Three interesting books were on sale at the conference: Eve Lindemuth Bodeux’s Maintaining Your Second Language (“practical and productive strategies for translators, teachers, interpreters and other language lovers”); Tess Whitty’s The Marketing Cookbook for Translators (“foolproof recipes for a thriving freelancer career”); and the 3rd edition of Corinne McKay’s How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator.
|Eve, Tess and Corinne with their books|
The second session was “Inside the Mind of a Project Manager: Common Questions and Concerns”, a presentation on how to work better with beleaguered project managers, delivered with verve by Andie Ho. Andie spoke of the care and feed of PMs (i.e., how to keep them happy). She mentioned such common-sense things as making sure we keep communication channels open, being honest about our abilities, and not being afraid of asking intelligent questions. No platitudes such as “there is no such a thing as a dumb question” from Andie: her rule of thumb is that if you can find the answer within two minutes with a simple Google search, then, yes, the question was dumb and wasted the PM’s time. Final thoughts from Andie’s presentation: “PM are not out there to get you—are you out to get your PM?”
The next presentation was “Creating a Compatible Customer Base within the Language Services Industry”, by Karen Tkaczyk, on how to get a better class of clients. The main takeaway for everyone here was that the “ideal customer” doesn’t exist, and that we should aim instead at assembling an ideal basket of good customers.
“Automating Termbase Creation”, by Sameh Ragab (who came to Boulder all the way from Egypt just for the conference), was a must-go presentation for anyone interested in translation tools. Sameh answered the question “Why is terminology important?” by saying that good terminology helps make our translations more clear, consistent and easier to review, thus achieving faster turnaround. Good terminology increases brand value, both for clients and for us. I’m looking forward to reading Sameh’s presentation on the CTA’s website: he promised he would include references to all the enticing programs he described.
|Sameh Ragab, outgoing CTA President Thaïs Lips, myself and Andie Ho|
On Sunday we took part in two workshops: “Create Focus and Simplify Your Marketing Efforts with a Marketing Plan for Your Translation Business”, by Tess Whitty, and “It’s All About Style: Creating Consistent Documents for Clients” on how to create a style sheet to improve consistency, by Alice Levine. This session on creating a style sheet was an eye-opener, for me: I didn’t know that the best way to create a style sheet is not while translating, writing, or editing, but as a separate step, when all your attention goes to deciding what should go on the style sheet. After the exercises we did during the workshop, now I see why: it’s important, and deserves full, undivided concentration.
The setting, once again at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the foothills above Boulder, contributed stunning views and a beautiful mountain environment just outside the conference.
|Sketch of NCAR from afar|
P.S. I haven't mentioned the presentations that I didn't get to, but if anybody who has attended them would like to send me a brief recap of what was said there, I'd be happy to add to this post.