Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Advice for Translators

This list offers advice for translators, and it includes a mention of me.

Tip 1 is to “Make your skills known to family and acquaintances. A friend of a friend of a cousin can become your best client.”

I always advise students and other new translators to do this. Treat yourself like a professional and tell everyone you know that you’re a translator. You never know who might need your services! 

Check out the other tips too.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Market Research

Check out this journal. It accepts work translated to English, as long as it hasn’t previously been published in English, and is on Jewish themes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

FAQ – Hours

I receive a lot of emails from people looking to get into translation and many of the questions I’m asked are common. So occasionally I try to answer them here.

One that I get asked is how long the hours are. This is one of the hardest questions to answer, because it depends. How many hours you work depends on how much work you get asked to do, how much work you want to do, what type of projects you take on, and how much time and energy each assignment requires.

You could take on one short translation job each month or you could work more than full-time as a translator.

Personally, I’ve been at both extremes, and it’s depended on my circumstances (i.e. how dependent I am on the income from translation and what other jobs I have). You can fairly easily build up a career as a freelance non-fiction translator, but to work full-time as a literary translator is generally harder.

How many hours a week do other translators work?

Monday, February 09, 2015

Arrant Pedantry

Check out this blog. It has a lot of fascinating posts about “editing, usage, prescriptivism and descriptivism, and other language issues.”

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Little Red Schoolhouse

I was recently told about the Little Red Schoolhouse writing method and form of writing instruction, which was started at the University of Chicago in the 1980s. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before.

According to this website,

“LRS is an approach to writing instruction that proceeds from several core principles:
• Readers come to any text with a fairly predictable set of questions and expectations. (These expectations vary somewhat according to the community or discipline: literary critics v. behavioral psychologists v. political scientists.)
• Effective writing anticipates and responds to these predictable questions and expectations.
• In order to produce effective writing, good writers employ a fairly predictable set of routines in order to plan, draft, revise, and edit.
• Students who come to understand readerly expectations and writerly routines produce more persuasive arguments more efficiently.
• Most students already have good intuitions about what readers want and what writers do: our job is to help them articulate and define those intuitions, so that they can more consciously control their writing.
• Our teaching begins with intuition then proceeds to the principle.
• Students learn routines best by "over-learning" them; that is, by practicing until the routines are internalized and students can produce them with minimal effort. Because reading and writing are complicated tasks, it's best to break them down into manageable pieces, or sub-routines, for students.
• Once students are comfortable with the routine, they can learn and practice techniques for manipulating their writing to produce a range of effects.”

It sounds quite basic and sensible, and worth looking into for anyone who writes and/or teaches writing.