Translation Blogger Project: My Best Tip for Translators

Back in June, the Hebrew translation bloggers decided to create the first project of its kind and post our most important tip for translators, as well as a tip by another translator of our choice, hoping to creat a pool of useful and inspiring advice. I posted my tip in Hebrew back then, and I figured this would be a nice first post for my English blog.

I contacted Dorit Attar, English > Hebrew translator and editor. Her tip:

As translators, we’re constantly learning – New fields, new terminology, new work methods. My best advice for every translator, especially beginners, is to learn as much as you can from every job you do. One of the best ways to do so is to ask to see the material you’ve translated after editing and always ask for feedback and comments. If you work with translation agencies, one of their greatest advantages is that all materials are edited by experienced professionals, and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from them. I also ask to see the final version of the translation from other clients, who are not translation and writing professionals. Not only do you get to learn about the field you’re translating, you can also learn about your client’s preferences and save them extra work on future projects.

And my tip: Don’t forget you’re a business owner, and not “just” a translator. This has several implications: First, you wear more than one hat: translator, manager, marketing team, bookkeeper, IT technician etc. You have to master each of these roles, and not just translation.

The other implication is that you should and you must invest in your business. Conferences, software, ergonomic equipment, marketing materials, literature – they all cost money, but you have to see them as investments and not just as spending. Think of these points: What do I get out of using these? Will ergonomic equipment prevent pain that will keep me from working? Will I learn new things at conferences and make new connections that will lead to more work? Will a bookkeeping program save me some time or help me keep everything in order? This sort of thinking will help you decide whether an expenditure is worthwhile. The benefit doesn’t have to be strictly professional: You should take care of your body regardless of work, and you can  also make new friends at professional events.

As for your other hats: you can also decide that you can’t do some of them, for any reason whatsoever, and outsource them to a professional.

You can read the other tips here:

English

Hebrew

Have you got tips of your own? Leave a comment!

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