Mittwoch, 29. Mai 2013


I came across this inspirational video the other day - and found it also very applicable to translators! Enjoy!


Donnerstag, 23. Mai 2013

Neue Herausforderung

Tja, man muss scheinbar nur laut genug sagen, wenn etwas nicht passt, und schon ändern sich die Dinge...

Dieses Jahr hatte ja eher langsam angefangen und nicht viel besser weiter gemacht, wie ich in meinem Geständnis berichtet habe. Zwar hatte ich immer wieder Aufträge, aber nicht so beständig und groß, wie ich das gerne hätte und gewohnt war. Ich hatte sogar schon mit dem Gedanken gespielt meine Preise zu senken - ein eindeutiges Indiz dafür, dass es nicht so toll läuft im Moment!

Und dann kam auf einmal ein Anruf... und nach dem Anruf eine Mail... und auf meine Antwortmail wieder ein Anruf.... und dann heute ein Vorstellungsgespräch... und jetzt?

Jetzt bin ich die neue Dozentin für die Fächer Dolmetschen und EDV-gestützte Terminologiearbeit und Übersetzen an der niegel-nagel-neuen staatlichen(!) FAK Weiden! Ab Herbst zunächst mal mit 5 Wochenstunden, wenn alles gut läuft dann im darauf folgenden Schuljahr 12 Wochenstunden.
Grundgehalt und Krankenversicherung (und auch ein bisschen zusätzliche Altersvorsorge) sind somit erstmal sicher gestellt, und das beruhigt doch ungemein.
Außerdem darf ich mitbestimmen, welches CAT-Tool angeschafft wird und wie das Sprachlabor aussehen wird! Dieser Sommer wird also noch richtig aufregend!

Ich freue mich und bin sehr gespannt, wie das wird, auch wenn es mich natürlich in meinem Freiberuflerdasein etwas einschränkt. Aber ich habe gleich fest gemacht, dass ich für Dolmetscheinsätze frei gestellt werde und die Stunden dann nachgeholt werden, so dass ich auch weiterhin das tun kann, was ich so liebe, nämlich Dolmetschen!

Also, wieder eine neue Herausforderung für mich, aber das brauche ich ja auch hin und wieder, nicht wahr? ;o)

Freitag, 17. Mai 2013

Tipps about blogging for business

I was just out of the office for over a week (longer than originally scheduled and planned), and now faced with the task of writing this week's blog post, I dug up this post from Marqui CMS. Unfortunately, it's a bit older (October 2010) and no longer online, but still applicable in my opinion.
I feel it's perfect for the occasion, since I set myself the goal to post at least once a week, no matter what, and that has been quite a challenge more often than not...

6 Things I’d Tell Someone Who Wants to Start a Business Blog (that I wish someone would have told me)

Oct. 01, 2010
Here’s a quick list of things I wish I had known when setting out to create a business blog:
  1. You should write everyday, but writing everyday doesn’t mean publishing everyday. You should constantly be thinking about what you’ll write about, and you should be writing down whatever comes to mind.  Every now and again that might come together into something you can use, often it won’t.  The point isn’t to blog on demand, but to occasionally knock out a post that demands to be read.
  2. Just because you posted something to be read doesn’t mean it will be. Post quality isn’t what gets readers, its what retains readers.  I know, I know, it sucks.  If it makes you feel any better, you’re going to look back on the stuff you’re writing now in a few months and want to delete it all.  If you write daily, you will get much, much better.  You have no idea.
  3. You need a crank for generating readers. If you can’t turn the crank on demand but rely on events like a once in a lifetime ad buy or something, you don’t have a process, you have pixie dust.  Find a number of effective methods for driving incremental traffic and work the process.  There are some very basic and ways to promote your new blog without spending money, without including topless pictures in your posts, and without trying to out-hack Google’s Search Ranking hackers.
  4. Temper your expectations about readership. Your daily blogs about the solar cell you invented that will result in free, renewable energy for all of mankind will get .000001 of the traffic that a post debuting a picture of Britney spears not wearing makeup for the first time will get.  I’m sorry, its not personal, it’s just the internet.  If you’re blogging about a niche topic, be the best blogger in that niche. 
  5. Blogging is great because there’s very little barrier to entry.  Blogging is horrible because there’s very little barrier to entry. If your blog only took you 20 minutes to set up, it probably looks like it only took 20 minutes to set up.  Think about how much time you’ll put into writing for and promoting your blog.  You are not just a writer, but also a publisher.  Make it your own.  Be proud of it.  Get comfortable there.  It’s your new office.
  6. Other bloggers aren’t your competitors; they’re your partners, your readers, and your sales and marketing channel. The average blog is about 300 words long and takes about 90 seconds to read.  Anybody who went to all of the trouble to find your blog buried in the corner of the WWW isn’t going to read just one little lonely blog post.  People don’t read from just one blog and they wouldn’t need an RSS feed if they did.  You’re not competing for eyeballs against other bloggers, even within the same space.  The blogging audience is hungrier than you can possibly imagine.
These are, by no means, the only things to know about blogging.  There are lists and lists of lists.  But these are some key things that, having known them, I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy.

Mittwoch, 8. Mai 2013

Sollte ich kostenlos arbeiten / Should I work for free?

Als freiberuflicher Übersetzer passiert es einem immer wieder: die Anfrage nach einer kostenlosen Übersetzung. Wie man am besten darauf reagiert? Hier ist eine tolle und wirklich hilfreiche Graphik:
Sollte ich kostenlos arbeiten?

As a freelance translator it happens again and again: the request for a free translation. How to best react to it? Here's a really helpful chart:
Should I work for free?

Freitag, 3. Mai 2013


After my confession a few weeks ago – and receiving some quite encouraging responses from you, thanks again so much! , I have received one larger and a few small jobs, but still nothing steady, the way it used to be before “the slump”. 

I also had the opportunity to speak with one of my agency clients about the slow start of my business year. It was quite enlightening – apparently, I am one of their more expensive translators, which is why they don’t offer me that many jobs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that they have to make money, too, and they are certainly doing their job as an agency, so I’m not complaining about that. 
However, it seems there are translators on their list who charge almost half of my word price?! They do take a lot longer to finish a job, but still… I always wonder how they can survive. You can only work that many hours a day and produce good quality, after all. The answer is probably that they don’t have to, since they most likely have a bread-earning spouse or partner at home who pays (at least most of) the bills. 

It did make me wonder, too, though, whether it would be worth it to maybe lower my rates just a little to be more competitive, at least until things pick up again. But of course, my sensible business-self immediately jumped up and shouted: “Don’t do it!” And she is right, of course. How do I decide that things are picking up again? And how am I going to raise my rates back up once they do? How can I justify it to existing clients (who would probably be absolutely thrilled about a discount)? I would probably only hurt my future business more, even if it did mean more work now. 

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Or do you have another idea on how to be more competitive during an economic downturn?