Archivi categoria: Translation

Translator in Wonderland


Guest post by Teresa Cavalla***

When I first started moving into freelancing, I attended thousands of courses on how to stand out in the profession.

So I started to realize that I was facing an amazing world in which I could choose when, where, and who to work with. I had to find my niche, to market my brand, to apply to translation agencies (a lot of agencies on the market!) or to contact private clients and… everything seemed so easy!


But when I started facing reality, things turned out to be a little more complicated. So, as many other newbies, I sent many curriculum vitae without having a strategy. My core thought was that I had to accept everything in order to make my new profession start. So every time I could get in touch with a translation agency I felt like a 6 years old child waiting for the mark from her teacher. Continua la lettura di Translator in Wonderland

Top 10 Sources for Financial News

Whether you are browsing your Facebook news feed, scanning tweets or speed-reading the daily newspaper, you are bombarded with information, data, and opinions. For a financial translator, keeping up-to-date with the latest news is part of the job. You need to know what is going on in the world, how many times the Fed is going to raise interest rates this year, the volatility of the Chinese stock market or the strength of the US dollar. Did they approve any new regulations for banks or investment companies? New accounting standards? Even when you are translating an article for the web, you may need to know if a company is going public, is launching a new product on the market, or published better-than-expected results.

financial news

The sources of information on the Web abound, and you may often find it difficult to separate wheat from the chaff, or to focus your attention.

When I look for financial or market news, I usually visit these websites. I hope you can find them useful too. Continua la lettura di Top 10 Sources for Financial News

I Want It All, I Want It Now!

Real-Time Translations

Have you ever received a translation request on Friday evening due on Monday 9 a.m., or on Christmas Eve for Boxing day? If you are a translator, your answer is probably a big yes.

Why are translations increasingly urgent? This is especially true for my specialisation – economics and finance – but also in other industries, legal, technical, marketing, etc., from what I read in the forums and translators’ groups.


Although I strongly believe that MT, “Gurgle” translate and PEMT are not a threat to professional specialised translators, machine translation and other automation systems have increased the perception that translation is real time, that you can translate a sentence into another language in a blink.

Even our relatives, friends and families have no idea of what we do as translators. We know foreign languages, all the languages of the world, and all the words in any language of the world…“How do you say pomegranate in German?” Personally, I have no idea, I have to look it up in the dictionary!

I have been an English>Italian financial translator for 23 years now, and financial translations have always been urgent, it is their intrinsic nature since financial markets evolve very rapidly. However, new translation needs emerged with social media, blogs, Facebook corporate pages and websites, as well as new regulations and reporting requirements. More than a need, it is often the perception of a need. You must publish your product, your news, your article before competitors, in real time and in many different languages. That is also the case for EU documents, just to make an example. Continua la lettura di I Want It All, I Want It Now!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Who is my Ideal Client?



When I am on vacation, I like to travel. I do not like to stand still in one place for long. Ok, sometimes it is nice and cosy to lie in the sun, walk along the beach, or eat an ice cream, though this is not my ideal vacation. On those rare occasions in my life when I have plenty of idle time, I cannot do without thinking about where I stand now in my profession, what I would like to do next, which situations I do not like, and what I want to change in my working life.

These days I was thinking about problem clients and asked myself: who is my ideal client, the client I want to work with?

My ideal client replies to messages and sends useful information. I perfectly understand that I am the problem-solver for my clients. They do not want to solve problems themselves; otherwise, they would have not called a translator to find translation solutions. However, great results arise from cooperation. If I do not understand the source text I am translating or have doubts on the best way to translate an investment fund factsheet for a retail or institutional investor, I expect my ideal client replies to my questions. Because it is in the interest of both to do a great translation job (and sell that investment fund).

My ideal client says thank you. When a plumber fixes my tap, I thank him. When I buy a coffee machine at the store, I thank the clerk giving advice on what is the best coffee machine for me. When somebody opens the door for me, I say thank you. You help me, I thank you. You send me work, I thank you. You work for me, I thank you. It is a sign of appreciation and mutual respect. Continua la lettura di The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Who is my Ideal Client?

A New Haircut (by a Professional) is like a Breath of Fresh Air!

I have plenty of time before my flight at the airport in Amsterdam. Plenty of time to reflect about my experience as speaker at the Rotterdam Translators’ Conference.

20150615_172808 #1 – It is not easy to talk to other expert professionals about an “unpleasant” topic such as proofreading and preferential changes. Anyone had at least one bad experience with proofreaders or complaints. The most difficult thing for a “situational introvert” like me was to speak in a foreign language because I cannot use humour and irony as I usually do. However, I am glad I fought against my fears. If other translators are ready to share their experience with me, why not sharing mine? Our profession should benefit from cooperation. Translators have probably less visibility and consideration than they deserve. I really liked Gary’s comparison for a rough translation: “Come on, you do not roughly cut your hair before going to a professional hairdresser to have it fixed! When you find the right hairdresser who can advise you to choose the right cut every time, you will not change!” Continua la lettura di A New Haircut (by a Professional) is like a Breath of Fresh Air!

Translations on the Fly


How long does it take to complete a (good) translation? 

I could translate 2,000 words in less than 30 minutes”, a potential client said to me, declining my offer to deliver the job within close of business on the same day. “Wow, how quick you can type!”, I thought*.

Translators may be superheroes with resources beyond imagination, though there are objective or reasonable limits to be considered. In general terms, a professional specialised translator can translate around 2,500-3,000 words per day, but there is a but.


How long does it take to complete a professional translation?

Variables are numerous. Delivery time varies with the language, length and difficulty of the text. Needless to say, specialisation and availability of the translator are also to be taken into account. Continua la lettura di Translations on the Fly

Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading

Get it Write
(CC BY-SA 2.0 quinnanya)

These days, there is a lot of fuss and debate around Post-Editing (and Machine Translation) that made me reflect upon effective editing and proofreading as a key part of my work.

Are there revision and proofreading parameters that can be applied to check the completeness and correctness of a translation, as well as compliance with the client’s specifications?

Let’s start trying to define editing, revision and proofreading. Revision means checking the quality and completeness of a translation through a sort of bilingual editing, e.g. it is a comparison of the source (original) text and the target text (translation). Editing refers more to style. After “polishing”, the translation should read as if it were written originally in the target language and should be suitable for its audience. Proofreading means to re-read the translation and correct any grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

I started my career in the translation industry more than 20 years ago revising and proofreading translations made by expert professionals. Over the years, I applied and developed various methods to check and edit translated texts, as Quality Manager at LSPs, as well as a freelancer checking my own work.

In my opinion, the best method is to use a check-list and stick to it. You can group similar controls and go through the text three or four times.

Continua la lettura di Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading

How to Become a Successful Financial Translator? Upcoming Webinars

As part of the Prozcom webinar series “Getting established in the translation industry” and “Business and finance translation”, in September and October, I will present a series of webinars on financial translation (in English “How to Become a Successful Financial Translator” and in Italian “La traduzione finanziaria: una specializzazione vincente“) .



How do you become a financial translator and work for banks, investment companies and international corporations?



Specialising in a high-demand sector such as finance and economics is a great opportunity for a translator.

We will answer these questions, providing examples and personal experience.

  • Which type of documents do you translate?
  • Who are the main clients of a financial translator?
  • How do you become a financial translator?
  • How can you develop expertise and style?
  • Which are the main criticalities of this specialisation?

This one-hour webinar will introduce you to financial translation.

Continua la lettura di How to Become a Successful Financial Translator? Upcoming Webinars

How To Choose a Translator?

Deciding on a translation provider may be difficult. You have to trust confidential documents, most of the time respect important deadlines, communicating with your potential clients in the appropriate language and style.

The translation industry is overcrowded by freelance professionals, translation companies and numerous non-professionals who pretend being translators.

What should you do then to select the translation supplier that fits your needs?

Here are some tips based on my experience both as a buyer of translation services and as professional translator.

1.       Selection Criteria

First of all, determine your selection criteria.

  • What is your target market? The target language?
  • Does your company produce highly technical content?
  • Do you often have tight schedules?
  • Is price more important than quality?
  • What is the purpose of translations? Are they for information purpose or for publication? Continua la lettura di How To Choose a Translator?