Saturday, December 29, 2012

Options in Translations Services, by GlobalVision International

The exceptionally smart folks at GlobalVision International, Inc. have done it again. I am sharing their blog post, originally published on their website on 12/10/12, entitled, "Options in Translations Services." Whether you are a corporate decision maker or an individual seeking translation services, this blog post is short and sweet, telling you everything you need to know about whether the right choice for you is machine translation, cloud-based translation, or full-service translation. Read and enjoy:
If you have any questions at all, feel free to post a comment. I will do my best to help in any way I can!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Translating Turkish Academic Paper Topics: Financial & Risk Management, Stock Market Performance, & Forecasting Volatility

Readers of this blog may not be aware that prior to becoming a full-time translator, primarily from Turkish into English, and becoming Director of Translations for REL Translations, I spent ten years in the investment management profession. For seven of those years I was an equity research analyst, devoted to following large and mid-capitalization companies and building detailed financial models to forecast those companies’ near, intermediate, and long-term results.

As an analyst, I was also trained to understand probabilities and statistics, as they relate to financial and risk management, and I even utilized event trees when grappling with an uncertain economic outlook. This allowed me to extrovert precisely how certain I felt about a company’s ability to manage through a difficult economic environment, as the case might have been.

I had to understand a wide variety of models used in economics and financial management for understanding risk, forecasting volatility, and interpreting stock market performance.

Why am I writing about this? It occurred to me that I have marketed REL Translations very effectively as a translations company, but there could be many potential clients in the academic arena – specifically, in financial management and economics – who do not realize the valuable synergy that my background and expertise bring to a project. A Google Scholar search for “VaR GARCH EGARCH” – three types of risk models – brings up over 5,300 academic articles and references in English, alone. How many Turkish scholars are out there, trying to get their papers published in English, who are unable to find translators with matching expertise?

So if you are looking for not only translation from Turkish into English, but also for a translator who understands a highly specialized academic area, such as economics or financial management, you need not look any further.  Just use the comment section to contact me. REL Translations & Turkish to English Business Services, LLC is here to help.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Marketing, Networking & Self-Promotion for Translators: Growing Your Business, Pt 1

Freelance translators, despite the fact that they are independent contractors and sole proprietors, very often forget that they are running a business. I do not say this to be critical of them as a group. They are among the brightest and most talented people I know: multilingual with graduate degrees in advanced fields that required years of study.  What they do for a living requires tremendous skill and should not be treated as a commodity, but rather as a high-level, value-added service.
When I say that they often lose site of the fact that they are running a business, I mean that they do not always focus on the entrepreneurial aspect of sole proprietorship. As a freelance translator, one’s business might earn a certain level of revenue year after year on a pretty stable basis – whatever that is – as sort of a steady state. But has this person ever asked her/himself, “How do I get myself to the next level?”
One aspect of being an entrepreneur and a successful one, at that, is networking. This term, “networking,” often carries a negative connotation, but in the following article, first published on James Clear’s blog, Passive Panda, and then reprinted in The ATA Chronicle (American Translators Association), you will see how simple networking really can be, and how essential it is to any entrepreneur. It is an integral part of relationship building, which, of course, is part of marketing and self-promotion, and that, my friends, is what eventually leads to increased sales.

24 Networking Tips that Actually Work
By James Clear

(The following originally appeared on James Clear’s blog, Passive Panda,

The idea of networking makes many people uncomfortable—or confused.

It is easy to see why.

When most people think about networking, it seems insincere at best—and selfish at worst. This, of course, is the complete opposite of what networking is supposed to be—friendly, useful, and genuine.

It is easy for most of us to be friendly and useful with people we know. However, because networking is a “business activity,” it is easy to think that we need to act in a different way.

Unfortunately, most networking strategies come across as pushy, needy, or self-serving—even though the people using them rarely act that way in day-to-day life.

Do not worry. There are definitely genuine ways to self-promote. So, in the spirit of helping everyone become a better networker, here are 24 networking tips that, from my experience, actually work.

The Real Goal of Networking

1. The goal of networking should be to help other people. Yes, it would be nice if they helped you out as well, but networking is a two-way street. And your side of the street is all about helping others, not asking them to help you. Asking for favors should only become a possibility once you have learned more about the person and provided some value to them.

2. It is far more important to understand other people’s needs before you tell them about your needs. Your goals should not be on the forefront of your mind. You are trying to develop a relationship with others, which means you should be thinking about them. It is your job to understand the people in your network, including where they are coming from and what is important to them.

Setting Expectations

3. You do not need to know the most people, just the right people. There is no need to shotgun your business cards across the industry or to pepper everyone with e-mail. Instead, focus on finding people who are relevant to you. As time passes, you can decide if the interests that you share with someone are worth pursuing further. It is better to have five people willing to help you than to have 500 who simply know your name.

4. Do not expect anything. The fact that you reached out and made contact with someone does not put them in your debt. No one is required to “pay you back.” Instead of approaching networking with the goal of gaining favors, try reaching out with curiosity.

Contact interesting and relevant people and see what happens. Some of them will respond and some of them will not. Learn about the people who follow up. Find out what makes them interesting and how you can help them—and do not expect anything in return.

5. Do not leave networking to chance. Take some time and define what you are looking for in your network. Occasionally you will stumble across someone amazing by accident, but it is a lot easier to find who you are looking for if you know who they are in the first place. Be proactive and create a list of people whom you want to contact on purpose.

6. Go beyond your industry. Connect with people on a variety of levels from a wide range of areas. By growing your network outside of the usual areas you will be more valuable to people who are in your immediate industry. The people with whom you work have personalities and multiple interests, right? With a broad network you can be the person who connects people across industries.

7. Do not dismiss anyone as irrelevant. Maybe you do not think a local blogger would be a good contact because you work at a medical practice. However, when you open a new branch and want to let people know about it, you will be glad you reached out to someone with an audience.

How to Reach Out to Someone New

8. Quantify how much time you are going to take. People are busy and when someone new starts talking to them, the first thing that comes to mind is, “How much time is this going to take?”

Address those concerns from the start by saying something like, “Hi. I have one item that I’d like to discuss with you briefly. It should only take two minutes. Do you have time now?” Asking questions like this not only shows that you respect their time, it also gives you the option of speaking with them later if they are too busy now.

9. Start by offering praise, not requesting help. Unless you have a mutual contact who is putting you in touch for a specific reason, it is best to avoid asking for anything when you meet for the first time. Do not ask for favors, for promotion, for advice, or even to meet up for lunch or coffee. Simply start by offering a short compliment. After they respond to this initial contact, you can begin moving things toward a lengthier meeting.

10. Keep e-mail short. If your first contact is via e-mail, split the message into smaller segments. Instead of reaching out to someone new with a long-winded, five-paragraph explanation of why you are contacting them, use that first e-mail to focus on a small bit of praise. You can send further details to them after they reply. Keep that first message friendly and short.

11. If you must ask for a favor, then ask for permission to continue. There are some situations where you need to ask for something, but do not have the luxury of time to get to know your contact. Most situations do not fall under this category, but if you must ask for something, then weave in requests for permission before you make a request. Here is a real example.

I was talking to the director of an organization recently about offering a new course to his clients. I started by asking for permission to continue. “I’ve run successful courses on X before. Would you like to know more?” He was interested and we ended up having a great conversation.

An additional benefit of this strategy is that you are getting the other party to say “Yes” to you. As a general rule, if you can get people to say yes three times, then the odds of your offer being accepted by them drastically increase. You do not need to ask permission for everything, but if you are opening a conversation where you will need to make a request, then it can work wonders.

How to Build the Relationship

12. Try to provide as much value as you possibly can. The more value you create, the more it will come back to you many times over. Focus all of your networking efforts on helping the people you contact.

13. Start by focusing on being friendly and helpful. This is the number one tactic you can use to build your network. Simply spread information in a friendly and helpful way. Did you read a book that others in your network will enjoy? Tell them about it or send them a copy. Are you using a resource that would help a friend with a project on which he or she is working? E-mail the information to your friend. Hear some new music that others might enjoy? Send it their way. Building your network is the same as building friends. Be interested in what they are doing and offer friendly suggestions when you can.

14. Develop the habit of introducing people. Connecting like-minded people is a powerful way to enhance your network. The idea of doing this seems foreign to many people, but it is actually quite easy. Do you know two people who enjoy reading the same type of books? Or like the same sports teams? Or love reading about history? Or work in the same industry? You get the point. Do not make it hard. Just introduce the two of them by sharing their common interest. They can decide if they want to pursue the relationship further.

15. Ask if people want to be connected. If you are apprehensive about connecting two people, then ask one of them if they want to be connected. “I know another person that’s doing Y. Would you like for me to introduce you sometime?” Even if they are not interested, they will appreciate the offer.

16. Nurture your current network. Most people think of networking as reaching out to new people, but do not forget about the network that you already have. (Hint: You probably call them your friends and co-workers.) There is no need to wait to meet new people to start connecting others or sharing useful information. Network within the groups that are already close by.

Making Networking a Habit

17. Try to contact one person per day. If you reach out to five new people every week, that would be about 250 per year. Sending an e-mail or making a quick call will only take about five minutes of your day. Not everyone is going to get back to you, but if you contact that many new people, then you are bound to make significant progress.

18. Do not take “No” personally. Everyone is busy. For most people, it is simply a matter of timing. If you catch them on a good day, then they will happily talk or meet with you. If they are swamped, however, then a simple “No” might be all you get. Do not take it personally. In most cases, it is not a reflection of you or what you said.

19. Make it a point to follow up. One or two days after meeting someone for the first time, follow up with a brief e-mail or note. This is an opportunity to develop the relationship by bringing up something you discussed before or making a comment on an interesting topic. Following up with relevant conversation helps to anchor your previous interaction in their mind and displays more personality than just sending a message that says “Thanks for talking!”

20. Did you fail? Try reaching out in a different way. You do not want to pester anyone, but if you give the person a few weeks and do not hear a response, then there is nothing wrong with being persistent. For example, dropping in to talk face-to-face has resulted in great conversations with people who ignored my e-mail previously. Sometimes switching it up is all you need to do.

Things to Remember

21. Network with the intention of helping other people, not yourself. People enjoy doing business with those they trust and like. The only way to build that trust is to engage with others in a helpful way. Yes, trust takes a long time to build, but insincerity takes even longer to overcome. Once you have developed a relationship and created a bond, then you can move on to negotiating for favors and asking for help.

22. Networking is more about listening to what people say than saying the right
things. Take the time to listen to people’s stories. You can only provide something of value to them if you listen to who they are and what they do.

23. Sometimes the best networking opportunities involve real work. Volunteer for events, committees, or projects that will involve interesting people. Working on a project or task with someone is one of the best ways to develop a relationship. For example, volunteering for a nonprofit can be a great way to get to know an organization’s influential board members.

24. E-mail is easy to send—and ignore. Yes, e-mail is quick, simple, and can be sent to anyone, anywhere. E-mail is also very easy to filter out and ignore. If you really want to meet someone, then do not be afraid to pick up the phone, propose a video chat, or arrange a face-to-face meeting. These communication channels are usually less crowded and more personal, which means that your message will be more memorable. E-mail can be a great tool, but do not be afraid to mix it up.

Take the First Step: Reach Out
You do not need to be a master to start building your network. Just taking a moment to reach out is a big step that will help most people. Sharing useful information and connecting likeminded people are simple actions that everyone will appreciate. Focus on being useful and do not make networking harder than it has to be.

Find out more about Rachel and REL Translations at

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Asking Price for Translations

A reader of my blog recently posted a question about what a "good," or reasonable, asking price is for document translation. Although the inquiry may have seemed simple on the surface, it was actually quite complex. In my opinion it required a somewhat nuanced answer. I decided to reply with a brand new blog post.

The asking price for translation depends mainly on two factors: the language pair and the type of document being translated.

The language pair refers to the language you are translating from, or the source language, and the language you are translating into, or the target language. For example, my translator working from English into Urdu charges less on a per word basis than my translator working from Spanish into English. It may have to do with the fact that the former is living in India where the cost of living is relatively low compared to the U.S., where my Spanish to English translator resides. I did the following Google search: "average rates for translation language pairs," and the first link to appear was for a list of aggregate rates on, a highly respected translator community, to which I belong. Viewing it will give you an idea of some, but certainly not all, of the variability in rates charged, just in terms of translation from English into other languages:

If the document type is highly specialized, like a medical journal article or legal document, for example, a translator will usually charge more than if it is something very general, like a pop culture magazine article. The same platform allows you to select a "field of expertise" (e.g., Medical: Pharmaceuticals) and compare translation rates across language pairs. I have provided the following example:

The third factor that will often affect the asking price for a translation is the deadline. If the job is needed in a hurry, there is likely to be a higher charge for a “rush job.”

In actuality, a single translator may have a whole range of prices that he or she charges, depending on the parameters of a given job, which is why this question is so difficult to answer directly and simply.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Turkish Language and the #1 Reason to Have Your Academic Paper Edited by a Professional

Even if your academic research papers are written in English and do not need to be translated, after reading this post you will quickly realize why it pays to pay a professional to edit your work.

I am attaching a link to a terrific paper, by one Emrah Görgülü of Simon Fraser University, entitled, "The Givenness Hierarchy and Its Implications for Specificity in Turkish." It is a fascinating discussion (for us grammarians and linguists) on the use of the accusative case in Turkish and the question of specificity versus non-specificity.

The paper was either written in English originally or beautifully translated into English by a translator whose first language is English. I almost hate to say, however, that I found two grammatical errors on the first page alone, and more throughout the text as I was reading.

The paper's content is first rate, and I am only drawing attention to the typos for the sake of my own (shameless) self-promotion:  it pays to pay a professional to edit your work! REL Translations ( will certainly translate your academic papers and research, if that is what you need, but we can also provide editing and proofreading services at reasonable rates.

Do not let your hard work and high quality academic research be overlooked because you have allowed it to be published online without having been professionally edited first. Pay for perfection - pay to get it right.

This blog post can also be viewed at

Friday, September 28, 2012

Translation at Reasonable Rates

Everywhere you look, individuals and companies are trying to lower costs and save money. Translation is no exception. Private individuals in need of document translation (secondary school, vocational school, or university transcripts and diplomas; marriage, birth or death certificates; proof of divorce; proof of military service; various other short legal memoranda and all sorts of other immigration-related documentation) need to be sure that they are receiving quality work at reasonable rates. Today's sense of "financial insecurity" means that people are less inclined than ever to take a chance with their money on a poor translation outcome. This may be especially valid for a PhD candidate or academic who is trying to get his or her research published and first needs it translated into English. Grant money is hard to come by and there may not be much allocated for translation.

This is true not only of individual consumers but also of companies and large customers of translation services. The following blog entitled, "Planning a Realistic Budget for Your Translation Requirements," was written and posted by Sajan ( on September 19, 2012, and specifically addresses concerns that large customers might have over cost containment. Sajan's blog posts are always such high quality, so I am re-posting the link below and hope that my readers find it useful:

Remember that can always be your "go-to" source for complete document translation at reasonable rates. We can assign linguists to a project in any language pair, and your initial consultation/rate request is completely free.

You can also find this blog post at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Academic Translations in Perfect English

Why bother to have your research published in English and in English-language academic journals?

English-language academic and scientific research is the most widely read and the most widely published throughout the world. If you want to be recognized in your field, you must have your papers translated into English.

I read dozens of academic research papers across a variety of subjects – Social Sciences, Arts, Humanities, Film Scholarship, Rhetoric, Social Media, Secularism versus Islam, Linguistics, Languages, Turcology, Archaeology, Biology, Health Care, Medicine, Biotechnology, Finance, Business, and so much more.  It is really a shame to see how poor the quality of many of these translations are. So much of this research – and it is obviously high quality research – reads like a translation.

A scientific study design consultant and statistician (PhD Johns Hopkins University, 2007) whom I spoke to recently and who is based in Albany, NY, USA, said that she is forced to exclude research, no matter how good it is, every time she learns that it has been translated from another language into English if she has doubts of any kind about the quality of the English translation. It jeopardizes the integrity of the research she is attempting to collate.

At REL Academic Translations, this is our specialty – this is what we do. Our translations never read like translations, and your painstaking research will never be excluded from any type of meta-analysis, combination research, or academic journal because the quality of the translation is poor.

Get your work translated right the first time. Whether you are a non-native English speaker teaching or doing research at a university in the U.S. and feel more comfortable writing in your native language, or you are based outside the U.S., we can help you get your work translated into perfect English that does not read like a translation. Visit our website at Thank you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Immigration Documentation Isn't Just for New Arrivals

When we think about the subject of immigration documentation translation - marriage, birth, and death certificates; national identification cards from one's country of origin; proof of military service; secondary school, vocational school, or university course transcripts and diplomas; proof of divorce; and other short legal memoranda - we usually make the association with relatively new arrivals from other countries to the United States.  In most cases we assume that the people needing these sorts of documents translated are recent immigrants, or are here on work or student visas, and are applying for jobs or to colleges and universities. 

There are numerous reasons, however, that people who have lived, worked, or studied in this country for years may need immigration-related paperwork translated at various times.  For example, when a foreign-born person gets married, New York State requires an English translation of the person's birth certificate before being able to grant the marriage license.  More generally, all states require proof of termination of any previous marriage.  This means that any person who has resided, been married, and been divorced, in a foreign country must show proof of divorce in the U.S. before remarrying and must have these documents translated if they are in a language other than English.

Whether you are living, studying, working here, or all of the above, most employers, universities, and U.S. government agencies require a variety of immigration-related documents to be translated and certified (notarized).  REL Translations has deep expertise in the area of document translation, editing, proofreading, and certification, and can ensure the accuracy of your translations for any purpose.

Please visit our website at  Thank you!