Good morning, Chiara speaking. How can I help?

Hi again my dear readers! Apologies for this (too) looooong break, but the past few weeks have been really hectic, with a lot of new things to learn! Anyway, I’ve been juggling a lot with phone calls and emails from clients and other colleagues, so I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you, which I believe apply both to the translation and sales administration fields.

Lady answering the phoneLanguage excellence isn’t enough
Even if my German and English skills are very good, there are several things I couldn’t have known in advance. So don’t be scared to ask questions and gin every opportunity to know about clients, plant structure and management.

Know who you’re talking with
And know their needs, preferences and so on. If customers trust you, it gets easier to work together and solve issues. If you sound like a stranger to them, they’ll be less patient.

Know where/how to get help
I’m not perfect, so there’s no way I’m going to have an answer or a quick solution for every issue that arises, but knowing whom to ask or where to look is a good start.

Be concise
Even is this sounds self-explanatory, there’s no point in writing an exaggeratedly long email just to say that you need some technical data. Be to the point, both for you (more time for other tasks) and your recipient (less time for your request).

Sometimes you have to give a customer bad news, so being nice definitely helps to swallow the bitter pill! And if you’re in doubt, add a ‘Thank you!’ more: it’s better to be classified as over polite than to be remembered as a fairly rude voice on the phone!

Please leave your comments below!

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Change of scene and society

Road signs with question markHi again, dear readers! As some of you might have already seen from my LinkedIn profile, I have just started a new job. Even if languages are involved on a daily basis, translation isn’t my core task any more.

So what? Well, I have asked myself what I should do with this blog. Here are a few options:
– Make it invisible to everyone, therefore bye bye Squirrel Translations
– Stop writing, but leaving it visible
– Keep writing on it, as nothing ever happened

I like writing this blog and switching jobs doesn’t imply that my translation expertise or love for languages has disappeared at once. My idea is to give myself a few months to see how it is going and if I’m still able to say something interesting, at least for a while 😉 And afterwards I’ll decide what to do.

I don’t know if this is the right thing to do, so any advice or comment would be greatly appreciated from you!!!

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My Joomla experience

Happy New Year and apologies for my long absence, dear readers!
Cat playing with a cable

At the end of November I went to a one-day course organised by TradInfo (it’s worth clicking on the link if you know Italian, they’re lovely people!) about how to build a website using the platform Joomla. I know it’s always better to have things done by professionals if you’re not one, however I was curious to learn more about Joomla and below are some of my thoughts:

Joomla can do a lot of things, but it’s not very intuitive
I started using the platform WordPress on my own and after some trial-and-error time I now feel quite comfortable with it. Joomla seems to offer more customizable opportunities, but I wouldn’t have been able to create a site without some training
Joomla allows you to create multilingual websites where you can switch from one language to another
This comes really handy when you want a visitor to switch from the French version of your ‘Contact’ page to the English one. You can choose between little flags or language codes. The only downside is that getting those little flags out is quite a long process, so take your time 🙂
It’s full of excellent tutorials out there! If you encounter a problem, do some research
Aside from forums or discussions between developers, whose expertise and solutions are well beyond my scope, there are many videos and tutorials for people who are not IT guys.
Practice makes perfect!
A one-day course is a good introduction, but there’s definitely so much to learn about Joomla that I don’t even think a one-week session would be enough to cover all major aspects.

And last but not least…
The Italian translation of the Joomla interface is really good, well done to those who did it! 🙂

And now over to you, dear readers, have you ever tried to use Joomla! or other platforms, such as Joomla or Drupal? I’d love to know your comments and opinions!

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