Translating On-site During an Interpreting Gig

On several of my interpreting assignments, I have been asked to translate documents during break-out sessions when I am not interpreting. They are generally less than a page or so, which is why I have never refused. However, by doing this, I am working for free since I was only hired as an interpreter, not as an on-site translator/interpreter combo. I have thought about this and talked to co-workers who have shared many great insights.

On the one hand, I hate being the “bad guy” for saying no to the client and being perceived as difficult, but on the other hand, this is separate work that deserves separate compensation. Continue reading

The Importance of Client Education


I have been wanting to quit Facebook recently, but I still follow some of the translation and interpreting groups on there, which makes it impossible to quit cold turkey. I really enjoy scrolling through people’s questions, comments, or even silly photos related to the profession.

Well, yesterday someone posted the following comment in one of the groups: “I have an odd scenario: another interpreter (not really qualified or trained) has been hired at the same event I have. She is asking me for my rate so that she can match it or not charge too high/low. Not sure what/how to answer her? Suggestions?” Continue reading

LinkedIn Endorsements

Like pretty much everyone else out there, I have a LinkedIn profile. And I have to say that although I’m not a huge fan of this social media website, I would like to learn how to use it more often in order to get more work. Do you use LinkedIn to get more work? If so, how? Please feel free to comment.

In any case, the reason for my post is that I have been getting many emails from LinkedIn recently notifying me that my contacts have endorsed me for certain skills. Unfortunately, people are endorsing me for skills that they cannot actually vouch for. For instance, some of my contacts in the translation field have endorsed me for my skills in advertising even though I had never worked with them as an advertising professional (advertising was my previous career). Continue reading

Ask and You Shall Receive

Next week, I am returning to the CDC for another 3 week conference during which I will be interpreting simultaneously. This is a difficult and a technical conference. I have worked at this conference twice in the past though so I am getting pretty familiar with the vocabulary.

When I got the call for the job, I was offered the same day rate as before. No surprise there, after all, why would they decide to increase the rate? But since the rate had not changed since my first time there (1 and a half years ago) and since I am getting comfortable with the vocabulary, I decided that an increase would be welcome.

Continue reading

NYU Technical Translation class

In September, I started my penultimate class before receiving my Certificate in Translation from NYU. This class is in technical translation taught by Blandine Anwar and it is both very interesting and very challenging.

So far, we have covered a variety of fields. Just to name a few we have translated documents relating to airplanes, patents, robotics, mechanics, the medical field and computers. Here is some of the vocabulary we’ve had to translate: “angle of attack”, “volatile memory”, “four-stroke combustion cycle”, “drug-coated heart stent”. Not exactly words that we use every-day.

Before starting the class, I honestly thought that I would just take the class, but not actually ever work as technical translator because it just seemed so intimidating. But after completing most of this course,  I have changed my approach. Indeed, technical translations can be challenging and might require more work than say, a marketing translation, but they are not impossible.

Here are a few things I have noted so far. A good technical translator: Continue reading