David Ost
David Ost 1 March 2017

19 Blog Sites To Help Commercial Translators

There are many challenges awaiting a fresh translator. A new translator needs to be aware of what to expect—what is computer assisted translation; what are CAT tools; why is networking important and what ethical perplexities translators will encounter. Here are 19 blogs that can assist.

With machine translation tools, one may think that the job of a translator has become obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What are the basic requirements for translators? Undoubtedly, command of the source and the target language. Furthermore, linguistic skills, good style and familiarity with both the culture of the language we translate from as well as the pitfalls of our own culture. But translation is not limited to simply rendering the meaning of what is written or said in one language into the other.

There are many difficulties awaiting a fresh translator, as this job is a business as many others and every translator should be aware of what to expect. What is computer assisted translation? What are CAT tools? Why is networking important? What ethical perplexities may translators encounter?

We have provided a list of 19 blogs (links in the respective titles) to boost your career as a translator. The first 10 blogs revolve around the technical and business side of translation, followed by 9 additional blogs about translation theory and translator’s points of view.

1. Between Translations

This is a blog run by Jayne Fox, a German into English translator. Thanks to her blog you can become familiar with using the most popular CAT tools and find information about helpful resources and professional development. The author shares her thoughts on finding and working with clients (also from different time zones) and recommends books and webinars useful for translators.

2. Translation Times

Here you will find a range of information on the business side of translation work, professional development, practical tips on rate negotiation as well as software recommendations in form of articles and webinars. You can also get acquainted with translation workshops and conferences updates, book reviews, academic translation programs and job opportunities. The blog owners and authors are twin sisters who work as translators and interpreters.

3. A Pragmatic Eye

The blog by Charlie Bavington, French into English translator with an extensive experience in the IT industry. You may find many of his observations useful, because he ponders on subjects such as payments (e.g. whether payment in advance is a good idea), takes into account translator conferences and discusses some common issues that translators have with translation software.

4. Business School For Translators 

One of the reasons why you should visit this blog is the large number of advice for beginners as well as experienced translators who wish to promote their services more effectively. You will find almost 100 subjects presented in the form of lessons, accompanied by videos and tips. The lessons can be downloaded as a document. There are also some interesting thoughts about the influence of the translator’s personality on his work, common experienced translator’s mistakes, planning holidays as a freelancer and using social media.

5. The Translator’s Teacup

If you are a newbie translator, you will find this blog extremely helpful. The blog owner, Rosalyn Newell, describes the most common pitfall that a beginner may face, such as underpayment, tenders, tricky test translations, useless translator directories and many others. You can also get some valuable advice on the choice of working equipment.

6. Freelance Folder 

This is a great blog for anyone who intends to start a career as a freelancer. It presents various ways of promoting one’s online business and gives detailed advice on different tools that might be helpful when running a freelance business. For instance, which Facebook or Google+ groups are the best ones to join and tips on setting up your own website. It applies not only to translation jobs, but to all freelance positions, which may come in handy, if you were to decide to offer more services, e.g. copywriting, to your clients.

7. Thoughts On Translation

As a translator you are probably wondering how to balance the freelance work and other obligations. This and many other translator’s dilemmas are analyzed thoroughly in this blog. The author shares her tips on time management, finding new clients and basic SEO rules for a freelance website.

8. EMpTy Pages

This blog is a great resource for every translator interested in technology. The authors present extremely detailed descriptions and opinions about collaborative translation platforms, translation management systems, machine translation as well as the localization industry’s biggest players. They present different points of view on the state of the translation market and the opportunities it brings.

9. The Freelancery

Is it better to have more clients, but low rates or only a few clients offering higher remuneration? You no longer have to worry about it, just check The Freelancery blog, whose author will give you a great solution known as “the free-day rule”. He also ponders on career strategies, choosing the area of specialization, ways of attracting new clients and changing freelance paths.

10. About Translation

CAT tools can be a real challenge. Check the About Translation blog if you are a beginner in the translation business, but also if you are a seasoned translator. The author shares many practical tips on using the most popular CAT tools, such as MemoQ, Trados, various online tools, and presents some thoughts about the work of a translator.

Translation Blogs

11. Diary Of A Mad Patent Translator

A blog run by an experienced technical translator. Despite the catchy title, his advice is very serious and ranges from practical tips on whether to give the so called temporary discounts or not, to reflections on the advantages and disadvantages of being multilingual. You can also find updates about upcoming translator conferences.

12. Musings From An Overworked Translator

The author presents a great email etiquette list, in 15 concise points, which will give you clear information on how to behave in the online communication world. On this blog you will also find tips on creating business cards and resumes, as well as you can get impressions from tranlators seminars.

13. Oxford Dictionaries Blog

A great resource for every translator interested in linguistics. The blog provides an overview of the changes influencing languages and curiosities about many both well-known as well as rare words. It discusses the impact of learning a new language on our personality, and even articles about how animals understand what people say.

14. Speaking Of Translation

This blog is run by two experts in the field of translation and localization. One of them is also running the aforementioned Thoughts on Translation blog. On this blog you can actually listen to audio files covering their tips and opinions on the freelance translator’s work. The author addresses the issues of being a freelancer and a parent, self-publishing, and finding client through industry conferences.

15. The Translation Business

If you are looking for some more profound analysis of the localization and globalization world, you should definitely visit The Translation Business blog. There are some fascinating conversations between the blog owner, his fellow translators, and scientific workers about the relevant traits of a great translator. All of which matters greatly in the final result of the translation quality and the controversial idea of competitive bidding in the translation industry.

16. Mox’s Blog

Are you tired and need a good laugh? Visit Mox’s blog, which is a presentation of funny cartoons about the everyday life of a translator in a rather non-serious manner.

17. Unprofessional Translation

If you are interested in the historical overview of how translators and interpreters have been working, you should visit the Unprofessional Translation blog. You will learn about the oldest depiction of an interpreter, how literature translation influences the original, about competitions for child translators, and bilingualism. Furthermore, about the interpreters of some infamous historical figures, such as general Franco or Marshal Petain.

18. Brave New Words

The Brave New Words blog is an exhaustive resource about translation theory, studies, work and different specializations, such as poetry or audiovisual translation. The author also elaborates on the payment practices in the localization industry and presents links to many interesting articles and websites for everyone desiring to dig deeper into this area.

19. Naked Translations

Do you need a break from an exhausting translation job? Check the Naked Translations blog. Here you will find interesting notes on the etymology of some words, tips for translators and guest posts on various translation related subjects.

Globalization is always accompanied by localization. The more cultures mingle, the more communication needs to be adapted to local culture. Language is an intrinsic part of the culture, hence the job of a translator is becoming even more necessary.

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