Interview with Mac Sharkawy: New technology leads to new opportunities on the open road Reply

This is the third post in the Open Road interview series, this time featuring Arabic translator Mac Sharkawy. Mac specializes in legal and financial translations and currently resides in New York City. For all posts in this series, visit http://www.proz.com/open-road


mac_sharkawyQ. I see from your ProZ.com profile that you specialize in accounting, finance, and law. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience in these fields?
A. Well, I was a lawyer in Egypt for 12 years and worked as an arbitrator as well, and this gave me a lot of experience in legal terminology. When I moved to the United States, I switched to a career in finance, spending another 12 years in different banking positions, in finance and in financial advising within both the commercial and credit arenas.

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a freelance translator?
A. With the new tools and technology in the industry now, my job is so much easier than it was before. Every day there is something new. It’s exciting to see technology advancing in such a way that makes my job easier and helps me save time, which is wonderful to have in this business. I also enjoy helping other freelancers get into the field. My goal is to take advantage of these new technological developments to outsource work to my colleagues in other countries. Right now I work closely with other freelancers in the Middle East and Latin America, which enables me to add more language pairs to what I offer as a company.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
A. To be honest with you, if it wasn’t for ProZ.com I would not have gotten into translation. The site provides me with clients who are in need of my services, as well as helpful training courses and substantial discounts on CAT tools. ProZ.com has also given me a community of fellow language professionals. For example, sometimes you get stuck on a word or a phrase – you know the translation, but you’re unsure of how to phrase it in the situation – so you ask a KudoZ question. Within minutes there are people helping you and providing their opinions. It’s a unique community and I participate as much as I can. I believe ProZ.com is a great service and a really helpful platform for both freelancers and companies.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
A. For me, I plan to keep expanding my business and marketing myself as a freelance translator. I intend to take advantage of new training and opportunities, and to stay up-to-date on the many technological advances in the industry.


I want to thank Mac for taking the time to do this interview with me (while in the airport waiting to board a flight, no less!), and congratulations on your prize!

Stay tuned for the next #OpenRoad interview with Apple Watch winner Nigel Greenwood.

 

Ranking your ProZ.com profile: A tutorial by panelist Triston Goodwin 1

I recently had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion entitled “What makes a great ProZ.com profile” during the Marketing & Recruitment day of ProZ.com’s annual virtual event series. During the session, co-panelists and outstanding ProZ.com members Fernanda Rocha and Triston Goodwin provided many tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of your presence on the site in order to attract more clients and find work. But, for as much as we were able to cover during the discussion, both panelists still had a lot more to say on the subject.

In the video below – made shortly after the panel – Triston describes other strategies to leverage your presence on ProZ.com to find work both on and off the site. What he describes is the concept of parasite ranking – which is, in Triston’s words, a technique used “to rank a page from another website that has really good metrics for a keyword that you want to rank for, then use that ranking to send people back to you.” Learn more in this tutorial:



Profile sections mentioned in this video:
Tagline
About Me
CV/Resume
Portfolio
Search Engine Optimization tab:

Title tag
Keywords (Focus on long-tail keywords!)
Preferred URL format

Suggested resources:
https://moz.com/researchtools/ose
http://kwfinder.com


Many thanks to Triston for this great tutorial on how to harness the power of effective SEO to improve your chances of meeting more (and better) clients!

Interested in learning more? Be sure to keep an eye on Triston’s newly-created YouTube channel aimed at helping language professionals grow their businesses online.

Interview with Marjon Pijl: Staying on the right side of the open road Reply

Welcome to the second post in the Open Road interview series! As announced here, the ProZ.com team will be publishing a series of interviews featuring the winners of the site’s weekly giveaway campaign on their experience with ProZ.com, how they got started in the business, and what the future holds for their careers. All posts in this series can be found at: https://prozcomblog.com/tag/open-road-interview-series/

This week’s interview features Apple Watch winner Marjon Pijl. Marjon is a Spanish to Dutch translator operating under the company name ‘Hasta Luego.’ She is also a professional psychologist, and is based in the Netherlands. 


Q. What inspired your love of languages?
A. In high school I had a wonderful, enthusiastic teacher for French literature. I loved his lessons and he made me think of language in a different way. He opened my eyes to languages in general. Later, when I was a university psychology student, I took a course in Spanish, a language that I immediately started to love. I couldn’t get enough of it, and absorbed all the knowledge I could get and never stopped wanting to learn more.

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a freelance translator?
A. As a freelance translator, I am free to choose the jobs that I am interested in. It makes me happy working on a project that is a challenge for my translating skills. Having to think for an hour about a sentence or even a word and finally finding exactly what I was looking for is very satisfying. Sometimes I am so absorbed in a translation project that I suddenly realize that my stomach is rumbling with hunger because I have forgotten to eat for hours. Once I read a translation after finishing it and I see that it fits in all respects, it feels like I’ve successfully conquered a tall mountain and I’m standing at the top, enjoying the view. That is what translating is about for me!

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
A. As a beginning translator from Spanish into Dutch, I needed to find clients. That wasn’t easy. First I worked as a volunteer for several NGOs, acquiring practical experience. Later, I was asked to work as a freelancer for a translation agency in my country. They provided me with jobs on a regular basis, which was a great start. But still, I needed more jobs. After about two years of being a ProZ.com member, new clients started to contact me via my ProZ.com profile. Nowadays I can say that I have a very satisfying number of clients in Spain, as well as in several countries in South America, thanks to ProZ.com. The positive client feedback I have received in the Willingness to Work Again section of my profile has also seemed to help me stand out to potential clients. Finally, the webinars offered by ProZ.com help me to become more and more professional in my work.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
A. Like the term says: the future is an open road, and that goes for me too. My principal purpose has always been and will always be to have satisfied clients. The way in which I try to achieve this is to keep getting better and trying to excel among the enormous number of translators working in my language pair and fields of specialization. In any case, feeling happy in my translation work is the best criterion of being on the right side of the Open Road.


Many thanks to Marjon for sharing her story with us!

For more information about this campaign – including how you can qualify to enter the giveaway and be featured in this interview series – please visit: http://www.proz.com/professional-membership 

Stay tuned for next week’s interview featuring another Apple Watch winner to be announced this Friday! Questions, comments, and feedback can be posted in the comments section or via Twitter @ProZcom

Interview with Biljana Stojanovic: Leaving your “safe” job and following the open road 1

As announced at last week’s annual virtual conference in celebration of International Translation Day, ProZ.com will now be offering two distinct packages as part of ProZ.com professional membership: a Standard package and a Plus package. To help spread the word about this, the site team is launching a special “Open Road” campaign during which both packages are being offered at a significantly discounted price.

Those who purchase or renew their membership before the end of the year will be eligible to participate in a weekly giveaway for an Apple Watch, and one lucky translator will be chosen for the grand prize – a brand new Nissan Juke – in line with the “Open Road” theme of the campaign.

The following is an interview with our first giveaway winner of an Apple Watch – Biljana Stojanovic. Biljana is an English into Serbian translator specializing in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and engineering.


Q. How did you get started in your career as a freelance translator?
A. I started as a freelance translator when I was almost 50. After 25 years of work in the Pharmaceutical industry, participation in scientific projects, development of new drugs, a lot of analytical experiments and document creation, I decided to change careers and to do something that I always wanted: to translate. So I left the “safe” job and finished the one-year seminar for scientific, technical and court translators. It helped me to gain confidence, but not to find jobs. I started translating various materials for my friends and acquaintances, but it was far from enough to make a living.

Almost two years passed, with very meager results. Then I realized I had to change something. I browsed the web and discovered very useful posts, podcasts, and webinars (Thank you very much, Corinne McKay, Tess Whitty, Marta Stelmaszak, and, of course, Dmitry Kornyukhov!) That was it, I was not alone anymore… About a year ago I discovered ProZ.com, and I think it was the beginning of my new career.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
A. As we all know, marketing is a vital aspect of a freelance career. Some of us are capable of making new connections easily, finding customers by meeting people and making phone calls. But, like the majority of translators, I am an introvert. I became a member of ProZ.com, I made a profile, and I became a Certified PRO. In the beginning, nothing happened. However, after only one year, I must say that the results are very visible. I have had some interesting jobs, and I’ve acquired at least five very good clients through ProZ.com. I’ve learned a lot by listening to ProZ.com webinars, and by attending ProZ.com’s 2016 international conference in Stockholm.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
A. I have many plans for the future. Because of my age, I have no time to lose. I have to use all possible shortcuts and to apply the experience of seasoned translators. I am planning to attend at least two conferences every year. It is an excellent opportunity to meet other translators. And it is fun, too! I have to learn a lot, to find better clients. My dream is to create glossaries for my fields of expertise (chemistry, pharmacy, clinical trials, etc.) and my languages (Serbian – English – French – German).


Congratulations to Biljana for being the first giveaway winner, and a special thanks for sharing your story here!

Interested in entering the giveaway drawing and sharing your own story in this Open Road interview series? Simply visit the campaign page to purchase or renew your ProZ.com membership by the end of the year: http://www.proz.com/professional-membership. Don’t delay! The special discounted offer on these packages will only last until November 15th.

Learn the secret of the strange case of Hodor at upcoming event in Matera, Italy Reply

Matteo Amandola and Leonardo Marcello Pignataro – veterans in the fields of audiovisual and literary translation – will be sharing their extensive knowledge on the subject of film adaptation with attendees at ProZ.com’s upcoming regional event in Matera, Italy.

Below is a video introduction of the last topic that they will discuss in their session entitled “La filiera del doppiaggio: Dalla casa di doppiaggio al prodotto finito (Breve excursus)”. The strange case of Hodor, as described in the video, illustrates the choice that many language professionals have to make: should you betray the source content or remain faithful to it? More below!


A message from the actors:

Provate a visualizzare questo filmato. Sembra un dialogo surreale senza senso… eppure ogni parola ha un suo significato ben preciso fino ad arrivare alla rivelazione finale.

Matteo Amandola e Leonardo Pignataro sono pronti a raccontarci tutti i segreti di uno degli episodi più complessi da tradurre della saga de Il Trono di Spade: il caso di hold the door.

Venite a incontrarli a Matera il 22 ottobre. La porta, per questa volta, rimane aperta solo per voi…

ProZ.com’s VI Brazilian conference in Curitiba: Video interview with keynote speaker Paula Ribeiro Reply

Paula Ribeiro, freelance language professional, mentor, trainer, conference organizer, and founder of the Portuguese Association of Translators and Interpreters (APTRAD), is one of many extraordinary speakers who will be presenting at ProZ.com’s upcoming regional event in Curitiba, Brazil, on September 24th and 25th.

In the interview below, the co-organizers for this event – Isabel Vidigal and Sheila Gomes – interview Paula on the impact of in-person conferences on the Portuguese translation community, and on the need for creating a bridge between the European and Brazilian language industries. The video is available entirely in Portuguese. Enjoy!


Join over 160 colleagues from 10 different countries who have already registered for this event by clicking the “Sign up now” button on the left side of the main conference page: http://www.proz.com/conference/686

To reserve your seat, just click on one of the “Buy now” buttons on that page, or make your payment in the local currency using the instructions available in the “Opção de pagamento em reais” section. Don’t delay! The regular pricing option will only be available for a few more weeks!

A landscape of proofreading with Kelli Semolini and Giovana Boselli Reply

Wondering what to expect at ProZ.com’s VI Brazilian conference in Curitiba this September? Check out this video interview featuring event co-organizer Sheila Gomes and conference speakers Kelli Semolini and Giovana Boselli about their joint session: “Panorama da revisão” or “A landscape of proofreading“.

In the interview, Kelli and Giovana shared stories and answered questions about their experiences as proofreaders and editors. The interview is entirely in Portuguese. Enjoy!