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Arguments You Can't Argue With  | One Hour Translation

I recall, as a student, I had a geometry teacher who tried to instil some respect for logical statements. One of his favourite sayings was a variation on ‘Just because when it rains I get wet doesn’t mean that if I am wet it must be raining.’ He broke this tidbit out so often we all developed a very advanced impersonation of him. To this day if I run into old schoolmates we can all launch a little routine impersonating him. ... Continue

An Industry Institution: The Convention Floor | One Hour Translation

The translation industry is like every other industry in the universe in many ways: It’s a business, after all, and as such has a complex ecosystem of buyers, sellers, support staff, and interested onlookers. And like every other industry in the universe, we have a tradition of conventions every year where professionals in all aspects of the translation services business gather to exchange information, make sales pitches, strike deals, have a few drinks and some good dinners, and socialise. ... Continue

What to Do with Your Back-End Products  | One Hour Translation

One thing I resisted for a very long when first starting to promote and manage my own translation services was the concept of my own talents and efforts as “products.” I don’t sell products, I thought to myself, indignant, I sell my time, which has enhanced value because of my training and knowledge as a translation professional. ... Continue

Translation and Teaching ESL  | One Hour Translation

English remains the most important and popular language for people to learn as a second language around the world, and there are as many theories on the best way to learn it – or any second language, for that matter – as there are schools teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) courses – which is to say, quite a lot. ... Continue

Why Language Matters  | One Hour Translation

As a well-regarded purveyor of translation services, I’m involved in a lot of conversations with potential clients, ranging from individuals with a project they want to get into a new market to large corporations looking to augment their existing language translation talent pool or create an in-house division from scratch. Not all of these meetings result in me being hired, of course – sometimes because my rates are too high, or because we mutually decide I’m not the right fit, or some other reason. ... Continue

When Mergers Loom Large  | One Hour Translation

If you’ve never heard the term ‘merger season,’ count yourself lucky. For those of us who have, hearing it or reading it is enough to send you out for a few drinks at lunch. For those of us involved in the translation and localisation business, every year brings on what we call ‘merger season’ when at least one large localisation agency merges with someone else, causing a bit of chaos and worry among both the translation services professionals in their employ and their clients. ... Continue

Meeting Your Business Objectives Is Managing Your Content  | One Hour Translation

When contemplating a freelance or small business career, most people concentrate on a few basic things: Start-up costs, equipment needed, required training or certifications, and office space. For people interested in translation work, that’s usually all we think about. We figure we’ve got the talent locked up in our heads, all we need is a laptop, a cell phone, and someone to hire us. ... Continue

Lost in Translation  | One Hour Translation

I sometimes feel like a circus performer; when people hear I am a professional translator they often want to know why in the world I am paid to do something any bilingual person with the right language pairing could do. This question never gets old, of course – and admittedly it doesn’t happen that often, though I often feel that I shouldn’t have to deal with it at all – and I’ve considered various ways of defending my profession to people who simply don’t understand what it is a translation professional brings to the party. ... Continue

What You Really Pay Translators For   | One Hour Translation

I often speak in generalities in this space when I discuss the frustrations and challenges of being a freelancer or other small-business owner. There are, after all, certain aspects of making a living that are pretty universal. ... Continue

Why You Should Care About Your Current Clients | One Hour Translation

When you’re in business for yourself as a provider of translation services, you’re naturally both your own translator and your own sales team, and that means you’re in charge of keeping the cash flow stable. For most of us, this results in a dementedly narrow focus on new business: We all figure we’ve already got the existing customers, what we need is to ensure we keep growing – or at least hold the line on income – by keeping a steady stream of new clients coming in. ... Continue