The 4 most important insights from the latest ITIC conference

May 5, 2015
The 4 most important insights from the latest ITIC conference

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting Conference (ITIC) is one of the biggest translation and interpreting events in the UK, attracting translators and interpreters from all over the country and beyond. The conference finished a few days ago, and featured two days of presentations, keynote speeches, panels and other useful events, making it an excellent opportunity to pick up some advice from experts and network with new contacts.

Of course, if you don’t live in the UK, then attending ITIC might not have been be possible for you. However, this Translators’ Hub post will collect some of the most interesting insights from that conference as shared by fellow Twitter users, allowing you to take away some of the highlights for yourself.

Insight 1:

Charge as much as you can. Your prices should make clients a little uncomfortable before they say OK — Chris Durban (via @integlangsbiz)

If you’ve ever agonized about how much to charge your clients, then perhaps this piece of advice will help you feel happier about requesting higher rates. By following Chris’ advice and pricing yourself a little higher than you may feel you clients are willing to pay, then you’ll come across as the valuable and highly-skilled translator that you are. By trying to offer your clients a bargain price, then you may actually hurt your reputation. And if your client really is too uncomfortable with your price point, then you have more space to negotiate, ensuring that you’re not out of pocket and that your client is happy with a good deal.

Insight 2:

We need to sell the benefits, not the process, of translation to clients — Cate Avery (via @Babeliane)

Here’s a useful tip when marketing your services: make sure that you focus on what benefits a good translation can bring to your clients rather than explaining the details of the translation process. From the clients’ perspective, they really only care about whether you’re able to provide a good translation in a punctual manner. Whilst it might be necessary to touch on certain aspects of the translation process to reinforce your ability, mentioning too many technical details will be irrelevant to the clients’ needs and may put them off your service.

Insight 3:

The freelance translation community has moved from ProZ to LinkedIn and now to Facebook — Anne Diamantidis (via @Capital_Trans)

This is a useful insight if you seek out fellow translators online (and if you don’t then you should!). Whilst the ProZ forum used to be the central hub for translators to meet online, the community is quickly gathering together on LinkedIn and, more recently, Facebook. Keep this in mind when you want to consult some other freelance translators for translation-related advice or general conversation.

Insight 4:

Machine translation will replace only those humans who translate like machines — Arle Richard Lommel (via @evansjohn75)

Consider the following quotation from Arle Richard Lommel, “MT [Machine Translation] will displace only those humans who translate like machines, humans will focus on tasks that require intelligence.” This should come as a reassurance for freelance translators who find themselves competing with machine-based alternatives, as their human touch elevates them above the current competency of machine translation. However, @tech_translate raises a very good point in response to this quotation: if your clients are unaware of the advantages of a human translator over a machine translation, then they’ll be more likely to choose the quicker and cheaper alternative that machine translation provides. You should try to make your clients aware of the gulf in quality between a machine-produced translation and one of your own, although do keep insight 2 (above) in mind as you do this!

Final thoughts

Hopefully these insights shared from the ITIC conference were helpful to you, and perhaps they showed you the value of attending a local conference for translators? Feel free to let us know what you think about these insights below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.