1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Corinne McKay

Today, I’m really excited to be able to share my question and answer session with Corinne McKay, a translator whom I greatly admire. I am an avid reader of her blog and one of many proud owners of her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator (buy it here!).

Without further ado, here is my mini interview with Corinne:

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

Overall I’m very happy with where I am in my career and I can’t say that I would make any major changes. Over the years I’ve had bursts of interest in interpreting, and I wish that I had done more to follow up on those. But I’m working on my interpreting skills now, so it’s never too late!

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

I’m not even sure who gave me this piece of advice, but I think that “somewhere, there is an intersection between what you like to do and what people will pay good money for” is one of the best freelance tips out there! I think that so many of us think that we have to be *either* word artists earning minimum wage *or* sellouts to the corporate culture earning six figures. It’s definitely possible to earn a healthy income as a translator while doing work that you feel passionate about.

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

Hmm, interesting question!! If I were to do something totally different, I think I’d be either a service dog trainer or a gardener. I love translating,working with words and working with other translators. But in general I don’t love working alone or being at the computer all day, so I think that something involving being outside with plants and/or animals would be a lot of fun!

Thanks, Corinne!

Corinne McKay Translator

Corinne is an American Translators Association-certified French to English translator based in Boulder, Colorado. She specialises primarily in international development, legal and corporate communications translations and non-fiction books. Her clients include NGOs and international aid organisations, law firms, publishing houses and high-quality translation companies. When not at the computer, she enjoys skiing, hiking and biking in the Rockies with her husband and daughter or gardening and cooking at home.

You can read Thoughts on Translation, Corinne’s highly regarded blog, here and follow her on Twitter at @corinnemckay

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This article was written by: Megan Onions

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