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This page includes recordings of our free Speaking of Translation conference calls. To stream the recording online, use the embedded audio player. To download the recording, follow the instructions below the audio player. For the archives of the Speaking of Translation podcast (online streaming only), visit our podcast archives page.

Conferences, continuing education, and professional development

In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss conferences, continuing education, and professional development for freelance translators. A very special shoutout to Alaska-based Spanish to English translator Stacy Evans, who suggested this topic in a review she left us on iTunes!

As freelancers, we’re responsible for our own professional growth, and there are so many options out there. How can we best budget our available time and money, so that we get the most out of our professional development efforts. We offer specific tips on:

  • Why conferences, continuing education, and professional development are important
  • How to determine your priorities when planning for your professional growth
  • How to pursue professional development in the language professions and in your areas of specialization
  • How to make the most of your investment when you attend an in-person event
  • How to budget financially for your professional growth
  • Our favorite professional development resources

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Conferences, continuing education, and professional development

Raising bilingual children

In this episode, Eve, Corinne, and special guest Jennifer Bikkál Horne discuss strategies for raising your children bilingually–a topic that, while not directly related to translation, is of interest to lots of us in the language professions. Eve (mother of two tween/teen boys) and Jen (mother of two girls, ages 1 and 3) offer tips from their experiences as English-French bilingual moms, but these strategies are applicable to any language. Listen in to learn:

  • How they decided to raise their children bilingually
  • How they incorporate French into their kids’ lives in the US
  • How their kids have responded to the bilingual environment
  • How they find resources such as books, movies, music, TV shows, etc. to use with their kids
  • Their thoughts on raising bilingual children in your non-native language

Jen has some excellent insights on the early childhood end of the spectrum–how to expose babies and young children to another language and encourage them to speak, how to find resources that are appropriate for young children–while Eve has the perspective of 15+ years of bilingual parenting–the various phases of bilingual life as kids get older, and how her kids use French as their “secret weapon.” If you’re raising–or thinking about raising–your kids bilingually, we think this episode will be a great source of information.

Links mentioned in the episode:

The NERCh strategies that Jen uses with her daughters–especially applicable for babies and young children:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogs:

Bilingual Monkeys

Bilingual Kids Rock

Spanglish Baby

Multilingual Living

Baby Bilingual

Facebook:

French-speaking parents in the US

For other languages, use the Facebook search field to look for “bilingual kids” and ” bilingual children.”

Books:

Maintaining Your Second Language– Eve Bodeux

Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability: Ideas and inspiration for even greater success and joy raising bilingual kids – Adam Beck

Bilingual – François Grosjean

The Bilingual Edge – Kendall King

Be Bilingual – Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families – Annika Bourgogne

Podcast:

Bilingual Avenue

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Raising bilingual children

Our favorite new tips and tricks

In this episode, Eve and Corinne share some new tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently and learn new skills. Including:

      • Text-to-speech proofreading (having your computer read your translations out loud). Addendum: the text-to-speech engine in MS Word is available for Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
      • Speech-to-text dictation in Excel (rather than retyping those tedious numbers)
      • Using a tablet as a second monitor
      • Kutools for Excel, an MS Office add-on that lets you–among other things–search across multiple Excel files
      • ORCIT, the European Union’s Online Resources for Conference Interpreter Training course (thanks to Tamara Muroiwa for the recommendation)
      • PayPal.Me, a money request that uses only a link
      • The Infinity USB digital foot pedal, for controlling video and audio on your computer using your foot instead of the keyboard
      • Alt-Shift-Control, for highlighting non-contiguous text in MS Word

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      Ask Us Anything

    Ask Us Anything

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne answer listener questions, submitted via Twitter and LinkedIn for a special Ask Us Anything podcast. Listen in for our thoughts on:

    • Does per-word pricing still make sense in the age of TM and MT?
    • How many hours a day do we spend translating, and has our translation speed increased over time?
    • Do translators need liability insurance?
    • What are the must-read reference books for every translator?

    And lots more!
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    Ask Us Anything

    Setting goals for your freelance business

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss how to set goals for your freelance business. If you enjoy this podcast, you might also enjoy Eve’s book Maintaining Your Second Language, or Corinne’s online courses for freelance translators.

    At the start of the year, Eve and Corinne share some insights into setting goals for your freelance business, including:

    -How to set goals in the first place: make sure you’re being specific enough
    -How translators can apply SMART goals to their freelance businesses
    -What types of goals are helpful for a freelancer?
    -How “big crazy dreams” with more achievable sub-goals can be helpful
    -Our own goals for 2018!

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    Setting goals for your freelance business

    The basics of direct client marketing

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss the basics of marketing your freelance translation services to direct clients. We offer tips on deciding who to market to, beginner-friendly direct client marketing techniques, and what factors to consider before you start marketing to direct clients. Links mentioned in this episode:

    And if you enjoy Speaking of Translation, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or even leave us a review!)

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    The basics of direct client marketing

    Work/life balance rerun: in memory of Andy Bell

    We at Speaking of Translation were saddened to learn that our colleague Andy Bell died suddenly on August 24. Although most of us in the US knew Andy only from afar (we kept trying to get him to attend an ATA conference, but it’s a long haul from Australia!), he quickly made an impression as a smart, hardworking, big-hearted and generous colleague. Andy founded Watercooler, one of the first social media forums for freelance translators, and was always quick to offer help to colleagues who needed advice or motivation.

    We interviewed Andy for a Speaking of Translation panel on work/life balance back in 2013, and his affection for his family was obvious to everyone who listened to the episode. We are rerunning this episode in Andy’s memory, with the original introduction below.

    In this episode, we discuss how to maintain your sanity while running a thriving business, raising a family, pursuing non-work interests and contributing to the profession. Our panelists for the discussion are Scandinavian to English translator Andy Bell, English to French translator Marianne Reiner and French to English translator Karen Tkaczyk, with Speaking of Translation hosts Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay moderating. All of our panelists run full-time freelance businesses while raising families and remaining active in translation industry activities. All of them have significant non-work interests as well (sports, sideline businesses, church, community volunteering); we invited them because they strike us as people who do it all, but don’t seem stressed out or frazzled. Wondering how they do it? We’ll get their tips on how to find a work/life balance that keeps you happy, keeps money in the bank and lets you live the kind of life that you want.

    Link to The Orange Line, mentioned by Eve during the discussion.

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    Work/Life Balance

    So you want to translate books?

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss their experiences translating books and book-length projects, offering tips on how to find work translating books, how to fit books into your commercial translation workflow, and what you need to think about when negotiating book translation contracts. Links mentioned or that might be useful:

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    So you want to translate books?

    Speaking of IT: computer hardware and software tips and tricks

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne offer a variety of hardware and software tips and tricks for self-employed translators who manage their own computer systems. Including:

    • Our own hardware and software setups, with suggestions on our favorite items
    • How to prepare for and recover from a major computer crash
    • Backup systems and how to use them
    • Our favorite software tools
    • Computer “fads” that we just don’t get

    We both recently survived major IT disasters, so this topic seemed timely and important! If you have other IT suggestions for fellow translators, let us know in the comments.

    Links mentioned in this episode:

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    Speaking of IT: hardware and software tips and tricks

    Tess Whitty solves common marketing dilemmas

    Eve and Corinne interview freelance marketing expert Tess Whitty, who hosts the Marketing Tips for Translators podcast. Tess recently released a new book, Marketing Tips for Translators: the ultimate collection of tips from the podcast. Tess gives excellent, actionable advice on:

    • Crucial first steps for beginning translators
    • How to find better clients, as opposed to more clients
    • Pitfalls and best practices for developing your online presence
    • Top tips for finding direct clients

    Links mentioned during this episode:
    -Tess’ book’s page on her website
    -Tess’ book on Amazon (print and Kindle formats)
    Payment Practices, the translation agency rating database
    Translation Office 3000, accounting and administrative software
    Get Clients Now!, CJ Hayden’s website, book and courses for freelancers looking to work with direct clients

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    Tess Whitty solves common marketing dilemmas

    Maintaining your second (third, etc.) language

    Eve and Corinne discuss strategies for maintaining your second (or third, or fourth…) language. As translators, we often struggle to maintain our active speaking and writing skills in our non-native languages. Those of us who live in our source language countries may even struggle to keep our native language skills current. We discuss various ways to maintain or improve your language skills, including some ways to practice a language that you are still learning.

    Links mentioned in this episode:

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    Maintaining your second, third, or fourth language

    Getting things done: productivity and time management tips

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne offer tips for getting things done: how to get into the productivity mindset, how to form a productivity support group, and how to tailor your time management techniques to your personality. We also recommend the following podcasts on productivity:

    Tess Whitty’s interview with Get It Done Guy Stever Robbins

    Ed Gandia’s interview with Marc McGuinness, author of Productivity for Creative People

    Freakonomics’ podcast on commitment devices

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    Getting things done

    Handling the holidays as a freelancer

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss how to handle the end-of-year holidays as a freelancer. We’ve got some tips for managing clients when you’re taking time off, making the most of the holidays if you want or need to work, and what to send clients for the holidays.

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    Handling the holidays as a freelancer

    How to write a great translator resume

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss how to write a great translation-targeted resume, and when to use marketing materials other than a resume. Eve offers tips on resume etiquette, content and form, and Corinne talks about typical resume errors that her students make. Thanks to listeners Victoria and Elisa for asking about infographic resumes and when to use marketing materials other than a resume. We answer their questions, and offer some non-resume options for translators marketing to direct clients.

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    How to write a great translator resume

    Translating outside the box: beyond legal, financial, and medical

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss how to identify, market to, and successfully work in non-traditional translation specializations. Drawing on their own experiences translating children’s books, personality tests, university marketing materials, and zombie role-playing games (really!), Eve and Corinne offer ideas of other non-traditional specializations that translators might want to pursue, along with some pluses and minuses of working in the non-traditional market.

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    Translating outside the box

    Outsourcing for translators: a joint podcast with Tess Whitty of Marketing Tips for Translators

    As a freelance translator, what tasks might you want to outsource? How can you benefit from outsourcing? How do you find the right people to handle the tasks you want to outsource? For this episode, we’ve teamed up with Tess Whitty, host of the popular podcast Marketing Tips for Translators. We’ve included specific tips on what to outsource, where to find people to whom you can outsource, what newer translators should consider outsourcing first, and some of the benefits of outsourcing. Note that we’re referring to non-translation tasks, not to outsourcing translation work.

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    Outsourcing for translators

    Self-publishing: tips and tricks for translators who are also authors

    In this episode, Eve and Corinne discuss tools, platforms and methods for self-publishing your own books or books you’ve translated. We delve into the entire book creation and production process, including how to compose the text of your book, design the interior, design the cover, choose a print-on-demand platform and then market your book. This information is drawn from our experiences self-publishing our own books, as discussed in our previous Book Launch episode.

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Amazon CreateSpace
    Lulu Press
    Scrivener authoring software
    LyX DTP software
    E-junkie digital download service
    BookBaby e-book distribution service
    Sue Campbell, freelance book designer

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    Self-publishing: options for authors and translators

    Book launch! Eve and Corinne’s new publications

    In this episode, Speaking of Translation co-hosts Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay discuss their newly-released books.

    Eve’s book Maintaining Your Second Language: practical and productive strategies for translators, teachers, interpreters and other language lovers is available in print and electronic versions. It’s a handbook of fun and useful strategies for keeping up a language that you speak at a high level but don’t use all the time (which could even be your native language, or your fourth language!). Eve presented on this topic at a past ATA conference (and for the French translators’ association–SFT), and many attendees commented that she offered all-new tips that they had never considered.

    Corinne’s book is the third edition of her popular business book How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator. It’s available in print and electronic versions, or as a direct-download PDF on Corinne’s website. With over 10,000 copies sold, this book has become a go-to handbook for beginning and experienced translators alike, and the new edition features an all-new technology chapter by Jost Zetzsche, translation technology guru and author of the popular Took Kit translation technology newsletter.

    We discuss what’s inside these books, who can benefit from them and how we went about creating them!

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    Speaking of Translation Book Launch!

    Being a freelancer and being a dad: an interview with Miguel Armentia, Jonathan Downie, and James Perry

    Hot on the heels of our Being a freelancer and being a mom episode (which logged almost 1,000 downloads in its first week!), we’ve put three freelancing dads in the hot seat. We asked them about many of the same topics as our freelancing moms: how they managed taking time off when their kids were born, how they handle work, child care/school and family responsibilities now, and what they tell their clients about their family situations. We think you’ll enjoy this episode (lots of inspiration and creative ideas for other freelancing dads!), and thanks very much to our guests:

    Miguel Armentia has academic degrees both in biochemistry and translation, and became a full-time freelance translator in 2008. Miguel translates English and French into Spanish and specializes in medical and IT translation. In addition, Miguel is a member of the IT Commission of Tremédica (the International Association of Translators and Editors in Medicine and Applied Science). He is the dad of two daughters, ages 1 and 3 1/2.

    Jonathan Downie is a conference interpreter working between French and English, as well as a researcher, writer and speaker. He is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he lives with his wife and two children who are 1 ½ and 3. He is currently finishing a PhD on expectations of interpreters at Heriot-Watt University and writing his first book, 10 Challenges for the Future of Interpreting, as well as serving on the board of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

    James Perry is a French-to-English freelance translator and lives in a Scottish Highland glen with his wife and 8-year-old adopted daughter. He is an Associate member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. James specializes in subtitle translations for French media companies. He translates current affairs programmes, documentaries, cooking programmes and films: these include police thrillers and romantic comedy! He loves the variety and the fact that he is always learning.

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    Being a freelancer and being a dad

    Being a freelancer and being a mom: an interview with Elena Langdon and Jennifer Nielsen

    Running a freelance business and raising a family can be a great fit, but combining those roles can result in a lot of stress, and requires planning, prioritizing, and of course flexibility and a good sense of humor! For this episode on being a freelancer and being a mom (stay tuned for our next episode on being a freelancer and being a dad!), Eve and Corinne spoke with two moms who balance their significant family responsibilities with extremely active professional lives:

    Elena Langdon is a Portuguese-English translator and interpreter and a former chair of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. She grew up in Brazil and now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children, ages 2, 4 and 7. Elena specializes in medical, legal and social science work and is an active interpreter and translator trainer.

    Jennifer Nielsen is a Spanish-English translator and interpreter and the immediate past president of the Mexican Translators Association. She is originally from Colorado and now lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with her husband and her twin sons who are almost a year old. Jennifer works with Mexican businesses that are expanding into the US market, especially in the areas of law, marketing and academia.

    We pulled Jennifer and Elena away from their extremely busy lives and asked them for their insights on:

    • Maternity leave: how long to take off and how to talk to your clients about it
    • Child care: what their child care situations are, and whether they try to work with their kids at home
    • Managing the uncertainty of freelancing with small kids: what happens when the kids are sick, or the babysitter is sick, or there’s a snow day?
    • Client relations: how much their clients know about their personal lives
    • The boiling point: how do they avoid being overwhelmed by stress and exhaustion, and what do they do when they are overwhelmed?

    If you’re a freelancer and a mom, we think you’ll really enjoy this episode!

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    Being a freelancer and being a mom

    Tips from a project manager turned freelance translator: an interview with Angela Benoit

    Our interviewee Angela Benoit launched her freelance French<>English translation business (yes, she really is a native speaker of both languages!) after working as a translation project manager in New York for over six years. Angela has now been freelancing for about a year and a half, and she recently shared some of her insights from both sides of the translation industry: How can a translator move from an agency’s roster to actually getting work? Are rate negotiations just about the money, or are there other factors? How can project managers find the best translators, or help the best translators find them? This interview is chock-full of helpful information for translators and project managers alike!

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    Tips from a project manager turned freelancer

    Exploiting your subject matter expertise: an interview with Stephanie Strobel

    Acting as Speaking of Translation’s roving reporter in Paris, France, Eve met up with and interviewed specialized French to English translator Stephanie Strobel. Stephanie talks about her experience having a very specific area of expertise within translation, and how all translators can benefit from developing a niche of their own.

    Stephanie works out of her office in Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia, specializing in hard-core engineering texts and other technical areas. She is a sought-after translator for these types of texts, since, as she says, she speaks three languages: English, French and Engineering!

    Listen to Stephanie’s success story and hear takeaways for your own translation business and how you (and your clients!) can benefit from you focusing on a specific subject area and developing your own subject matter expertise.

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    Exploiting Your Subject Expertise

    The freelance juggling act: balancing work, family and the rest of life

    Andy Bell, Marianne Reiner and Karen Tkaczyk, interviewed by Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay (aired live on December 16, 2013)

    We discuss how to maintain your sanity while running a thriving business, raising a family, pursuing non-work interests and contributing to the profession. Our panelists for the discussion are Scandinavian to English translator Andy Bell, English to French translator Marianne Reiner and French to English translator Karen Tkaczyk, with Speaking of Translation hosts Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay moderating. All of our panelists run full-time freelance businesses while raising families and remaining active in translation industry activities. All of them have significant non-work interests as well (sports, sideline businesses, church, community volunteering); we invited them because they strike us as people who do it all, but don’t seem stressed out or frazzled. Wondering how they do it? We’ll get their tips on how to find a work/life balance that keeps you happy, keeps money in the bank and lets you live the kind of life that you want.

    Link to The Orange Line, mentioned by Eve during the discussion.

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    Work/Life Balance

    International payment methods: an overview

    Eve Bodeux, interviewed by Corinne McKay (aired live on September 24, 2013)

    We all know that it costs money to make money, but Eve tells you how to keep the most money in your pocket when sending or receiving international payments. Eve discusses the pros and cons of PayPal, international bank accounts, foreign currency exchange services, TransferWise, Translator Pay, and other services. Bonus feature: a preview of the upcoming 2013 American Translators Association conference.

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    International Payment Methods

    Q&A interview: finding direct clients through industry conferences

    With Corinne McKay and Joanne Archambault, PhD
    Corinne McKay interviews French to English translator Joanne Archambault about how she built a thriving direct client business, literally from ground zero, by attending conferences and trade shows for French orthopedics professionals. Joanne describes how she identified conferences to attend, what she did while she was at the conferences, and how she followed up with her contacts afterward. A gold mine of advice (really!) for anyone looking to work with direct clients in their specialization.

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    Finding direct clients at conferences

    Q&A call: freelance sabbaticals abroad, Part II

    With Eve Bodeux, Corinne McKay and Tess Whitty (aired live on March 20, 2013).
    In this call, we check in on the results of Eve’s five-month stay in France, Corinne’s two-month stay in Switzerland and Italy, and talk to Tess Whitty who is midway through her year-long stay in Sweden. Our traveling translators offer tips on phone service, mail forwarding, taxes, coping with time differences, and using your sabbatical as a professional development and language improvement opportunity.

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    Freelance sabbaticals abroad: part II

    Links mentioned in this call:

    • My family’s language immersion experience in France, a post that Eve wrote for SpanglishBaby, focusing on her two sons’ experience going to a French-speaking school in France
    • Lake Geneva to Salzburg by bike, a post that Corinne wrote for her blog, focusing on the logistics of her family’s 600-mile bike trip during the summer of 2012
    • The Business of Translation, Tess’ blog, which features various posts about her experience living and working in Sweden
    • Vonage, the voice over IP phone service that Corinne and Eve both used during their trips
    • Talkatone, the smartphone calling service that Tess uses in Sweden (and which she used during this conference call!)

    Q&A call: freelance sabbaticals abroad

    With Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay (aired live on June 13, 2012).
    We all know that location independence is one of the assets of being a freelancer, but how do we actually take our businesses on the road? Eve and Corinne discuss picking a location for your freelance sabbatical, managing your clients, choosing appropriate technology and managing your banking and finances. Thanks to Tess Whitty of Swedish Translation Services for her contributions to this call!

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    Freelance sabbaticals abroad: part I

    Q&A call: Jost Zetzsche answers all your translation technology questions

    (aired live on March 21, 2012)
    Translation technology guru Jost Zetzsche answers questions about using a TM tool for editing, choosing a terminology management system, integrating translation management, content management and machine translation, creating terminology blacklists and choosing a quality assurance tool

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    Jost Zetzsche on translation technology

    Q&A call: insider tips for a successful freelance business

    (aired live on January 25, 2012)
    Eve Bodeux, Corinne McKay and surprise guest Chris Durban answer questions about translation QA software, marketing to direct clients, finding well-paying translation agencies, the future of translation and localization management, managing your time as a freelancer and selecting the best translation tool for you.

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    Insider tips for a successful freelance business

    Links mentioned in the January 2012 Q&A call:

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22 responses to “Listen!

  1. Pingback: Working with direct clients: tips from Chris Durban « Thoughts On Translation

  2. Hello!
    Thank you so much for all the info provided on Episode 5. Could you please let me know when you will do the one on international banking?
    Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day!
    Desirée

    • Corinne McKay

      Desiree, thanks for your comment. We’re working on a webinar on international payment; feel free to join our mailing list (on the home page) and we’ll let you know when it’s ready for registration!

  3. Pingback: Passing as “one of them”: the client Turing test « Thoughts On Translation

  4. I am very pleased to have found a link to your site in The 207th Tool Box Newsletter – Premium Edition. Thank you for the effort you have made putting this site together.

    Best regards,

    Maria Diehn

  5. Martin Marquez

    In terms of chip and pin prepaid debit cards I can recommend Fairfx.com. They offer excellent exchange rates.

  6. Thank you for the freelance sabbatical abroad part 2 conversation. It came at a perfect time as I’ll be in France for a month this spring. If you have Vonage, you can download a software and an extension for the cell phone; this will allow you to use your own smartphone in France, but you need to know where the wifi hotspots are in advance. I intend to try this and see how well it works, and will report back.

  7. Pingback: 10 Things freelance translators could do everyday | englishandportuguese

  8. Vonage didn’t work on my cell phone while I was in France, but Skype did, and I needed to know beforehand where the free wifi spots were; this worked most of the time. On my next trip, I’ll probably invest in a cheap local cell phone and buy prepaid minutes. I thought I wouldn’t need a local cell phone, but it would’ve come in handy on a couple of occasions.

  9. Hi Corinne and Eve, I love your podcasts! I’ve been listening to them on my lunch breaks to inspire me between translations:). I wanted to ask- do you post the MP3 links for your archived posts anywhere? I can’t see them on the ‘podcast archives’ page and would really like to download them onto my ipod as I often go for a walk in my lunchbreak. Take care and looking forward to listening to your new podcast on software localisation this afternoon!
    Claire

  10. Hi Corinne and Eve. Please, what are the terms of use for your RSS feeds? I have an app, to which i would like to add RSS posts about translation.

  11. Hello Corinne and Eve,

    Thanks for producing such great podcasts! I’ve just caught up with your latest and loved the tablet as a second screen suggestion. Hadn’t even thought of it!

    Since you’re open to questions and topics for future podcasts, I thought I’d ask about retainer fees with direct clients. I realise it’s not common practice in the translation industry but perhaps you have some experience or advice?

    Thanks,
    Becky

  12. Hi Corinne and Eve!
    I’ve been trying to access and listen to your old podcasts, but I can’t seem to stream them from the website nor is it available on the iTunes Podcast.
    Is there any way for me to get access to them?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Jamie! It’s an issue with the old podcasts that we stored on Dropbox (Dropbox changed their public link system at some point). Let me know if there’s a specific podcast you want to listen to and I can try to dig it up.

    • Hi, Jamie – what Corinne said 😉

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