1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Alison Hughes

Today’s 3 questions are with Alison Hughes, a French to English translator who is based near Glasgow and specialises in creative texts.

Here are her answers:

  • If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be? 

In an ideal world, I would have had a more structured approach and possibly specialised earlier. However, as with a lot of other female translators, I started out freelance with a 5 year old and a very young baby so it just wasn’t possible. In a way it is also nice to specialise later in my career because I feel I have the confidence that comes with experience.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general? 

This probably came from a tweet I read as recently as last Sunday. Think of how much your work is worth to the customer (and not how long it takes you to do it/how many words it is) and charge accordingly. OK so this is probably another “ideal world” situation but there are some customers it could be appropriate for and is a confidence booster in cases where you refuse to let agencies beat you down on price.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing? 

That’s easy – something to do with food. I’m coeliac and have to follow a strict gluten free diet. A couple of years ago I was looking into setting up a business called Good Life Gluten Free to advise restaurants how to cater for the GF diet and also a website with gluten free ideas. Again, circumstances weren’t right at the time and it didn’t get past a prototype of the website and business cards. The opportunity has gone as there are now many resources but running a dedicated GF cafe with my sister is a tempting proposition.

Thanks, Alison!

Alison Hughes Translator

Alison Hughes is a French to English translator specialising in marketing and creative texts. She is also the coordinator of the Media Arts and Tourism Network of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). You can take a look at her website here and follow her on Twitter @AHcreattrans.

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This article was written by: Megan Onions

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