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.

A Translator’s Value(s) in a Shifting Market

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 14, 2023
A Translator's Value(s) in a Shifting Market

It has to be admitted that the translation marketplace in 2023 is a strange thing to experience. I sometimes imagine that it’s getting stranger by the moment, but I realize that the overreactions to the latest technology and the threats posed by artificial intelligence have to be understood from the perspective of a short history of market upheavals over the past few decades, which have experienced their own share of technological advances, and the insecurity of translators who don’t want to see their jobs overtaken by computers. And while I’m not old enough to have witnessed this short history of…

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ATA Business Practices: Workflow Management

By The Savvy Newcomer | December 26, 2013

What do we do during two weeks of enforced vacation, when the offices that usually send us work are on vacation? What do we do when we receive an email on Friday evening asking us to have a translation ready for Monday? Balancing work and life as a freelancer includes these challenges. The holidays are a good time to think…

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The Top Three Things I Wish Somebody Told Me When I First Started As a Freelance Translator

By The Savvy Newcomer | December 10, 2013

By Pilar Saslow I earned a degree in translation and interpretation from a university in Peru a long time ago (I won’t share how long). I was naive enough to think my degree totally prepared me to enter the workforce. I had a rude awakening when I moved to the United States where the business of translation was handled very…

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ATA Business Practices: Appropriate Prices for Services

By The Savvy Newcomer | December 3, 2013

Each month the ATA Business Practices Education Committee contributes a column entitled “Business Smarts” to The ATA Chronicle that discusses various management practices and business-related questions submitted by translators and interpreters. You can find this column online at; in fact, this article was taken from the column at  It addresses many factors involved in answering one of the…

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Conference Wrap-Up

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 26, 2013

By Helen Eby & Jamie Hartz The 54th annual American Translators Association conference was held this year in downtown San Antonio, Texas, just a short walk from the Alamo and the beautiful Riverwalk. The conference was a huge success on several fronts: it drew over 1,400 attendees from all over the world, and it was the first year that featured…

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Building Your Presence Offline

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 19, 2013

By Daniela Guanipa I am a big proponent of making communications more effective, handling matters electronically as much as possible, and I really enjoy the enormous benefits of being able to connect with people anywhere in the world, from the comfort of my computer or any other electronic device. However, in this era of Internet, emails, and social media, it…

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From ATA’s Divisions: The Portuguese Division

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 12, 2013

By Mirna Soares Member of the PLD Leadership Council It took me many years to join a community of translators. When I started, I was unaware of best business practices, I missed all the interesting conferences and I never got any specialized feedback. Everything seemed to happen very slowly. Looking back, I realize I could have taken some shortcuts. I wasted…

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Finding your First Translation Clients

By The Savvy Newcomer | November 5, 2013

By Corinne McKay Reblogged from Thoughts On Translation with permission from the author I receive a lot of inquiries from people who would like to become translators, and most of these e-mails have something to do with finding those first few elusive translation clients. If you ask 100 translators how they got started in the business, you’ll probably get at…

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How Do I Get My First Paying Gig?

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 29, 2013

By Giovanna Lester Let’s start from the premise that you already have some training, you know the language and culture you will be working with, and now what you need is some exposure, some clients. Where do you go from here? The answer is multi-tiered and demands determination. These are my recommendations to anyone about becoming a freelancer: 1. Identify your…

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Why Be a Buddy?

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 22, 2013

By Helen Eby At my first ATA conference, back in Denver, I felt overwhelmed by the newness of it all. My roommate, however, acted as a buddy. She was great!  I met her through the Roommate Finder, so she was a total stranger. We didn’t share a language, a specialty, or anything of that nature. Just a desire to have…

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Dear Newbie,

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 15, 2013

By Jamie Hartz We’ve been in your shoes. In fact, I’m personally still in your shoes. Last year was my first time at the ATA annual conference, and let me be the first to tell you: it’s overwhelming. But take heart! “Buddies Welcome Newbies” is here to help. I was a first-time attendee and an undergrad student looking to learn…

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