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 team will be publishing a series of interviews featuring the winners of the site’s weekly giveaway campaign on their experience with, how they got started in the business, and what the future holds for their careers. All posts in this series can be found at:

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 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 member, new clients started to contact me via my 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 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 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: 

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, will now be offering two distinct packages as part of 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, and I think it was the beginning of my new career.

Q. How has being a member of 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, 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 I’ve learned a lot by listening to webinars, and by attending’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 membership by the end of the year: 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’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…’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’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:

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’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!

Everyone has to start somewhere. What about you? Reply

As they say, everyone has to start somewhere. And, with’s 2016 international conference just over a month away, I was curious to know how exactly the event speakers got started in their careers as professional translators and interpreters. Here’s what I found out:

Tanya Quintieri
Country: Czech Republic
Session: The Outsourcing Freelancer: Outsourcing in the context of workload & CRM (Client Relationship Management)
Outsourcing freelancer at The Translators, President of the DVÜD e. V., organizer of events for translators and interpreters. Certified translator (CoC) for German and English, specialized in marketing and transcreation. Mentor and mentee, blogger and digital native.

“How I got started in translation? I was in school for business administration and worked at a restaurant 5 nights a weeks to keep the money coming in. I had two small children at the time and I was hardly at home. I came across an ad one day in a local newspaper: An IT company was looking for a freelance translator for German into English. I had no idea about the translation business, but I figured I would give it a shot, after all, I was raised bilingual, and this seemed like a good opportunity to make more money with less work, from the comfort of my home. Little did I know back then that this does not automatically make you a good translator. This was back in 2002. Ever since, I have come a long way. It took me about 7 years to understand what translation is, what it needs to be professional, how to deal with translation buyers… Today, I head an association for freelance translators, I have some pretty cool clients in my client base, I no longer work 12+ hours a day nor 7 days a week, and I outsource quite a lot. But the best thing is, I still work with that very first client from back then.”

3099d458a25cea759387f1ced54cd0a5_judypetersonJudy Peterson
Country: Sweden
Session: Are you ready to edit? – Typical problems fixed by professional editors
Since 1984, Judy Petersen has been (1) writing, editing, indexing, translating, and planning publications; (2) managing publication projects; and (3) training writers, editors, and translators.

“I started my business while on maternity leave from IBM where I had worked as a technical writer, editor, and production manager. My plan was to become a highly paid freelance copywriter and editor for a handful of international ad agencies. Instead, they kept sending me stuff that needed translation. One client even told me that he wanted “sexy” – and not direct translation. So that’s what I delivered – and still deliver.”

1639697_r56cebb0698fa5Robin Joensuu
Country: Germany
Session: The art of giving and receiving substantial feedback
Robin Joensuu is an English into Swedish translator mainly working in the fields of IT, telecom, marketing, and engineering. He holds a Master of Arts in Literature, Culture and Media (Lund University), and has studied various additional university courses in different ways related to his line of work.

“You could say I got started in translation by chance. I had just received my MA degree in literature when I met my girlfriend and left Sweden for Berlin, Germany to be with her, planning to find a job as a bartender or as a hostel cleaner. Soon after my arrival, a friend of mine told me that what I now know is one of the worst and most notorious bottom feeder agencies were looking for English into Swedish translators. Since I had studied English, Swedish, and creative writing at the university, I applied and got accepted.

I knew absolutely nothing about the ‘translation industry’ and I was constantly looking for alternatives, because my work conditions were awful. I had no idea that you could make real money from translation and I constantly felt like I was fumbling around in the dark. But after a while of hard work I got over the threshold to the mid-market segment, I realized I was pretty good at my job, and things started working out really well. I have never looked back since and I have no intention of changing profession. This is the best job in the world.”

805aacd319440ad103fc09c77a0bf992_Erin_LyonsErin Lyons
Country: United States/Sweden
Erin M. Lyons is a French and Italian to English translator, medical writer and consultant, business owner, and an Adjunct Professor of Translation at the University of Maryland. Having recently moved to Stockholm, Erin is the local organizer of’s 2016 international conference.

“Right out of university, I started teaching English in Rome. I was assigned to teach English at a company to the marketing executives and when they discovered that I was multilingual, they asked me to try out some translations for them. I had no experience in translation, but really enjoyed the challenge and research. After spending a few years translating at the company, I went back to university to do my Master’s in Translation and have never looked back.”

How did you get started as a translator? Was it something you planned, or was it a career that you fell into? Share your “getting started” story in the comments section below or in this thread on the event’s Facebook page.

There’s still time to register to attend’s 2016 international conference on September 3rd and 4th in Stockholm, Sweden. Reserve your seat today at:

And don’t forget to watch Erin’s video invitation to the conference here:

This September, all roads lead to Curitiba! Reply

Today’s guest post author is Sheila Gomes – a freelance translator with over 20 years of experience who currently specializes in software localization and video games. Sheila is the manager of Multitude – an online information portal for translators and interpreters, and is one of the founding members and organizers of  TICWB – a networking group for local industry professionals.

Along with fellow freelance language professional and industry contributor Isabel Vidigal, Sheila is the co-organizer of this year’s regional conference in Brazil, which will take place this September from the 23rd to the 25th in the city of Curitiba. She shares her post today in Portuguese.

Minha primeira conferência de tradutores e intérpretes foi no Rio de Janeiro, em novembro de 2011: a III Conferência Brasileira de Tradutores do Como foi a edição com o maior número de participantes até então, imagine o assombro da pessoa perdida entre mais de 300 colegas, com dezenas de apresentações e outras atividades para participar. Acabou virando a primeira de uma série: o bichinho dos eventos T&I tinha me mordido e hoje vou a todos que posso. Até chegar ao ponto de organizar em conjunto com a Isabel Vidigal o nosso evento do A Isabel é veterana de eventos, já organizou inclusive a primeira Conferência do no Brasil, junto com a Rosana Malerba, em agosto de 2009. E agora o evento vem pra Curitiba, num dos poucos casos de saída do eixo Rio-São Paulo. Nesta minha cidade do coração, que acabou virando um polo de referência para tradutores e intérpretes por causa do trabalho ativo que temos aqui com iniciantes e veteranos, em vários projetos e ações. Estamos ansiosos e com vários planos para receber os colegas!

Assim como é para muita gente, o foi meu primeiro passo para conseguir clientes internacionais e fez uma grande diferença na minha carreira. Claro, é um grande recurso, mas funciona de verdade quando fazemos nossa parte, depois de estarmos preparados, de ter pesquisado o mercado e aprimorado as qualificações profissionais. O próprio site oferece uma série de ferramentas para isso, e tentei aproveitá-lo o máximo possível para aprender e também contribuir. Assim também é com a VI Conferência Brasileira do, que estamos organizando aqui em Curitiba entre os dias 23 e 25 de setembro: tentamos devolver um pouco do que conseguimos por meio do portal e oferecer outras oportunidades de fazer networking, receber treinamento, estabelecer discussões e momentos de socialização, para tradutores e intérpretes, iniciantes ou veteranos, e outros interessados na área.

Creio que uma das ações mais eficazes para mudar o mercado é dar acesso a iniciativas educacionais aos profissionais em formação e outras pessoas interessadas em ingressar nessa nossa área tão rica, mas também ainda pouco conhecida do grande público. É por isso que o desenvolvimento profissional inspira o tema do evento, “Boas práticas e caminhos”. Além de palestras e mesas-redondas, o evento oferecerá atendimento especializado individual ou em pares, na forma de miniconsultorias, para profissionais já atuantes e estudantes que buscam informações para se profissionalizar. E como a descontração é importante para estimular a integração dos pares, além do próprio evento, teremos encontros informais e passeios culturais.

Aliás, Curitiba é ideal para encontros assim, especialmente para tradutores e intérpretes, pois o que mais temos por aqui é: café! Espaços simpáticos, pitorescos, convidativos a cada esquina, dos maiores e festivos aos menores e aconchegantes, não faltam lugares para todos os tipos de grupos ou apenas para um bom papo entre duas ou três pessoas. E para quem vem, mas já sabe que pode ter que trabalhar também, praticamente todos os espaços oferecem wifi, além de alguns outros espaços de acesso gratuito como a biblioteca pública (a uma quadra do local do evento) ou algumas praças. Isso sem contar restaurantes, bares, espaços culturais e outros eventos para conhecer e investir no networking até fora do evento.

É por essas e muitas outras que esperamos você aqui: em setembro, todos os caminhos levam a Curitiba!

Meet Sheila and all of the excellent speakers who will be present at this conference – like keynote speakers Marta Stelmaszak and Paula Ribeiro – by registering today on the main event page:

Registration fees can now be paid in the local currency! The early bird price has been extended so those who are interested in paying in reais at this discounted price may do so. Don’t delay! Prices increase in just a few short days, on July 23rd. More information about paying locally can be found on the event page under the “Opção de pagamento em reais” heading.  

Want to learn more about what to expect at this conference? Program highlights are featured in this short video: