Time-management is probably among the hottest topics for any freelancer. Tons of posts about productivity and effective time-management are published every week on the Internet.
Today I’d like to discuss a problem of long-term projects with flexible or too comfortable deadlines. Someone may ask me: “Where is the problem? All of us dream of big projects without any rush”. Yes. And no. When you receive something good, you often receive new challenges. I don’t know how about you, but for me it’s been a real problem not to procrastinate and not to put away work for later. When you know that you have plenty of time at hand, you start doing other things or let yourself have more rest than it makes sense. The end is classic: you suddenly realize that time is running out and finish your “flexible” project in a rush. Continue reading How Not to Turn Comfortable Deadline Into a Disaster?
The problem of most freelance translators, who are not satisfied with their rates, is that they are more likely “price takers” than “price makers”. When we try to find the reason for dumping prices on the translation market, first of all we should think about our own rate policy.
In her article Marcela Jenney gives seven recommendations by Benson P. Shapiro on how to learn to “make” your own price. Check them out, and I am sure that you’ll decide to implement at least some of them into your business practice.
“Making the price” of your translation services (as opposed to “taking the market price”)
We had two packages of bilingual files, 75 pages each, five glossaries, half gig of PDF guidelines, a whole galaxy of multi-colored references… Also, the eleventh trados, a memoq, a list of approved terms, a whole set of fuzzy matches, and a weekly deadline. Not that we needed all that for a good translation, but once you get locked into a serious project, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was fuzzy matches. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of checking fuzzy matches, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.
The idea of writing this post appeared during one of my ordinary proofreading projects when I had to correct other translator’s mistakes.
Today translation market is overcrowded with translators and all of them claim to be professionals. At the same time every now and then we see awfully translated manuals, menus, brochures, let alone more serious specialized texts which can be really dangerous if translated erroneously. Sometimes I have to select a team of translators for a specific project and I look through many resumes and test translations. And every time I get very surprised why so many people with higher education in linguistics and translation do their job so bad!
I remember that starting from my school years I have been from the human sciences league. I loved languages, history, literature… But the Russian language was my favorite.
Continue reading Are You Sure You Can Be a Translator?
Sometimes you may get the impression that you regularly contact with your pool of customers and there is no way they can forget about you. However this impression is illusive. Your client is most probably a very busy person and he/she can easily confuse you with another freelancer.
When I am not too busy with projects I spend some time looking through the list of my clients and send them small reminders about myself: I may ask them to leave me a feedback or I inform about my new services or send them my vacation dates, etc.
A few days ago I’ve got one more prove that follow-up letters are extremely important in freelance. I contacted one of my best clients with the feedback request. Guess what… He was very surprised to hear from me and wondered if I was still freelancing. Continue reading Regular Follow-Ups: They Pay Off