Saturday, 1 September 2012

We're moving. Wir ziehen um. Nous déménageons. Nos trasladamos

We have decided to combine two blogs. This one, usually written by Sarah Dillon, has been neglected of late due to Sarah's maternity leave. Lucy Brooks' blog, "Spotlight on CPD", has been filling the gap, but we decided to consolidate the two in a single home. From now on all our posts will be hosted here.

We will continue to post in both places for a while, but meantime suggest that you follow us at the new URL for tips and advice on high quality CPD without breaking the bank.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

We're Expanding: Welcome to Maia Figueroa!

As readers of our newsletter will know, we've added another member to our management team. Maia Figueroa has been working away behind the scenes at eCPD HQ for a while now, but we're delighted to reveal that you'll be hearing even more from her in the future.

Maia is a well-respected literary and subtitle translator based in Barcelona, with many publications and screen credits to her name.  Eagle-eared attendees will recognise her from last year's very popular webinar on Working as a Literary Translator.

Maia had the following to say about her new role:
"I'm really excited about working with eCPD. Webinars are an excellent solution for flexible translator training, and participating in the organisation of these sessions is an ideal way for me to contribute to our industry from a new perspective. I am looking forward to opening new avenues for eCPD in the Spanish-speaking market too, and to running my own webinars on new and exciting topics for our client base..."

Lucy and I are delighted to be working with Maia, and are certain that our schedule of webinars will benefit enormously from her background and experience.

Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Specialising in Financial Translation

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns

If you’ve ever wanted to specialise in financial translation, then this two-part webinar series by Javier Gil, a highly specialised and experienced financial translator, is well worth listening to.

The first session covered:
  • What is financial translation
  • Features of financial language
  • Generic problems in financial translation
  • Types of texts
The second covered:
  • Specialisation
  • Reasons for specialising
  • How to specialise
  • The specialised market
  • Trends and prospects within the sector
  • Going freelance or in-house

Financial translation can be challenging yet rewarding. It is an often overlooked yet very lucrative field.

One of the defining characteristics of financial translation is that it is forward looking, and translators in this area  need an excellent knowledge of current affairs. Context is key as it is very closely linked to political, social and demographic affairs.

Financial translation not only involves a high degree of technicality but also shares many common features with everyday language. This means translators in this field need to be aware of the technical terms as well as the everyday use of words, metaphors and neologisms, etc.

What stood out for me was Javier’s description of the movement for the use of plain language in financial translation. This is one of the reasons why we, as translators, have to remember to work on improving on the source text where appropriate, for example if it contains unnecessarily verbose language.

Javier highlighted some of the generic problems involved in translating financial texts, and provided helpful strategies in dealing with these, and discussed some of the characteristics of certain types of financial texts and what to look out for.

Documents are increasingly specialised these days, and competing on price alone is not advisable. This is one of the main reasons for specialising in financial texts. There is a scarcity of good financial translators and recruitment by large financial institutions is ongoing.

Javier named a long list of companies which he knows recruit translators on a regular basis. He also provided a list of specialised boutique agencies which specialise in financial translations.

However, it can be difficult to specialise in this field  as there is a lack of training courses in the field of financial translation. Based on his considerable experience, Javier was able to share some great recommendations for training courses in this area.

Javier also addressed in detail some resources to help translators hone their specialisation, from relatively cheap (book recommendations, websites, forums and the press) to more expensive options (postgraduate university courses and CPD).

He also covered prospects and market trends in the industry, and the kind of things prospective financial translators needs to become familiar with, such as CAT tools.

Javier ended the webinar series with a matrix of the in-house versus freelancing paradigm, and the importance of professional indemnity insurance.

Originally broadcast in November 2010. Contact us for details on how to access the recordings of these webinars.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

What to expect when working with direct clients

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns
Helen Robertson is a very experienced translator who has run her own translation business since 1992. In this webinar, she shared some great advice for translators and interpreters considering working with direct clients.

She covered a lot of the most frequently-asked questions in this area. Specifically:
  • Current industry developments driving translators and interpreters to change their client base
  • Pros and cons of different types of clients
  • Playing to your own aims and strengths
  • How to find direct clients
  • Tips on keeping direct clients happy and pitfalls to watch out for

Helen pointed out that although working with direct clients seem to have more appeal than working with translation companies, each have their advantages and disadvantages. She explained how important it is to be aware of the typical problems and pitfalls we may encounter when working with direct clients, who can come in all shapes and sizes.

Helen also discussed two ways in which to find direct clients, which she calls active and passive approaches.

The passive approach involves public advertising, having a website and being on professional registers such as the ITI Directory.

The active approach involves scanning articles and websites for opportunities, networking, being active on social media and then keeping in touch after contacts are made.

Helen also provided a creative list of sources of direct clients, from Chambers’ of Commerce to large multinational companies with translation departments.

She stressed that personal contacts and face-to-face meetings are crucial, as people are more likely to remember you if they meet you in person. Although this may be scary for introverts, taking a long-term view can help you get on with it. She advised never giving up, because finding and keeping direct clients takes hard work, perseverance and confidence.

In summary, direct clients expect:
  • a business-like approach
  • industry advice (you’re the expert and you may have to help educate the client)

When starting to think of working with direct clients, you need to:
  • have a goal in mind
  • use active and passive approaches
  • be business-like in your contact with the client

The webinar ended with an extremely informative question-and-answer session where everything was discussed, from references, CVs and brochures, to contracts.

See our online shop to access this and other past webinars.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Working as Literary Translator

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns
Maia Evans, an experienced literary translator, delivered this extremely informative webinar on working as a literary translator, addressing a range of issues which are not formally taught to translators. Maia also had some great anecdotes from her own work as a literary translator.

She covered:
  • the profile of a literary translator
  • how to get your foot in the door: some opportunities to take advantage of and methods of approaching work providers
  • time management of large projects: she shared her formula on how to split up your time so as to have enough time to translate, proofread, edit and rewrite
  • proofreading: the importance of proofreading and the stages your work goes through at the publishers
  • literary translation associations: why you should join one and the benefits they offer
  • contracts, rates, copyright and royalties 

Contracts, rates, copyright and royalties were covered in great detail. Maia also spoke about what contracts need to include, industry rates and what you can expect. She also covered different types of rights such as moral rights and economic rights.

Access this webinar on our website. Originally broadcast: 13 September 2011. Duration: 77 minutes, including question and answer session.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Working with translation agencies: how to find and keep the best

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns

Many people think translation agencies don’t pay well or are too demanding. In this webinar, experienced freelance translator Anne de Freyman definitely dispelled these myths and more, and in the process covered everything a freelance translator could want to know about working with translation agencies.

What stuck with me was Anne's point that as freelancers, we must change our mindset towards agencies. In no way does a translation agency owe us. Instead, we should view it as a business-to-business (B2B) partnership where we each have expectations and responsibilities.

We may choose to work for an agency for any number of reasons (e.g. because agencies screen clients, there’s a doublecheck system in place, direct clients are more work) but the agency is still a client. We should always bear this in mind while working towards our common goal. 

In this in-depth discussion on working with agencies, Anne covered:
  • How to find agencies to work with (either by approaching them ourselves or by being in the right place at the right time)
  • Building a mailing list (how to go about it and useful resources)
  • Choosing the right agencies (spotting the “bad” guys and choosing the right agencies to work with)
  • Establishing a presence so that agencies come to you
Anne also discussed some of the thorniest questions in the translation industry, such as test translations, rates and terms and conditions. She gave some great practical advice and alternative solutions to these issues.

She ended the webinar with a discussion of how to impress translation agencies and how to retain them. She concluded that our attitude and our work is in effect our business card.

Back by popular demand: This webinar will be re-run live on 21 February. The recording will be available afterwards for those who are unable to attend. Registration details on our website.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Specialising in Medical Translation

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns

In this webinar, Karin Band, an experienced and expert medical translator, revealed the fascinating world of medical translation. She also shared advice on dictionaries and how to carry out research in this field. In fact, her extensive research advice could be applied to any field of translation.

Karin started the webinar by discussing the following vital points:
  • What is specialisation
  • How many specialisations can you have
  • What is medicine
  • Why should you specialise
  • Who may specialise
  • When should you specialise (i.e. preparing for specialisation and knowing when to be able to claim specialist knowledge and competency)
  • Who should not work as a medical translator
She stressed that medical translation is a life-long commitment and an extremely responsible job. Translators working in this area need to continuously acquire knowledge and maintain a high standard of competency so as not to frustrate the medical industry or bring discredit on the translation profession.

Karin also reminded us that translation is knowledge-driven, and then proceeded to discuss how to acquire such knowledge as is required by a medical translator. This knowledge acquisition is in fact the research which every translator needs to do.

Research may be:
  • General
  • Job specific
  • Situational
  • Pre-acceptance

Karin discussed in detail the following three research aids for medical translation:
  • Hardware (books, dictionaries, leaflets, models etc.)
  • Software (electronic media)
  • People-ware (human informants)

Karin stressed that although we live in a digital world, translators cannot rule out the equal importance of all three of these resources. None of them are obsolete and each one needs to complement the other.

Finally, she stressed the importance of helping clients as well as colleagues. She ended the webinar with a reminder that medical translation takes considerable effort but is well worth it. 

Originally broadcast in December 2010. Access the recording of this webinar and a follow-up session with Karin Band on 1 March 2012: more details on our website.


Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.