Making the leap

Hot tips abound for apprentice translators just starting out. And there are master classes for experienced practitioners prepared to take things up a notch.

But what about translators in between, who have made the first cut—to the extent that they are still in operation 24-36 months after launching their business—but don’t yet have full mastery of their craft and the confidence that comes with it? Who are often working flat-out just to survive and need a more sustainable model.

Amid disruption and doomsaying across the profession, which clamouring claims should they listen to? Specialize! Add revenue streams! Focus on technology! Get out there and network! Ramp up your social media profile! Raise your prices! This presentation offers a road map for translators caught in the middle who are ready to stop surviving and start thriving.

Chris Durban is a freelance translator (French to English) based in Paris, where she specializes delivering publication-level texts to demanding clients—the shareholders, customers, and partners of a range of French corporations and institutions. For years she coauthored the Fire Ant & Worker Bee advice column in Translation Journal. In 2010 she published an updated and revised compilation of FA&WB columns in book form as The Prosperous Translator. In 2014 she contributed to 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know, published by WLF.

Chris regularly gives lectures/workshops on specialization and working with direct clients, and has published many articles. Most emphasize the benefits that accrue to translators and clients alike when linguists take a proactive approach.

Chris is a member of SFT and a fellow of ITI (UK).