In the comments to one of my recent posts about translators’ rates and pay, translator Kevin Hendzel mentioned a speech by Neil Inglis, a translator with the International Monetary Fund. Neil’s speech referred to the “poverty cult” that so many (too many) translators seem to espouse. I haven’t been able to find the speech itself, but Kevin’s article […]

Don’t worry, this post isn’t a homage to gangsta’ rap. The title refers to the implements used by translators to shoot themselves – or, if they’re Italian, hoe themselves – in the foot where pay’s concerned (the Italian expression is “darsi una zappata sui piedi”. Another reason to avoid gardening). Following on from my last two posts – Translators’ pay: how […]

Saints Alive, a new exhibition at the National Gallery in London, features “large-scale kinetic sculptures by Michael Landy that bring a contemporary twist to the lives of the saints”. The saints on display include St. Jerome, renowned for his translation of the Bible and the patron saint of translators. St. Jerome (borrowed from a painting by Cosimo Tura from 1470) is shown […]

I’ll soon be moving into a new office. The current occupants offered to sell me their nearly-new IKEA office furniture (the Galant range, which is attractive, good quality and reasonably priced). Their quote listed installation and labour fees at £50 an hour. Now, that included some computer cabling. But mainly, I think, assembling IKEA flat-pack […]

Radio Scotland news recently featured a hotel booking mix-up. A group of French tourists turned up at the Jura Hotel, on the Isle of Jura (off the west coast of Scotland), saying that they’d booked rooms there. The hotel owner had no record of a booking, and the hotel was full. When he checked their […]

After much humming and hawing, I’ve finally taken the plunge and published my fees on my website. I know that many translators and other small-business owners prefer not to do so. Some say that as they provide a service, not a product, their fees are not — should not be? — easily quantifiable. Others feel […]

Here in the UK inflation is still rising and the recent 2.5% increase in Value Added Tax will add to the upwards pressure on prices. Not to mention the mutterings about interest rate rises further down the line. If you’re self-employed and want to maintain your spending power your options are: Work smarter — make […]

If you haven’t got round to making any business resolutions yet for 2011, or are stuck or ideas, here are some belated suggestions. Resolution 1 Raise your fees, if you haven’t already, especially if you live in the UK. See my own Resolution no. 1. If you’re a translator, check out Kevin Lossner’s post on the […]

Twitter sent me a “Happy New Year” message the other day. In it they described their New Year’s resolution, which is to help me (and all the other 200 million — and rising — accounts) get the most of out of Twitter in 2011. So I reckon if Twitter can be late with their New Year’s […]