Tag Archives: post in English

Ch ch ch ch changes

31 Déc

As the year is coming to an end, I’m embarking on a new adventure. I started this blog to document my transition from years working as an in-house translator to freelancing. Looking around me, I would see mainly people who started out as freelance translators (or who worked in-house for a very short period with the goal to freelance ultimately) and people who transitioned from a completely different carreer and I was curious how being both experienced as a translator and inexperienced as a freelancer would impact me. Fast-forward 2 years and I’m going back to working on a payroll… part-time, while maintaining my freelance business. The perfect balance? I’ll soon find out!




30 Nov

Business has been picking up in the past few months and with long days hard at work exciting new projects comes the desire to splurge treat yoursef. Trouble is spending your hard earned cash on fluff won’t get you far, especially if you haven’t cashed it yet. (Which reminds I really have to 1) do something about Terms and Conditions and 2) be more efficient with invoicing).

Anyway, ever since I started my business, I have my own way to celebrate: whenever I land a big project and/or new client, I buy myself a song. Clearly, 0.99€ or 1.29€ is hardly indulgent, but listening to the tune really feels like marking the occasion. And hopefully, I can  reward myself a second time with a year end bonus!

Ladies First

15 Oct

No trip to Berlin would be complete without some time spent in one of my favourite bookshops.


Modern Graphics has been selling comics and graphic novels in Berlin for the past 20 years. They have two branches: one in Europa-Center that specialises in mangas, and the shop that I’m more familiar with, which is located in Kreuzberg and also sells artbooks, posters and action figures.

They have a great selection from independant publishers, which makes the shop a fun place to keep updated on what is going on with the German comics scene.

I also enjoy checking out which French authors get translated in German. That’s how I discovered that publisher Carlsen  had launched a collection targetting women readers about a year ago, with comics from Pénélope Bagieu and Margaux Motin amongst others.


The premise is that women read comics differently. I’m not sure I’m on board with that. Sure, it’s better than stating that women don’t read comics. And I like that female authors and artists are represented in the collection. DC could learn a thing or two from this. But I’m not convinced that women are looking for something essentially different than men do, when they read comics. Sure, most of the women I know are more likely to read Persepolis type graphic novels than superheroes comics, but guess what? The same can be said of most grown-up men. It is a particular subtype of adults who reads superheroes stories, but the fact that it is special interest doesn’t make it male only. Of course, a little bit more representation would go a long way.

Interestingy enough, I came across this relevant article recently.

Summer in the city

25 Juil

Back when I was on a payroll, I always volunteered to take my holiday off-season. Being childfree, I was more excited about the idea of getting some winter sun in Depressing December ®, than about leaving the city at the time I like it the most. It has this laid back vibe, people are more relaxed, there are free events coming up left and right.  Now that I’m a freelancer, the summer is usually a busy time for me. All the more reason to plan my holiday in the winter… Now that doesn’t mean I don’t get to mix things up a bit and spend July outside of Paris for once! So, here I am back in Berlin. I think that being mobile is one of the great perks of freelancing and I already spent a month in Berlin not long after I started my business back in late 2011. I’ve documented my stay through a series of posts, so check out the Berlin tag for more thoughts about working abroad, co-working, racial issues in Germany and Berlin newspapers.

While I aim at spending one month a year working away from home, some people have taken it to a whole other level…

Zoë Perry, The nomadic translator, has lived in five different countries in the past seven years, not bad!

Carla, the Globe-trotting Texan, is sometimes a translator, sometimes a travel writer, but always on the road.

A while ago, Sarah Vilece from Tanslating Berlin has given you quite a few reasons why you might want to take your freelance work abroad. Looking for tips to work and travel?

A year ago, Corinne MacKay from Thoughts on translation had a call about taking her business abroad. You can check both Part 1 and Part 2 on the Speaking of translation website

Marta Stelmaszak from Want Words has listed the essentials.

I hope I have inspired you!





I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles

14 Fév

Paris is lovely all year round. And what is not to love about the free ice rink in front of the city hall? Well…



Still, the ice rink is great. Access is free and you can rent a pair of skates for 5 euros.


Money money money

29 Jan


Budgeting has been on my mind lately. Apparently, I’m not the only one with these thoughts and I came across this interesting piece:

Budgeting like a freelancer

More recently, Corinne McKay gave us an update regarding her take on the frugal lifestyle

Freelance frugality revisited

I find this tool quite useful to figure out what you should charge per hour:



Meanwhile, on the French side of the blogosphere, la Marmite has started a personal finance series a few months ago. Wise advice can be found here:


Finally, Patricia, from Intercultural zone shared her experience with cutting down on her phone bill:

Passez votre budget à la loupe


Live long and prosper!

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

16 Jan

Happy new year!  2013 is starting off, full of promises. You’ve reviewed 2012 and you’ve set new goals for the year to come. Maybe one of them is to get to know other translators, in which case, you should check the Matinales de la SFT if you’re in Paris. In those monthly breakfast sessions open to everyone, you get a chance to learn about a specific aspect of the profession and to share ideas with « colleagues ».

If one of your resolutions is to keep your languages in top-notch condition, last month session was loaded with helpful tricks. First, Eve Bodeux shared her ideas on how to maintain your command of your source language(s). Of course, as translators, we need to develop and maintain a perfect understanding of written text in all its nuances. Nothing is more effective for that task than extensive reading of all sorts materials. Same goes for the understanding of spoken language for those of us who work from audiovisual sources. That doesn’t mean we should give up on speaking and writing skills. Those can prove vey useful to communicate with our clients and earn their trust. So, if you’re not doing it already, you might want to consider skyping and writing to foreign friends or practice some interpreting exercises like shadowing.

Later on, Maria Marques explained how she came to create a « study group » with fellow Brazilian translators in Paris Cido and Evaldo. Every translator should take the time to work on their target language. This is especially important when you live away from your home country, as you easily loose touch with language evolution and pop culture trivia. The three Brazilians meet once a month to work on grammar, vocabulary and collocation. This is an awesome idea, but can only work with a small group of people you know and trust.

In any case, the next Matinales will take place this Saturday 19th of January and will deal with copy editors/publishing assistants. As someone who works both with the news business and the publishing industry, and who has gone through some training in copy editing at my last in-house job, I’ll be especially interested to learn more about the process.