Daring to be bold with Ottiaq in Montreal on November 17

With the conference’s l’audace de voir grand theme very much in mind, I’ll be in Montreal on Friday, November 17 to celebrate Ottiaq’s 25-year commitment to raising the bar for translators and interpreters in Quebec.

My own contribution will be one talk in two languages, focusing on clients: Constituer sa clientèle—a vous de jouer in the morning, and a reprise in English in mid-afternoon as Building a (Good) Client Portfolio.

You’ll find the full program and info here https://ottiaq.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Programme_2017_EN.pdf

and here https://ottiaq.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Programme_2017_FR.pdf


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Talks in Washington, DC on Oct. 25 & Oct. 27

On Wednesday, October 25, I spoke at the IMF on emerging trends in today’s translation industry, then moved on to the ATA conference to present “Working with Direct Clients. For Real” on Friday.

A common theme: markets with priorities other than fast-faster-fastest and cheap-cheaper-cheapest exist, despite the clamor from bulk vendors and commodity pushers. And they hold enormous potential for genuinely skilled translators and interpreters. (Q: why and how are so many earnest potential suppliers missing the boat?)

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Homing in on specialization at VZV symposium in Amersfoort on Nov. 11, followed by Business Acceleration Masterclass in Utrecht on Nov. 12

On November 11, I’m honored to be speaking in the Netherlands at VZV’s symposium in Amersfoort. The theme is specialization, a word on virtually all observers’ and practitioners’ lips—and increasingly important as the split between bulk and premium markets widens.

On the following day—Sunday, November 12—I’ll be in Utrecht for a Business Acceleration Masterclass. This event is now fully booked. To be added to the waiting list or receive news of future masterclasses, please contact me directly. (chris.durban(at)gmail.com).

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September 30: celebrating International Translation Day with ALTI in Mersch (Luxembourg)

I’m looking forward to ALTI’s event tomorrow, where I’ll be speaking at the end of the day on venturing out of TranslatorLand. (Why do so many translators find it so hard to get out from behind their screens?).

Traverser l’écran : voyage (non virtuel) au pays des clients

Que d’avantages à rencontrer ses auteurs et clients ! Des échanges plus riches, bien sûr, mais surtout une meilleure compréhension de leur monde, de leur discours, de leurs angoisses. Sans parler des enjeux commerciaux. Car un client auquel vous avez parlé en personne, serré la main, avec qui, peut-être même, vous avez pris un café, est forcément plus fidèle. Or, la fidélité a son importance dans un monde en mouvement, où les budgets apparaissent et disparaissent toujours plus vite.

Pourquoi, alors, tant de traducteurs restent-ils cloitrés chez eux ? Prenons un moment pour réfléchir ensemble à ces histoires que nous nous racontons, nous autres linguistes, pour rester confortablement installés à l’abri de notre écran. Nous analyserons les conséquences négatives de notre « abonnement » au confort de TranslatorLand, avant d’envisager d’autres orientations concrètes, à mettre en pratique de suite.

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January 28: Specialization in the spotlight at SFT’s Matinale in Paris this Saturday

I’m delighted to be taking part in SFT’s monthly translators’ café in Paris this Saturday morning (January 28).
The event—which includes breakfast, a stimulating theme with lively speakers and networking with 50-70 translators and interpreters—is open to one and all, but it’s helpful for the organizing team if you sign up in advance.
This month we’ll be zeroing in on specialization—the genuine and the wishful thinking varieties, identifying hot areas, developing your skillset and letting clients know. See below.

Matinales IDF : La spécialisation en traduction, histoire de cœur ou de raison

En ce jour de Nouvel An chinois, les Matinales IDF (organisées par la délégation francilienne de la SFT) vous invitent à cesser de picorer : profitez des bons auspices du Coq de feu et de sa promesse de plénitude aux projets mis en œuvre pendant l’année pour miser sur la spécialisation. Pourquoi se spécialiser ? Comment choisir ? Comment se former ? Comment communiquer ?

Chris Durban vous aidera à trier le grain de l’ivraie pour reconnaître le vrai spécialiste du généraliste déguisé. Pour vous encourager à prendre votre envol, des professionnels tels que Gaëlle Gagné (aéronautique), Laurence Cuzzolin (B2B, communication d’entreprise), Mar Fernandez (océanographie) et Jack Przbilzki (juridique) viendront étayer ses propos en exposant ce qui les a conduits à leurs spécialités respectives, comment ils les consolident et les mettent en avant.

Pour plus d’infos et pour s’inscrire :  https://www.sft.fr/fo/public/menu/archives_news/news_fiche&newsId=1954#.WIduI5KnO6k

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Setting up as a translator in France—coming soon to a venue near you (in France)

For over a decade, Nathalie Renevier and I have presented a day-long, hands-on introduction to working as a translator in France four or five times a year for SFT, the French translators’ association.

SFT’s reasoning was simple: translators tend to be word people, not numbers people, and many academic translation courses have neither the time nor the in-house expertise to teach candidates how to run a professional practice. Yet in the Land of Red Tape, poor or misinformed decisions by newcomers on tax, health insurance, invoicing and other admin issues can come back to haunt them. Not to mention marketing: many young and not-so-young would-be translators have little or no idea how to go about identifying and winning good customers.

Whence “Réussir son installation et se constituer une clientèle,” offered by SFT in partnership with universities across France. Sessions are organized at the request of academics at these institutions or at the initiative of SFT regional delegates. For obvious reasons, the course is taught in French. (Even experienced translators report finding the content—updated regularly to reflect changes in French law—very useful.)

The next one-day course will take place this Saturday (December 10) in Lille, to be followed by Créteil (Paris area) on February 4 and Rennes on March 11. More dates are in the pipeline and will be announced on the SFT website in spring  2017.

Registration: Students and faculty members of host institutions attend for free. External participants are also welcome and can register via the SFT website (www.sft.fr, “Formations” tab—where you’ll also see feedback from past participants). The very reasonable fee qualifies for reimbursement under France’s FIF-PL/OPCA-financed training systems.

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St. Jerome’s Days in Prague on November 11-12, 2016

JTP, the Czech Republic’s Union of Interpreters and Translators, is publishing an updated edition of the Czech version of “Translation, Getting it Right” to coincide with the association’s annual St. Jerome’s Days event on November 11-12.

I’m honored to be invited to attend this year and will be giving a brief talk on the project’s origins and implications. And since practical matters are never far from my mind, will also delve into how practicing translators and teachers can use the brochure to promote professional translation in their practice and everyday activities.

Many thanks to JTP and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT), which is a partner in this event. (St. Jerome’s Days are now a part of the DGT’s “Translating Europe” program.)

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Le marketing du traducteur : positionnement et conquête client le 28 octobre à Berne (CH)

Looking forward to speaking at Swiss association ASTTI’s annual conference on October 28. Venue : Bern’s Kursaal. Topic picks up where my recent talk in Malmö left off:

Analyse des cauchemars (et autres angoisses) qui hantent les traducteurs indépendants dans l’industrie langagière du XXIe siècle.
Voici le tableau : votre marché, et avec lui votre source de revenus, est asphyxié par une vague de titans (qui livrent des traductions soi-disant premium à des tarifs imbattables).
Ces concurrents annoncent des traductions quasi miraculeuses, alliant technologies de pointe et processus ultra-performants (qu’eux seuls maîtrisent).
Vos clients les écoutent, sont séduits, leurs confient des contrats (à la pelle).
Et ces concurrents-bulldozers s’appuient sur des équipes commerciales aussi agressives qu’efficaces (sur des budgets énormes, suffisant à financer des campagnes publicitaires dont indépendants et petites entreprises n’oseraient rêver).
Cerise sur le gâteau, vous sentez approcher, dans votre dos (et en ce moment même), des hordes de traducteurs indépendants pratiquant des tarifs au ras des pâquerettes.

Est-ce le début de la fin ? Mais non ! En abordant ces peurs réelles ou imaginaires, nous proposerons quelques approches pour renouer avec vos clients — ou en trouver d’autres — et remettre votre activité professionnelle sur les rails.

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Paris, 17 September: co-presenting an SFT Matinale on Seth Godin’s altMBA

Once a month the SFT’s Paris delegation holds a Saturday morning get-together open to all comers, with a speaker on a topic of interest to translators. This September, Laurence Cuzzolin (an outstanding Eng & German>French translator) and I will team up to discuss insights gleaned from Seth Godin’s intensive altMBA program—which I took in June 2015, and Laurence in spring 2016. Full details here.

As always, there will be a Vois-là mon travail table where attendees can display work they’ve done. Total alignment with Seth’s philosophy here: if you’ve translated it and sold it—oh, and are proud of it (and shouldn’t you be, if you’re selling it to clients who trust you?)—sign it, people.

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Speaking at SLAM! in Malmö on Saturday, September 24

For the first time ever, eight language associations from four Scandinavian countries are organizing a conference for language professionals from Scandinavia and all over the world. Several hundred participants have already signed up and the program looks very good indeed: visit the conference website (SLAM! = Scandinavian Language Associations’ Meeting).

I’m honored and delighted to be presenting a talk from 8.45 to 9.30 on “Barbarians at the Gate”.

There will also be a Business Acceleration Masterclass on Sunday morning; at this point all places are booked, but get in touch if you’d like to be put on the waiting list. (chris.durban AT gmail.com)

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