What I was up to in June
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What I was up to in June

It’s that time of the month again. June was probably one of my most productive months since the beginning of the year. It certainly felt that way. That’s also what my RescueTime stats are telling me. And while the month might have been a bit slow in terms of translation work coming in, I did a lot for marketing my services, taking care of my side projects and learning new things and I can’t wait to share it all with you. But first, here are some projects I had the pleasure of working on in June:

 

  • Translation of some film synopses (this is an ongoing project for an agency client, last month I did the editing part, and this month the translation)
  • Localization of a web-app
  • Small marketing translation from German for a major hotel chain as an end client
  • Several editing tasks for another large hotel chain
  • Checking and editing of a marketing survey for the food industry

 

That was quite a mix, but I like it that way. And now let’s get down to other work-related things that I busy with in June.

 

Interview with Tess Whitty

 

If you watched our Blabbing Translators episode with Tess Whitty, you know that she invited me to talk about Trello, a simple and intuitive tool that can help you organize work on your projects, collaborate with colleagues and generally be more productive

 

So at the beginning of June Tess and I had a nice Skype chat on the subject. For me, that was fun and weird at the same time. Fun because I love talking to colleagues and sharing my experience and weird because being invited as a guest to Marketing Tips for Translators was not something that I expected when I discovered the podcast back in spring 2015.

 

I will definitely let you know when the episode goes live. And in the meantime I’m writing an article on Trello with some examples of how I use it in my work and a lot of screenshots, so stay tuned!

 

Surprise interview with Dmitry Kornyukhov on Blabbing Translators and wrapping up the first season

 

The month started with a surprise interview with my Blabbing Translators co-host Dmitry Kornyukhov. I wrote about the preparations I did for this interview last month, so I won’t go into too much detail on this. But it was so much fun!

 

June also marked the end of Season 1 of the show. Dmitry and I are taking a break till the beginning of August.

 

All in all, we did 19 episodes and interviewed 17 awesome translators (we did a Q&A session for our last episode).

 

We have some great ideas for the upcoming season and some work to do during the break as well. And I’m curious to see how it all will turn out.

 

The first steps towards my dream of becoming a literary translator

 

I have always known that I want to translate books.

 

When I read novels, short stories, memoirs or non-fiction books in English, I often check if they have been translated into Russian.

 

My I Love Mondays project is all about translating creative writing. Doing it every week for the past few months has been one of my favorite tasks.

 

So I decided that there’s no time like the present moment to make that first step to becoming a literary translator.

 

I thought that writing something useful for my potential clients might be a good start.

 

Honestly, I don’t know if that was the right first step to make and I try not to overthink it. I have been plucking up the courage to do something, anything really, for far too long as it is, and I will just do what seems right at a particular moment and see how it goes.

 

So, I published the first article for indie authors who think about translating their book into another language. I wrote about the reasons to translate their writing into Russian.

 

The result blew me away. Apart from getting some supportive tweets from colleagues (thank you!) and a few retweets from self-published writers, I also got an inquiry from an author who would actually like to get his collection of short stories translated into Russian!

 

At the moment we’re discussing our possible collaboration, but even if we won’t be able to negotiate the terms that would be acceptable for both parties, for me this is like the universe saying to me: go on! You’re doing the right thing! And that’s what matters.

 

Another thing I did was to email all writers I had been in contact with thanks to my I Love Mondays project. I wanted to let them know that I was starting to work with self-published authors and ask them whether they knew someone who might want to use my services and if that was something of interest to them.

 

I made it clear that I wasn’t trying to sell them my services, but just wanted to get some feedback on my idea from someone who might be my target audience. Here’s what I wrote:

 

Hi John,

 

I hope you’re having a nice day!

 

I’m starting to offer a new service — literary translation of non-fiction books for self-published authors. I would greatly appreciate it if you could introduce me to someone who might be interested in this service.

 

By the way, is this something of interest you? Why or why not? I’m not trying to sell you my services, just curious about the opinion of someone who might be my target audience.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

 

All the best,

Elena

 

I got a few replies to these emails, some of them with words of encouragement and a promise to keep me in mind if something comes their way, and some of them with ideas for additional services I could offer to self-published authors.

 

Finally, I updated my CV and sent it to a few select agencies, because I want to have enough wiggle room when it comes to my rates to get a couple of book projects under my belt.

 

Listening to interviews with Elizabeth Gilbert

 

If you feel self-conscious and don’t have the guts to start a project that you’ve been thinking about for a long time, then you’re gonna love this part of the post.

 

Every morning when I go for a walk with my dog I listen to podcasts. I’m not sure how I got the idea to listen to interviews with Elizabeth Gilbert, but I’m so glad I did!

 

Like many other people I first heard about her after she published Eat, Pray, Love. Earlier this year I already listened to Elizabeth’s podcast Magic Lessons which she recorded as part of the marketing campaign for her book Big Magic published last autumn, and it was great and inspiring. I especially liked her kindness and attitude to doing creative work, which I can only describe as being down-to-earth and magical at the same time.

 

So last month when I was looking for something to listen to, I just typed ‘Elizabeth Gilbert’ into the search and listened to all the interviews I could find.

 

If you need some encouragement and inspiration to pursue your big idea, here’s the perfect playlist for you. Elizabeth talks about creativity, inspiration, fear, courage, taking care of yourself, helping others by being free, her book Big Magic and many other things.

 

 

Reviving my German

 

I don’t list German as a language I’m translating from on my web-site because I rarely get to work in the Ge>Ru language pair and my German is a bit rusty. But whenever I get a request from an agency to translate a text I feel comfortable with, I gladly take it on. Every time I really enjoy such translations and no one has ever complained about the quality. And every time I think that I have to pay more attention to my second language.

 

A couple of weeks ago I got a translation request for a short and sweet marketing text for a client I had previously worked for. I translated their brand story from English and now they needed a translation from German.

 

After completing this project I thought that listening to podcasts would make a great first step to getting my German back into shape (any recommendations are greatly appreciated!). I also plan to read and translate short articles when I figure out how to make time for that. Do let me know in the comments what German blogs you like to read. At the moment my source of nice German articles and videos is the weekly newsletter from Wordycat.

 

Well, that’s it for today. How did you spend the first summer month? Was it productive or did you spend more time enjoying the sun than usual (which is also a great thing to do)? I would love to find out!

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