The Savvy Newcomer aims to serve newcomers to the translation and interpreting professions by publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed content on a weekly basis. We strive to provide you with the answers to the many questions you face as a new or aspiring translator or interpreter.

Untranslatable Text: Myth, Reality, or Something Else? A Translator’s Reflections on Translation and “Untranslatability”

By The Savvy Newcomer | March 26, 2021

This post originally appeared on The ATA Chronicle and it is republished with permission. There inevitably comes a time in a translator’s life when he or she starts to challenge translation/translatability as a concept. More often than not, this occurs as a result of finding oneself confronted with a term that is deemed untranslatable and questioning not only the meaning of the word itself, but also the reality of the concept. In doing so, the translator joins the ranks of the thousands who have reflected and debated on the subject throughout the history of translation. Indeed, the notion of untranslatability…

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Six International Language Associations to Join

By The Savvy Newcomer | December 1, 2020

Language associations are a great way to connect with people of different backgrounds who share a similar appreciation for learning foreign languages. By joining a language association, you have the opportunity to engage with speakers at various levels of proficiency and practice your language skills with native speakers. You’re probably already familiar with the American Translators Association since this blog…

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Becoming a Legal Translator

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 24, 2020

This post originally appeared on Capital Translations and it is republished with permission. Unless you have studied Law, it is rather tricky to know how to specialise in legal translation, let alone find relevant high-calibre training. Fortunately, Roehampton University’s symposium on Friday 9th January 2015 on becoming a legal translator addressed many of the issues concerning the best ways to acquire…

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Translators and Interpreters: The True Influencers

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 17, 2020

In this article, I will define influencers as those who make change happen, who are catalysts of the developments they seek. In translation and interpreting, that is up to the professionals in the field. This is true of any other profession, since the professionals understand their field best. According to the authors of The General Theory of the Translation Company,…

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Strategies for Translation Providers in an Uncertain World… A Survival Guide

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 10, 2020

This post originally appeared on the blog The translation business and it is republished with permission. Sometimes, how we translators run our professional lives and operate our businesses seem to be under threat. Human translators, although usually skeptical, cannot avoid observing the growing influence of machine translation and perhaps wondering how long will it be before a piece of software will…

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Shipping Wars: A TV Course for New Entrepreneurs

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 3, 2020

One of the biggest problems for people entering the translation profession is a lack of hands-on, street level business experience. Many don’t understand the value of their time, and they may have no clue how to price their work — in fact, many beginners feel embarrassed and greedy when they ask to be paid respectably for what they do. Negotiating…

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Readings, Tools, and Useful Links for Corpus Analysis

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 27, 2020

This post originally appeared on the blog In My Own Terms and it is republished with permission. The following list is a result of collaboration by participants of Lancaster’s recent MOOC on Corpus Linguistics. This is a selection of the links that I considered more relevant for those who might want to start exploring this field. If you want to…

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Buddies Welcome Newbies at #ATA61

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 20, 2020

This year’s Buddies Welcome Newbies features not only a new format but also a new experience. Read on to learn more about how to make the most of ATA’s 61st Annual Conference and how to prepare for our kick-off event. Event details: Wednesday, October 21 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT We’re already loving that we don’t have to study…

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Starting out in translation? Find a mentor!

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 13, 2020

This post originally appeared on sciword and it is republished with permission. I was reading one of Kevin Lossner’s blog posts from 2010, titled “No Monkeys!”. He gives 12 pieces of advice—a twelve-step program, as he calls it—for those getting started in the translation business. All of it is great advice and I think everyone should follow it, newbie or…

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Teacher’s Top Ten: Business Practices

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 6, 2020

One of the main reasons we encourage students to join ATA is to take advantage of the wellspring of knowledge surrounding best practices—the kind that make working for yourself a smooth ride rather than one riddled with potholes. Over the years, I have assembled a collection of ATA materials that I share with students and mentees alike. Because when we…

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Three Lessons: Humility, Collaboration, Perseverance

By The Savvy Newcomer | September 29, 2020

This post originally appeared on Word Prisms and it is republished with permission. All three – in that order – hold the key to becoming a world-class translator. An interviewer, who was also a writer, once asked me how many words I’d translated before I published my first translated book for the American Institute of Physics. I imagined he expected an…

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