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How NOT to Lose Customers

Delivering good translations on time but finding it hard to retain your customers? Find out why!
Translators often assume that quality, cost and turnaround time are what make companies want to work with them again and again. Of course this triad plays a role, but there will always be someone able to work just as fast as you, someone cheaper than you or someone who has an eye for detail to match yours. If this is the case, how can you ensure your customers choose to keep working with you and are not tempted to work with your competition? Easy – make sure you focus on how you talk to your customers, as building REAL-ationships fosters lasting collaboration. Earlier this week I had an enlightening discussion with one of my customers, who revealed that her main struggle when working with freelance translators, and something that is often overlooked, is….COMMUNICATION!She revealed that the following bad practices would make her less likely to continue working with freelance translators:1.Not…
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Terms used by Translators

Need a text translated but don't have a clue what your translator is talking about? Here is a list of terms we commonly use in the profession that might help you communicate with us! Term
MeaningA languageA translator’s first language (or mother tongue).B languageA language that a translator can speak and write almost as well as their first language (well enough to translate into as well as out of). Many translators prefer to only translate into their A language.C languageA language the translator can understand and read well enough to translate into their A or B language but cannot speak or write well enough to translate into.Desktop Publishing (DTP)The use of software for document layout and construction. A translator will often charge more for time spent on DTP.EditingRevising the target text to improve the flow and quality.Freelance translatorA self-employed translator, who may work for translation agencies and/or direct customers. A freelance translator usually has…

A-Z of Aviation Abbreviations

The aviation industry is full of abbreviations. Here are just some of them! How many did you already know?
Abbreviation Definition A/C Aircraft B/C Business Class CCOM Cabin Crew Operating Manual DFDRS Digital Flight Data Recorder System EASA European Aviation Safety Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration GHS Ground Handling/Servicing HMI Human Machine Interface IATA International Air Transport Association JAA Joint Aviation Authorities KPI Key Performance Indicator L/G Landing gear MOE Maintenance Organisation Exposition NEO New Engine Option OAT Outside Air Temperature PF Pilot Flying QRH Quick Reference Handbook RTO Rejected Take-Off SOI Standard Operating Instructions

Staycation

In mid-March, Spain entered a strict lockdown with very little warning. Realising I would have to once again work from home, I was filled with a feeling of dread. Didn’t I hate working from home in the past? Didn’t I pay for a desk in a coworking space so as to see other human beings? Would I stop bothering to get dressed? Would I snack all day and gain lots of weight?
I quickly calmed myself down and prepared to get on with two weeks (or so we thought then) of being stuck inside my flat in Barcelona.
The beginning of the lockdown went by fairly quickly, I had a tremendous amount of work and this distracted me rather well. The next part was a little harder, facing the reality that this lockdown would last a lot longer than two weeks, and work completely drying up. Freelancing is fairly “feast or famine” at times, but this has really been exaggerated during the lockdown. Yet, somewhat out of character, when work went quiet I didn’t mind, and even found a lot of positive things to do wh…

Visible Women

Recently, I started reading “Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Perez. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you get your hands on a copy (whether you are a man or a woman), as it really is an informative read. Although many of us are well aware of the concept of male privilege, this book is a real eye-opener, providing fascinating statistics and examples on how it really is a world designed by men for men. It is not an attack on men, it merely shows the extent to which women (often unintentionally, through lack of historical consideration in data used in areas from public transport to city planning and bathrooms) are so much less visible than their male counterparts.
With this in mind, and encouraged by a fantastic female translator/musician I met at the MET (Mediterranean Editors and Translators) conference in 2018, I decided it was time to be brave and to try and have my voice heard.
Translation is a profession that attracts a high number of wom…

LOST FOR TRANSLATION

Last week I attended the 2018 Mediterranean Translators and Editors Meeting (METM18). It was set in the beautiful Catalan city of Girona - conveniently only a stone's throw away from Barcelona, where I am based. As well as taking part in a practical workshop led by Laura Bennett* and learning a wealth of information from presentations by fellow translators and editors, METM18 was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow colleagues based in the Mediterranean region and beyond.
When talking to other translators, I was struck by how hard it was to get a straight answer to the simple question: "Where are you from?" 
Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not saying that translators are a shifty or reserved bunch. To the contrary, most answers were fascinating and reassuringly resembled how I usually (sometimes uncomfortably) respond: "I was born in Country A, studied in Country B, moved to Country C for work and am currently living in Country D". 
It felt grea…
Location, Location, Location Or how to create REALationships AND nurture your target language
For the first two years working as a freelance translator, my company was based in the UK and I was translating exclusively from French into English, mainly for customers in the aerospace sector. Previous to this, I worked as an in-house translator for several years in Toulouse, France (the headquarters of Airbus, hence my specialisation).
Although in Toulouse I worked alongside other English speakers, one of the aspects I noticed about spending a vast amount of time speaking a source (foreign) language or even speaking your target language with other people who master both languages as well as you do, is the effect on the quality of your target language (the language you translate into, namely your native language, or mother tongue). By quality, I do not mean that you suddenly start to make grammatical errors or use the wrong terminology. However, over time, it becomes increasingly difficult…