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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International Translation Day — It wouldn’t be possible without translators and interpreters!

By The Savvy Newcomer | September 22, 2020

2020 has been a year of changes and “new normals” but one thing hasn’t changed: translators and interpreters still power the world’s communications. ATA wants to celebrate International Translation Day this year by reminding the world just how critical translators and interpreters really are. Have you ever wondered how your smartphone went from an idea in an engineer’s mind to…

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Translator’s Star Wars: 7 lessons from the saga

By The Savvy Newcomer | September 15, 2020

This post originally appeared on Just Translate It and it is republished with permission. Searching for a balance between creativity and routine As an old school Star Wars fan, I can safely say now: “All is well that ends.” The 42-year legendary saga ended in phews and negative remarks. For me, it’s a reminder that we should not try to…

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Freelance Finance: Setting Rates

By The Savvy Newcomer | September 8, 2020

Here at The Savvy Newcomer we understand that it can be intimidating to talk about money. It’s often a sticky subject, but we feel it couldn’t be more important to address as small business owners. One major component of succeeding as a freelance translator or interpreter is managing your finances well. If you don’t master your money, your translation career…

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A language access timeline for interpreting on the West Coast

By The Savvy Newcomer | September 1, 2020

This post originally appeared on Gaucha Translations and it is republished with permission. Interpreting is a professional field. What was once done by whoever was bilingual now has an established certification process. There are less and less reasons to work with unvetted providers. This timeline tells the story on the West Coast, where I live. I am from Oregon, where…

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What professors don’t teach you about translating professionally

By The Savvy Newcomer | August 25, 2020

During my undergraduate degree in translation, I felt like I was very prepared for a career in translation. I excelled in my language classes and the translation classes prepared me to thoroughly read a translation brief and identify tone, audience, and purpose so that I could carefully craft a beautiful translation. What more is there to know? Oh, how unprepared…

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Eight tips to become the ideal translator

By The Savvy Newcomer | August 18, 2020

This post originally appeared on Multilingual and it is republished with permission. As a senior localization manager, I spend a lot of time finding and hiring translators for my client’s projects. Over the past 15 years, I’ve discovered that the translators who consistently deliver the highest quality adhere to certain helpful and professional business practices. Whether you hire translators or…

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Pursuing the Translation Dream: Promoter of the Profession

By The Savvy Newcomer | August 11, 2020

  Since we last visited ATA’s Self-Evaluation Questionnaire for Translators we hope you’ve had a chance to practice the items we discussed in section 4, “Professional Demeanor.” It can be a challenge to develop a professional mindset and apply it to all your business interactions, but we’re confident that you’ve done so skillfully. Now that you’ve mastered what to know before…

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Pricing Techniques in the Translation Industry

By The Savvy Newcomer | August 4, 2020

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn and it is republished with permission. In the translation industry two pricing techniques seem to dominate: cost plus and competitive pricing. Before looking deeper into these and other pricing techniques, it is important to remember that price is one of the P’s described by Philip Kotler as the fundamental elements of every marketing mix.…

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Emails asking for translation or interpreting rates: Here’s how I respond

By The Savvy Newcomer | July 28, 2020

I often get requests for my rates from organizations that are trying to build a database of individual translation or interpreting service providers. An individual provider is a person who does their own work, also known as an interpreter or translator. Keep in mind that prime contractors (large language companies) can’t provide services without a sufficient number of subcontractors (individual…

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Your Networking Mistakes are Turning People Off

By The Savvy Newcomer | July 21, 2020

This post originally appeared on SBO blog and it is republished with permission. I’ve been networking regularly for about eight years now, gradually increasing the frequency from once a month to at least once a week, sometimes more. As I eased into the rhythm of networking and kept seeing familiar faces (Singapore is really darn small), things got a little…

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