The Bible for Freelance Translators

Surely many of you have heard of French->English translator, frequent American Translators Association (ATA) presenter and technology guru Corinne McKay. A big cornerstone of Corinne’s work is her fantastic self-published book “How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator”, for which she is currently writing the second edition. Full disclosure: Corinne is not only one of the most talented and most involved translators we know, but she’s also a good friend of Judy’s, who is often in awe of Corinne’s seemingly endless enthusiasm, expertise, and insight.
Whether you are just getting started in translation or are hoping to take your practice to the next level, Corinne’s book is a concise, easy-to-read, well-organized, and beautifully written manual on how to make it in the translation world. The chapters, which include overviews of the translation business, starting and growing your own business, home office setup, business growth, etc., contain lots of helpful information. Tips and suggestions range from important technology-related information (how to back-up your data on your computer, how to receive online faxes), to things you wouldn’t have thought of on your own (get a separate ringtone on your existing phone so you can identify the business call), to very essential aspects such as information on corporate identities, (which I found to be most helpful), tax planning, rates, invoicing, accounting, potential pitfalls, terms of service, etc. “10 ways to please a client” is also a good and important read for all of us. Under the book’s resource section, there’s a myriad of useful information on translation associations, U.S. government agencies that hire translators, etc.
As Corinne is very well versed in translation technologies, and specifically, open-source software, her chapters on translation home office technology, translation memory software, and non-Western characters set are a must-read. Judy learned from the author’s presentation at the 2005 ATA Conference in Seattle that it’s quite a necessity to get a second monitor for her computer to facilitate research and translation work. Who knew – all you need is a second video card. We had never thought about it before – and that’s where Corinne comes in with great ideas. To get your own copy, visit Corinne’s site.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the great article and your blog.

As for working with dual monitors, you can also buy a single video card with two video outputs (e.g. two DVI
connectors, or one DVI and one VGA +DVI-VGA adapter if needed). Check it out when you buy a new computer, but now most mid-range graphics cards have two video outputs (not the integrated graphics).
I have been working with two monitors for 5 years and cannot go back to a single monitor now! You are much more productive i think.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, multiple monitors can enhance your productivity. I like to have my dictionaries on an secondary monitor and my target text on my laptop's screen.

Here I found a list of dual-head graph cards:


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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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