Professional subjects from a personal perspective

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Joanna Machnica

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

I am not sure if there is anything I would change, to be honest. This is one of the advantages of being a freelancer – you are your own boss and you make your own decisions. I wish I had enough time to start a translator’s blog so if I could use a magic spell, I would make the day longer! I also wish I was a bit closer to London to be able to attend more events, but on the other hand I live in the Cotswolds, the most beautiful spot on Earth, and I would never swap it for any other place!

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

I think a good piece of advice for someone starting in the business would be to be patient and perseverant. It takes a while to understand how the business works. And nothing happens overnight. You need to be proactive to get noticed. To begin with, start networking and use social media (“leverage social media” I could say, “leverage” being for some reason one of the words I really dislike in source texts!). LinkedIn, for example, provided me with one of my best clients. Plus you get a chance to share experiences, views and opinions with other translators. It is interesting and it is fun! Another thing, do not neglect your first language, especially if you live in the source language country. Read, watch TV, keep developing!

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

I would love to be a graphic designer and design websites! I am not sure if I would be talented enough, but I would love to able to play with different fonts, colours and themes. It is in a way similar to a translator’s job: the final result – after a certain amount of fiddling, adjusting and editing – must bring huge satisfaction!

Thanks, Jo!

Joanna Machnica, Translator

Joanna Machnica is a translator working from English to Polish as Polished Translations. Jo is based in the beautiful English Costwolds, and you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

Weekend Reading

If, like me, you’ll be experiencing some snow-related disruption this weekend, here are some links to keep you going:

Translation
*An interview with Corinne McKay – people who rock the industry
*A to-do list for translators by Konstantina at Wordyrama
*Thoughts on using ProZ in a guest post on Catherine Translates

Writing
*Less is more: pruning your copy by Clare Crossan at Word Play

Freelancing
*How do you make a clean break from work at the end of the week? Try this suggestion from writer Katie Anderson
*A guide to face-to-face networking for freelancers on Freelance Switch
*6 ways to beat home-office isolation from Work from Home Wisdom

The local touch

Last night, I attended the Winter social of my local networking group for women in business. I first learned of the network through a contact I made in the proofreading field, who kindly invited me to join, and last night was my first event. As it was a meal, it was not possible to speak to all the attendees, but the women around me were very welcoming and I have already picked up lots of good advice. The food was amazing too!

If you’re interested in widening your pool of local contacts, or just getting out of the house/office once in a while to chat to like-minded entrepreneurs, have a search online for local networking groups in your area. You won’t regret it.

I’m really looking forward to the next meeting of Inspire Herefordshire, and I hope to be a member for a long time to come.

2013 – the year of translators

On my daily browse through the translation blogosphere, I came across the latest post by Marta at Want Words , which suggests a three-point plan for improving on 2012 and making this year your best ever:

*Identify what you didn’t like about 2012

*Find the reasons for the things you didn’t like about 2012

*Have a plan of how to fix it

I side with Marta here in resenting the rates proposed by some clients, and their payment terms. However, we are in control of what we accept and what we choose to reject. The ability to control my working conditions and reputation is one of my favourite things about my chosen career. Let’s all make this the year of the translator.

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2013 - The Year of Translators