Business and Ethics

Worksheets on translation and interpretation, based on ASTM Standards:

Other documents Helen Eby wrote or was involved in:

  • Gaucha Translations has a Change Log process, which we implement to track clarifications needed in a translation. In large projects, this is done in a dropbox that we share with the client.
  • GT developed this Style Guide for translation into Spanish to guide clients as they review Spanish translations. Style guide for translation into Spanish feb 10 2012
  • GT developed this guide for web page translation for clients. Web page translation
  • Helen Eby, from Gaucha Translations, was the Technical Contact for the ASTM Subcommittee F43.03 on Language Translation that led to the publication of the revised Translation Standard,  F2575-14.
  • This PowerPoint is an overview of both the Interpreting and the Translation standards, including their legal implications and links to the ASTM download sites. Helen Eby has presented versions of this at ATA, ACES, OHA, and other venues.
  • Keys to a sustainable interpreting and translation business for freelancers
    Helen Eby has given this presentation at state and national conferences and believes these resources can help others set up a plan that leads to not going broke.
  • Helen Eby created a simplified approach to evaluating her rates from a cost of doing business perspective before launching as a full-time translator and interpreter. Click on the following link to download the spreadsheet. Helen-Eby-rate-rationale

Other useful resources

Internet interaction principles from Seth Godin – 10 principles he published in September 2016. They are excellent guiding principles for all times.

The difference between employment and independent contracting

How independent contracting works for interpreters and translators in Oregon

What does a copy editor do? See this list of job descriptions from the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Due diligence links for translators, by Paula Gordon (dba Plan B)

Interpreting log for dual-role employees – a spreadsheet similar to what I use for other types of work.

Questions when dealing with a conundrum. Read this blog post that  Helen Eby wrote.

T&I Careers page from MIIS

Overview of the American Language Companies (ALC) 2015 survey of the industry, published on the ATA Interpreters Division blog with the permission of the ALC.

Useful Links page from NAJIT: includes links for court interpreter certification, state and local interpreter and translator sites, national information, and college programs for court and legal interpreters and translators. Check out this treasure trove!

Finding work:

Check this map to see where your language is spoken, and where it is taught. Then go to the ATA Chapters and Affilliates page and register with the local chapter that serves the locality where your language is spoken! You will be able to find your target market more easily this way. Many local associations will accept members from other areas.

How to start freelancing

Spreadsheets to help establish a business case for a rate:

The American Translators Association has put together a spreadsheet to help translators and interpreters evaluate their rates from a cost of doing business perspective. Please click on the link to CalPro on this page (right after the explanation paragraph).

Negotiation is a very important part of life for a freelancer! Check “Negotiation – A Learnable Skill” in The Savvy Newcomer blog.  It may give you some helpful ideas on negotiating translation rates. Since 70% of interpreters also work in the translation field, this could be important.

There’s a great booklet by Jonathan Hine: “I Am Worth It!”. This book outlines the things to consider when you set rates as a freelancer. Check his online bookstore! It’s only about $6.

Before accepting work from a new language service company:

The BlueBoard is “a searchable database of language job outsourcers with feedback from service providers” and rates language companies according to respondents’ LWA (Likelihood to Work Again). It gives a rating of 1 to 5 for free, and if you become a Proz member you can have access to more details. Proz also offers training, access to terminology discussions, etc.

Payment Practices is  the oldest and most extensive dataset related to the payment practices of translation agencies and other consumers of translation services. It has a free trial for 7 days, and then a very low cost annual subscription.

Translator Scammers Directory: Linguists post information on known scammers

How not to get a job. There are things you can say that will look bad to potential employers. Conversely, knowing these things can improve your chances with a client.

ATA guides for translation and interpreting contracting: