webinars (HT to Benjamin Barclay).
MET — Mediterranean Editors & Translators (HT Nikki Graham)
sfep – Society for Editors and Proofreaders
ITI — Institute of Translation and Interpreting
CIOL — Chartered Institute of Linguists
ATA — American Translators Association
NGTV – Dutch Association for Translators and Interpreters
OEDb: The Open Education Database is an online directory for both free and paid learning options.
Open Culture: A website dedicated to collecting free educational and cultural media on the web.
MIT OpenCourseWare: Free MIT course materials available for download.
Course Buffet: A MOOC catalog that lets you put together entire degree paths.
Coursera: Free online university courses.
Khan Academy: Free online courses.
iversity: Free MOOCs.
edX: MOOCs from universities such as Harvard and Berkeley.
FutureLearn: MOOCS mainly from UK universities.
Resources L’annuaire des MOOC Francophone: List of French-language MOOCs.
Udacity: Online courses, mainly in design and coding. There are free versions and paid versions that include online tutoring.
Udemy: Online courses at reasonable prices. (HT to Valentina Ambrogio)
Skillshare: Online courses, mainly on design, social media and the like. Free courses are also available.
Canva: A graphic design platform which is great for creating customized social media images. You can use your own images, Canva’s generous offering of free images or buy images at very reasonable prices. Great for all non-designers.
Lynda: Paid software tutorials. Worth a look if you’re interested in branching out and diversifying.
Open Yale Courses: Take advantage of free introductory courses taught at Yale.
Harvard Open Courses: Watch free Harvard courses.
Stanford Online: Or maybe Stanford has an interesting course on offer for you?
Alison: Free certified courses. An extensive range of self-paced courses. Take the test at the end and have them send you a certificate of completion. Neat!
The Eggcorn Database: A growing collection of eggcorns along with documented uses.