Business Practices

Worksheets on translation and interpretation, based on ASTM Standards:

Other documents Helen Eby wrote or was involved in

  • GT developed this Style Guide for translation into Spanish to guide clients as they review Spanish translations. It was first published on Feb 10, 2012.
  • GT developed this guide for web page translation for clients. 
  • Helen Eby, from Gaucha Translations, was the Technical Contact for the ASTM Subcommittee F43.03 on Language Translation that led to the publication of the revised Translation Standard,  F2575-14.
  • This PowerPoint is an overview of both the Interpreting and the Translation standards, including their legal implications and links to the ASTM download sites. Helen Eby has presented versions of this at ATA, ACES, OHA, and other venues.

Other useful resources

Finding work

Spreadsheets to help establish a business case for a rate

  • Helen Eby created a simplified approach to evaluating her rates from a cost of doing business perspective before launching as a full-time translator and interpreter. Click on the following link to download the spreadsheet. Helen-Eby-rate-rationale
  • The American Translators Association has put together a spreadsheet to help translators and interpreters evaluate their rates from a cost of doing business perspective. Please click on the link to CalPro on this page (right after the explanation paragraph).
  • Helen gave a presentation at NAJIT, in Washington State and in Oregon on business practices. She then wrote this document: How to be an interpreter or translator and not go broke
  • Negotiation is a very important part of life for a freelancer! Check “Negotiation – A Learnable Skill” in The Savvy Newcomer blog.  It may give you some helpful ideas on negotiating translation rates. Since 70% of interpreters also work in the translation field, this could be important.
  • There’s a great booklet by Jonathan Hine: “I Am Worth It!”. This book outlines the things to consider when you set rates as a freelancer. Check his online bookstore! It’s only about $6.

Before accepting work from a new client

The BlueBoard is “a searchable database of language job outsourcers with feedback from service providers” and rates language companies according to respondents’ LWA (Likelihood to Work Again). It gives a rating of 1 to 5 for free, and if you become a Proz member you can have access to more details. Proz also offers training, access to terminology discussions, etc.

Payment Practices™ is  the oldest and most extensive dataset related to the payment practices of translation agencies and other consumers of translation services. It has a free trial for 7 days, and then a very low cost annual subscription.

Translator Scammers Directory: Linguists post information on known scammers

How not to get a job. There are things you can say that will look bad to potential employers. Conversely, knowing these things can improve your chances with a client.

ATA guides for translation and interpreting contracting: