Translation Journal

Translation Journal

Digital Online Journal - Established 1997

A digital online journal for translators, interpreters, and interested friends of the translation industry.

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Translation Journal-Latest-Articles

Featured Article

Why is the American Translators Association (ATA)'s Certification exam still being given on paper?

The first version of this article was to appear in the April 2006 issue of the Translation Journal. Before its intended publication I showed it to ATA President Marian Greenfield for corrections of any error of fact and for comments; she in turn showed it to members of the Board and other individuals involved in the Certification Program.

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Welcome to Translation Journal!
A digital online journal for translators, interpreters, and interested friends of the translation industry.
If you are a translator, interpreter, or someone seeking to learn more about the translation industry, you’re in the right place!

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How-To Guides

  • How to Set Your Rate as a Freelance Translator +

    Freelance Translator

    It’s the most common question I hear when talking with translators and interpreters: How much should I charge? The question comes from everywhere in the industry, from the recent graduate just starting out in a career in translation and interpreting to the seasoned professional who needs to renegotiate his or her rates with a client.

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  • Goal Setting: It’s That Time of Year +

    Translation Journal - Goal Setting

    It’s that time of year when everyone is talking about setting goals for 2015. Whether you are a freelance translator or interpreter, own your own translation company, or work for a translation service provider, you no doubt know that setting goals is essential to long-term success both in your business and personal life.

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  • Want to Succeed? Focus on Systems Rather Than Goals +

    Translation Journal Update February 2015

    How are you coming along with setting goals for 2015? Did you block out some time in your calendar this past week to plan how you want your business and personal life to look at the end of 2015? I hope you are well on your way!

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  • How to Get Premium Rates for Your Services +

    How to Get Premium Rates

    To get top dollar for your services, you need to be strategic about where you market yourself. You may be able to offer your usual services to a different audience and double or triple your income – without working more! There are, however, a few things to consider when strategically targeting clients.

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  • Testimonials: What to Include and How to Display +


    Testimonials give you the opportunity to provide proof about your services. Make it easy for potential clients to see what others are saying about you and your company by adding testimonials to your website and marketing materials.

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  • 9 Free Tools to Convert Documents to PDFs +


    Did you know there are many advantages converting documents such as Word or PowerPoint to PDFs? When a file is converted to a PDF it is usually compressed, resulting in a smaller file. Files saved as PDFs are self-contained and can be shared easily.  The recipient does not need to have the same program or hardware that the original file was created in. PDFs make it easy to transmit files between computers and mobile devices that have different applications.

    An added feature is that most PDF programs also allow you to put on extra security measures such as watermarks, passwords, or data encryption.

    A disadvantage to saving files as PDFs is that it makes it a bit more difficult to change, revise or edit easily. However, some of the programs listed below do offer editing features. And there are other programs available that can easily convert PDFs to Word documents or other editable document formats.

    The following is a list of FREE tools to convert documents to PDFs.  The top three choices highlighted in yellow are the Editor’s Choice.  

    1. Adobe Reader XI – This list would not be meaningful if we didn’t list the granddaddy of them all--Adobe Reader.  Adobe Reader has long been a trusted name when it comes to file sharing, editing, and viewing. This link is to a release that contains the program to allow you to also view and print PDFs. In addition, it has some editing capabilities. It allows you to fill out PDF forms, annotate on pages, verify digital signatures, plus other features.  

    2. Doro PDF Writer – Making PDF documents that look professional is easy with this program. The PDF converter works a little differently than Adobe Reader XI. It operates with any Windows application as long as that program can print. How it works is it simply installs a virtual printer on your computer and it’s ready to use. Another great feature is the ability to password protect your files and install a 128-bit encryption.  

    3. CutePDF Writer – Similar to Doro, CutePDF installs a virtual printer on your system and operates with all Windows applications. CutePDF is as easy as sending your document to a printer. It also is quick and simple to install – it takes seconds. CutePDF was selected as one of the "50 best free downloads" by Computer Shopper.    

    4. PDFill PDF Tool – If you’re looking for an all-in-one PDF tool, this program is an excellent choice. This program, unlike many of the other PDF creation programs, has text-editing capabilities. This means you’ll be able to create PDF files from scratch, without the use of any other application. Other useful functions include the ability to merge, split, reorder, crop and reformat PDF pages.  

    5. jPDF Tweak – This application promises to be the ‘Swiss army knife of PDF files’ and it doesn’t disappoint. Similar to the PDFill PDF tool, this application allows you to combine, rotate, re-order, encrypt and tweak PDF files. There are many output types for this application, including printable booklets.  The application is based on Java, which makes it ideal for portable devices. It also has a strong password protection capability. Once you’ve put in a password, you won’t be able to remove it.   

    6. PDFTK Builder – This PDF converter tool is fast and easy to use.  It’s a straightforward application, and has all the necessary tools to make and edit PDF files. PDFtk Builder has a graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI makes it easier to access PDFtk’s functionality. This program has a user-friendly interface on top of the functionality provided by PDFtk. The following functions are available: collate, split, watermark, rotate. PDF password protection is available.  

    7. Bullzip PDF Printer – Like other programs on this list, the Bullzip PDF printer application operates as a virtual printer and can work with any Windows application. It has advanced features that are useful for generating professional-looking PDF files, regardless of your text-editor. It also has encryption capabilities and a special option for eBooks. It has no PDF editing options.  

    8. PrimoPDF –Similar to Bullzip and CutePDF, this program operates a virtual printer and works with Windows applications. It does not change text formats when converted - a huge bonus. Another selling point is the speed and ease when converting files. A drawback to this software is at times graphics are reformatted.  

    9. PDFCreator – With PDFCreator you can convert regular text files to high-quality PDFs as well as to other popular formats - PNG, JPEG, and TIF. It’s a very basic program, which is good for those who don’t want a huge fuss with their PDF converters. The program provides a few editing options - such as date and time and the ability to password protect.  


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  • How to Send Large Files +


    Have you ever had trouble sending a file attachment by email and wondered why? Chances are the file was too large. Most mail servers have size limitations for both incoming and outgoing files, with a maximum of about 20 MB.

    Translators and interpreters must often create and send large files to clients, such as InDesign files that include high-resolution photos and videos. Because of their size, simply sending these files through an email service provider is not an option.

    The good news is that there are many different file-sharing solutions available on the Internet that allow anyone – with or without technical expertise – to transfer files of any size with ease.

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  • How to Get (and Use) Testimonials +


    Testimonials can work magic for your business by building trust and credibility with prospective clients. But like any magic, they must be used responsibly.

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