1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Marta Stelmaszak

Today’s 3 questions are with one of translation and interpreting’s most prolific tweeters. If you want useful information and tips about our industry, Marta Stelmaszak is the person to follow (details at the end of the post)!

Here are Marta’s answers:

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

Even though I’m working on it hard, I feel that I’m still not confident enough. You must know how it feels! You come across a great profile on Proz, or meet an extraordinary colleague, or read a really good translation, and… In my opinion confidence and trust in own skills are what bring success, meaning clients and satisfaction.

The more confidence we have, the more capable we are of achieving our goals and making our dreams come true. Even if it’s just getting a new client, or landing an exciting project. The more confidence, the better!

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

A few years ago I was terribly happy because I landed a good contract with an agency. Their rate was extraordinary for me at that time. All happy and proud of myself, I shared that with my translation mentor. She nodded understandingly and said: “Do you know that you could charge at least twice that rate?” It sounded impossible to me at first, but then I realised that freelancers can set and charge their own rates. This piece of advice helped me to understand that I will always get paid only as much, or as little, as I charge.

In a broader sense, this advice started me off thinking that we – freelance translators – are in charge of every aspect of our businesses. By taking a pro-active approach, we make sure that our businesses work for us, not the other way round.

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

Everything I always wanted to do was related to communication, and most of it to languages. I’m pretty sure that if not language services, I’d go for IT. It’s one of my specialist areas anyway!

Thanks, Marta!

Marta Stelmaszak Translator

Marta Stelmaszak is a translator and Interpreter who works between English and Polish and specialises in IT, marketing, business and media. She also maintains an excellent blog at Want Words. Take a look at her website here, and find her on Twitter as @mstelmaszak.

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This article was written by: Megan Onions

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