Over the weekend I met up with a girl who studied translation with me. We then took different paths, but it was nice to reconnect after such a long time. Since she’s working as in-house translator too, we were both eager to share our experiences. And I was very sorry to find out that some people have been exploiting her.
This has reminded me that translators are there not only to educate clients, but also to share their experience with their peers who might be having a hard time or who are simply unaware that they could (and should!) gain much more from what they’re doing.
So here is some advice:
– Listen to other translators’ conversations (chats, forum, blog posts), even if you don’t have anything to say (yet!), there might always be something useful around.
– Don’t be afraid to ask. I think sometimes people accept low rates because they’re made to believe that ‘everyone else does so’ by some agencies/colleagues/forums and so on.
– Share what you have learnt. I know I’m not a translation guru, but I felt so happy to be able to give my friend some good advice. This week she’ll collect my ‘paper wisdom’ (Judy and Dagmar Jenner, Corinne McKay, Chris Durban, I’m sure they’ll ring a bell 🙂 ), which I was very happy to share with her.
– ‘Broadening your horizon’ isn’t just an idiomatic expression. iI you don’t raise your head, you might miss what’s around, what the others are doing. And you don’t necessarily have to copy them. Observe, assess and then act accordingly, which might be follow them (or do the opposite!)
Do you have other tips, my dear readers? Please share some of them!