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on audiovisual translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

Going forward

Resolutions burn off like snow under the summer sun, though the new year inspires inventories of all kinds, not the least of which are tax-related.  Last year, especially this past quarter, was disappointing for my business.  This prompted consideration of what translation means to me, and I then queried my fellow bloggers, getting some terrific responses.  As follows is a summary of what I learned, and what I’d like to do with it in the coming year.

A propserous and abundant translator life is possible through networking, promotion, and pluck. I will revisit my business plan and examine how I’m targeting my ideal clients and niche market. Ultimately, making one’s livelihood as a translator is about balancing productivity and one’s life. I’d like to really invest myself into my TM tools (Trados and Wordfast), and organize the vocabularies I’ve developed through my output. Translation is both a profession and a trade, but it’s really what one makes of it. I’m going to work on becoming a “CT” (ATA-certified professional translator) in my language pair. Good promotion and quality are virtues, but while the former can slacken the latter can only be augmented and supplant the other with a solid reputation. I’m revising my website, and would like to blog more this year, especially about what I love about my current and planned language pairs.

Special thanks to Corinne McKay, Jill Sommer, Eve Bodeux and Judy Jenner for their responses!.  Here are the questions below which I posed:

– is translation strictly a dual-income profession (where the other partner/husband/wife has a more stable, lucrative job)?
– is it a vocation or a profession, eg a trade or specialized job?
– is it purely about how you “sell” yourself (vs. what you can actually offer)?
– would everyone be better served if translation generally were more automated, eg MT in some combo with human editing/revision?

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