Friday, 20 December 2013

‘Tis the season to be... stressed about presents Gift ideas for translators and interpreters Part II

Jessie Doppler has written part II of her blog post...
We hope Part I of our ‘Gift ideas for translators and interpreters’ has served as some inspiration. Should you still need a few more ideas, here are a few more pointers:

1)     Website domain
Having your own website domain is a great way to make your business visible. It can often seem overwhelming when you start out as a freelancer: setting up/registering your business, finding clients, accounting, marketing, networking, responding to emails, doing the actual translation/interpreting work, and the list goes on, and on, and on, and...
So, registering a domain can sometimes be put on the back burner. After all, you first need to earn money to buy a domain and possibly get a website designed, right? Buying a domain is actually not THAT pricey or as complicated as some may think and it would make a great present for a budding translator or interpreter you may know.

2)     Moleskin notebooks
You’re probably wondering if people actually still use notebooks now that everyone has a smart phone, tablet of some kind, laptop, etc. But, I think you will find that most translators and interpreters can put these to good use. Check them out!

3)     Business cards, stickers, labels postcards has many great things to offer. We’re pretty sure most translators and interpreters wouldn’t mind some stickers of their logo printed.

4)     Office equipment / software and keeping warm
We know, we know! This is not the most exciting gift category. But let’s face it, these are little things that could make any translator’s life easier and warmer. If you believe in Father Christmas, these could even make great stocking fillers.

Flex clip copyholder or document holders (these can be handy for translators who prefer to translate from a hard copy or when printing PDF documents, etc.)
Fingerless gloves (they should be warm yet not too thick, otherwise typing might pose a problem. You can find these in all shapes, sizes and colours)
Dragon naturally speaking (speech recognition software)
Free Agent (accounting software) OR Translation Office 3000

5)     CPD

You didn’t really think our list would be complete without some CPD, did you? Why not take advantage of our 20% discount on past webinars? Get the discount code here and check out our archive of available webinars (we have recently updated it: take a look).

6)      We’re running out of ideas now if all else fails, how about a cat or two? And we’re not talking about the ones you can install on a computer to assist translation work (but remember, pets are not just for Christmas). If your translator or interpreter friend is not an animal lover or looking for the extra commitment, keep it simple and get a bottle of something festive (that should go down a treat after a busy year).


Monday, 16 December 2013

‘Tis the season to be... stressed about presents: gift ideas for translators and interpreters Part I

‘Tis the season to be... stressed about presents: gift ideas for translators and interpreters Part I

Thanks to Jessie Doppler for today's blog post!

Have you been working what feels like 25 hours a day in the run-up to the holidays and now can’t believe it is already the week before Christmas? Have your friends, loved ones or even colleagues been following your every move since October, in the hope of picking up on the slightest hint you may give to what gift you would like? We know the feeling. Why not leave your computer or tablet open on this webpage or print it out (and subtly leave it lying around, of course) to give them some pointers.

Dear friends, family, colleagues and pets: if you are still struggling to find the ideal present for a translator you may know, whether your partner, friend or a colleague, we hope this little list will serve as some inspiration. It has been compiled just for you:

1) Coffee / tea time

Oh, this has to be every translator’s or interpreter’s favourite time of the day.
  • Coffee machines are an extremely useful gift.
  • They come in all shapes and sizes so the colour, size and brand will depend on how generous you are feeling, of course. But be sure, your translator friend will be very grateful. 
  • Design your own mug: why not have the translator’s logo printed on a mug? OR get some  Pantone mugs, OR a Penguin mug?

 2) Relaxation, posture and massage devices:

Bad back? Bad circulation? Too many hours in front of the computer?
  • Cat's paw: this is a great little device to exercise your hands. If you are suffering from strained overworked hands, carpal tunnel or want to release tension in your wrist, this is the perfect device for you. 
  • Spiky massage ball: this helps to improve your circulation, eases tension and provides relaxation of the body. Or, how about this one: Gymnic activ massage roller 
  • How about a massage session? I don’t know many people who wouldn’t enjoy this. What a great way to end 2013 and start 2014 a little more relaxed.
  • Posture correction support brace: I can see that this is not the most fun, personal or even exciting gift. But sometimes it is also nice to be given those little useful things we don’t want to spend money on ourselves.
 3) Headphones / headset

  • A selection of headsets or headphones, again, these come in all shapes and sizes. And the sound quality may vary too.

4) Name a star

  • Name a star: what a gift! You could either let the translator / interpreter register the name, or you could choose one yourself (how about their company name?). This particular gift set comes with a registration pack and a star locator map. But we’re there are many others out there to choose from.



We know books are such a cliché, BUT, let’s be honest: who doesn’t enjoy a good book?

Let’s not forget it is a festive season and there should be some room for fun books too:

  • Schottenfreude: German words for the human condition by Ben Schott. As ‘The Spectator‘ puts it: a homage to German's capacity for word-confection . . . it bring[s] the peculiar delight of German to its author's numerous fans.
  • This would make a great present for a German translator.
  • A pis of cak: children at their most seriously funny by Peter A. Jeffcock. Maia, our Director of Customer Relations, says she would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy a good laugh. She has never read anything as hilarious and reckons it is the perfect gift for any linguist. I’ve already put it on my personal Christmas gift list too.
  • The meaning of liff: the original dictionary of things there should be words for by John Lloyd and Douglas Adams. I was given this book a while back and every time I open it, I have a good laugh. It is one of those you can just pick up, open on any page, read one or two sentences and put down again. Perfect for a short break from those tricky translations.

 6) Adopt an animal

  • This is a great gift for animal lovers. The list of animals you could adopt is endless. Here are some suggestions with links (Lucy has adopted Millie at Sidmouth, shown in the picture on the right.)

Stay tuned for Part II.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

When statistics get exciting!

If you have a website - and in 2013 few translators haven't - you probably use an analysis utility to find out who is visiting your site.

I still am completely and childishly fascinated by the global breadth of the appeal of eCPD Webinars.

Recently, I delved fairly deeply into the demographics of visitors to the eCPD website. I was amazed to find that this year we had received visits from 148 different countries. Apparently there are 195 independent countries in the world, so our website has had visitors from 76% of the entire globe.

I also discovered that this year we have received over 41,000 visits, 43% of them new visitors and our overall visitor rate has increased considerably over 2012. One person visited us from a land in the Arctic I was not even aware of - Svalbard and Jan Mayen - a Norwegian territory in the Arctic. I am truly thrilled that so many people all over the world want to know more about us.

Moreover, a detailed look at a different set statistics for our mailings shows that while the majority of our readers are in Europe and the US, people as far afield as Indonesia, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Seychelles, and Panama regularly open our newsletters.

So I thought to myself that it would be great if we knew more about you. The one thing statistics do not provide is names or addresses - such statistics are anonymised of course. So this is an invitation to all of you, in whichever country you reside,  to tell us about yourself - your job, your goals and aspirations for the future, and what you are doing to enhance your career as a translator or interpreter. Send your contributions to me at or simply write a comment below and I will include some of them in a future post. I hope that we at eCPD are able to help you achieve your goals, increase your professionalism, and enhance your earning power.

Please note that if you you take up this invitation we may publish the information given on our blog. Please do not therefore send details that are too personal, though we will, of course, edit contributions so that they meet the criteria of publications on the web.

Keep visiting our website and reading our chatty newsletters.