With the world becoming ever smaller, demand for professional translation services is on the rise. As the festive season approaches, we take a look at some of the essential tools of the translation industry – the things that every translator should have. If you are missing one or more of them, be sure to put them on your Christmas gift list!
It almost goes without saying, but every translator should have access to a high quality, industry-leading dictionary and thesaurus. These essential tools of the trade will ensure you always have the ability to swiftly and easily double-check whatever you need to, whenever you need to.
If your clients like their work completed in line with a particular style guide, such as the Associated Press Stylebook for US English, be sure to have a copy of that close to hand as well.
Business cards used to be an essential tool for every freelance translator. While they are still important, a complementary online presence is the essential translation tool for the modern professional. Websites don’t have to cost the earth if you opt for a simple, brochure-style site. Some, such as WIX, Webs and Weebly, even enable you to get started for free.
With a brochure website, you can list your services, your skills and your rates, so that clients are clear from the start what it is that you are offering. You can also include your terms of service for added clarity, as well as some nice testimonials from satisfied customers.
A decent computer or laptop is an essential piece of kit, along with a good mouse and keyboard. If you have a creaky old machine that has to think about what it’s doing for a minute every time you click ‘save,’ it’s time to ask Santa for a new computer. This is one area in which translators can’t afford to take a chance – if you lose your computer, you lose your income until you replace it, so be sure that your office setup is suitably up to date.
A good office chair is also important. If work is going well, you will be spending hours sitting in it, so make sure it is both comfortable and ergonomically appropriate to your needs. As with the computer, if you don’t have a chair that’s good enough, add it to the Christmas gift list as soon as possible.
Which translation-related gifts are on your festive wish-list? Feel free to share them with us via the comment box.