Interview with Stéphanie Boufferet: Charting your own course on the open road Reply

A long-standing member of ProZ.com, Stéphanie Boufferet is a freelance translator working in Spanish to French from her home in Spain. Stéphanie is also the tenth Apple Watch winner in ProZ.com’s year-end campaign giveaway in celebration of the site’s Plus package release. You can find all posts in this series here.


When not walking her two Yorkshire terriers, you can find Stéphanie in her home office in northern Spain.

Q. I see that you are a member of Asetrad. In your opinion, how important is it for translators to join professional associations? Has being a member of Asetrad benefited your career in any way?
I think that is very important for a translator to join a professional association. As freelancers, we are working alone at home. An association is very helpful to get in touch with your colleagues if you don’t want to be isolated. Asetrad gave me the opportunity to meet other translators, to exchange ideas, know-how, resources and legal queries through the forum and to access high quality publications like La Linterna del Traductor. As a member of Asetrad, I must scrupulously respect the association’s Code of Conduct, which asks us for instance to respect confidential information, to refuse “assignments that we are not qualified to undertake or for which we cannot ensure optimum quality” and to only accept “remuneration that enables them to practise their profession efficiently and with dignity”. For our clients, it is a real pledge of quality.

Q. As a freelancer, how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
My two Yorkshire terriers are helping me to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I need to take them for a walk several times a day! More seriously, scheduling is very important to avoid stressing about deadlines. I always aim to prioritise and remain disciplined. With your translations, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. As a result, you will be available to work under pressure for urgent assignments that the client needs as soon as possible. However, on the other hand, we must free up time to develop new skills, such as learning how to use a CAT or an OCR tool better. It’s also important to specialise in one field to improve our productivity, which is key. Finally, I think that the Roman phrase Mens sana in corpore sano is still relevant for a freelancer. In my day-to-day routine, Zumba classes or one hour of swimming are not-to-be-missed engagements. I sadly saw how some excellent translators and interpreters suffered from burn-outs and heart attacks last year.

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a language professional?
I love my job. I do really enjoy what I do and I think that’s a real privilege nowadays. In fact, I always dreamed of a career related to foreign languages. I was raised in a multicultural family with American and German cousins, with strong links with Spain. My grandfather passed on to me his passion for foreign languages. He learnt Spanish by talking to Republican refugees of the Spanish Civil War and with the help of a newspaper subscription. He spoke several languages and came to his mind to learn Italian at the age of 78 by making some crosswords during his recovery from a surgical intervention. My clients’ satisfaction and the feeling that the translations I’m doing are useful, such as a medical report or a cover letter for a job interview, are also important and rewarding aspects. Translating gives me the opportunity to learn something new each day, to stay in touch with current ideas, topics and trends and to improve my language skills.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
From the beginning, ProZ.com membership has been crucial as I obtained all my principal clients through the site. Being a member of ProZ.com also gave me a substantial discount on my Trados versions. The Blue Board database is very important as well to avoid dealing with non-professional translators or agencies, and forums, webinars and conferences are very useful. Furthermore, I previously mentioned the importance of Asetrad membership, and similarly, ProZ.com is a very valuable tool to stay in touch with other translators. Through ProZ.com, I met professional translators such as Marta Pino, a sworn and literary translator, and Barbara Beatrice Lavitola, the charismatic entrepreneur and CEO of BBLTranslation. For me, these were two very rewarding learning experiences.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
It’s difficult to predict the future. I would like to keep enjoying what I’m doing and keep trying to exceed my clients’ expectations by delivering first-class translations.

As we are driving on an open road, I would like to chart my own course. To achieve this, I would like to take a Masters in audiovisual and multimedia translation, with dubbing, subtitling, subtitling for the deaf, audio description, multimedia and video game translations. Video is not going to “kill” written text, but it will have a growing place in our society. Translators must be ready and trained for that.


Many thanks to Stéphanie for participating in this interview, and congratulations on being our tenth Apple Watch winner!

Below, find the video announcement for the release of the first Plus package feature: the Plus-subscriber video library.

Open road interview series: Govind Ayer Reply

Meet Govind Ayer: An English to Nepali translator and the ninth Apple Watch winner as part of ProZ.com’s campaign giveaway series in celebration of the site’s Plus package release.

View all previous posts in this series here »


Govind Ayer at his workstation in Kathmandu

Q. How do you cope with the isolated nature of being a freelance translator?
It has been one year since I started as a freelance translator. Earlier, I worked for a private translation agency for 2 years. I didn’t feel isolated while working as an in-house translator. When I started as a freelancer, I sometimes felt isolated with no one around me to discuss the work. But, I found many ways to feel accompanied. I spent some time with my family, joined an online community and took part in various social activities. For me, the most important thing to do to get rid of the feeling of isolation is to do what makes you happy.

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a language professional?
For me, translation is an important study and profession. You are always increasing your level of knowledge and skill. Being specific, I love to translate any documents for unskilled and semi-skilled labors, especially those relating to their safety and facilities available to them. Because thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled people from my country go abroad to work. I feel good when I can serve them. It is challenging to translate the documents to their level of understanding. It also gives me an opportunity to give my best and build up a better relationship with the client.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
It is ProZ.com which helped me to understand the translation industry. Without the help of ProZ.com, it would be impossible for me to get involved in the translation. The site has provided me with a platform to find good clients and discuss things with my peers. I want to thank ProZ.com for this exceptional support.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
ProZ.com has provided me with many regular clients and now I rarely bid on new jobs. In this way, there is still a possibility to have more good clients. Obviously, I intend to expand my business. I have decided to move forward together with ProZ.com.

Standing out in the translation jungle with Fi2 n Co Reply

Your ProZ.com profile is your business card to the world. It forms part of your online presence that provides in-depth details on your language services, and is a space you can use to distinguish yourself as a professional. But out of over 800,000 profiles on ProZ.com, how do you set yourself apart from the rest?

In this video, ProZ.com professional trainer Fi2 n Co describes one way in which you can leverage the features available in your ProZ.com profile to stand out in the translation jungle, so to speak: by adding extra tabs to further customize your profile and provide more information about your background, experience, field of expertise, credentials, or professional services.  



Profile sections mentioned in this video:
Your profile
Settings tab
Custom tabs

Be sure to keep an eye on Fi2Pro’s YouTube channel for more useful tips and tutorials. More videos coming soon!


Interested in learning more on how to use your ProZ.com profile to meet new clients and stand out from the crowd? Join an upcoming webinar on “Meeting clients at ProZ.com” to learn some tips and tricks on getting the most out of the site, as told by a ProZ.com site staff member. These sessions are held regularly and are completely free to attend.

Open road interview series: Jacqueline Lamb 1

Welcome to the eighth post in the Open Road interview series! Today I interview Jacqueline Lamb – a freelance translator working from Spanish, French, and Catalan into English. Jacqueline specializes in medical and pharmaceutical translations, particularly clinical trial documentation and medical journal articles. Originally from the UK, Jacqueline is now based in Barcelona.

See all posts in this series here »

Jacqueline Lamb in her home office in Barcelona.

Jacqueline Lamb in her home office in Barcelona.


Q. I understand that you frequently attend conferences and events for translators, both online and in-person. Is networking with other language professionals a priority for you? If so, how has this helped you in your business?
A. Networking has helped me in several ways. First of all, as a freelancer who works from home, I think it is very important to get out and exchange ideas and experiences with others in a similar position. You can learn a lot from your peers, and it is also a good way to find out what you do well and identify areas for improvement.

Secondly, I have had clients referred to me through fellow translators I have met at events, and I have also been able to refer some of my clients to others for jobs that are outside my areas of specialisation or language combinations.

Finally, attending conferences with high-quality content is definitely a priority for me. Not only are such events an opportunity to learn from people who are at the top of their game, but they also give you something to aspire to and work towards. Such opportunities just aren’t possible if you never leave your office.

Q. I see that, in addition to having a profile on ProZ.com, you also market your services on your own professional website, as well as on other online portals. How important is it for you to have a strong professional online presence?
A. In a profession such as ours, where virtually everything takes place online, it can be difficult for clients to know who to trust with their documents when all they have is a person’s name. I think that being a member of different associations and having a personalised email account and website help set you apart from the crowd, improve your credibility and show clients that you are committed to the profession. My online presence is very much a work in progress at the minute (as you’ll have seen by my rather basic website!) but it’s on my to-do list for next year!

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a language professional?
A. It may sound like a cliché, but the most fulfilling aspect for me is that I am able do a job I enjoy every day. It is extremely satisfying to use the knowledge and skills I learned at university on a daily basis, and I thoroughly enjoy keeping up-to-date with my source languages, as well as the latest developments in the industry.

A more specific example of a fulfilling aspect of my job would be my work in translating articles for publication in medical journals, as well as revisions of articles written in English by non-native speakers. Despite having something important to contribute to their field, non-native authors often have their work rejected by journals due to an unacceptable level of English. It is always satisfying when an article I worked on is published, as I have played a part in making the information available to a much wider audience.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
A. I initially registered with ProZ.com when I was working in-house and became a full member in 2014 when I started freelancing. Since becoming a full member, I have worked on many jobs for people who have contacted me through my ProZ profile and some of them have become regular clients. I’ve done some interesting training webinars and videos (and look forward to doing even more from the new Plus membership library) and have attended several of the online conferences, as well as a few Powwows with fellow translators in Barcelona. Being a member has definitely been a worthwhile investment as far as I’m concerned.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
A. Personally I want to continue specialising further in the area of medical translation and would like to become involved in medical writing at some point down the road. The exciting thing about our profession is that it is constantly evolving and there are always other avenues to be explored, be it a new area of specialisation, branching out into related services such as subtitling or copywriting, or becoming involved in training and mentoring new translators. Your career is what you make it, and I am looking forward to finding out what the future holds.


Below, find the release of ProZ.com’s Plus package as announced by ProZ.com’s Founder and President Henry Dotterer.

Open road interview series: Michelle Komura Reply

This is the seventh post in ProZ.com’s Open Road interview series in celebration of the site’s year-end membership campaign.

View previous posts in this series here.

Today we feature Japanese to English translator Michelle Komura. Michelle is a part-time freelance translator, a role that she balances along with studying and being a mother of three small children. She currently resides in Australia after having spent over a decade in Japan.


Q. How long have you been working as a translator, and what kind of changes have you noticed in your work during the course of your career?
I have been translating for over fifteen years, with varying levels of productivity. While I can’t comment on the industry as a whole, personally, I am delighted with the technological advances which have allowed me the mobility and flexibility to work anywhere, anytime. For working mothers such as myself, the ability to take my laptop or tablet with me when I meet clients or work away from my home office is fantastic, and definitely increases my productivity Sometimes, I just leave the kids with a babysitter and go off to translate in a café of my choice!

Q. Are you optimistic about the future of the translation industry?
I am most certainly optimistic about the future of the industry, especially given the increasingly sophisticated technology available. As mentioned above, it continues to provide great opportunities for working on the go, and while machine translation (MT) could be presumed to spell doom for translators, I think it actually serves to show what a valuable resource talented language professionals are. The ubiquity of MT means that everyone has had the experience of having to muddle through a poor, inaccurate translation at some point. That experience should prompt one to insist upon quality translation.

Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a language professional?
Being a language professional is rewarding in many ways, both personally and professionally, however perhaps the most fulfilling aspect is the opportunity to add to the collective knowledge base through translation. That is to say, being involved in the transmission of ideas, creating understanding and exposure through application of my skills is both greatly satisfying and motivational.

Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
For me, ProZ.com is a virtual workplace, a great place to confer with colleagues, as well as a source of work projects. Although I have only recently become a full member, I have already profited from the expertise of the ProZ.com team and the informative discussions in the forums. I look forward to continuing to learn from everyone here.

Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
In the short term, I am looking to maintain a steady stream of projects in my current proficiencies, while working toward my graduation in October. My long term aim is to build on my linguistics background and current psychological science studies to transition to a biopsychology specialization.


More on the Open Road campaign and ProZ.com’s Plus package

ProZ.com kickstarted this campaign in September with the release of two new service packages to accompany its professional membership. Now ProZ.com members are able to choose between two service packages — “Standard” and “Plus” — according to their personal needs and preferences.

Learn more about the Plus package vision in the following video from ProZ.com Founder and President Henry Dotterer.

Open road interview series: Janos Barna (interview in German) Reply

Welcome to the sixth post in ProZ.com’s Open Road interview series featuring the winners of the site’s weekly campaign giveaway. This time we feature Janos Barna, a German to Hungarian translator and a long-standing member of ProZ.com. He answers my questions here in German.

Janos, a German to Hungarian translator, at his (impeccable!) workstation.


Frage: Ich habe gesehen, dass Sie seit zehn Jahren bei ProZ.com sind. Danke für Ihre Unterstützung unserer Website! Welche Veränderungen haben Sie in diesem Zeitraum in der Branche wahrgenommen? Sind Sie optimistisch in Bezug auf die Zukunft dieses Berufs?
Vor zehn Jahren habe ich praktisch ohne Ausnahme alle Übersetzungen ohne CAT-Tools angefertigt, was heutzutage kaum vorstellbar ist. Zur Zeit verwende ich fünf CAT-Tools, weil es viele Auftraggeber gibt, die nur mit ihrem eigenen CAT-Tool arbeiten.

Hinsichtlich der Zukunft bin ich optimistisch, ich wollte schon immer Übersetzer und Dolmetscher werden und in der Zukunft möchte ich nach wie vor als Freiberufler arbeiten.

Frage: Welches war der erfüllendste Aspekt Ihrer Karriere?
Das Beste ist, dass ich sehr oft Texte übersetze oder eben dolmetsche, die wirklich die neuesten Dinge beschreiben. Neue Technologien, neue Ideen, neue Lösungen, neue Produkte usw. die in meinem Land bisher unbekannt, bzw. nur für wenige Leute bekannt waren. Das hat aber auch oft zur Folge, dass ich Ausdrücke übersetzen muss, die in den Wörterbüchern nicht zu finden sind und bei denen ich lange recherchieren muss. Aber das ist das Schöne an der Übersetzung!

Frage: Hat Ihnen Ihre Mitgliedschaft bei ProZ.com geholfen, Ihre Ziele als Freiberufler zu erreichen?
Wie gesagt, ich wollte schon immer Übersetzer und Dolmetscher werden. Als ich die Ausbildung zum Fachübersetzer und Dolmetscher absolviert habe, habe ich mich sofort selbstständig gemacht. Damals hat mein Kollege an der Universität zu mir gesagt, dass es für mich eventuell vorteilhaft sein könnte, einmal in eine ProZ-Mitgliedschaft zu investieren. Wer weiß, vielleicht lohnt es sich! In den ersten zwei Monaten habe ich leider keinen Auftrag erhalten. Aber nach zwei Monaten, im Dezember 2006 habe ich einen großen Auftrag erhalten. Der Auftraggeber war später mit mir sehr zufrieden, wollte mit mir langfristig zusammenarbeiten und dadurch ist es mir gelungen, in dieser Branche Fuß zu fassen. In den letzten zehn Jahren haben mich sehr viele Auftraggeber über ProZ.com gefunden und ich habe nicht nur einmal, sondern bisher elfmal in die ProZ-Mitgliedschaft investiert.

Frage: Das Thema dieser Kampagne ist „The Open Road“. Was streben Sie in Ihrer Karriere als nächstes an?
Als Übersetzer und Dolmetscher bin ich immer bereit, mich weiterzubilden. Ferner versuche ich nach wie vor meine Geschäftsbeziehungen zu vertiefen bzw. zu erweitern.

Translation of questions into German provided thanks to ProZ.com’s German localization team.


Did you know?

ProZ.com is in the process of rolling out the benefits of the new Plus package. These are the features that have been released so far:

Keep an eye out of the Plus subscription benefits page to stay up to date on the latest features in ProZ.com’s Plus package.

ProZ.com Business membership as a promotional tool Reply

The corporate badge

ProZ.com Business membership includes the benefits associated with Professional membership, such as unlimited Blue Board access, plus a set of tools and opportunities available exclusively to Business (formerly Corporate) members.

As is the case with the Professional membership, the Business membership keeps evolving to provide more value to the translation companies that chose this path of growth.

Many of these tools and opportunities provide operational advantages, such as the translation center currently used by several members to deliver millions of words to their customers, the employee profiles and improved risk management tools.

Other advantages have to do with premium service, such as the immediate posting of jobs, Blue Board arbitration and priority response to support requests, including phone support.

This note will deal with a separate set of tools and opportunities aimed towards providing promotional opportunities, based on the principle that all promotional tools for outsourcing companies will be focused on ProZ.com Business members.

A first tool is the privileged positioning given to Business members in the Translation agency and company directory, the industry’s busiest directory for finding language service providers (over  400 daily connections between language services buyers and providers).

Also, only Corporate members may apply for inclusion in the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network, giving them increased credibility,  visibility and promotion

Among the tools already released, a new promotional box (displayed below) is now  presented in the Blue Board records of Business members, as well as in the jobs posted by them.

bb_corp_header

As another example, currently being developed, is a code for a portable badge will be provided to Business members in order to let them display on other pages, such the company’s corporate web page, the average Likelihood of Working Again with them entered by its service providers. This is similar to the badge provided to Translators Without Borders volunteers.

bbbadge2


The above are just a few instances of many changes to come, where the logo of Business members will be presented every time the companies are displayed on ProZ.com, and relevant ranking tables will be made exclusive for Business members.

An investment in ProZ.com Business membership  provides value today and well into the future. Let’s all grow together!