Top of the Blogs

In the world of professional translation we’re extremely fortunate to have a whole range of excellent bloggers out there constantly producing innovative, interesting posts to keep us entertained during our down time and today I want to pay tribute to ten of my personal favourites.

With the Top 25 Language Professional Blogs section of bab.la’s annual Top 100 Language Lovers competition already providing a great (and somewhat more objectively ranked) opportunity to discover blogs you weren’t previously familiar with, I decided to add a few constraints to make compiling a list of my own a more valuable exercise:

 – I’ve included no blogs that feature in the 2014 Top 25 Language Professional Blogs: Looking beyond this list not only allows me to include ‘hidden gems’ so to speak but also demonstrates the strength in depth of blogging in the translation industry.

 – The blogs I’ve chosen are written by an individual rather than on behalf of a larger company: As an individual blogger myself I guess this is partly driven by a desire to be a champion of the ‘little guy’ but more importantly it made it a lot easier to narrow my list down to just ten selections!

 – The primary language of all of the blogs is English: Once again, this was purely to make the list a little easier to compile. I regularly read excellent translation blogs written in French, Italian and even Spanish (check out En la luna de Babel and Traducir es descubrir in particular) and it would have been a nightmare to choose between them all.

Ultimately, all of the blogs chosen consistently produce compelling posts that I just can’t resist sharing. As well as including a short overview of what each blog offers, I’ve also added a Recommended post for each entry that is typical of the unique treats provided by that particular blogger.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that there are so many other blogs that I would have loved to feature and I found it extremely tough to stop at just ten (in fact, I think that another post is already on the cards to feature those that I couldn’t squeeze in this time around). As it is, however, the chosen ten have caught my attention in recent weeks and months and I feel that they provide a strong account of what is on offer in the world of translation blogging. (Note: the blogs are in no particular order, this order simply worked well with the formatting of the post)

So go on, read a new blog today, and why not share your favourites in the comments section or on your own blog? Enjoy!

 


 

Balance your words: Taking a close look at the best ways to market yourself as a translator, the ever-increasing importance of social media in our profession, methods of maximising productivity and ultimately how to achieve balance in your career, Sara always produces top quality posts drawn from her wealth of experience in the industry.

Recommended post: 7 social media tips to help the busy translator

 


 

In Touch Translations: Emeline’s blog strikes a perfect balance between a range of topics with posts touching on everything from branding to personal reflections on life as a freelance translator. Be sure to check out her ‘What’s in a brand?’ series in particular (in which a different translation professional discusses their approach to branding in each post).

Recommended post: 4 ways you can reconnect to your business

 


 

Carol’s Adventures in Translation: Blogging in both English and Portuguese, Caroline’s blog offers a range of tips from personal experience as well as an impressive array of guest posts from professionals working throughout all areas of the translation industry. Her tips for newcomers to the industry are particularly handy.

Recommended post: Dear beginner

 


 

Which Translates To…: ‘Translation is embedded into life, art, emotions, actions. For everything we do, there’s a translation.’

With its personal, engaging posts providing you with a glimpse into the inner workings of life as a freelance translator and the world of writing, Magda’s blog is always a source of information and inspiration.

Recommended post: Why are freelance translators so good at branding?

 


 

Tranix Translations: With tips, reviews, resources and recommendations, Nikki’s blog is a veritable treasure trove of goodies! I could spend hours going through the links gathered on her regular ‘Posts of the day’ entries and I recommend that you do just that.

Recommended post: Warning about Google Translate

 


 

Your Professional Translator Blog: Olga puts it better than I ever could: “I blog about translation, marketing for translators, foreign language learning or teaching, Russian culture and traditions, my native city Vladimir and sometimes about my fam or me.” Be sure to keep up to date with her ‘Meet the linguist’ series.

Recommended post: 10 worst mistakes I made as a freelancer

 


 

Translation Wordshop: ‘Shoptalk about language, business and culture’.

The Translation Wordshop represents a recent discovery for me but it is already blog that I count among my favourites. Marie’s incisive explorations of important topics in the industry are packed with valuable, authoritative advice and the fact that I’ve only recently discovered her blog goes to show that there’s always more great content for us to find online.

Recommended post: Rebranding the translation profession

 


 

Patenttranslator’s Blog: Billed as the ‘diary of a mad patent translator’, Steve Vitek’s blog is the place to go if you’re looking for an entertaining read on a whole host of translation-related topics and beyond. Expect everything from neurotic rants to eternal truths and much, much more!

Recommended post: A Gaping Hole in the Curriculum for Translation Studies

 


 

Translation Matters: ‘Life, business, family – a blog about having it all.’

In Marion’s excellent blog you can expect insightful tips and a refreshing take on the translation industry from someone simply sharing their experiences in the profession.

Recommended post: Is Translator a Good Career? You Bet!

 


 

Transgalator: Introduced with the famous George Steiner quote “Every language is a world. Without translation, we would inhabit countries bordering on silence”, Gala’s blog goes about breaking that silence in its own unique way. Unlike the text-based blog’s above, Gala offers up a video blog in which she provides tips, advice, interviews and more. The innovative format only serves to demonstrate the range of options available to translation enthusiasts.

Recommended post: Video blogs for translators and interpreters


 

Exploring Translation Studies Online: Where to start?

With the debate raging on as to whether or not an academic background is a necessity for today’s translator (you can read my take on the subject here), an increasing number of translators are taking the plunge and working towards those translation-specific qualifications or at least considering getting a grip on the academic side of the our profession.

However, if you’re looking into the area and don’t want to immediately splash out on an extensive reading list, where do you start once you’ve ploughed through the valuable nuggets that Wikipedia has to offer on the subject?

While translation studies as a discipline is gradually increasing its online presence in this digital age, it is still relatively difficult to find useful resources among the masses of websites that skirt around the subject. As such, here are my top five online translation studies resources to map out a few key starting points that will hopefully provide invaluable insights for both experienced translators and those completely new to the wonderful world of translation alike while saving you the hassle of trawling the web.

Anthony Pym’s Youtube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/AnthonyPym/

What better place to start than with a leading figure in translation studies interviewing other leading figures in the discipline? That’s exactly what you get with Anthony Pym’s Youtube channel. Pym, current president of the European Society for Translation Studies, has clearly put a lot of effort into making the discipline more accessible and the interviews in particular provide an ideal way of exploring a range of key ideas. Also included on the channel are explorations of the different theories within translation and a whole collection of fascinating lectures.

Meanwhile, Pym’s website too is something of a treasure trove of information as he has made much of his previous research available for free online. While reading only one scholar’s take on the subject can result in a biased view of the discipline, the quality of Pym’s work means that it is worth really taking advantage of the resources on offer in conjunction with other research.

Fondazione San Pellegrino’s Youtube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/fuspit/videos?flow=grid&view=0

Along the same lines as Anthony Pym’s channel, the Fondazione San Pellegrino have uploaded a vast collection of excellent interviews and talks given by leading figures in the discipline (in both Italian and English) that are well worth a watch.

Jeremy Munday’s ‘Introducing Translation Studies’ site

http://www.routledge.com/cw/munday-9780415584890/

Another leading figure in the discipline, Munday’s companion site to his 2001 book of the same name is perfect for anyone looking to get to grips with the development of thought within translation studies. The site includes video discussions of each chapter from the author himself, suggested further reading, external links and even multiple choice quizzes to test your translation studies knowledge.

Online Journals

Journals provide the most telling representation of current trends within a discipline and therefore remain a key area to explore. A good place to start when looking for online translation journals is on Mona Baker’s website where the author of ‘In Other Words’ (thetextbook of choice for translation courses these days) has included a fairly comprehensive list of translators’ associations, translation journals and publishers in the field.

And, while many of the more famous journals like Translation Studies and The Translator require a subscription to access the texts, there are still many open-access journals out there that provide quality, free content. Two such examples are the New Voices in Translation Studies journal and the University of Helsinki’s English studies electronic journal that both provide great articles. Finally, one newly-formed translation journal that has fully embraced the digital age we live in is Translation: A transdisciplinary journal. Their website is a bit more user-friendly than the rather cluttered standard layout that can accompany journals and, while you do have to pay for the core articles, certain content (such as reviews, introductions and interviews) is available for free. It’s certainly a project worth following.

Blogs

When producing a list of the best free online resources on offer, it would be extremely careless of me to overlook the power of blogging. There are several excellent blogs out there addressing the topic of translation theory – Aston University’s blog or the About Translation blog to name but two – and I’ve tackled the topic a couple of times in the past myself too. So, if you’re looking for somewhere familiar to start you off, why not check out my brief introduction to translation theory.

Hopefully these few resources will help you get started and hopefully they will equally inspire a few of you to delve further into translation studies literature. If there are any other resources that you feel should be included, please get in touch to let me know!

Finally, although it’s not specifically translation studies material, here’s a bonus link to several free e-books on translation, terminology and linguistics. Who doesn’t love a free e-book?! Enjoy!

http://termcoord.eu/publications/e-books/

One year down: What blogging has to offer

After being spoiled with a brilliant guest post on LinkedIn last time out, this post is something a little different.

I was recently made aware (by the fairies at WordPress) that my blog had turned one and thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting year and consider how valuable a tool blogging has proven to be in the process.

So what does a blog offer you? Why should you consider making the leap if you’re not already among the league of bloggers? Maintaining a blog is certainly a considerable commitment but I believe that the rewards far outweigh the potential drawbacks and here are a few of my own thoughts on the merits of translation blogging:

1) Developing relevant skills

When I started out with my blog, I had little idea of the direction I wanted to head in and it was primarily a place to write about something I love. I was full to the brim with translation-y goodness and needed somewhere to share it. Beyond this, however, it was also a means through which I could work on my writing ability within a context of my choosing and has allowed me to increase my familiarity with different styles of content and work on different way of making topics more dynamic and appealing. While it may not seem instantly relevant, all of these skills are key aspects of a translators’ continuing development.

2) Demonstrating your know-how to potential clients and contacts

While not all of my posts are technical essays on complicated subject matter, far from it, I hope that they at least demonstrate that I know my subject well and this is one of the most valuable tools that a blog can offer. If you’re an expert in your field, then why not show it? With so many translators out there – many of them sharing the same specialist areas as you – a blog provides a platform to show off your knowledge and show that you know how to get that information across. What’s more, while you can’t encapsulate all of your knowledge into the few pages deemed acceptable in an application, a link to and a mention of your blog in your CV allows you to direct potential clients to a wealth of additional information and clients will certainly be interested in having a look at what you’ve been writing about.

3) Expanding your horizons

While at first it may prove difficult to get your content out there and get noticed, you’ll quickly find that there’s always an appetite for interesting/informative/different content. I’m a strong believer in the value of social media for freelancers and it is here that you will find the best paths to expansion. Sharing content has really helped me to integrate and interact with the Twitter translation community and this in turn has led to the development of strong ties with new contacts and clients alike. Furthermore, as your content finds its way further afield, you will see improved visibility on other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, even without a concerted personal effort, and this can only be a good thing for your business.

4) Letting people know a little bit about yourself

While my blog is by no means a personal sound board, the very topics that I choose, the way that I try to get information across and the manner in which information is presented all serve to give a strong representation of the person that I am. In an industry where people want to work with people, and not nameless machines, this is a valuable asset. As Sara discussed in her guest post last time out, this is vital to your growth as a business and blogging represents an invaluable means of demonstrating that personal touch.

5) Giving something back

Ultimately, one of the main things that I want to achieve when writing a post is for people to enjoy the content and take something (however little) away from it. The translation community is filled with excellent blogs and articles that help no end in your professional endeavours and it is great to be a small part of that and give a little something back.

Finally, I just want to thank everyone who has read and shared content during this exciting first year and I hope that there will be plenty more for you to enjoy in the coming years. Ciao!