Joseph Kovalov is a Russian translator who after working both as an in-house translator and as a manager of his own agency decided to set up his own business through marketing translation, or as he puts it: “the most creative type of translation after literary prose”.
Since 2008, Joseph has been translating website content for important hotels, texts for TV ads, articles for major European and American agencies and well-known companies. He is also the co-founder of ProTransCreaton, a Facebook group dedicated to creative translation issues.
Next month, Joseph will be offering a presentation on marketing translation at the ProZ.com 2015 regional conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
How did you get started in translation?
Within fifteen years, I went from being a full-time translator to the founder and head of a translation agency, and eventually I decided to just let it go and devoted myself to a type of translation that I would say is the most creative one after literary translation: marketing translation.
What was the most important obstacle for you to overcome in building your career as a language professional?
The hardest part was to acknowledge that I needed to specialize, leave universality aside in favor of one or two more specific fields. In general, translators who are just starting in the industry tend to be afraid of losing jobs if they specialize, so they just accept any offer. This is natural. However, we all need to specialize sooner or later.
Do you maintain relationships with your fellow professionals? If so, in what ways?
I try to stay in touch. When I have some free time, I communicate with colleagues through forums or groups in social networks, or I attend conferences to take the chance to discuss professional topics in person.
How do you see the future of translation for freelancers?
Finding and retaining clients will be harder and harder for freelancers. Work volume may be reduced by machine translation and freelancers who are not willing to deal with post-editing for instance may need to look for other niches.
Is this your first time as a ProZ.com event speaker? If so, what are your expectations?
I already had the opportunity of sharing information with ProZ.com members in the past, but only online through a webinar on marketing translation. However, while webinars are an interesting and rewarding experience, they don’t replace the feeling of live communication and personal meetings at in-person events. So I hope attendees to the conference in Kharkov are open to engage in dialogue since dialogues are more productive than monologues.
What can event attendees expect to learn or know from your presentation?
First of all, I’d like to share my knowledge with those who are starting as translators and haven’t chosen their field of specialization yet, and also those language professionals who have experience, but want to diversify. Through dialogue we’ll learn how to get started with marketing translation, how diverse this field is and how to find a niche.
What reason(s) to attend this event would you give to someone who is not yet sure of whether to attend or not?
Many of us, freelance translators, work from home, and our daily communication is limited to social networks and other Internet resources. Although such virtual communication has many benefits and helps to spread a lot of information, it gets lost among other interests we also share and discuss online. In-person events like this conference are perfect for a concentrated communication and should be the origin of new discussions which can then be later extended to other areas. Communication is not limited to presentations, we share our experience during meals, breaks, tours and after-hours. At conferences you can meet old friends and make new interesting acquaintances. And, of course, nothing will ever replace the atmosphere of live communication among a group of professionals and like-minded people.
ProZ.com Regional conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Join Joseph and other language professionals on November 21st in Kharkov, Ukraine, for this conference and have the chance to learn, network and have fun!