There is no way that a translator can get by in the world of freelance translation without having some translation resources at his or her disposal.
Back in the ancient days before the Internet, translators had to rely on good dictionaries and glossaries, as well as even better colleagues, to help them out with translation questions.
The world has come a long way.
Dictionaries and glossaries (as well as friends and colleagues) are still just as important as ever in the freelance translation world, but with the Internet, translators have a whole lot more resources at their disposal than they used to.
Dictionaries can be found easily online with a few keystrokes; glossaries are available for nearly every single discipline or topic imaginable; and are friends and colleagues don’t even have to be in the same time zone as we are and we can still contact them and solicit opinions on how to translate a string of text.
But translator resources go above and beyond the dictionaries and our colleagues. There are other ways that translators can maintain their skills and abilities in the profession, which is why we should look to these resources in the first place.
If not for these resources, we’d still probably be able to do our jobs somewhat effectively, but we would be limited in our ability to reach out to others within the profession, and thus not only help ourselves grow, but help others grow as well.
As evidenced by this website, I believe that it’s important for translators to give back. We should be encouraging the next generation of translators and language professionals. Someday we will have to pass the profession on to those coming behind us, and it behooves us to play an active part in paving the way.
Plus, karma’s real.
So with that end in mind, here are some language and translation resources that I’ve found useful in my time as a Spanish translator. Hopefully you can find some of these useful as well, or if not, maybe you know someone who might be interested in them and you will be able to point the way.
Whatever the case, if you have or know of any translation resources that you have found invaluable or think others might find useful in their profession, please let me know so that we can make sure we are helping each other out.
1. Linguistic Journals
This page contains a list of journals related to linguistics and/or translation. There are obviously more journals than the ones listed, but this is a good representation and a good place to start when looking for more academic pieces related to our profession.
2. Translation Magazines
While journals are normally scholarly publications, magazines are intended for a wider audience. Here is a list of magazines (both online and offline) useful to translators and interpreters. These magazines aren’t published very often during the year, but most have back issues online which makes it easier to catch up on what you might have missed.
3. Translation Conferences
One of the best ways for professionals to network is to attend conferences, and this is no different for translators, whether you are a freelance or in-house translator. A good number of translation-related conferences are held outside the U.S. in Europe, but there are a few that are held in the United States. It can be worthwhile to attend these conferences not only for the networking aspect, but to also get a handle on any new technology that could help you streamline your work.
4. Translation News
Keep up to date on news happening in the translation industry. This page is updated every day with news relating to translation and the translation industry. It’s a good place to go to get a world-view of what is going on in language and translation throughout the world.
P.S. For more tips on how to become a professional translator, be sure to read my book.