"Thoughts on Translation" by Corinne McKay

Review by Rafa Lombardino

Title: Thoughts on Translation... the Translation Industry and Becoming a Translator
Author: Corinne McKay
Published in: 2013
Language: English

Based on her popular blog by the same name, Corinne McKay's "Thoughts on Translation" offers great advice for beginner translators and features some cautionary tales to seasoned professionals as well.

Corinne is a French-to-English translator certified by the American Translators Association (ATA), whose blog I've been following for a few years now. I've also attended a couple of her presentations at ATA Conferences and one of the suggestions I've taken away with me was to always write a few blog posts in advance, so you always have some fresh content to publish on your blog :-)

Additionally, I listen to Speaking of Translation, the podcast she created with her colleague Eve Bodeaux. I like the frank way they talk about important matters, such as working with directing clients, marketing their translation business, and choosing payment options―so much so that I use two of their episodes as homework material during my Tools and Technology in Translation class at the UC San Diego Extension.

That's why I was excited to hear about her new book―she had already published "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator" back in 2006. Good material in book form that depicts the translation industry in realistic terms is hard to come by, and I wanted to recommend quality advice to my students.

"Thoughts on Translation" is divided into nine sections: (1) Getting started, (2) Growing your freelance business, (3) Technique and quality, (4) The freelance mindset, (5) Client relations, (6) Technology and home office setup, (7) Marketing and networking, (8) Money matters, and (9) Webinar questions. As you can see, there's a little bit for everybody and I especially enjoy her perspectives on marketing and becoming a good presenter in order to share your knowledge with your peers.

Corinne has over ten years of experience in the industry and her advice is to the point, yet detailed. She talks about a lot of the dilemmas we face in our daily routine and offers optimistic and creative suggestions on how to face the challenges and difficulties and enjoy the freedom and feeling of accomplishment you get from working as a freelancer.


RAFA LOMBARDINO is a translator and journalist from Brazil who lives in California. She has been working as a translator since 1997 and, in 2011, started to join forces with self-published authors to translate their work into Portuguese and English. In addition to acting as content curator at eWordNews, she also runs Word Awareness, a small network of professional translators, and coordinates two projects to promote Brazilian literature worldwide: Contemporary Brazilian Short Stories (CBSS) and Cuentos Brasileños de la Actualidad (CBA).