Posts Tagged ‘self-promotion’

Food for Thought

December 19, 2007

I’ve just read this excellent piece written by a freelance interpreter, the Editor of Communicate!, A.I.I.C.’s newsletter.

What can I add? Nothing. It’s clear, to the point, and describes the usefulness, indeed the need for interpreters and translators worldwide.

We are not an industry, we are not products, we are real people doing real jobs and needing to be considered, and paid, accordingly.


The Killer Business Card

December 13, 2007

Do you use business cards a lot?

I’ve never used them much, but over the years an assortment of sizes and blurb, in the classy creamy color that I love so much, have accumulated at the bottom of my purse.

After a while, each new batch ended up as note cards for shopping lists, other people’s phone numbers, etc.

In our field, business cards are a big issue among those who are starting their business, but after a while you don’t need to rely on them so much, because your clients and/or colleagues are the ones who do your own word-of-mouth marketing.

But recently, I found the topic of business cards discussed a lot in many different places, on LinkedIn, in FreelanceSwitch, etc. so I decided to re-vamp my own bland cards, if only as a test.

My new cards are to be seen here, although the view is so small that it provides only a general idea. If anyone would like to comment on them, please feel free. Color is a real novelty for me, I normally go for much more subdued, traditional business cards. But as I said, this is a test, and I liked the design, so I took the plunge.

What’s your view on business cards? Do you think that they are useful?

I Really Admire Your Work!

December 12, 2007

Wow. We’ve all heard it. It’s always sincere.

And it’s the perfect ice-breaker at lunchtime, but once the ice is broken, it doesn’t take us very far, especially at a —— meeting (you may fill in the blank as you like, anything ‘technical’ will do).

‘I really admire your work!’ ‘I don’t know how you do it!’ ‘I don’t even speak English fluently’ (from French speakers).

The problem is, WE know how WE do it. We know it so well that it has become standard practice for us, and we tend to under-promote our wonderful skills, to put it mildly. So we mumble a few words of appreciation, about learning the job, practicing, and so on. If we start to describe what it takes to become an interpreter or a translator, people begin to get bored.

How can we promote our skills in an environment that is simply so different from our practice? I’ve been pondering this for ages, in particular during those lunchbreaks where we end up eating (the team of interpreters, I mean), separately from our audience.

The story is quite different when I am hired to do consecutive interpreting. I accompany my clients to meetings, they get used to me as I get used to them, we sit in traffic jams together. We have time to exchange, mainly on their subject. I can be of value to them, in particular to those visitors from America, as they see me not only as their ‘French voice’, but also as a source of information, especially on study tours. One visitor used me once as a sounding board on the subject of GMOs in France.

Their message is important to them, and so it’s important to me, and I make sure that they know it. That’s probably our best promotion tool.

Tell Your Story

November 26, 2007

I have submitted a story to the From Our Lips to Your Ears project.

If it doesn’t get published, I’ll post it here.

If you are an interpreter, you can tell your story. See all the details below (as provided by From Our Lips, the deadline is now February 2008):



July 18, 2007

Dear Interpreter,

What an important job you do each day, and what fascinating tales you must have to tell about the people you’ve encountered, the conversations you’ve interpreted, and most importantly, the lives you’ve touched.

Now, you have the perfect opportunity to share these stories in an enduring publication, so that others may read them for years to come. The only question is this: which of the many stories you’ve saved up over the years will you decide to share with the world?

The FAQ and Guidelines at the official website,, will help you choose, and will also show you how to ensure the best chance of publication in an exciting new book that is all about you and your important work:

From Our Lips to Your Ears: How Interpreters are Changing the World

The project website will provide you with all of the information you need. Here are some of the basics:

· Interpreters working in all settings are encouraged to submit stories.

· Stories should aim to provide readers with a greater understanding of the importance of interpreters’ work

· Submissions are accepted online, via email and via postal mail, starting on July 18, 2007.

· The final deadline for submissions is December 3, 2007.

If you have questions after reviewing the information on the website, feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to attend to your concerns. As additional questions from potential contributors are received, the FAQ, Guidelines and related materials will also be updated accordingly.

It is both an honor and a pleasure to be working on this exciting project, in the hopes that it will help bring greater recognition to interpreters everywhere.


Nataly Kelly, Editor

From Our Lips to Your Ears




Language Interpreters to be Featured in New Book

July 18, 2007 — Nashua, N.H. — The publication of a new book that will showcase interpreters and their contributions to society was announced today. From Our Lips to Your Ears: How Interpreters are Changing the World marks the first published compendium of stories about this unique and complex profession from the perspective of interpreters themselves.

“Millions of people throughout the world communicate each day without sharing a common language,” explained Nataly Kelly, editor of the publication, “This book shines a light on the unsung heroes that enable much of this communication to take place.”

The book will include personal anecdotes from interpreters working in an array of settings, Kelly said. “Interpreters are out there each day, helping deliver babies, interpreting witness testimony, rendering the words of foreign diplomats, and assisting consumers who wish to purchase goods and services.”

The stories in the collection will cover a range of topics of interest to the general public, Kelly pointed out. “This book shows how interpreters are helping meet a basic human need— the need to communicate with others.”

More information about the book is available at

The web site also provides detailed information for interpreters who would like to share their stories for possible publication in the book.


Nataly Kelly, 603/891-1101
Fax: 877/572-0779

The One-Million-Dollar/Euro Question

November 17, 2007

‘Tell me: Your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles say that you are a Translator & Conference Interpreter. Is there a difference?’

The answer is ‘Yes, there is’.

Let’s put it simply: these two job descriptions have about one thing in common (apart from adrenalin production). They deal with languages. Translation is the process whereby a statement in one language is converted into a statement having -hopefully and ideally- the same meaning in another language. That may sound boring as a definition, but some brilliant colleagues are authoring real PhD’s on the subject.

Human beings have more than one way of communicating. The two that are involved in ‘translation’ are the written word and the spoken word. Written words are translated, spoken words are interpreted. It’s as simple (apparently) as that. We navigate between two languages, but for each job, we use different mental patterns, different techniques, and we are submitted to different time constraints.

Imagine a translator with a 30,000-word manual needed next week. She may be typing away at her keyboard, feeding the text to a machine translation system, dictating it, whatever. If she is tired or bored, she can get up and get herself a cup of coffee.

Now imagine an interpreter faced with a PowerPoint presentation on the private life of some newly-found microcellular organism, delivered at Eurostar speed, in front of a 500-strong audience. See the difference? I don’t mean that the translator is working at a leisurely pace. She has a deadline to meet, so she can’t afford to waste any time, but the type of pressure is different.

Now, the one-million-dollar question: can you really be both?

My answer is Yes. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to develop these very different skills. I love trying to catch up with the Eurostar, and I love working from the comfort of my home office.

View Nadine Touzet's profile on LinkedIn

English vs. French

November 14, 2007

A good friend of mine was asking me the other day:

Friend: ‘You’re French, why would you want to communicate on the ‘net in English?’

Me: ‘Well, most of my clients are in the English-speaking world nowadays’

Friend: ‘…’

Me: ‘Most of my income comes from foreign companies or entities’

Friend: ‘…’

Me: ‘I have to talk to my real clients, what else can I do? Anyway, I mostly translate into French, so English-speaking people are the ones who need me most, if they want to communicate to their French clients!’

Friend: ‘Well, I suppose so…’

View Nadine Touzet's profile on LinkedIn