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Agency vs Direct Client

Hello everyone!

This time I want to talk about the differences in working as a freelance translator with a translation agency versus working with a direct client.

In my experience, you can have a good working experience with both, but there are some important differences.

Let’s do pros and cons lists for both!

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Pros of working with a translation agency:

  • Usually, they are big companies with experience in the field.
  • They tend to be more trustworthy when it comes to payments (there are exceptions) and offer several payment methods.
  • Their client portfolio can include important corporations that prefer to work with agencies than directly with a translator.
  • Some agencies are a big deal in the industry, and if you manage to work with at least one of them, it can be a great addition to your resumé.

Cons of working with agencies:

  • They tend to pay really low rates because the biggest part of the clients’ payments is for them.
  • They take longer to pay. Normally, agencies can take from 30 to 60 days to pay, which is quite a lot of time, especially if this is your only income.
  • Sometimes you might get to work with a difficult PM or with different PMs for each project, which can create doubt and confusion.
photo of woman using her laptop
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Pros of working with direct clients:

  • Their rates are better because there is no middle-man involved.
  • They can pay faster, some pay within days of receiving the translation, it depends on their internal payment procedures.
  • You get to work directly with the person who needs the translation, so the communication is much more direct and flows with ease.
  • They tend to offer long-term projects, that in the end are way more convenient than a bunch of little projects here and there.

Cons of working with direct clients:

  • They might not respect your “working hours”. If they need to tell you something they consider urgent, they probably write or call you at any time of the day, even during the weekends.
  • Sometimes, if they are not familiar with how translation works, they might ask for really ridiculous deadlines. Who hasn’t had a client asking for an “urgent” translation for “today” at 5 pm on a Friday? 😉
  • You have to do some research to see if they are reliable, especially when it comes to payments. You can ask colleagues who have worked with them or even asked them for references (if they ask you for references, you can do the same!).
  • If your primary contact is not familiar with your work, you might find it hard to make them understand why the project would take as long as it would and why the cost is what it is.

There are many more pros and cons, I am just presenting a short version of it, but if you can you think of any other important pros and cons, let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, have a great day and I cannot wait to hear all about you! Remember to subscribe to my blog!

 

 

Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Women’s History Month 2021

Hello everyone!

March isn’t over yet, and that means that we are still celebrating Women’s History Month. On March 8, we celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day.

Today I wanted to share with you a bit about how Women’s History Month got started. Thanks to the Women’s History Organization for the information.

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the US as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year.

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In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.

Subsequent Presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme. The theme for Women’s History Month in 2021 captures the spirit of these challenging times. Since many of the women’s suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the National Women’s History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.

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Of course, this celebration has transcended borders and it is no longer just celebrated in the US. Many countries around the world celebrate Women’s History Month in March, whether it is official or not.

But we shouldn’t celebrate women just one month of the year; women should always be celebrated. The mothers, the daughters, the sisters, the friends, the colleagues, the neighbors…all the women in our lives should be celebrated every single day.

During this celebration, we often talk about the women we admire. The woman I admire the most is my mom. She’s the strongest, most wonderful woman I know. She’s a great example and inspiration to follow not just for me, but also for my nieces.

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Thank you to all the strong and amazing women reading this, and also to the incredible men who always support and stand by us!

I’d love to know how you are celebrating Women’s History Month! Make sure to leave me your comments about it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

As a reminder, you can get a 15% discount on a beautiful swimsuit from Bright Swimwear by using my code: ILDU15. If you want to know more about my collaboration with them, don’t miss this blog post Brand Ambassador!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

10 Myths About Translators

Hi everyone!

This is my second blog post of the year and the 60th overall!

Today I want to talk about some myths related to translators. If you are a translator, you probably already heard all of them 😉

Translators like working for free

Unless it is a volunteer translation or if translation is not your main source of income, no translators don’t like working for free. Translating is like any other job and we like to get compensated for the work we do. Just because we work from home, doesn’t mean that we don’t like to receive the same perks as if we worked in a regular office.

Translators must be available 24/7

Unless you don’t want to have any sleep or eat or have any life at all, no translators are not available 24/7. Like any other job, we have business hours and most of us don’t work on weekends and take holidays. Again, just because we are freelancers doesn’t mean that we have to be “connected” all the time. And we have to make sure that our clients understand that. So, please don’t advertise yourself as being available 24/7 if you want to have a healthy balance between work and your personal life.

Anyone who speaks two languages can be a translator

This one I hear all the team. You can speak, two, three, five, eight languages, but that doesn’t make you a translator in any of them. To become a translator, you have to prepare yourself, you have to study for a university career. You may have a native inclination for languages and translation but to become a fully accomplished translator, you need to obtain certain skills that you can only learn or improve by studying them.

Translators and Interpreters are the same thing

Another one that is used all the time. Ok, let’s make this one easy: translators convey their work in writing, while interpreters convey their work orally. And no, not all translators are interpreters and vice versa. Although some people study to become both, most people become just one. Becoming an interpreter is a whole other ball game.

Machine translation will take over translators’ work

Even with machine translation, you’ll always need a translator to review the work made by the machine. MT can be helpful for large projects but the translations themselves will always need human eyes to make sure that all the translations are properly done. Usually, a machine won’t recognize among genders, singular or plurals, proper names, and so forth. MTPE or Machine Translation Post-Editing is a job that will always need a human translator.

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Translators can translate any subject matter as long as the material is in a language they know

As translators, we can translate almost anything, but we also tend to specialize in certain areas that we are more familiar with. For instance, I am a Legal Sworn Translator so I have no problems translating legal documents, but I don’t have a lot of experience with Forex and cryptocurrency, so I know that I would not accept translations from those fields. I could probably do the translations using specialized glossaries and dictionaries, but it will never be as good as when done by a translator who has experience in that field.

Translators can deliver any translation with little or no turn-around time

No, we can’t. Clients want high-quality work, but that kind of work cannot be delivered with little or almost no turn-around time. Remember that besides translating, we also proofread our translations. We need a reasonable amount of time to make sure we deliver our best work.

Translators shouldn’t negotiate or increase their fees

Not an easy thing to do or understand. When you start working as a freelance translator your fees won’t be very high, but as you become a more experienced translator, you can and should negotiate, renegotiate and increase your fees. Your clients can’t expect you to use the same fees that you started with forever.

All translators will deliver the same translation

The process of translations is quite complex, and each translator has her or his approach to the language being used. Let’s say that three translators take on the same source document, you will end up with three different translations. The variations probably won’t be too many or too different, but you have to consider where each translator is from, what their background is, if they are speakers of different forms of the language (for example, if they translate into Spanish from Spain or from Latin America).

Translators don’t mind doing unpaid tests

This is a huge myth and misconception. We are not against taking tests for clients before they grant us a project, but those tests should be paid. We are dedicating time and effort to it, so we should be compensated for that.

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Can you think of more myths about translators? Please share them in the comments and I’ll make sure to share them in a follow-up post 🙂 And don’t forget to subscribe!

As a reminder, you can get a 15% discount on a beautiful swimsuit from Bright Swimwear by using my code: ILDU15. If you want to know more about my collaboration with them, don’t miss this blog post Brand Ambassador!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

A New Beginning

Hello everyone!

This is my first blog post of 2021! It is great to be back, with my energies recharged after my vacation for the holidays. It was great to disconnect for a few days, I definitely feel ready to start this year.

Every year gives us an opportunity for a new beginning, and we seldom take it. After such a rough year 2020 was, I think most of us feel a bit reluctant to get excited about starting a new year, like we don’t want to jinx it!

But we should leave 2020 in the past and give 2021 a chance. The pandemic situation is not going to change any time soon. It is something that we need to learn to live with, but at least we already know this and if we accept it, we’ll be able to move forward.

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This year I want to change a couple of things. During the holidays I was able to think about what I want from this new beginning. Here are some of the things I’m doing different this year:

  1. I’ll only publish one blog post per month. I published two per month last year, and although I do enjoy writing, it gets more difficult to find new topics and it does take a lot of my time. I’d rather publish more quality content than quantity.
  2. I’ll only publish posts on social media three days per week. After more than a year of posting daily, I’ve decided to bring it down to three posts. This will help me not only to produce more quality and original posts, but it will also free some of my time. Managing your social media by yourself can be like having a second job!
  3. I’m trying to be more friendly with the environment. For a couple of years now, I’ve started replacing different products with natural, organic, or vegan ones. From skin and hair care products to toothbrushes, and other household items, little by little we’ve been transitioning. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but if we all did something like this, we would be able to help our environment in a big way.
  4. I’m taking more time for myself. If the pandemic has taught me anything, is that I need to take care of myself to take care of others. Taking more time off, finding time to meditate and relax, and improving skin and hair care routines are great ways to focus on my well-being.
  5. Engage more. Another reason for publishing less material on social media is to focus on engaging more with my followers and the accounts I follow. Networking is essential, but you need time to do it.
  6. Support more local small businesses and entrepreneurs. During the pandemic, so many new small businesses were created, mainly due to the lack of employment. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how important it is to support other entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  7. I didn’t just rest during the holidays, I also took the time to really clean out my house, especially my room and closet. I got rid of many things that I didn’t even remember I had, and now there’s more space for other things and it all looks so much better!
  8. In this same line, I deleted profiles and accounts that I don’t use anymore or that never gave me any results.
  9. I also want to get rid of any negativity or pessimism. I want to keep a more positive outlook on life, instead of bringing myself down with anxiety.
  10. And last, but not least, I want to be kinder. The truth is we never really know what people are really going through. They might seem ok or even have a smile on their faces, but internally they might be battling all sorts of problems. This is why I think we should always be kind to one another, and I definitely want to practice this more. A kind word or gesture can go a long way!

They are not exactly goals; they are more like ideas of how to get better both as a person and as a professional. Self-improvement never ends!

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2021 has had a great start for me. FluentU has agreed to raise my rate due to how happy they are with my work, and I just landed a small Portuguese to Spanish translation project for one of my most important clients.

Another great thing that has happened, is that you can hear my voice on the Translation Confessional podcast! The lovely Rafa Lombardino invited me to leave a voice message on her podcast page, and I made the cut! You can listen to the episode “Client Education” on any podcast platform. Here is the link to listen to it in YouTube!

How is 2021 treating you so far? Did you set any goals or resolutions? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!

As a reminder, you can get a 15% discount on a beautiful swimsuit from Bright Swimwear by using my code: ILDU15. If you want to know more about my collaboration with them, don’t miss this blog post Brand Ambassador!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Brand Ambassador, Social Media, Translation

Brand Ambassador

Hi everyone!

In my last blog post of the year, I’d like to talk about my experience as Brand Ambassador for Bright Swimwear, a Swedish-based boutique brand.

A couple of months ago, they reached out to me to become their Brand Ambassador. To be honest, I thought it was either a mistake or a scam, or a joke. This had never happened to me before, and I didn’t think my IG content showed in any way that I belonged in that category.

So, I very polity declined, stating that I did not consider myself to be the right person for the task.

But a couple of weeks after that, they wrote again, explaining what their brand and Brand Ambassador program are all about. Once I had this information and checked out that both their website and IG account were legit, I decided to take the leap!

For someone like me, who is very shy and doesn’t like going around showing herself in pictures or videos, accepting to pose in a swimsuit was a major commitment.

I had to, first, overcome my fear of showing myself in pictures. I always feel like I don’t know how to pose or what to do with my hands. I always take weird pictures, so I knew I would need help from friends and family to make it happen.

They are the ones who ultimately convinced me to participate. They said it would be an adventure, and I would also have the opportunity to expose my brand to a broader audience.

Once I accepted, I got my discount code to share it with my family, friends, and followers. Of course, I also got one of their swimsuits, the Cora. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted a red swimsuit, and now finally, I have one!

And not just any swimsuit. They are all eco-friendly and handmade. They use the leftovers of the fabric to make the cute little bags the swimsuits come in. I must say it is the best swimsuit I’ve ever owned!

Weeks went by, I got my swimsuit, but now I needed to plan the photoshoot. Not an easy task, I had to find a beautiful place, preferably with a pool, that wasn’t too far away from the city.

It took some help and time to find the perfect venue. Of course, I also needed a good photographer. For this again, my family and friends stepped in. They even did my makeup and hair! I felt very fancy by the time they finished dolling me up!

Then came the day for the photoshoot. It was on a glorious Saturday! The weather in Antigua Guatemala, where the venue, Aqua Antigua, is located, was the most amazing I had ever experienced there. It got really hot too, which made the posing a bit difficult (too much heat and sweating). So, we took brakes, until finally a nice wind came along and helped refresh the environment.

I had so much fun and ended up so tired! I had no idea that posing for like over 1,000 pictures would wear me out, but it sure did!

The other tiring task was to choose from all the pictures taken, the ones that would actually appear on my social media accounts. It wasn’t an easy task, believe me. But in the end, I chose according to each of the posts I made. I am happy with the decision I made; I genuinely believe I shared the best pictures of myself I’ve ever seen (my friends and family also agree on that!).

If you haven’t seen my post, reel, and story, make sure to visit my Instagram profile. The pictures in this post are also from the same photoshoot and haven’t been shared before!

My gift for you is a 15% discount code to buy any swimsuit from Bright that your heart desires. My code is: ILDU15

Let me know in the comments if you buy a Bright Swimsuit and what your experience with it is like.

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until next year, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Recap of the Year

Hello everyone!

December is already here, so I think it is time to do a recap of 2020.

I know this year wasn’t what any of us expected. A year ago, we were all full of hope for the new year that was about to start. COVID-19 changed our lives and the way we lived through this year.

Still, I should talk about the positive things accomplished this year. I tried to make the best of the situation; it is all we can do when things around us are out of our control.

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So, here I share some of the things I accomplished this year:

  1. This is my blog post number 57! I never thought I would get this far, but here I am!
  2. I reached 1,500 followers on Instagram! Another unexpected event. My goal was to make it to 1,000 followers this year, so those 500 extras are just the best gift I could ever receive! Thanks for my wonderful and loyal followers, you rock!
  3. I still have my full-time translation and localization job with FluentU. I feel blessed that this collaboration continues to grow.
  4. I had the chance to participate in a big translation project for the US elections. Don’t get excited; I didn’t translate any of Biden’s or Trump’s speeches; it was mostly about the school districts.
  5. I recently started a new collaboration with a Spanish LSP for the localization of a large project.
  6. I attended several webinars, online courses, and such. I feel like I’ve learned so much this year, but I know there’s still a lot more to learn!
  7. I read over 20 books this year! Thanks to Scribd, I was able to catch up with many books and audiobooks that I had wanted to read for years.
  8. I’ve started to be more active on LinkedIn. This is beginning to pay off, but I still have a lot of networking work to do.
  9. I am communicating more with fellow translators in Instagram. It has been such a great experience to get to know them better. There is a lovely community of translators on IG, and I am over the moon to be part of it.
  10. I changed my IG feed from all over the place to something more coherent with my brand.
  11. I began to use Asana to manage my social media posts, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before! It has helped me save so much time by being more organized.
  12. I started using Creator Studio by Facebook to schedule my IGTV video posts in IG and FB! I had no idea you could do that, and it is such a time saver! Plus, it’s free!
  13. Since I started out as a freelance translator, this is the first year that I’ve had a steady monthly income! This is such a massive milestone for me!
  14. I started a collaboration with Alessia Di Cunto to get some of my blog posts translated to Italian.
  15. I finally got my “link in bio” to showcase my most recent blog posts, social media accounts, and contact details.
  16. I discovered fantastic new podcasts! I posted about My Favorite Podcasts not long ago, but that list has definitely grown.
  17. I am happy to report that neither my immediate family members nor I have been hit by COVID-19 so far. But other family members and friends have suffered it, so I know how important it is to stay safe.
  18. Over 200 people like and follow my Facebook Page! I know it’s not a lot, but little by little 😉
  19. I’m taking better care of myself by using more organic and vegan products. Not just as food but also as products for my skin and hair. I am eating healthier and working out consistently, and I am taking more “me” time. I definitely can see the results already! You can read more about it in this post: Unwinding
  20. I am excited about a new collaboration, which I hope to share with you soon!
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So, these are some of the exciting and good things that happened to me this year. I’d love to know how this year has been for you and what good things brought you! Leave me a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Social Media, Translation

New Clients

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about finding new clients.

I know what a struggle can be to find new clients, especially when you are starting out or under challenging circumstances, like the ones we are living right now with COVID-19.

And although it is difficult, it isn’t impossible. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the results will be worth it.

First, I want to talk about finding new clients when you are starting as a freelance translator.

When you are starting, finding clients is a must. But being new in the business doesn’t make it easy, so here are a few ideas that might help:

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Your former employer.

Yes, if before starting to work as a freelance translator you worked as an in-house translator or had any other job, your former employer or employers could become your first clients or could help you find them. Always be in touch with them and talk about your plans. Most likely, they will help you.

They can also provide you with references, which will be unbelievably valuable when building your CV.

Direct contact.

Translations platforms like ProZ.com have directories of agencies that you can contact directly by email.

Make sure to prepare your CV and send it with the email, explaining the reasons why you’d like to become part of their team. You might get only two responses out of 20 emails, but that’s already a win.

Referrals from family, friends, and former colleagues.

Yes! Your closest circles of people can help you get your first clients. So, make sure that your family, friends, and former colleagues know that you are starting your own business and ask them for any referrals they might have. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Recommendations from other translators and former teachers.

Keeping in touch with your former translation teachers and classmates can pay out. They might end up recommending you to a client. Networking is always crucial. Make sure to do that!

Freelancers jobs websites.

You should register to different freelance jobs websites and platforms, like Upwork. And there are some made explicitly for translators like ProZ.com and Translators Café. Your profile should stand out from the rest, and always check them for new job postings or have them send you emails with new jobs information so that you can apply directly from your inbox.

Again, it might take some time before someone hires you, but eventually, people will start contacting you, and finally, they might become your brand-new clients.

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Now, let’s talk about find new clients when you are in a slow period of work.

When we have work for months, we might forget about networking to find new clients. So, when that last project is done, or the workload has decreased, you should start looking for new clients. Here are some ideas:

Reply emails asap.

If a new agency or client reaches out to you for a possible collaboration, make sure to answer as soon as possible. Remember that the translators who reply the fastest to a request are more likely to be considered for the job in this business.

Reach out to former clients.

You can send emails to clients and agencies you have worked with before but haven’t heard from in a while. Make sure to send a warm hello and ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Tell them how you liked your past collaborations and how you’ve helped other clients recently.

Networking.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to network! Building authentic business relationships is the best way to get more high-quality clients.

Use social media.

Social media is a great way not just to position your brand; it can also help you find new clients. Make sure to follow Facebook groups relative to your fields of expertise. Use the LinkedIn filters to find agencies and companies to whom you could offer your services. Post quality posts on Instagram, and make sure to use the right hashtags so new clients can find you.

Attend online translation events and conferences.

This is a great resource for learning new things and meeting new people. Here you can find colleagues and potential clients by just participating and offering your services. It is also a fun way to interact while waiting for face-to-face interactions to be safe again.

There you go! I hope these ideas/tips can help you find new clients, no matter what stage of working as a freelance translator you are in.

Do you have any other ideas to get new clients? Please, share them in the comments so everyone can read them, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to start a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Social Media, Translation

How to Stay Motivated

Motivation is a key aspect of our lives. Without it, we would have a challenging time making it through each day.

But during these unprecedented times, staying motivated every day is harder than ever before.

So, what can we do to stay motivated through our daily routine?

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One thing that works for me is feeling good about myself. That means eating healthy, exercising, and resting.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean to be on an extreme diet or skip any meals. On the contrary, you shouldn’t miss or avoid a meal. A nice breakfast will prepare you to get started. A generous lunch will give you the energy you need for the rest of your day, and a light but nutritious dinner will help you to sleep better.

Of course, you can’t forget about snacks. You should have at least one at mid-morning and another at mid-afternoon. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are three great snacks that will help you get from one meal to the next.

Coffee!! This is a major must for me to start my day. I don’t really need more coffee than the one I have with my breakfast to feel completely awake and ready to get started. If you don’t like coffee, it can be tea or any other beverage that helps you feel energized.

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

As freelance translators, we spend most of our time sitting down in front of the computer. That’s why it is so important to keep yourself active throughout the day.

I start by exercising for 30 minutes every day, after breakfast, and before taking a shower. I do a mix of cardio, abs, elliptical machine, and weighs. I know it doesn’t sound as much, but this routine gets me going, and showering right afterwards feels amazing!

Throughout the day, I stand up at least every half an hour and walk around my workspace for a few minutes. This helps me to rest from the computer screen and sitting down for long periods of time. I also do some stretching and breathing exercises.

By rest, I don’t refer just to sleep. Yes, we need to have a good night’s sleep to feel good the next day; even a nap can help those who can manage to have one. But it also means resting from being sitting down and in front of the computer, taking enough time to have lunch, and making sure that we don’t end our day too late, and have time to disconnect from work.

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Listening to music while I work also keeps me motivated! I know it might sound a bit crazy, but listening to music and podcasts help me keep more focused on my work.

Another important thing is to have a workplace that you like and makes you feel comfortable. Make sure to decorate your space with things you enjoy, like plants, paintings, notes, pictures, anything that makes you feel happy whenever you go inside.

Of course, loving what you do is already half the battle won to keep motivated. When you have a job that you don’t like or even loath, nothing and no one will ever motivate you.

Also, make sure to take some “me” time. Whether it is having a spa day at home, or going out for a walk, or unwinding at the beach, taking care of ourselves is primordial to be motivated.

Although these tips might help you, you must figure out what keeps you motivated. Working from home and not having a boss or colleagues might make us feel unmotivated because there isn’t anyone telling us how great we are doing. We need to learn to do that ourselves; we don’t need other people telling us how great we are (except for our clients, of course!), we can do that by trying different things that might help us achieve it.

What motivates you? How do you keep yourself motivated? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Certifications, Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Unwinding

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about unwinding! Yes! It is crucial to unwind, rest, and disconnect from time to time.

I hadn’t taken any time off since the pandemic started until two weekends ago. We had a long weekend due to a national holiday on Monday, so my family and I decided to go to the beach for the first time in quite a while!

I also decided not to use my phone other than to take pictures. It wasn’t easy not to check it for any notifications from social media, emails, etc. But in the end, it felt great to be able to disconnect, even if it was just for a couple of days.

Thanks to this decision, I felt like I really rested and I had time to connect, not just with my family, but with myself! I hadn’t feel that relaxed in a long time. Just listening to the sound of the waves was magical!

We spent our days in the pool, under the sun, and then at the beach. There weren’t as many people as you would expect, but there were more than I thought due to the recent return to the “new” normal.

We rented a small villa with a private pool; this way, we could be safer than sharing a public pool. It was amazing to wake up every day and come out to find ourselves in paradise!

I forgot how necessary it is to unwind and take time for yourself and your loved ones. As freelancers, sometimes, we forget about this. But everyone needs a break from working; it doesn’t matter if you work in an office or from home.

Resting lets us recharge our energies and even help us to perform better! If we are tired and overworked, after a while, our performance starts to diminish. We cannot perform to the best of our abilities if we don’t get enough time to relax and disconnect.

It is incredible how not using my phone for three days gave me so much rest and peace. I know that it is important to always be there for your clients, but they also have to understand that we need time off. I always send them a message when I am going to be out of the office, and I leave an automatic message in my email in case someone tries to contact me.

When was the last time you took some time off? What do you like to do to help you relax? Are you able to disconnect when you are away on vacation completely? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this; please share them in the comments.

By the way, all the pictures in this post were taken by yours truly, they’re not stock photos, and no filters were needed.

Until the next time, take care and be safe!

XX

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Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

The “New” Normal

Hello everyone!

I haven’t written about the pandemic for a while, and today I want to talk about the “new” normal.

Someone said to me that the “new” normal is the “new” abnormal. And he had a point. Things are not back to the way they were before COVID-19, and there is nothing “normal” about our new circumstances.

As I write this post, I can’t help thinking how a year ago things were just normal. October had just started; I was planning my birthday celebration (yes, I am an October baby!), and life seemed to be just going by as usual.

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I don’t think any of us imaged when the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, that everything would change so drastically in 2020 and that almost everything we planned for the year would have to be left on hold or not done at all.

The “new” normal varies from country to country and city to city. Here in Guatemala, only recently did the government decided to reopen almost everything, even though there are still several new contagion cases every day, and the death toll continues to grow daily.

The best word to describe the “new” normal here would be “afraid.” We are still afraid to go out, especially to closed spaces filled with people. We are afraid of being too close to people. We are afraid of people who don’t wear masks. We are afraid of people who cough and sneeze.

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This means that shopping malls, restaurants, and other recently reopened venues, are not as crowded as they were before the pandemic. Also, they cannot admit the same amount of people they did before.

But living in the “new” normal also means that we need to learn to live with this coronavirus and try to lead our lives as usual as possible but without forgetting about everyone’s safety.

This means not overexposing ourselves. The need for safety has made online shopping rocket since the pandemic began. Many businesses had to adapt to selling online to not lose their niche and clients. I think now we all feel safer shopping online than going to a store or shopping mall when we can do everything from home.

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We are also getting used to wearing a mask, washing our hands more often, and keeping our distance. Today, that seems easier than it was when it all first started. I think most of us want to keep not just ourselves safe, but also our loved ones, especially those who share our household.

And it can also mean that we have learned or discovered skills that we didn’t know before. Like, I learned how to cut my hair since the hair salons were closed for so many months during the lockdown. I like it so much that I have continued to cut it myself even though salons are open again. I’m like, “Why go to a salon if I can do it at home?” hahaha.

Only schools and a few other places remain closed, and they probably won’t reopen until 2021. Although some companies have decided to reopen their doors to their employees, others have preferred to keep their employees working from home to avoid any problems.

How is the “new” normal in your country and city? Are people adapting properly or are there problems? Have you learned any new skills? I’d love to hear about you, so don’t be shy and leave me a comment.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get the latest posts directly in your inbox!

Until next time, take care and stay safe! We’ll make it through together!

XX

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Social Media, Translation

International Translation Day 2020

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY!!

Believe it or not, another year has gone by and today is time to celebrate again the International Translation Day, which is also the Feast Day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, archaeologists, Biblical scholars, librarians, and students.

Last year, I wrote about how things were going for the ITD; you can read my post here International Translation Day 2019

Today I want to talk about how things are after another year! In my previous ITD post I talked about starting a new long-term project with a direct client. I am happy to let you know that it has turned into a full-time translation and localization job!

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That job is with #FluentU, a website/app for learning languages. I am officially their Content Localizer for English to Spanish. Despite the name of the position, my main job is to translate the interactive captions of the videos they use to teach English to Spanish speakers from Latin America.

I also support other services, like checking that the images for the words used in Spanish correspond to each word’s meaning, and that they are not offensive. I have also support, from time to time, the English, Italian, Chinese (yes, that’s right!), and Portuguese services. Right now I am supporting the Portuguese service (which is relatively new) finding new videos in #YouTube for beginner learners.

Last year I also talked about social media. In May of this year, just a year after I started my business account on Instagram, I reached 1,000 followers! I could not believe it! I wanted to hit that mark, but I didn’t think it would happen in a year’s time. Right now, I have a little over 1,300 followers and the community keeps on growing!

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My Facebook Page and LinkedIn account have also grown during this past year. Not to the numbers of Instagram, but slowly I am also building two unique communities there.

I am also working on a long-term project translating materials for the US elections. Don’t get excited; it is only for School District elections! Still, I’ve learned a lot with this project, especially about how important translation is for an election, how leaders need to be understood by all the voters.

Of course, I still work daily on reaching new potential clients to grow my business. I hope one day to partner with other translators, both from my language pair and others, to collaborate and get more clients and projects.

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I’m grateful for another year working as a full-time freelance translator! After two years of not being sure if this would work out, I feel blessed for finally getting there! And if I was able to make it happen, so can you!

So, what has this year been like for you? Any accomplishments you’d like to share? I’d love to hear more about your year and how you are celebrating ITD in the comments below. Don’t be shy! And remember to subscribe to my blog to get the latest posts directly in your inbox.

And before I finish, today is also the International Podcast Day! I love podcasts, especially those that have to do with translation and languages. To find out which ones are my favorite, make sure to read the post My Favorite Podcasts

Until next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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