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.

 

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.

2 days of events in celebration of International Translation Day Reply

virtualeventCome celebrate International Translation Day with ProZ.com by attending the site’s annual 2-day virtual conference series! These events are free to attend and include panel discussions, training sessions, on-demand content, group discussions, special discounts and software savings, live chat with exhibitors and more.

CAT Tool & Software day
September 29, 2015
10:00am – 8:00pm GMT

Complete program information including on-demand sessions details available here: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/671/program

ProZ.com 2015 virtual conference for International Translation Day
September 30, 2015
10:00am – 8:00pm GMT

Full session information available here: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/668/program

You can register to attend by clicking the “Click here to register” link on the virtual event series page: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/group/26. Once you’re registered, visit the “My data” tab to add details to your personal bio, as well as a message/greeting to fellow attendees.

For a full list of tips and pre-event information – ranging from setting up your computer to deciding which sessions you will attend – visit: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/668/prepare. For even more advice on getting ready to attend a virtual event, be sure to check out this past blog post: “Translation events 101: Virtual events”.

Don’t forget to stop by the ProZ.com support booth located under the “Exhibitors” tab for a chance to win one full year of ProZ.com membership!

Be sure to spread the word and invite your colleagues to attend the events on social media using the hashtag #ProZVirtConf

Hope to see you all there!

Look who’s talking about the ProZ.com community choice awards 4

Just a few days remain in the voting phase for this year’s installment of the ProZ.com community choice awards. Cast your ballots and help pick this year’s winners before voting ends on September 22nd here: http://www.proz.com/community-choice-awards/nominations. Nominees and winners are determined entirely by the ProZ.com community.

Now, as the purpose of the ProZ.com community choice awards is to celebrate those who are active and influential in different media throughout the industry, I thought it would be fitting to share some of the social media responses to these awards here.

Here’s a sample of what people have been saying about this year’s awards:

CCA1

Carol’s Adventures in Translation – a blog by Caroline Alberoni of Alberoni Translations – is in the running for “Best blog” among the translation-related finalists for this year’s awards. Congratulations and best of luck, Caroline!

CCA2

Laura Hargreaves has done a fantastic job of covering this year’s ProZ.com community choice awards both on her blog – LanguagesByLaura.com – as well as via Twitter @LanguagebyLaura. Thanks for the support, Laura!

CCA5

Translators Anonymous – an anonymous (and hilarious) translation blog – were the original winners of the “Best blog” community choice award. I had a lot of fun interviewing them on that win here: The ProZ.com community choice awards: Translators Anonymous. They are in the running this year as well for best blog, Facebook page/group, and the “other social media” category. Good luck, admins!

CCA4

The awards have been mentioned on a variety of different social media platforms, including this Pinterest pin by Chiara Bartolozzi of One Sec Translations. She also wrote a post about the event in her blog here: #ProZCCA: Community Choice Awards 2015 hosted by ProZ.com. Chiara is a nominee in a few different categories including best Twitter, blog post, and “other social media”. Thanks for the mentions and best of luck, Chiara!

CCA6

Erik Hansson – owner of the Things Translators Never Say Facebook group – has promoted the awards, as well as his group’s nomination in the best Facebook group/page category, throughout social media. Be sure to check Erik out via Twitter @erik_hansson. Good luck, Erik and the Things Translators Never Say group!

CCA7

Pieter Beens has been nominated in two award categories this year, including best article and best blog post. You can see both of these nominated posts on Pieter’s website, Vertaalt.nu. Congrats and good luck, Pieter!

Did I leave anyone out? Use the comments section below or tweet me @ProZcom with a link to your social media post on the 2015 ProZ.com community choice awards.

This year’s winners will be announced on International Translation Day, September 30th. Come celebrate the day with ProZ.com by attending our annual virtual event! And don’t forget to spread the word about the awards on social media using the hashtag #ProZCCA.

Questions, comments and feedback on this post are welcome. Happy translating!

Celebrate International Translation Day with ProZ.com! 1

virtual_conference_banner

International Translation Day is almost here, and it’s time to celebrate.

ProZ.com will be kicking off the festivities on September 29th with its annual virtual conference series. This is a two day event, the first day being dedicated to CAT tools and software training. The sessions on September 30th will feature a wide variety of panels, discussions and workshops geared towards professional development, business management, and more.

The program for the event on September 29th is as follows:

…and the sessions for the event on September 30th are:

Attendees will have access to on-demand content, special discounts and software savings, as well as a platform to chat live with event exhibitors. Those who attend on September 30th will also be eligible to use their certificate of attendance towards 10 ATA Continuing Education points.

The event is free to attend, and those who are registered will be able to view all listings from agencies and LSPs that have recruitment needs.

You can register to attend the virtual conference here: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/group/23/register

While you’re at it, be sure to check out this past blog post for tips and advice on how to get the most out of your virtual event experience: https://prozcomblog.com/2013/07/24/translation-events-101-virtual-events/

Hope to see you all there!

virtual-conference-logo

 

 

 

Did you know the virtual event series coincides with the announcement of this year’s winners of the ProZ.com Community Choice Awards? Keep an eye on http://www.proz.com/community-choice-awards to see who won!

Podcast: Interview with Lucia Leszinsky on the upcoming ProZ.com site guidance day
 and the Certified PRO Network virtual conference 2

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

As you may know already, the International Translation Day celebration at ProZ.com (Sep 26 – Sep 30) is around the corner. This year there will be a big celebration under the theme “Small changes, big results!” There will be five days dedicated to this virtual event — the Certified PRO Network virtual conference (Sep 26)
, the ProZ.com site guidance day
 (Sep 27), the Recruitment day (Sep 28), The Great Translation Debate (Sep 29) and the traditional Freelance translator virtual conference (Sep 30). This week, I interviewed Lucia Leszinsky, ProZ.com site staff member devoted to site guidance activities and ProZ.com Certified PRO Network coordinator, who is in charge of the organization of the Site Guidance Day and the Certified PRO Network Virtual Conference to learn more about these events.

I was specially curious about the site guidance event and Lucía explained that the ProZ.com site guidance event will be a day of presentations on how to get the most out of ProZ.com. It will include sessions and discussions on ProZ.com’s most popular features, tools and benefits, and attendees will be able to learn how to customize their profiles to meet clients in and outside the site, know more about getting started in translation or expanding their businesses by using the site effectively. During the event attendees will be able to also discuss about the most effective way to use the Blue Board to assess risk and how to use the KudoZ term help system to receive and give help with the translation of tough terms. This event will be about learning how to use ProZ.com for the attendees’ benefit and what is very important is that all ProZ.com’s registered users, members and non-members, are invited to participate.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Small changes, big results” so I asked Lucía what big results could attendees to the event expect by simply participating in this event. She explained that attendees will see how applying small changes to their ProZ.com profiles, or attending a short training session, or even checking potential clients’ contact details before taking on a project makes a huge difference when it comes to client contact and improving their businesses.

I also asked Lucía about the Certified PRO Network Virtual Conference planned for September 26, 2011 and she mentioned that this event will also be a day of presentations on professional promotion, translation tools, translator training and more. This is an event planned for professional translators so access will be restricted to members of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network only.

Members of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network who wish to attend this event can register also by clicking on “Register now” in the event page. Those site members that are not yet members of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network are still on time to apply for inclusion into the network and take part in this event.

At the end of the interview I asked Lucía to mention three benefits that attendees can get from participating in these events and she did not hesitate to assert that ProZ.com virtual events in general offer attendees unparalleled access to educational content, networking and recruitment opportunities, and more, all within a rich and engaging online environment. She thinks they are a perfect opportunity to network with colleagues, meet clients, expand the knowledge of the translation industry, CAT tools, and other translation and interpretation-related topics. Attendees to virtual events can also meet the site staff virtually and receive personalized assistance with using the tools the site offers to network, improve their work, expand their businesses and have fun.

Listen to the interview with Lucía here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-09-15

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

Don’t forget to sign up for the events planned for the free ProZ.com’s virtual event series 2011. All these events are designed to celebrate International Translation Day so you cannot miss them!

Thanks for listening and see you at ProZ.com’s virtual event series 2011

Romina