To ensure the money keeps rolling in, freelance language professionals must keep their skills up to date but also follow changes in the market and in clients’ needs. Adjusting the way we run our businesses sometimes means learning new skills and even branching out into new areas. However, as freelancers we are not necessarily well equipped to make such changes on our own, and we must therefore make use of others in our network – be this in the form of a mentor or of sharing with others who are going through the same process.
In this presentation I will share with you how an increase in clients’ requests for writing services led me to get interested in medical writing. I will recount how I got in touch with others in this field and helped set up a network for science and medical writers in the Netherlands. Organising and attending events for the network has led not only to new contacts but also several new clients. I’ve also learned a lot more about using social media platforms. An additional discovery along the way is that many young scientists with language skills are looking to move away from academia and into writing jobs in the Netherlands – a move that may need the support of organisations such as SENSE.
This session will probably be of interest to language professionals – freelance or otherwise – looking to move into new areas. I hope to give you pointers on how you can use your network to explore new options, discover new talents and expand your business. Those interested in learning more about medical writing and the newly formed Netherlands SciMed Writers Network are also very welcome to attend.
Sally Hill studied biology at the universities of Sheffield and Nijmegen. A former research scientist, she works as a freelance medical writer, editor and trainer in scientific writing at Dutch universities. She finds her experience in education sometimes slows down her editing work, though using the comments function to educate her non-student clients about good writing is not necessarily a bad thing. She is a keen networker and helps organise meetings for other Netherlands-based science and medical writers. She’s also a contributor to and editor of the SENSE blog.
Jennifer de Beyer:
|12:45–13:00||Welcome and opening annoucements|
Be(a)ware of (round) brackets (especially ‘Dutch’ ones)!
“I just moved on.” – Museum translations
Future competence profiles of EU translators
How much time does quality require?
|17:10–17:40||Jennifer de Beyer
Making reporting guidelines more useful in biomedical science and beyond
Make sure you can receive our mails!
Check your spam box and add sense-online.nl to your list of trusted senders!
Using your network to branch out into new areas
Fair Trade Translation in an unfair world
From whining to shining
Honing skills through near-peer exchange
Editing in the era of digital nomadism: How I look after my mental and physical health
Setting up shop: newcomer perspectives on the translation industry
|18:00–19:00||‘Setting up shop’ networking|
Make sure you can receive our mails!
Check your spam box and add sense-online.nl to your list of trusted senders!
Language interference: Forewarned is forearmed
Writing effective comparisons in scientific articles
|15:20–16:40||Ashley Cowles et al
Panel: Maintaining productivity as your family grows
The plain truth: Applying Plain English principles to improving texts
|20:00-??||Pub quiz & networking|
N.B. Programme subject to changes.
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The translation industry is changing, meaning that aspiring freelancers and recent graduates need new skill sets and different strategies to set up shop properly. If you’ve ever wondered how recent newcomers to the profession deal with game-changing developments such as PEMT, globalisation, Brexit, GDPR, cloud tools, and the ever-downward pressure on rates, don’t miss out on this panel discussion.
The panellists will discuss a broad range of topics, including acquisition, marketing for freelance translators, diversification, standing out from the crowd, and much more. In addition, we will compare today’s market with the professional starting point, back then, of the more seasoned translators and editors in the room. Has it really become more difficult to start a successful business nowadays? Or have the technological advances made everything so much easier? Finally, we’ll discuss how SENSE members can help their newest colleagues and what new recruits have to offer in return.
Jasper Pauwels is a full-time freelance translator, translating from English and French into Dutch for many translation agencies across Europe. His translation and proofreading services cover a wide range of topics, with a strong focus on legal and marketing translations. He is also a sworn translator under Dutch law. Before starting out as a freelancer in 2017, he completed two degrees in translation at two different countries. The solid foundation formed during his Bachelor of Translation degree from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht, was complemented and enriched by his Master’s in Translation from the University of Antwerp.
Thirty years old and a Dutch native, Branco van der Werf has been working as a freelancer since before he graduated. He specialises in transcreation and the translation of marketing materials, educational texts, and B2B copy. In addition, he is currently studying towards attaining his teaching degree for English.
Now 28 years old and the face behind Tiga Translations since 2020, Louise Wetzels received her translation diploma from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht, in 2014. She has almost 4.5 years’ experience working in-house at a translation agency, both as a project manager and as an English to Dutch translator/reviewer. Her fields of experience are marketing, tourism and customer-oriented texts.
Lloyd Bingham translates from Dutch, German, French and Spanish into English and is based in Cardiff, Wales. An in-house translator for three years before going freelance six years ago, he is a member of ITI and a tutor on ITI’s Setting Up as a Freelance Translator course. Lloyd has given talks on leveraging social media to build your translation business.
Nigel Saych is the founder and owner of a creative translation company based in Nuenen, near Eindhoven. No longer responsible for the daily administration, he is still very much involved as an active translator. Before his career change to become a translator, Nigel worked in international education. It is this fascination for learning, especially that involving languages, that maintains his interest in professional development for linguists, whatever their age.
By putting in place a set of terms and conditions, language professionals can add an essential skill to their toolkit. Most of us don't come from a business background, but linguistic skills alone are not enough in today's challenging marketplace.
With this in mind, during my workshop we’ll explore how to approach and resolve the current imbalance in the marketplace, where, typically, the client's terms and conditions have always dominated.
The workshop will focus on the art of negotiating terms and conditions – the do's and the don'ts – how to negotiate to our best advantage, to give something but also to get something in return.
The session will teach freelancers how to build a set of terms either from scratch or by adapting those of our professional organisations which freelancers can use over and over again and adapt as necessary to all sorts of jobs.
The workshop will be as interactive as possible, with participants bringing their own experience and queries to our session.
Sue Leschen is a lawyer-linguist based in Manchester, the United Kingdom, and is the director of niche market company, Avocate – Legal and Commercial French Services. She sits on CIOL’s Council and also on CIOL’s Interpreting Division Committee and Equality and Diversity Committee. She regularly presents both face to face and by webinar on legal terminology and professional interest issues. She is also a mentor and business guru for new and existing freelancers, and actively supports the use of properly qualified, insured and security-vetted language professionals.
Museum translations are not just a fascinating sub-genre in the translation market; they are also very public translations that are on view in high-profile locations. Some of them are very good, but others come with prominent quality issues. These may well be the result of budget problems (perhaps prompting museums to use low-cost agencies or DIY solutions) or simply of translators taking a far too mechanical approach to their work. In other words, poor translation may be the result of a poor translator, of a translator not being sufficiently aware of the needs of the target audience, of what might be termed ‘translator’s privilege’, or simply of overly mechanical (that is, unthinking) translation.
But what does the target audience – museum visitors themselves – think about the quality of the translations with which they are presented? A mini-research project that involved observing and talking to visitors at two Dutch museums generated a number of fascinating findings that will be presented during this talk. A subsequent discussion with a museum educator produced a conclusion that serves as a neat pointer for translators wondering how they can win the battle with translation machines.
Tony Parr is a professional business translator (from Dutch and also French to English), language editor and translator trainer. After graduating in Dutch and French at Cambridge University, he gained extensive experience as both a freelance and a staff translator and as a teacher of translation, principally at the Dutch National College of Translation in Maastricht. Tony is the co-author of Handboek voor de Vertaler Nederlands–Engels, first published in 1995 and now available from Intertaal. Operating under the name of Teamwork, he and Marcel Lemmens have organized workshops and conferences for language professionals in the Netherlands since 1993.
This interactive introductory workshop aims to support language professionals working with biomedical researchers to use and recommend reporting guidelines for manuscript preparation.
Reporting guidelines aid research article preparation by providing the minimum information needed for a particular study type. Many journals, particularly in biomedical research, require reporting guideline use and the submission of a completed checklist alongside a manuscript. However,researchers are often unsure how to find and apply the right reporting guideline. Writers, editors, and translators can help to ensure the research articles they work on are compliant.
The workshop will combine short presentations, discussion, and practical exercises, and will be accompanied by a handout. We will focus on reporting guidelines for research involving humans or animals, such as health research, psychology, and veterinary medicine.
After training in laboratory research and working in academic editing, Jennifer de Beyer joined the EQUATOR Network’s UK Centre at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), University of Oxford. Here she develops online and in-person training in academic writing and using reporting guidelines for clear, transparent research reporting. She also provides editing and writing support for CSM’s team of medical statisticians and methodologists.
The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative dedicated to improving the quality and transparency of health research. It focuses on research reporting, so that future research is based on a sound body of evidence. Through its four centres in the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia, EQUATOR raises awareness of reporting guidelines, provides online resources, develops education and training, and conducts research into research quality and transparency.
Young researchers often lack writing skills. Their supervisors or professors tell them ‘you learn by doing’ and this results in their struggling alone. They would profit from a course on scientific writing.
Attendees will come away with a basic lesson plan and guidance on how to approach teaching researchers/PhD students to write a clear and well-structured article or thesis. We will discuss how to write a catchy title, a well-structured and clear abstract and a convincing conclusion. I have chosen these elements because I hear that most scientists first read these sections of the article before deciding whether to read the rest. If required, we could also talk about the introduction and discussion sections.
This will be an interactive workshop. Attendees will be able to ask questions and I shall share with them my years of experience, my mistakes, the scientists' problems I have tried to solve. Their professors are very often too busy or away travelling so they come to me. Some researchers, from non-European cultures, do not dare ask their professors for advice for fear of losing face; they come to me for advice instead. I do not solve all their problems but at least they have a listening ear.
For more than 30 years Ann Bless has been running courses on scientific writing and giving workshops at various universities in Europe. She has written a book, Reader friendly scientific articles. Be clear, be readable and has co-authored with Lee Ann Weeks The elements of English editing. A guideline to clear writing.
Photo by Michael Hartwigsen
There is no shortage of conference accommodation in the Netherlands, so choosing one just requires a map of the country and a pin, right? Wrong, especially if it’s for the SENSE biennial conference…
Two years ago, I was asked to recommend a location for the 2018 conference. It was quite a challenge, but eventually the decision went in favour of ’s-Hertogenbosch – not because it was a city nobody could spell, but because it offered the right combination of facilities that discerning SENSE members expected.
So what is the ideal location for our conference? In short, there isn’t one, as everyone has his or her preferences. Some of us want a city location with good public transport connections, others want a monastery in the middle of nowhere with free parking, no distractions, and waking up to bird song. As we are becoming a more international event, simply choosing a place that is accessible by train, bus or bike is not enough.
Starting last January (yes, January 2019!), I longlisted almost fifty locations that, in my experience with other conferences, would be suitable. These included several locations suggested by other SENSE members. I shortlisted this to twelve. Of those twelve, five did not have availability, offered a ridiculously high rate or simply failed to respond. Finally it came down to a straight contest: Rotterdam or Maastricht. My personal recommendation was for Maastricht, partly because they had come in second place in 2018, and were very, very keen to have us this time.
During the summer, several of the conference committee members visited the location, viewed the facilities and spoke to the staff. In the end, Maastricht won, but as a consolation prize Rotterdam got the Eurovision Song Contest!
Price is not the only issue, though of course this is a major consideration. Flexibility is most important. I had to explain to all the potential locations that if I was organizing a conference for a major national/international/multinational company, I could tell them immediately how much accommodation we would need, safe in the knowledge that the organizers would pick up the tab. It’s quite unusual for conference locations to understand that we are all freelancers, we pay our own expenses, and because the event is not during ‘office time’ (in other words, in our own time), SENSE cannot guarantee attendance numbers a year in advance.
Another important consideration was that the location should not charge more for two half days than they would for one full day. That’s a bit of a cheek, as it’s unlikely that they would be able to sell the conference facilities on the Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, so in true Dutch tradition, it’s a case of ‘twee halen, één betalen’!* My shortlist was limited to locations that were prepared to meet us on this point, and most of them were.
I hope I have found the right location for the 2020 conference. If I have, you may congratulate me in June; if not, it’s the committee’s fault! The planning of the speakers, the programme, the workshops and the other activities is going ahead at full steam. My job is complete, but I’m already looking discretely at locations for 2022 – just in case the committee asks me again!
This is where we well be holding the pre-conference workshops and the conference itself: at the four star Amrâth Grand Hotel de l'Empereur in Maastricht. Conference delegates will be able to book a room at the special conference rate once registration for the conference itself opens.
For more information about the conference hotel, see the hotel's website.
Check this page for full details of the conference, location and programme!
© Image by Maastricht Marketing/Jonathan Vos. All rights reserved.
* for non-Dutch speakers, this is the equivalent of ‘Buy one, get one free’.
Have you ever wondered whether your tablet could be used for professional purposes, rather than just for reading, online shopping, or watching movies? Join an experienced conference interpreter and technology trainer and find out how your iPad can help you get things done faster and better – from reading, writing and reviewing documents to managing projects or knocking tasks off your to-do list while on the go.
We’ll start by discussing how language professionals can set up their devices for multilingual use and how it works seamlessly with your existing hardware. Next, we’ll discuss research and writing – from outlining and mind-mapping to finding the information or turn-of-phrase you’re looking for to writing whenever you want, wherever you are.
After that, participants will tackle collaborative writing and editing on a tablet. You’ll learn how to draft and review text with faraway colleagues, wrangle “track changes” in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, and up your proofreading game by using audio or a stylus.
Finally, we’ll explore tips and apps that will help you to run your business from your tablet, including to-do lists, reminders, invoicing, and more. We’ll also check out some helpful accessories that are the perfect companion for your tablet.
At the end of this workshop, you’ll feel much more confident using your tablet and be inspired to make the most of it for your work.
* This workshop focuses on iPads, but can be adapted to accommodate both iPad and Android tablet users.
Alexander Drechsel is a senior European Union staff interpreter, working from English, French and Romanian into his native German. He has also translated several non-fiction books, he blogs on interpreting and technology, and produces two podcasts (The Troublesome Terps and LangFM). Alexander is an experienced technology trainer with many online and offline workshops under his belt, and has given several talks and presentations on technology topics at industry conferences (including ITI, CIOL, BDÜ, ATA, AIIC, and eCPD Webinars). His workshops are insightful, fun and friendly; and they focus on the participants, their skills and expectations.
* MET, NEaT, SfEP, APTRAD, EASE
** If you are unable to attend an event, you may arrange for someone to take your place.