The super practical translation blog - recent articles

4 keys to better, stress-free back translation

Back Translation guideThe definitive client guide to back translation.

You'll learn:

  • what back translation is and how we go about it
  • what it gives you, and what it won't acheive
  • what projects it's suited to, and when not to use it
  • how to successfully manage your back translation projects

Includes a free 28 page e-book.

Plus two explanatory videos.

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Simple steps to great multilingual dtp outcomes

multilingual dtpA comprehensive, must-read guide for anyone involved or interested in multilingual desktop publishing.

Business clients and project managers will find all the information and practical know-how needed to successfully manage multi-language projects.

And designers will learn the problems areas for typesetting foreign language texts into an existing design - and how to overcome them.

Includes a free 40 page e-book.

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The 9 essential components to a professional translation invoice

Translation invoiceThe primary aim of your translation invoice is to get you paid for your services - on time!

For that to happen, it must have all the right content – the following 9 essential elements every translation invoice should include.

Plus there is proven wording to use for your invoice descriptions, and key invoicing tips from our 20+ years experience.

And we have a set of free invoice templates designed especially for freelance translators, and a downloadable invoicing checklist (pdf) to keep for future reference.  Plus video.

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Negative translation feedback - what an opportunity!

Translation feedbackIf you’re like most freelance translators you won’t enjoy being asked to respond to negative translation feedback.

But here’s the surprising thing:

When that request comes from an agency and the criticism is unwarranted …

… it’s actually a great opportunity.

We explain how to respond so you not only come through with your reputation intact, but actually enhance your standing with the agency - and make them want to give you even more translation work in future.

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How to create the ideal freelance translator website

Translator-websiteWhat does it take to create a website that so impresses your potential clients they’ll happily place their translation work with you?

Well, it takes getting your content just right and doing a superb job at establishing your credibility.

If that sounds a bit daunting, then this article is for you.

We'll step you through exactly what your freelance translator website needs to achieve precisely that.

Free downloadable checklist.   Plus video.

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The super practical guide to the 4 main types of translation for business

4-main-types-of-translationWe dissect the 4 main types of translation used in business, and identify:
- the advantages and disadvantages of each
- the different quality levels each type produces
- what each method is best suited for, (and when you should and shouldn't use them).

Which is just the knowledge you need to select the right type of translation for your projects, and so better manage translation cost and risk.

Includes downloadable summary infographic. Plus video.

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The dead simple way to get great client testimonials

Client-testimonialsMost people, understandably, find getting great client testimonials somewhat challenging.

Well, our method is simplicity itself, and has worked like a dream for us for years - just look at our results.

It's a method that has a bunch of advantages, including that it's automated, dead simple for your clients, and easy to implement.

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The smarter, more effective approach to quote follow up

Quote-follow-upFor most people, quote follow up simply means firing off an e-mail and hoping that will do the trick.

But here's the thing:

Whilst an "e-mail and hope" approach is better than nothing and will bring some success, there's a much, much smarter and infinitely more successful way to tackle quote follow up.

In fact, it's so much more effective we’re sure that if you follow these guidelines you’ll end up earning more, it’s that simple.

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The secrets to crafting successful translation quotes

Here’s the thing about translation quotes:

You can’t just provide a bunch of information and expect to be successful.

Winning quotes are carefully crafted, well directed marketing - they need to promote your expertise and showcase your professionalism.

If that sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry!

This article has everything you need to create professional, engaging and effective translation quotes - and so increase your chances of landing more work.

With free downloadable checklist. Plus video.

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The 5 keys to an effective translator cover letter

ideal freelance translator cover letterA freelance translator cover letter targeting an agency should have one simple aim ...

get them to read your CV.

That’s it, nothing more.

With this focus, knowing how to write an effective cover letter is really dead simple.

In fact, ... there are just 5 key areas to get right.

Includes infographic. Plus video.

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A freelance translator CV to dazzle the agencies

get more freelance translation workYou only get one shot …

and probably no more than 20 seconds.

That’s about how long an agency will spend on their initial assessment of your translator CV.

To a get a foot in the door, you need to avoid the basic mistakes, and get a bunch of things right.

Here is your 10 point guide to crafting your perfect freelance translator CV and maximising your chances of landing work from agencies.

Free infographic. Plus video.

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13 proven strategies for getting more freelance translation jobs from agencies

When it comes to agencies, you can bet 20% of the freelancers they regularly work with will be doing 80% of their translation jobs.

With the majority offered only occasional projects.

Want a free leg up to get into that 20% who get the lion’s share of the work?

If so, then this article is for you.

You'll get 13 unique, simple, super-practical strategies you can implement today to get more freelance translation jobs from the agencies you want to work with. (With a succinct downloadable summary pdf for future reference)

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The 5 proven ways to earn a monster freelance translator salary

5 ways to a mega freelance translator salaryMost freelance translators don’t earn a super high salary, yet a select few make enough to live (almost) like royalty.

So, how do they do it?

This infographic delves into the five strategies the highest paid translators use.

Would you like to join them?

Who wouldn’t! Trouble is, we're picking not all of these scenarios will work for you. In fact, only one of these strategies is likely to appeal to most freelancers. Includes infographic.

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The Freelance Translator’s Fair Pay Rates and Income Calculator

Freelance translation rates calculatorSome freelancers really struggle when it comes to setting their translation rates. Their dilemma is whether to go low to compete, or higher to earn a decent living.

But here's the surprising thing: Many translators don’t actually know what rates they need to charge to earn that decent living. Doing those calculations can seem a bit complicated.

Well, we’ve just changed all that ...

We’ve created a simple tool any freelancer can use to see in seconds how much they need to charge for their translation services to be fairly paid for their work.

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Realistic translation times using human translators

Translation times in tableThe translation times suggested here should work for most projects. They are based on realistic expectations for translation speed by professional human translators taking care to translate to a high standard.

In this article I’ll explain how we arrive at these time frames and discuss some factors that impact on human translation speed and thus turnaround times.
Putting all this together, we suggest the following guidelines:

(Free downloadable pdf to keep for future reference)   Plus video.

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The Advantages Of Using Professional Translators

Professional translatorIf you require a good quality translation, ensuring your documents are handled by a professional translator can be really important.

After all, the quality of the translation can have a long-lasting effect on the reputation and image projected by your company.
Four good reasons for using a professional translator:

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English to Arabic translation: display issues to avoid

Arabic signEnglish to Arabic translation can be supplied in many different file types. Irrespective of the program used, Arabic translators take care to ensure their finalised translation files will display correctly on their clients’ computers.

However problems can arise if clients then make changes to those files, or attempt to use the Arabic translation elsewhere.

Here are some features of Arabic text that can lead to display issues:

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Chinese Name Translation Demystified

ConfuciusThere are various systems for rendering Chinese names in English, and it’s important a Chinese translator uses the most appropriate method.
There are approved systems and accepted formats for Chinese name translation, but different systems are used from region to region.

This article discusses the common formats of Chinese names, the different Romanization methods used in different Chinese-speaking regions, and provides guidelines for Chinese to English name translation.

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Welcome to the PacTranz translation blog!
Dennis picArticles are written mainly by Dennis Brown, PacTranz Managing Director, and veteran Spanish to English translator.

Our blog aims to provide useful information on translation for both our clients and freelance translators.


Check out our YouTube channel featuring videos of our most popular blog articles.

Subscribe to our Blog

Key articles for clients

Realistic Translation Times for Human Translators
With a downloadable table of suggested time frames for clients to use. Video

The 4 translation methods and when to use them
The pros and cons of machine translation (MT), MT + human editing, human translation, human translation + review. Video

Translating technical texts – do you need a specialist technical translator?
Two practical guidelines for deciding when a subject expert is needed.

Getting a translation reviewed: 2 key tips for best results
Where things can go wrong, and the 2 essential considerations to avoid that.

Multilingual desktop publishing - the ultimate guide
Everything clients, project managers and designers need to know to produce great multilingual materials. Free e-book

Successful back translation - the definitive client guide
Everything you need to know, do and avoid for successful back translation outcomes. Videos and free e-book.

Key articles for translators

How to write the perfect translator CV
Comprehensive 10 point guide, and the do's and don'ts. Infographic. Video

How to create the ideal freelance translator website
Guide and checklist, key tips and mistakes to avoid. Video

13 ways to more freelance translation jobs from agencies
Unique, simple and uber-practical strategies you can implement today.

The secrets to crafting successful translation quotes
What to include (12 point checklist), how to market your expertise, free templates. Video

The freelance translator’s Fair Pay rates and income calculator
A simple, flexible tool for setting your rates, forecasting your income, and more.

5 ways to a mega freelance translator salary
Lighthearted article and infographic but with more than a grain of truth.

The super simple way to get great client testimonials
The highly effective, but very simple method we use and how you can copy it.

How to create a translation invoice that will get paid on time
9 point checklist, free templates, proven wording, astute tips. Video

Older posts
A short glossary of translation and interpreting terms and jargon

How accurate is Google Translate? – what it’s good for and when not to rely on it

The translation skills a professional translator needs Video

The 5 step language translation process Video