The translating twins, Dagmar and Judy Jenner, who also run a great blog, have recently published a book, The Entrepreneurial Linguist.
The premise of their book is that translators need to run their business as though it were, well, a business. Too many of us translators view ourselves as freelancers rather than businesspeople and we act accordingly, so the Jenner twins provide a lot of helpful advice and practical suggestions for how we can act more business-like. They discuss what it means to have a business and how said business can work best for both the owner and the customers.
They start the book with the basics, such as what you should buy for your office and how you can save money on necessary goods. Then they use case studies, as is done in business school, to look at what a customer wants, what the translator and business-owner wants, and how a compromise can be reached. They also look at a variety of related topics, such as how a translator can make use of blogging and Facebook, how to negotiate and decide prices, marketing and media coverage, how to find and work with customers, why conferences and other types of professional development are useful, how to keep a good work-life balance, how to avoid isolation as a translator, why volunteer work is good to do, how to work towards and reach goals, and much more.
This is not a book about the linguistic aspects of translation or about translation theory or other such issues. Instead, The Entrepreneurial Linguist is a very detailed and thorough book about how to “run a business like a business,” even if your business is just a small one. It’s a perfect book for people just starting out in the field, but it also has useful information for more experienced translators. The Jenner twins have hit a very important point: translators must be professional, if we want to be successful and to have other people respect our profession, and this book gives tips on how to accomplish that.
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