The Business of Translation & Interpreting Seminar
Crowne Plaza Hotel • Seattle, Washington August 28, 2004

An ATA Professional Development Seminar
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Abstracts and Bios

The Translation Company Unveiled

Working with a translation agency, bureau, or company can be a steady, lucrative source of business for a freelance translator. How does one start and maintain a successful relationship with a translation company? This presentation will help demystify the process, starting with the résumé, the initial registration paperwork (questionnaires, tax forms, confidentiality and work agreements), and billing procedures. We will then move on to the esoteric realm of "relationships" with project managers. What do they expect and require from you as a language professional? And in return, what can (and should) you expect from a project manager and translation company?

Leah Ruggiero is senior project manager at Eriksen Translations Inc., in Brooklyn, NY. She has been working in the field of project management for over 6 years. She enjoys working with translators on a wide range of projects including areas such as the arts, government, and law. She received her undergraduate degree in French from the University of Minnesota, and has completed coursework in the Master’s program in French Studies at New York University. After obtaining a certificate in French to English translation from NYU in 2000, she returned to teach a project management course of her own design which she looks forward to teaching again this fall. She has had several opportunities to speak about the project management industry, notably at Kent State University and at ATA conferences. Energized by the diverse populations of New York City, she is particularly intrigued by the creation of hybrid languages such as "Spanglish" that develop and evolve when English is the language of the social environment but not the home.

Contracts and the Freelance Translator and Interpreter

This workshop addresses the practical aspects of negotiating contracts and agreements with translation agencies/bureaus/companies, other independent contractors, book publishers, and other end-clients. Topics include: independent contractor issues, terms of payment, liability, copyright, confidentiality, credits, royalties, and disputes. If time allows the speaker will conduct small group exercises in which participants analyze sample contracts and role-play negotiations with clients. Contracts used in discussions will include the good, the bad, and the ridiculous, all of which are actual contracts currently used by agencies, bureaus, book publishers, and other end-clients.

Courtney Searls-Ridge is a bureau owner and project manager (German Language Services, Seattle), freelance translator, and translation instructor. She has translated and edited numerous trade books from German into English, several in collaboration with other freelance translators. She teaches Ethics and Business Practices of T&I at the Translation and Interpretation Institute in Seattle where she is also Academic Director of Translation. She served two terms as Secretary and one term as Director on the ATA Board of Directors. She is co-chair of the ATA Mentoring Task Force. She has presented similar contract workshops in Austin, Chicago, Nashville, and Seattle. This presentation is being completely updated to reflect the most recent changes in the business climate and industry.

Market Segments and How to Pursue Them

This presentation will analyze the different market segments and work opportunities for translators and interpreters. Below is a list of the topics that will be covered:

Translator/interpreter traits and skills:
- Basic personality traits of translators and interpreters
- Skills needed to perform the different kinds of work well
- How to develop those skills (coursework, printed, and other resources, other more informal means)

Market and industry segments:
- Direct clients vs. translation companies
- Type of project/work defines venue
- Changes in the language services industry
- Vertical segments (e.g. financial, automotive, software, healthcare)

Marketing and market research:
- Researching the markets you are interested in
- Targeting your market and differentiation
- What’s in it for them

Customer satisfaction/retention:
- When you actually get a job
- Interaction with clients before, during, and after a job
- Ethics, business relationships, due diligence
- Why should they use you again

Beatriz Bonnet, a native of Uruguay, has been active in the translation and interpreting fields since 1987. She is an ATA-certified translator (English<>Spanish) and a Certified Federal Court Interpreter. She is also approved for conference level interpreting by the U.S. State Department. She received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. In addition to her translation and interpreting work, she is President and CEO of Syntes Language Group, Inc., an established language services company in the Denver Metro area. She sits on the ATA Board of Directors, is the official ATA representative to the ASTM Committee on translation quality standards and is also a mentor in the ATA Mentoring Program. She has been a speaker at many translation and interpreting industry conferences and events as well as for design, business, and other organizations. She has covered topics from translation and interpreting to marketing, branding, and management.

Running Your T/I Business Out of Your Home

The following topics will be covered: Definition of one’s personal objectives; the translation and interpreting business; marketing yourself; how to set up the home office; how to provide estimates for both translating and interpreting jobs; how to manage quality of same; the T/I – client relationship; basic bookkeeping; a quick overview of filing systems; managing your time and the people that invade it!

Eta Trabing is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a degree from Cambridge University, England; she majored in languages and fine arts. Since 1956, she has been involved in translation services of legal and commercial documents for large industries, court proceedings, and federal and state agencies of all kinds. After moving to the U.S. in 1963, she also became a conference interpreter, then a federally and state certified court interpreter. At this state, she prefers being a technical translator and has given up traveling all over the Americas at conferences large and small. She has published The Manual for Judiciary Interpreters, The Pan American Livestock Dictionary, The Dictionary of Foods and Cookery, and The Glossary on Waste Management and Ecology. She is president of Berkana, Inc., Center for Translation and Interpretation Studies, a private school established in North Carolina in 1996. She has been teaching translation and interpretation off and on since the late 70s. She moved from North Carolina to the Florida Panhandle in July 2002.

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