Daniel Freedman, web strategist for LinguaLinx, concludes his two part series by discussing how translators can best use the Web to establish themselves as professionals who solve business problems.
In the first part of this series, I provoked some lively discussion with the provocative suggestion that translators should reject much of the conventional wisdom about web marketing.
The advice was to de-emphasize Facebook, Twitter and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). My contention was that if you are a translator, your attention should be focused instead on just two key things:
1. Establishing yourself as a translation expert
2. Making sure you have a website that proves your expert status
Let me begin with a personal anecdote.
In a previous life, I was an executive at a prestigious and well-funded NGO in New York. A colleague knew that I was an Anglophone from Quebec. She had heard me speaking French to a French diplomat at a conference, and had evidently been impressed. She therefore leaped to the entirely unwarranted conclusion that I should be the person to translate an important letter to a French government minister.
A news item that has been commented on and shared widely recently had to do with eleven translators who spent nearly two months in an underground bunker in Italy, translating Dan Brown’s latest novel for simultaneous release in different languages.
“You will of course be expected to perform the translation on our proprietary platform. It can take a while to learn to use it correctly.”
As the story goes, eleven translators from Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain worked long days, seven days a week, for almost two months in a high-security basement. They gave up their mobile phones, and their only Internet access was through a supervised communal computer.
Maybe it was to help ensure no spoilers were leaked before the novel’s release, maybe it was a gimmick, perhaps a combination of the two.
There are bunkers, and then there are bunkers…
Let’s say you can choose the author or the book, and let’s say you will be handsomely rewarded for the work. Would you be willing to spend two months working in a secret bunker, with no contact with friends and family? Give your opinion in the poll on the right side of the screen, or in the comments section below!
Another video that has been around a while but that might be worth sharing (again). Some common misconceptions about translation and freelance translating, followed by a few clarifications:
Can you think of other common misconceptions about translation or what it means to be a translator?
In case you haven’t seen it yet, the mid-year report to ProZ.com members for 2013 was published yesterday. These reports are published bi-annually to inform ProZ.com members of news and advances on the site.
Thanks goes out to all ProZ.com members for making these advances possible, and for their continuing support of the site.
You can read the report here.
Daniel Freedman, web strategist for LinguaLinx, writes today’s guest blog post, the first in a series on web marketing for translators:
Do you hate marketing? Are you overwhelmed with contradictory advice from so-called Web experts, none of which seems to have much to do with translation? If so, this blog post is for you.
I’ll offer some surprising advice on a few of the highest priority, do-it-yourself things you can act on right away to get more business – without spending much money.
I’m going to advise you to disregard generic advice that doesn’t apply to you and to focus instead on just two key things:
- Establishing yourself as a translation expert
- Making sure you have a website that proves your expert status
Is your priority doing great work? Does marketing feel like a burden that gets in the way of that? If so, you’re in good company.
* back translation of “This blog post title was machine translated and not checked” using MT.
I’ll begin a sentence with “and”, but I’d be hard pressed to end anything with it. The best back-translation of “This blog post title was machine translated and not checked”, though, was “This blog title was too mean and not checked.” You have to watch out for those mean blog titles.
This video has been out for a while, and there are pages and pages of similar compilations of failed translation out there, but if you have a few minutes and need reaffirmation that a good human translator is needed to ensure a good translation (or know someone else who does), here you go.
Warning: If you are the kind of person who cannot hear “Baby Elephant Walk” without getting it stuck in your head for the rest of the day, this may not be for you.
Have you seen other compilations or examples of failed translation worth sharing? Feel free to post them in the comments section and.
The ProZ.com newsletter for April is on its way to you now. Here are some highlights from this month:
- Mark your calendar for a virtual event on May 15th on income diversification for freelance translators, presented by Joy Mo, author of Goodbye to Feast or Famine. See more details and register for this free event at http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/446 .
- Updates were made to the form to enter rates in your ProZ.com profile, aimed at making it easier to enter your general rates. These can act as a filter if you prefer not to deal with job offers below a certain rate. You can try it out at http://www.proz.com/settings/freelancer/financial (make sure you log in to your ProZ.com profile).
- Another free webinar week is coming up in May, from the 6th to the 9th. You can attend webinars from leading CAT tool and software providers. This can be a good way to stay up to date on what’s new in translator software, and can be especially useful if you are on the market for a new translation-related tool. See http://www.proz.com/pages/FreelanceFreeWebinarWeek for the schedule.
- And finally, more “Meeting clients at ProZ.com” webinars have been scheduled for May and June. If you haven’t attended one of these free webinars yet, make the time. These webinars focus on helping you use the site to meet new clients and collaborators, and include a workshop portion with hands-on help from site staff. See more at http://www.proz.com/pages/meeting_clients_webinar.
You can also read the full April newsletter online from the newsletter archive, at http://www.proz.com/newsletter/201304