Of Peanuts and Monkeys

Thanks to Twitter, we just heard about a like-minded movement/blog that is encouraging all linguists to stop working for, well, peanuts. We couldn't agree more: we could have written the blog ourselves! The tone of the blog is funny and straightforward: if you think you are getting paid too little, stop accepting those jobs. Of course, the realities of the marketplace are complex and challenging, and individual situations vary greatly. However, this is a message we cannot hear often enough: let's professionalize our profession by charging adequate and fair rates for our highly specialized services, by working with our colleagues, and by refusing to work under conditions that do not do our expertise and education justice.

The No Peanuts Statement of Principles includes:
  1. Don't lower your rates. Just don't do it.
  2. Stop panicking. There is enough work for all of us. And yes: there is enough work at livable rates, too.
  3. Take charge of the vendor/client relationship.
  4. Abusive working conditions? Don't take the job -- you run your own business, after all!
  5. Use online resources to research your potential clients.
  6. Boycott abusive clients.
We are grateful for the No Peanuts movement for keeping the ball rolling -- thank you! Check out the blog and endorse the movement.

Disposable E-Mail Addresses

Our almost-weekly technology tip comes, as always, from our IT superhero Thomas Gruber. Today's topic is so-called disposable e-mail addresses. There are a variety of uses for them, including using them to get free stuff online, such as e-books or free software. While we love taking advantage of free stuff, and thank the many people who make the products available, we are increasingly weary of giving our business e-mail addresses. One never knows if our e-mail addresses could be sold or otherwise used in ways we don't approve of. Plus, spam messages are likely to increase when downloading freeware, and we don't read spam -- we read books (clever, but it's not really our own line). One way around this is to simply get a free e-mail address (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) and use that one for non-essential messages. The better option is to get a disposable e-mail address, which are is only valid for a short period of time. Does it sound too good to be true? It's not. Thomas recommends 10-Minute Mail, Meltmail, and the hilariously titled SpamGourmet.

Too Many Open Browser Tabs = Bad

Today's technology tip comes, as always, from our IT superhero Thomas Gruber, who has long been on both our cases about having too many broswer tabs open (we use Firefox). Judy is especially guilty of this. Thomas just sent us information that too many open tabs, in addition to slowing down your processes and loading times, could also leave one very vulnerable to phishing attacks (hackers trying to mine one's confidential data by posing as legitimiate websiste, including banks). This might finally be incentive enough for Judy to start closing tabs when she doesn't use the page and just open it again as needed. Read this page for a lot of important information about this subject, but it's a bit techie even for technology lovers like us. The bottom line: close the tabs of your browser to ensure online safety.

Top 100 Language Blogs

We are delighted that some of our wonderful colleagues have decided to nominate Translation Times as one of the Top 100 Language Blogs. The list is compiled by Lexiophiles, and it's a big honor to even be considered. There are four different categories, and Translation Times is listed in the Translation Professionals section. While there are hundreds of fantastic blogs to vote for, many of which are written by our talented linguist-friends around the world, we'd love to have your vote if you really like our blog. We've already cast our vote for our favorite blog -- and no, it wasn't ours. Visit the site to vote.

One-Day Conference: Utrecht, June 4

Who says there is no professional development in the summer? Between May and August, many regional and national associations in both Europe and the U.S. are hosting great conferences and seminars. We wanted to mention one in particular, which is quite unique: it is organized without the help of any translator and interpreter association, and it's the brainchild of two Dutch translators, Annie Tadema and Astrid van der Weert, who are putting on the entire event by themselves. The location is impressive, too: the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands (see picture). Unfortunately, the Dutch associaton of translators and interpreters isn't very active, which has resulted in a lack of professional development activities for Dutch linguists. We are delighted that Astrid and Annie have decided to fill that void, and we are grateful that they have decided to invite Judy to speak at the event. Now they just need some help spreading the word Please visit the conference site and tell your friends!

The Lighter Side: The Office Assistant, Part II

After we wrote about our Vegas office assistant, we just had to write about our feline assistant, Junia, how works in the Vienna office. She's a 10-year-old tabby (her birthday party is coming up), and is originally from Vegas, where Judy rescued her from a shelter. She's since moved to Vienna, where she helps the European side of our business by keeping the scanner warm (by curling up on top of it), and making sure Dagy takes her breaks by parading in front of the computer screens, demanding to be petted. Junia is also an expert at keeping the incoming mail basket warm and cozy. In addition, Junia is trying to train Dragon Naturally Speaking to recognize her very peculiar American-Austrian accent. Junia is a dual citizen of the US and Austria and also enjoys kicking things off the desk with her right paw, especially pens. She entertains clients by meowing in the background. Do you have an adorable office assistant? We'd love to hear all about it.
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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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