Summary of the V Conferência Brasileira de Tradutores do in Recife 2

Almost one week after the V Conferência Brasileira de Tradutores do, phrases such “Disrupt yourself now!” and “Translators of the world, unite! We are stronger together.” seem to keep echoing in participants’ minds. Nineteen speakers, twenty different sessions, two powwows, Tweets, Facebook posts, feedback comments, pictures and videos made of this conference a great success, reminding translation professionals of the importance of constant networking and professional development.

What did this event offer to members?

  • Twenty sessions divided in two tracks.
  • Two powwows, one at Restaurante Parraxaxá, specialized in Northeastern plates, and a second one at Entre Amigos Praia, a restaurant with the prefect atmosphere to be with fiends!
  • Sightseeing around Recife, the Brazilian Venice.
  • The chance to meet fellow translators, promote themselves among peers and learn how to get the most out of the translation profession.

As a staff member, I enjoyed my visit to Recife and meeting some Brazilian members for the first time and seeing others again. It was a great experience! Thanks Ju Chaad and Nina Cavalcanti for working tirelessly over the past year to bring this great conference to life. Also, thanks speakers for sharing your time, energy and expertise. And, above all, thank you attendees for making this event possible!

What now?

Hope to see you all soon at the next event!


Some misconceptions about (freelance) translators and interpreters 18

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?

On taking a professional translator / interpreter career a step further 2

Something that cannot be said about the translation or interpretation profession is that it is a static one. Translation and interpreting –and the way these two activities are performed– have evolved throughout the years and continue to evolve, allowing language professionals to seek new challenges, inviting them to review their career plans from time to time.

Even if most language professionals feel good about what they have achieved, they may also feel compelled now and then to take their careers a step further. However, this step further may not always be that clear, and there are several options available that go beyond translation and interpreting.

One option translators and interpreters have if they feel like taking their careers a step further is the expansion of the services they offer. Expanding the list of services you offer to clients may involve learning a new language, adding a new field of expertise and even learning additional techniques such as subtitling or desktop publishing (DTP). Of course, adding a new service, like investing in anything else, means devoting time –and usually money– to getting it ready.


Risk management in translation: knowledge base for translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry 2

Every business type is exposed to risks influenced by numerous factors and the translation and interpretation business is no exception. Regardless of the type of activity involved, everyone either offering language services or looking for language service providers is exposed so several types of risks that should be acknowledged if a reliable and successful service provider-outsourcer relationship is desired.

With this in mind, has been creating content and developing new tools with the purpose of helping translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry to learn about the different risks involved in doing business online and how to prevent them.

One of these resources, and probably the most widely used by service providers when assessing risks, is the Blue Board. The Blue Board record is the complete, searchable database of records made up of feedback entries posted by language service providers in connection with outsourcers they have worked with. For service providers, the Blue Board record has proved to be a great tool for assessing the reliability of specific outsourcers before accepting a job offer from them. For outsourcers, being listed in the Blue Board record with a good number of positive entries from service providers represents a great marketing tool. Outsourcers with a good Blue Board record report a higher degree of trust and shortened project launch cycles among those service providers who reference the Blue Board. More information about using the Blue Board record is available here.

Another great source of information in connection with business risks in translation is the Wiki. The translation industry wiki is an ever-evolving collection of articles about relevant, industry related topics, written and updated regularly by translators themselves. In this wiki, there are several articles on risk management, addressed both to language professionals and to outsourcers. Risk management-related wiki articles include the following:

For more information about the industry wiki, visit this page.

A recently released scam alert center is another potentially valuable resource for those seeking to manage risk when it comes to false job offers and other scams. The Translator scam alert center is an area used to provide organized, concise information regarding false job offers or requests and other scams which may be aimed at or are affecting language professionals and outsourcers. Information provided in the center is based in part on reports made by members through the online support system and in the Scams forum, and members have the option of subscribing to receive useful news and alerts of new scams as they are detected. The scam alert center is available here.

Finally, also offers its members a free webinar on “Risk management for translators and interpreters” on a monthly basis. This training session enumerates and explains risk management procedures that translators and interpreters should follow as part of their everyday professional activities. The schedule for these webinars is available here.

Regardless of the number of years a service provider or an outsourcer has been in the translation industry, risks are everywhere when doing business. However, the above-listed resources and tools have been made available by to promote not just professional practices, but also clear and concise information on the steps that should be taken to avoid risks when participating in the language industry. If you have any questions about these tools and resources, or if you need assistance with using them, contact site staff through the support center.

Podcast: interview with Claudia Brauer on interpreting in the Global Village of the 21st Century 1

Here’s a new podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

On August 16, the first online interpreting course in a new series of live online workshops designed for working and aspiring interpreters and linguists will be launched at so I interviewed Certified PRO member and trainer, Claudia Brauer, who will be in charge of some of these online courses to learn more about interpreting in the Global Village of the 21st Century.

At the beginning of the interview we talked about how technology has impacted the interpreting field. Claudia believes that interpreters should embrace technology as a tool to enhance their profession. She explains that today interpreters can provide valuable services of communication via cell phones, land lines and video Web-based technology. Face to face encounters are just one part of this mix.

On the other hand, consumers of interpreting services are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. She explains that interpreters are no longer confined to the face-to-face encounters. At present there are three rapidly growing fields: over-the-phone interpreting, also known as OPI,  video remote interpreting or VRI, which uses high-speed Internet video connections to provide visual access to interpreters in a different physical location and web-base oral communication.

Claudia indicates that the interpreting profession is growing at a rate of 22% per year higher than most of other professions.

She also describes the new series of live online workshops with lessons on a variety of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) topics, designed for working and aspiring interpreters and linguists that will be available at on August 16. The online workshops will be offered in 15 sessions organized in 5 bundles of progressive knowledge acquisition.

As my last question, I asked Claudia what advice she would give to aspiring interpreters and she indicated that in her opinion to be a good interpreter one should:

  • be fast at making decisions,
  • have great interpersonal skills (including great patience and empathy)
  • be extremely familiar with the cultures of the languages one is interpreting,
  • develop a wide variety of technical skills.

She also believes that at the basis of interpreting a good interpreter should:

  • have full command of at least two languages,
  • be a very creative person and know how to improvise,
  • love learning and seek to learn something new every day,
  • develop their ability to listen, to speak in public and to take down notes,
  • study terminology and  glossaries,
  • enroll in a public speaking group,
  • practise speaking out loud, and
  • develop their memory.

Those interested in learning more about these online interpreting courses can check this link.

Listen to the interview with Claudia here: podcast, 2011-08-12

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.


Romina’s First Interpreter Virtual Workshop gathers over 270 attendees Reply

On Thursday, July 21, held the First Interpreter Virtual Workshop with over 270 interpreter attendees. The event offered 3 sessions, 3 focus groups, a virtual powwow and even an interpreter story contest!

Event sessions included presentations on “Interpreting in the Global Village of the 21st Century”, “Leaving the semi-professional status behind” and “How to become an EU accredited interpreter”, and focus groups allowed attendees to discuss the state of the interpreting industry in 2011, the certification process for medical interpreters in different countries and the best ways to get the good conferences.

A special thanks goes out to event speakers:

Also, congratulations to the interpreter story contest winner, Jan VDBuckle, who won with his submission of “What about a good offer?!”.

For those who missed the event (or part of it), recordings of session presentations are available via on-demand content here. Also, speakers’ material can be downloaded here. Finally, transcripts of focus group discussions can be viewed here.

Thanks to the interpreters that attended this event! Now stay tuned for upcoming events…

Podcast: interview with Eric Candle on medical interpreting 2

Here’s a new podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

As you may already know, next Thursday (July 21st) the first Interpreter Virtual Workshop will be held so I talked to Eric Candle, who is a Member of the Board of the International Medical Interpreters Association and who will be one of the speakers at a session called “Leaving the semi-professional status behind” – advancing the professionalization of medical interpreting field and National Certification for Medical Interpreters — What Every Interpreter Needs to Know to Become Certified”. In this interview Eric describes his role as  a member of the Board of the International Medical Interpreters Association and explains the association’s mission.  He also describes some of the topics that will be covered during his presentation. Eric also provides some insight about the current trends in the medical interpreting field and mentions the different ways in which this service can be provided (telephone interpreting, video remote interpreting, on site interpreting, etc.) Eric highlights the importance of the professionalization of medical interpreting and refers to the major difference between being a bilingual person and being a professional medical interpreter. When asked what advice he would give to an interpreter willing to work in the medical field, he does not hesitate to assert that the two sound steps to take in this direction are: to get trained and, for U.S. residents, to join the IMIA.

You can listen to the interview here podcast, 2011-07-15

I hope you enjoy this interview. If you are an interpreter do not forget to register for the first’s Interpreter Virtual Workshop to be held on July 21st (that is next Thursday!)

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.