Month: October 2018

The “I put you first” strategy

Hello dear fellow translators,

It’s only been a couple of months since you’ve resumed work after the summer break and you already can’t tell if you’re coming or going? Here’s what you can do to manage the rush in 2 simple steps: the “I put you first” strategy.

  • Draw a list of all your clients with different criteria, such as how nice they are to work with, how much they pay, what types of projects they send you, how frequently they send you projects and so on.
  • Pick your top 3 clients and write them the following message:

“I’m writing you to give you a quick update about my availability. After a couple of weeks of holiday, I resumed work and things started to get crazy again so I decided to make one thing to deal with this: think about the translation partners I want to favor and build a special relationship with them. We started working together last spring/a couple of years ago. I delivered only a couple of projects for you as I was too busy dealing with other offers. I’m now having a new approach: I want to favor my partners who allow me to work under the best conditions and I think you’re one of them. So, please, be aware that whenever you’ll send me a translation or review offer, I’ll put your offer first to thank you for being a nice company to work with. Of course, if I have other projects planned, I might not have a full availability for you but I’ll always make my best to give you the best deadline and the best possible quality. I guess you must get many translation requests from clients those days so, please, don’t hesitate to send them to me and I’ll let you know if I can help you taking care of them.”

Result: I did it a couple of months ago and they all replied quickly and thanked me for my email. The day after, one of them sent me a 2700 word-project to translate from German into French. I couldn’t’ have been happier! So, if you have partners you enjoy working with and who pay well, never forget to tell them how you feel. That might be the start of a long and flourishing working relationship.

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Upcoming medical events

A new working year means a whole lot of new medical events! Let’s see what the next couple of weeks have in store for us.

The 3 must-attend events in oncology this fall, still open for registration

  14th National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference 2018 (NCRI 2018) Location: Glasgow Start Date: November 4, 2018 End Date: November 6, 2018

“The NCRI Cancer Conference is the UK’s largest forum showcasing the latest advances in cancer research. The Conference provides a platform for researchers, clinicians, people affected by cancer and industry representatives to come together to discuss, present and showcase high-quality research. Informative and interactive educational sessions attract over 1,500 delegates each year and create the ideal setting to establish new collaborations with key stakeholders in cancer research.”

  Mayo Clinic Cancer Center – Thoracic Oncology Update 2018 Location: Phoenix, AZ US Start Date: November 9, 2018 End Date: November 10, 2018

“Thoracic malignancies represent the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. This continuing medical education activity will focus on recent developments in medical, surgical, radiation and medical oncologic care of patients with malignancies of the chest. The conference will emphasize recent developments in molecular pathways of carcinogenesis and immunobiology as well as novel surgical and interventional techniques. Important clinical advances and clinical trials including surgical, medical, radiation and palliative management will be presented by a distinguished faculty.”

  2nd Annual Paris Breast Cancer Conference™ 2018 (ECBC 2018) Location: Paris Start Date: November 16, 2018 End Date: November 17, 2018  

“New agents, emerging strategies, and optimization of established regimens are changing the delivery of breast cancer therapy. Over the past decade, tremendous progress in the treatment of breast cancers has led to improved outcomes for patients, but has also complicated clinical management in this setting. We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Paris Breast Cancer Conference™, a comprehensive educational conference designed to help practitioners place emerging information into the context of landmark clinical trial data and established standards of care, with the goal of ultimately improving the care they provide to their patients with breast cancers. This practical and interactive multiday program features a faculty of leading international experts who will provide up-to-date information and guidance via didactic lectures, question-and-answer sessions, and extended interactive, case-based panel discussions. This format will enable participants to engage the faculty in a direct exchange of perspectives, personal experiences, and strategies related to clinical challenges in the management of breast cancers. This meeting is not to be missed! The activity will to continue the legacy and tradition of Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, in providing clinicians with the knowledge and confidence to maintain state-of-the-art care and to optimize outcomes for patients with cancer.”

  Are you going to attend any of the above conferences? Which other conferences do you plan on attending by the end of 2018?


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3 reasons why you should change your translator search strategy

When you buy a new computer, you don’t choose one blindly. And for translations, the same applies! For translation projects, the stakes can be very high. A poor translation can threaten the reputation of your company.

When you’re looking for a translator, what do you do? You type “English French translation” in Google. After all, when you look for an electrician, you’ll just type “electrician” and call the first 3, right? Why shouldn’t it be the same with a translator?

3 reasons why you should change your translator search strategy:

1. Would you let a robot write your scientific article?

You would certainly not. So why would you let a robot translate it? The first results on Google will actually be automatic translation websites. If you just need to translate a couple of words, that’s fine! These websites have greatly improved over the last decade but if you need to translate a clinical trial for a lung cancer drug, they won’t be a good fit.

2. Would you pay your dentist USD 30/hour?

With a such a low rate, you can’t expect a professional work. You’ve heard of translation companies. You’ll ask them for a quote and pick up the cheapest one. Ok, this might be a good strategy but you have to be aware of how some translation agencies work. Most of them work with external resources (translators and reviewers) to be able to meet the increasing demand. Nothing bad in that. Except when they expect translators to apply low rates. Translators willing to take on low rate-projects are not the best ones or not the most experienced ones. If you want to call on a translation agency, I would recommend you to make a targeted search to find the agency specialized in your specific area of work (e. g. finance, pharmacology, legal) and ask them about the experience of their translators and the fairness of their rate policy. Some translation agencies are very open to discussion when it comes to rates and value the experience of their translators. They’re the ones you want to work with.

3. Would you walk in the dark if you could use a flashlight?

It’s ok to be lost if you’ve never had to buy a translation. Let me guide you through it. Translating is actually a real job and there are translators’ federations. Just like in other professions, translators can be part of a federation. Such federations generally have a directory on their websites, like the Société française des traducteurs and the American Translators Association. You can search the directory to find the perfect professional for your translation job. The Société Française des Traducteurs has produced a short booklet called Translation, getting it right – A guide to buying translations, which is a gold mine of useful things to know before looking for a translator.

What’s your strategy when you have a translation job to get done? Does someone from your company do it or do you ask a professional translator? In any case, don’t hesitate to contact me for more advice about finding the right translator at I’d be happy to help.


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