Monday, August 29, 2011

FAQ for translation buyers

1. What is translation? Is it the same as interpreting?
Translation is converting written texts from one language (source) to another (target). Interpreting is converting spoken language. Both translators & interpreters are language professionals, however the education, training and skills required for each are different, and only few people can offer both services.
2. What constitutes a good translator?
First of all, it’s not a hobby. Not everybody familiar with a foreign language can do it. A good and professional translator needs the following:
• Ability to read and write well in both source and target languages
• Knowledge of and/or experience in the field of the text to be translated
• Extensive knowledge of syntax/grammar/spelling rules in both source and target languages
• At least 3 years’ experience before cooperating with direct clients. Novice translators should work for translation agencies first, where a proofreader will review their work and provide feedback (however, not all translation agencies follow this process).
• References, i.e. translation agencies or direct clients who have cooperated with the translator in the past and can offer feedback as to their cooperation.
• A professional translator either has a strong technical background (e.g. a medical translator might have a medical degree) combined with linguistic experience or has a strong linguistic background (e.g. a degree in Languages or Translation) combined with technical experience (specialization in a specific field of interest).
3. What constitutes a good translation?
• A good translation is easily understood.
• A good translation is fluent and smooth.
• A good translation conveys the meaning of the source text.
• A good translation fits the purpose that it was intended to fit.
4. Is there a difference between technical translation and literary translation?
Of course there is. Most translators can either the one or the other, very few can do both. Literary translation concerns literary works (novels, short stories, plays, poems, etc.), whereas technical translation concerns texts that relate to specialized, technological, or scientific subject areas. Medical, legal, automotive, marketing etc. translators belong to the second category. Source:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

12 articles on how to get more referrals

While some articles provide similar advice, each piece has at least one unique tip hidden inside. Check out all 12 and build a referral strategy that can explode your business.
1. The Freelancer’s Guide to Increasing Referral Business
This FreelanceSwitch article starts things off by covering a few reasons why referrals are so great and then gets into 12 solid tips and tactics that you can use to improve the amount of referrals in your freelance business. Two of the gems: asking for client feedback to determine your area of expertise and building a competitive advantage over the rest of the market.
2. Get More Referrals by Asking
This article flips the typical referral script on it’s head and states, “Give and You Shall Receive.” Read more to learn how to make giving a habit and generating referrals a frequent event.
3. How to Get More Referrals & Find Strategic Business Partners with John Jantsch
This 30 minute web show is run by HubSpot and they interview the author of Referral Engine, John Jantsch. John shares all sorts of information about generating referrals for your business in this excellent interview. Two of my favorites include the number one reason why businesses get referrals and the strategy to use to discover what makes your business remarkable and will get people talking.
4. How to Ask for Referrals and Get More Clients
This article is all about how to ask for referrals. It covers real scripts that you can reuse for your freelance business and put into practice today. This article also comes with a list of tips and suggestions to keep in mind when you get ready to ask for a referral.
5. How to get referrals
This throwback article is a hidden gem in Seth Godin’s archive. As only Seth can, he reminds us that referrals aren’t really about our business, but about the customer. Check it out and discover his sage advice on how to make referrals about the only person who matters: the client.
6. How to Get More Referrals
This article covers a crucial aspect of generating freelance referrals: how to get more referrals by taking control of the process and developing a sustainable referral system.
7. How a freelance marketer built her business with referrals
Gail Keith is a successful freelance marketer who left the corporate world almost a decade ago. In this story, she shares how she built her freelance business from the ground up with referrals. You’ll also find 3 specific techniques that you can use to increase the number of referrals you get.
8. How to finesse 156% more referrals
This down-to-earth article covers the typical process of asking for a referral. However, it also covers a not-so-typical — but oh so critical — suggestion of thanking the referrer.
9. How to Ask for a Referral Without Sounding Like a Jerk
This article shares a brief story of a brilliant freelancer who lost his chance for a referral and then shows you what you can do to prevent the same fate happening to you. Don’t miss this short read on how to get more referrals.
10. Attn Freelance Writers: How to Get More Work from Existing Clients
This article is targeted towards freelance writers, but many of the principles will be useful for all freelancers. If you’re interested in learning how to get more business from your existing clients, then this article is for you.
11. 5 Keys to Building Referral Business
This article focuses on web designers and developers, but once again, the principles are sound advice for all freelancers. This piece also raises good points about the ease of contact that you should provide if you want people to refer your work. There are also a few decent points in the comments of this article that highlight the areas freelancers are really struggling with.
12. 15 Tips for Getting Client Referrals to Grow Your Freelance Business
This article from American Writers and Artists, Inc. is filled with 15 tips to help you create a strategy that can generate a stream of referrals in your freelance business. The first tip might be the most important: set a referral goal for each month. If you make referrals a priority, then you’ll discover how to get more referrals much more quickly.
Source: Freelance Switch

Top misconceptions about training to become an interpreter

Many believe you don’t need any training at all, you just have to speak a couple of languages to become an interpreter. This misconception possibly arises from the fact that when you watch a good interpreter in action, it all appears so effortless. This may lead the uninitiated to think that anyone can do it that easily.
This is absolutely FALSE. It’s like saying anyone who can use a thermometer can be a doctor, or owning a pair of skis will make you a ski jumper. While the thorough knowledge of languages is absolutely essential to becoming an interpreter, it is not enough in itself. The reason why it all looks so easy is because the interpreter has spent years training and practicing the skills required to do his or her job.
Here, the idea seems to be that some people are born with a “knack” for interpreting and others don’t. It is true that a certain number of “in-born” traits will make it easier for one to learn the skills required to become an interpreter. For instance, it helps to:
- be a good communicator
- have a quick and well-organised mind
- have the ability to concentrate and focus, especially in stressful situations
- have strong nerves
- have intellectual curiosity
- be adaptable to new situations
- be a people person (although not all interpreters are extroverts)
- be a team player
- show personal integrity
This one is actually a bit mystifying for me, since most people seem to agree that pretty much every other profession requires training. You want to build a skyscraper? Go and study architecture. You want to run a multinational? Sign up for an MBA. You want to become an interpreter? Apply to a postgraduate interpreting course.
The idea here behind the myth that interpreting can’t be taught would appear to be that since the whole interpreting process all happens so quickly inside one’s head, there is no way to actually figure out what’s going on in there and then teach the techniques required. This is particularly the case for simultaneous translation, where observers see the interpreter listening, mentally analysing and translating the message, and speaking all at the same time.
I’m pleased to say that this belief is also FALSE:
This is simply not true. Just as I’m sure you would do a lot of research before applying to an executive MBA, I highly recommend prospective students research various interpreting schools before making their choice. They shouldn’t necessarily just pick the course closest to home, or the one at the university their friends plan to attend.
What to look out for? According to the AIIC (the International Association of Conference Interpreters), which has drafted a list of best practice for conference interpreting training programmes, a course should be at the postgraduate level, be at least one year long, be taught by conference interpreters, include an aptitude test, and teach both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting techniques.
The AIIC’s recommendations, as well as a number of other tips for prospective students of interpreting, can be found on the website of AIB, along with a lot of other useful information about the profession. AIB offers objective, useful information and debunks a lot of myths, including the four I have talked about today.”
You can also watch the video with the interview here. Source: Interpreter’s Diaries blog

How to take a screenshot or picture of what’s on your computer screen

There are a couple of reasons you might want to take a screenshot (a.k.a., screen capture or screen grab) of your desktop or an application window. One of the most common is to send the image to tech support to show a problem you’re experiencing. Whatever your motive, here’s how to take a screenshot on both Windows and Mac.

Take a Screenshot on Windows

Look for thePrint Screen key on your keyboard, which might be labeled PrtScn.
  • To capture the entire screen (everything you see on the screen, including all open windows), press the PrtScn button. This screenshot will be placed in your clipboard.
  • Alternatively, to capture just the active or foremost window, press Alt+PrtScn.
  • Next, open an image editing program like Microsoft Paint and either go to the Edit menu then select Paste or, for a faster method, hit Ctrl+V to paste the image into the program.
  • Go to the File menu then choose Save As and save the image to a folder so you can later attach it to an email (or support request).

Using the Snipping Tool

  • Click Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, and then Snipping Tool.
  • Click the down arrow next to the New button to select your snipping type.
  • Then use your mouse to select the area of your screen or window you want to capture.
  • You can also use the Snipping Tool to capture a menu option, such as a drop-down that normally disappears when your mouse button is released or the Start menu image you see at left. To do this, press ESC after opening the Snipping tool, then go to or activate the menu you want to capture. Finally, press Ctrl+PrtScn to capture the menu.
  • To draw over or highlight parts of the screenshot, click the pen or highlighter buttons in the menu.
Once you’ve got your screenshot you can save it, email or copy it for pasting into another application. Source: