Guest post: Why I volunteer for Translators Without Borders Reply

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Pieter Beens is a freelance translator and copywriter working in English to Dutch, and a frequent guest contributor to the Translator T.O. 

In this post, Pieter shares his experience as a volunteer translator for Translators Without Borders.


I just completed a translation for Translators Without Borders, my fourth this year. And I must admit I was touched. This time I translated for a charity that helped orphaned children get back to school after the Ebola outbreak last year. Such a beautiful initiative needs our support. I did my small part by translating their sponsoring letter into Dutch, and hope that the letter will help raise the funds necessary to bring these children back to education. That is why I chose to register as a volunteer for Translators Without Borders a couple of years ago, and why I have already translated more than ten thousand words through this organization for several different charities. And there are many more volunteer translators doing the same, donating their time and effort towards helping various other charity initiatives that deserve support. Through Translators Without Borders, we have already translated 30 million words for a multitude of audiences in almost every country in the world.

About Translators Without Borders

Many of us know Doctors Without Borders, an international organization offering worldwide medical support in the event of humanitarian crises and other urgent situations. In 1993, two pioneers in the translation industry founded a linguistic equivalent of it, Translators Without Borders, aimed to link translators around the world to vetted NGOs that focus on health, nutrition and education. Today the platform is affiliated to ProZ.com and sponsored by many translation agencies worldwide. Translators Without Borders offers them a chance to share their knowledge and resources in order to help the needy, while at the same time sponsoring can show off their social responsibility. The translation agencies do not necessarily offer translations, but they offer funding. Translations are done by professionals who voluntarily sign up to offer their help to organizations in need of translations in their language TWBpairs.

Registering to volunteer your services through Translators Without Borders does not mean you are obligated to accept every project that comes your way through this organization, nor does it necessarily guarantee that projects will be passed to you. As you can imagine, the demand for volunteers varies greatly depending on language pair and pool of available candidates. Indeed, there is a very high demand for professionals working in certain pairs, and less demand in other pairs. There may also be many translators volunteering in some language combinations, and far fewer volunteers available in others.

Why choose Translators Without Borders

Last year I wrote about five reasons to translate for charities and tips for supporting charities as a translator. Translating for Translators Without Borders can be seen as a part of my commitment to offer my professional services to organizations that support those in need. At the same time, Translators Without Borders does not require a huge commitment. In my language pair (English into Dutch) requests are sent irregularly, from organizations like Wikipedia, street newspapers, and the International Red Cross. The nature of translation tasks varies from interviews, to fundraising letters and other important information about diseases like the Zika virus, for which I recently translated a text.

In general, project deadlines can be fairly long; in many cases the deadline for a text with 500 words may be around 10 days, while the deadline for texts with 2000 words can even be 30 days. That enables translators to focus on their important tasks and to do volunteer tasks in their own pace. After having delivered the text many clients often leave gracious feedback, knowing that without our help it would have been much more difficult to reach local audiences in their local languages.

In short, volunteering for Translators Without Borders is a rewarding opportunity that enables freelance translators to use their professionalism and passion for a higher goal. I highly recommend it!


Did you know?

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Members of ProZ.com’s Certified PRO Network do not need to undergo any additional screening process to join Translators Without Borders’s team of volunteers.

You can learn more about this initiative and apply for inclusion in the program here: http://www.proz.com/pro-tag/info/about/

Meet the speaker: Anna Ivanchenko and the secrets of consecutive interpreting Reply

Anna Ivanchenko, Word4Power

Anna Ivanchenko is a translator and interpreter living in Kyiv, Ukraine, and offering language services from English and French into Ukrainian and Russian. She has a  Ph.D. in Translation Studies from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and an MA in Conference Interpreting from the University of Strasbourg.

With more than ten years of experience, Anna has worked for important companies and organizations such as UNICEF, the British Embassy and the Canadian Embassy, the British Council and BNP Paribas, and offered services to famous names such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rutger Hauer, John Malkovich, Jared Leto and Cillian Murphy, among others.

On November 21st, Anna will be presenting on the secrets of consecutive interpreting at the ProZ.com 2015 regional conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The interview

How did you get started in translation and what was the most important obstacle for you to overcome in building your career as a language professional?

I got started as a translator even before I started at university and the most important obstacle to overcome was the general attitude towards translators and interpreters as some auxiliary staff doing low-qualified work.

Do you maintain relationships with your fellow professionals? If so, in what ways?

I do, both online and offline, in general through personal meetings and social network exchanges.

How do you see the future of translation for freelancers?

I see it bright, with more job types emerging and the ever-growing importance of online and cloud technologies.

Is this your first time as a ProZ.com event speaker? If so, what are your expectations and what can event attendees expect to learn or know from your presentation?

Yes, this is my first time as a ProZ.com event speaker and I expect it to be a productive exchange of opinions! I will address the greatest fear of those who have never done consecutive interpretation or do it very seldom: what if I don’t interpret everything they say? There is a number of steps and shortcuts to take to minimize this risk and I will discuss those during my presentation.

What reason(s) to attend this event would you give to someone who is not yet sure of whether to attend or not?

ProZ.com conferences are a great place to find yourself among professionals and like-minded people.

ProZ.com Regional conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Join Anna and other language professionals on November 21st in Kharkov, Ukraine, for this conference and have the chance to learn, network and have fun!

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Visit event page »            View event program »            View related social events »


Have you ever offered consecutive interpreting services? How was it?

Post below or discuss in ProZ.com forums →

Meet the speaker: Joseph Kovalov, translating for the marketing, advertising and PR sector Reply

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Joseph Kovalov, Russian marketing translator

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.

The interview

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!

EH1

Visit event page »            View event program »            View related social events »


Have you ever worked on a project in the marketing field? How was it?

Post below or discuss in ProZ.com forums →

Fabiola Baraldi and European Institutions: needs and opportunities in translation Reply

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Fabiola Baraldi, conference organizer

Fabiola Baraldi is a freelance Italian translator specialized in banking and financial law, and the organizer of the ProZ.com 2015 Italian conference in Maranello, Modena: “European Institutions: common needs and new opportunities in translation”, scheduled for November 14th. She’s been a ProZ.com full professional member for four years now and part of the Certified PRO Network since earlier this year in two of her working language pairs: French to Italian and English to Italian.

In addition to translating legal and financial material for diverse clients, Fabiola also works at an Italian bank. Her job there involves, among other things, the writing and translating of internal rules, processes and procedures in compliance with the European Union regulatory framework. For this reason, she knows how individual European institutions impact the translation industry and she is organizing this event to help everyone in the Italian industry to seize new opportunities.

The conference

The ProZ.com 2015 Italian conference will take place in Modena, a city known for its unique historical and artistic legacy, birthplace of Luciano Pavarotti, one of the “three tenors”, and Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the legendary car company.

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Surrounded by this wine and food paradise, attendees to the conference will have access to an entire day of sessions by well-known speakers, a pre-conference powwow, a gala dinner and the opportunity to learn, network and have fun!

museo-ferrari-maranello-horzx500To learn more about the conference (venue, comments, accommodation, sponsors, prices and discounts), visit the official conference page.


Thank you, Fabiola, for joining ProZ.com’s amazing group of conference organizers and good luck on your first conference!

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Maja Popęda and the contemporary world: challenges and opportunities Reply

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Maja Popęda, conference organizer

Maja Popęda is a full-time freelance translator and this year’s ProZ.com Polish conference organizer, ProZ.com regional conference in Kalisz“Translator and interpreter in the contemporary world: challenges and opportunities”.

Maja has been part of the ProZ.com community since 2010 and joined the Certified PRO Network in 2014 with her top working language pair: English to Polish.

As a conference attendee herself –she has attended nine ProZ.com conferences so far– Maja knows that industry events represent an excellent opportunity to learn, network with colleagues and potential clients and have fun, and her conference promises precisely that!

The conference

The conference will take place at the Kalisz City Hall, one of the most impressive baroque buildings in Poland.

Poland - city view in Kalisz. Greater Poland province (Wielkopolska). City Hall at the main square (Rynek).

Kalisz City Hall.

On this great scenery, Maja managed to set up a great conference program with two session tracks covering a wide range of topics of interest to both translators and interpreters (and those studying to become translators or interpreters!) , including CAT tools, interpreting, DTP, sworn translation, online freelancing and more… To view a full version of the conference program, click here.

And around the conference, she is also organizing a city tour for Friday afternoon, a pre-conference dinner and a post-conference meal for everyone interested (conference attendees, friends, spouses, kids, etc.). Click here to see details.

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To learn more about the conference (venue, comments, accommodation, sponsors, prices and discounts), visit the official conference page.


Thank you, Maja, for joining ProZ.com’s amazing group of conference organizers and good luck on your first conference!

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Would you like to organize a conference in your city? Let us know »

The unique experience of organizing a ProZ.com event 1

ProZ.com events are virtual or in-person gatherings that represent the most powerful concentration of the ProZ.com mission statement by providing opportunities for translators to network, learn, expand their businesses and have fun.

To date, there has been thousands of events, virtually and in different cities around the globe. These events include powwows, conferences, workshops, you name it!

But what makes ProZ.com events different is not just the many event options available, but the fact that they are are organized by and for language professionals. Plus, they are less formal and more intimate than events in other industries, and planned in such a way as to be affordable and easily accessible.

Why organize a ProZ.com event?

Most event organizers agree in that organizing a ProZ.com event is a truly unique and rewarding experience. For them, ProZ.com events represent a fantastic opportunity to be challenged to do something different, learn new skills, make contacts with companies, associations and other major players in the industry. Furthermore, event organizers may find that the exposure gained by organizing an event enhances their translation business and professional profile.

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“Organizing the 2013 ProZ.com international conference made me develop skills I never knew I had in me, gave me the opportunity to know some great professionals from other companies and areas of interest and to make some new friends, apart from the fact that having mentioned this organization on my CV and profiles all over the net, has helped my clients realize that they can rely on me as far as organization and responsibility goes!”

Paula Ribeiro, organizer of the 2013 ProZ.com international conference in Porto, Portugal.

Whether it is a powwow, a conference, or a workshop, if there are language professionals living in close proximity who are interested in learning, networking, expanding their business and having fun, there is the opportunity for a ProZ.com event!

Can I propose a ProZ.com event?

Sure you can! If you would like to organize a gathering of professionals for 2014, just complete the event proposal form. ProZ.com staff will review your poposal and contact you to discuss different possibilities available.

Fore more information on ProZ.com events, click here.

News from the 2013 ProZ.com conference in Porto 2

This year’s ProZ.com International Conference is being held in the World Heritage city of Porto, Portugal, and I am having the pleasure of being one of the attendees, together with staff members Maria Kopnitsky and Jared Tabor, and more than 200 members! With 28 speakers and 30 sessions scheduled, this conference is one of the largest ProZ.com events organized in the last 5 years.

Attendees, as they arrived, getting ready for the opening session.

As the conference goes by, the organizers, Certified PRO Paula Ribeiro and members Maria Pereira and Rafaela Lemos, are working together with other language professionals to find the answer to a question that appears to be a major concern within the translation profession: “What are the new demands of the translation industry?” To address this concern, presentations on personal branding, SEO, the state of the industry and translation technology were offered earlier today. Sessions on meeting and keeping clients, CAT tools and ethical practices are reserved for tomorrow, Sunday 9th.

The social side of this event included so far: a photo tour, the visit to a cellar, a pre-conference powwow and the presence of Alejandro Moreno-Ramos, author of the MOX series, who was kind enough to take a couple of hours to autograph his books (thanks Alejandro!).

Alejandro autographing his books, “Mox” and “Mox II”.

Just a few hours ago, there was a gala dinner at Burmester Cellars, a cellar located in one of the most beautiful places of Vila Nova de Gaia. The food was great; the wine, exquisite; and the company, the best! Now getting ready for Sunday sessions and a post-conference powwow at Restaurante BibóPorto.

Click here to see what’s going on in this event in real time.

Congratulations organizers and attendees for this outstanding event!

Lucía