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.

What are translators working on? New feature Reply has just released a new “What I am working on” feature designed to enable translators to share with colleagues descriptions of the projects they are currently working on. More…

Rate this: community book: share your knowledge and stand out as a published author Reply has launched the community book project, an initiative to help language professionals to spread useful information among potential clients and colleagues, while promoting themselves as experts in a given field or topic.

The community book will feature articles written by site  members on topics of interest to the translation community that may range from machine translation, cloud-based translation tools and new translation technologies, to rates, training and  work-life balance, among other topics.

The initiative does not only give language professionals the opportunity to promote themselves as seasoned professionals, but also to become  published authors and enjoy  the benefits  this offers, including:

  • Visibility: published authors become visible among peers and this creates an advantage for them, especially when time comes to attract the attention of clients.
  • Credibility: book authors and collaborators get instant credibility and authority in connection with the field or topic in which they publish. This in turn translates into becoming not only a source of information, but also a resource for anyone in need of  specialized information.
  • Permanence: books are born to stay regardless of the format in which they get published and a book that goes around  is also a book that keeps promoting  its  content and author(s) at no extra cost!
  • Opportunities: many times names associated with books result in invitations to speak at events or offer training, and eve n to participate in further publications.
  • Networking:  the discussion of a book is a good  way to break the ice!  Published authors may be invited to participate in discussions with their readers  via email,  in social networks and at  events.
  • Clients:  published authors know their field, a quality searched for by good clients. And because they are seen as  experts, clients will  rarely try to get discounts for their specialized  services.

All members are invited to submit an article to be reviewed for possible inclusion in the community book until February 29th, 2016, 23:59 GMT. If you are not a member, become one today and start enjoying  all the benefits the site has to offer, including the community book.

Are you a published author?  Share a link to your material below.

‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive: thank you all who donated! Reply

FBBoostFrom December 1st until December 3rd,, Dutch translator and copywriter Pieter Beens and the rest of the community joined forces in a ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive and collected over $1,800 USD to be donated to Books For Africa, Concern Worldwide and SOS Children’s Villages. In turn, matched dollar for dollar the collected amount and over $3,600 USD will now benefit these three non-profit organizations.

Funds were collected through membership sales, training purchases, as well as from direct donations, and the translator community also shared their translated version of a very famous quote by Mother Teresa:


Click here to see translated versions or suggest your own.

Special thanks go to…

  • Pieter Beens for proposing this initiative and spreading the word.
  • professional trainers Claudia BrauerAnneta VysotskayaKonstantin Kisin and Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah for donating their time and knowledge.
  • users and members who donated through membership and training, or by making a direct donation.
  • users and members who proposed their translation of Mother Teresa’s quote.
  • Everyone who helped to spread the word!

Thank you all who joined’s 2015 celebration of Giving Tuesday!

How did you celebrate Giving Tuesday? Share below.

Guest post: The importance of translators for charities 1

This is a guest post by Pieter Beens in promotion of’s ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive. To find out more about this initiative and learn how to contribute, visit the drive’s main page:

#GivingTuesday is an international phenomenon to raise funds for a host of charities. In the spirit of this event, is hosting the #ProZcomDrive, a special campaign to raise funds for three non-profit organizations: SOS Children’s Villages, Concern Worldwide, and Books For Africa. All proceeds from the ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive will benefit these programs to help families in need, raise funds for emergency response programs, and support literacy initiatives.

Although fundraising within the translation community is a major aspect of the campaign, there is much more to say about the importance of translators for charities. In this article I will mention a few.

Translators often do not associate themselves with charities professionally. Of course many of us are involved in volunteer jobs, varying from caregiving to supporting political parties, but there are few translators and translation agencies that continuously support charities for free.

That is nothing to blame translators and agencies for: supporting charities is not the most obvious choice when it comes to sponsoring or even to corporate sustainable development. At the same time many charities do not ask translators and agencies to help them out with translations for free. One initiative to connect charities and translators for free translations is Translators Without Borders.

Translators can play an important role for charities. First of all, they can offer free translations (also outside Translators Without Borders), so charities can do their lovely jobs and reach their goals with a minimum of resources. However, free translations should not be the main objective for charities when collaborating with translators. Indeed, translators can offer much more than just financial help.

Language professionals, and in particular native translators who live in the countries where charities are active, have actual knowledge of the country and culture of the language in which they translate. They can be the “eyes and ears” of the charities they work for, and know how these organizations can be most successful in reaching their goals. At the same time, they can inform charities about local developments, and even point out new goals and locations where their efforts are needed.

Translators can also contribute their commercial knowledge to these organizations to help them better deliver on their mission. For example, they can share best practices in reaching out to the public or in translating different types of texts. They can help educate charities as to how they can be successful in motivating volunteers or raising funds. Translators can also apply their knowledge from particular areas of specialization, like healthcare or technology, in translating texts for non-profit organizations as well.

A final important role of translators in the non-profit sector is the role of networker. Charities often do not know where to find the right translators for a particular language or where to go in a certain country to get help, subsidies or support. Language professionals can guide them to local authorities or centers that can help the charities to realize their goals.

The #ProZcomDrive

All proceeds donated by the translation community from December 1st to December 3rd as part of’s ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive will benefit SOS Children’s Villages, Concern Worldwide, and Books For Africa. In turn, Pieter Beens is also donating 10% of his income for the entire month of December to a fourth initiative: Project Jedidja, a project to fight illiteracy and discrimination among disabled children in Guinea Bissau.

Learn more about Project Jedidja here:

Are you considering donating translations to charities? Read Pieter Beens’ tips at

Let’s join forces in a ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive 1

Giving Tuesday is here!

After an entire year networking, expanding your business, improving your work and having fun, you now have the opportunity to give something back: whether it be through donations, fundraising, volunteering your time and expertise, or simply by calling others to support a particular cause or initiative.

At the end of October this year, one staff member was approached by Pieter Beens, a Dutch translator and copywriter, as well as a member since 2011, with the idea of a charity campaign to be promoted among community members. The result? A ‘Giving Tuesday’ year-end donation drive that starts today, Tuesday, December 1st, and will run until Thursday, December 3rd:


Help spread the word on social media using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #ProZcomDrive.

Join this #GivingTuesday movement and support the following non-profit organizations:


Books For Africa collects, sorts, ships, and distributes books to students of all ages in Africa. They remain the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 34 million books to 49 different countries since 1988.

concern worldwide

Concern Worldwide implements emergency response programs primarily in the world’s poorest countries, has been a leader in health and nutrition issues, and has been on the forefront of helping communities develop resilience to high-impact climate extremes.

SOS-Childrens-Villages-International-NEGATIVE-EnglishSOS Children’s Villages works to prevent family breakdown and care for children who have lost parental care, or who risk losing it. They work with communities, partners and states to ensure that the rights of all children, in every society, are respected and fulfilled. will match, dollar for dollar, the first $10,000 USD donated to these charities.

Make an impact. Join this drive →

Special thanks go to Pieter Beens for the initiative, to professional trainers Claudia BrauerKonstantin KisinSamuel Sebastian Holden Bramah and Anneta Vysotskaya for donating their time and knowledge in support of this drive, and to the members of the translation community who join and Pieter Beens in this #ProZcomDrive!

Do you have any other plans for #GivingTuesday? Share below.