As with many other professions, the Internet, particularly since the dawn of Web 2.0, has transformed the translation industry, revolutionizing the way translators connect with clients and the resources we use to support our day-to-day work. And the online world has also opened up new opportunities for translators to connect with each other and share the knowledge and reflections on the industry for mutual benefit.
Novice translators often ask me about the best places online to find resources and information on freelance translating, so below I offer my shortlist of ten websites that I visit regularly to catch up on what is happening in the industry and obtain helpful tips from colleagues. Naturally, this list is somewhat skewed towards my own language pair (Spanish-English) and my own fields of specialization (literary, legal and academic), but I hope that other translators working in other languages and fields can find something of interest here. Most of these sites are blogs maintained by individual translators who are generously give back to the industry by sharing their knowledge and ideas, but I’ve also included a few more general sites that publish articles on translation.
Tess Whitty, Marketing Tips for Translators: English-Swedish translator Tess Whitty is passionate about helping her colleagues in the industry develop their business, and to this end her blog offers a wide range of tips on how to market yourself as a freelance translator.
Lisa Carter, Intralingo: Spanish-English literary translator Lisa Carter has a wealth of information on her blog for aspiring and established literary translators, including discussions of translator contracts and copyright issues, interviews with established translators, and information on training courses in literary translation.
Louise Souter, Translations Blog: UK-based Spanish/French-English translator Louise Souter specializes in financial translation. In her blog entries she offers reflections on her professional experience that are a worthy read for newcomers and established freelance translators alike.
Catherine Christaki, Adventues in Technical Translation, LinguaGreca Translations: Catherine Christaki is a Toronto-based English-Greek translator with her finger on the pulse of the translation industry. Her blog features all kinds of tips for newcomers to the industry, as well as weekly listings of articles on translation published around the web.
Jill Sommer, Musings from an Overworked Translator: German-English translator Jill Sommer offers a blog with a plethora of handy quick tips for translators, and a lot of extremely amusing reality bites that any experienced translator will be able to identify with. With her bite-size approach to blogging she also presents a great solution to the problem of how an overworked translator is to find time to update a blog regularly.
Mox’s Blog: Madrid-based technical translator Alejandro Moreno Ramos has created a comic strip especially for freelance translators, following the plight of the hapless “Mox”. Although it hasn’t been updated recently, its archives are well worth a visit now and then for a little light relief.
TOMEDES, Smart Human Translation: TOMEDES is a US-based translation agency that maintains a blog with regular entries offering tips to freelancers, as well as tidbits of information of interest to linguists.
Aventuras de una traductora-intérprete en Madrid: I would like to have included more than just one site in Spanish, but unfortunately, although I have often come across some good quality translator blogs in Spanish, I have had a hard time finding any that continue to be updated on a regular basis. One exception is the blog maintained by Spanish translator and interpreter Aida González del Álamo, whose posts are always refreshingly personal, informative and entertaining.
Three Percent: Three Percent is a website operated by the University of Rochester, dedicated to the promotion of translated literature. The name of the website is an allusion to the disturbing fact that only around 3% of books published each year in the United States are translations (and I hate to break it to you, my fellow Canadians, but the stats aren’t much more promising north of the border), a fact that highlights the urgent need for more initiatives like this one.
The ATA Chronicle: The American Translators Association is the largest professional translators association in this hemisphere and a great source of information on the translation industry. Its monthly journal, The Chronicle, available online, publishes a wide range of articles written by established translators on issues affecting the global translation industry.
The above list is of course far from exhaustive, and I welcome recommendations from colleagues of other blogs and information sources for translators. If you have any to add, please feel free to post a comment below.