Monday, March 19, 2018

Difficulties Professional Translators Face at the Start of their Careers by Jeff Blaylock

Have you just graduated university? Congratulations! Translation requires a profound understanding of at least two languages as well as language skills. Before you start writing your CV, take the time to sit down and think about the challenges that lie ahead. So what should you be thinking about?


When you start your translation career, you should have a specialization in mind. Think about the types of texts you enjoy translating. In order to specialize, you're going to need to be an expert in the field, have a profound knowledge of the terminology, and be familiar with all the writing conventions of your specialization. Common specializations include medical, legal, and academic translation.

Setting Your Rates

New translators often find setting their rates difficult. You should check the average prices for your language pairs and for translators where you are. A translator's rates will vary depending on their speed, experience, and expertise. Make sure that your price is fair, reflecting your translation skills.

Given that new translators will have little to no experience, it's understandable that their rates will be lower than their experienced counterparts. However, make sure you're not working for peanuts since this will have a negative effect on your self-esteem and on how potential clients see you.

Investing in Knowledge

Young and ambitious translators often make the mistake of thinking that once they've got their degree, they know everything they need to know about translation. However, after several years in the industry, you'll see just how little you knew.

Many new translators end up having to make several concessions. Firstly, it'll be difficult to command the same salary as other translators who've been in the industry for a while. To circumvent this problem, you should invest your time gaining new translation skills. By improving your skill set, you'll find it easier offsetting any lack of experience.

Since you'll probably have more free time when looking for your first projects, you'll have a lot of time for personal development.

Using Technology

Time is money. If you want to work more effectively, you should use modern technology to help you translate more quickly. While older translators might be averse to using modern technology, younger translators probably already have a good understanding of the latest technology.

When it comes to translation, both speed and quality are hugely important and clients almost always ask for both. Using CAT tools can help you translate more quickly but you can also use technology to watch webinars and complete digital training programs.

Enjoying Translation

You should enjoy your work. Of course, there'll be hard times when you're only thinking about your paycheck, you'll doubt that you made the right decision, and you'll start thinking you've chosen the wrong career. Translation is tough and it can be so mentally draining that you can start feeling trained after spending just five hours translating. Make sure you rest as much as possible.

Make sure that you keep developing your translation skills at time like these. They'll come in handy when things get difficult.

Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer and translator who's worked for for five years. He's a passionate traveler who loves nature. He loves spending time in libraries and learning new things.

Monday, March 5, 2018

7 Hacks on How to Quickly Expand Vocabulary by Brandon Stanley

Learning a new language is a great achievement, and an awesome addition to your resume. Of course, it requires patience and a lot of hard-work, but the results are totally worth it. There are three main parts to language learning: speaking, understanding grammar, and building vocabulary. We're going to focus on the latter, because without building vocabulary, you won't be able to speak any language fluently. Therefore, I would say that vocabulary building is one of the most important parts of any language learning process.

Of course, we are not addressing only non-native speakers today. Native speakers can also expand their vocabulary. Having a poor range of words at hand can be very ineffective in the long term, especially if you are preparing for a demanding career which requires a lot of talking.

So, regardless of what your reasons for being here are, we will teach you some great tips on how to expand your vocabulary quickly!

1. Read and Write Down New Words

Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary. Make time for it every day, and do not find excuses to interrupt this routine. If you are new to the language, find an easy book at first, and update your level as you go. If you are a native, try reading difficult books (since you are already used to using common vocabulary) or even specialized magazines.

When you don’t understand a particular word, look it up in the dictionary. Then, find a notebook, and write it down. Keep the notebook with you all the time, so you can write down new words whenever you need to.

2. Use Words in the Right Context

After you wrote the new words down, it's time to use them properly. Make sentences with them and find the right context. Google examples if you are not sure of a word’s usage. Read forums and get a full understanding of the word’s meaning. There are a lot of times when we use words that we don’t know to “sound fancy,” yet they don’t make any sense in the context. Avoid that by researching your words well!

3. Use Personal Examples

Specialists agree that using personal examples in sentences enhances your learning process. When your brain seizes a personal example, it will remember it better than when it seizes unfamiliar situations. For example, let’s say that you are trying to improve your English vocabulary. You encounter the word “aberration,” which means “the fact or an instance of deviating or being aberrant especially from a moral standard or normal state,” according to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

To enhance your learning process, you will use “aberration” in a personal example. For instance: “I was talking about spiritual journeys and mindfulness in a room full of conservatives. They might have perceived this as a personal aberration.”

4. Find Your Own Way of Storing New Information

“Not all people have the same capacities!” says Laura Kidman, a freelancer at Rush My Essay and former pedagogic assistant, “You need to find your own way of learning and storing new information.”

If your mind doesn't “fit the pattern,”, there's no need to feel worried about it. Be happy that you are different from the rest. For some people, associating words with visual images is the best way to remember vocabulary. For others, associating sounds with new words make them recollect what they’ve learned. Find you own way and start learning!

5. Ask Someone to Help You Practice

All you need is someone to help you practice. Ask a friend or a family member to go through the new vocabulary with you. Make them ask you random words. Then take the words and use them in sentences again. Try to make up different examples to the ones you already have.

6. Play Some Games

Playing Scrabble or Hangman is an interactive way of learning and practicing new vocabulary. Gather your friends together and have some fun! Learning is more entertaining when there are more people involved in the process! 

7. Watch Movies

Another great method of building new vocabulary is watching movies with subtitles. Pause the movie whenever you see an unfamiliar word, look it up, write it down, make up a sentence, and play the movie again. At the end of the film, make other sentences using the new vocabulary, and try to remember in what context they were used in the movie.

Building vocabulary is an amazing way to develop your language skills and improve your patience! As I was saying earlier, it takes time and effort, but you can definitely do it. Read, write, speak, engage, master! You got this!

Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles on language learning and education. Brandon also loves traveling and playing the piano. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Looking forward to hearing back from you!