From visiting translation events to telling your stories and from learning new words to switching professions, here are five ideas on what you can do in the next seven days.


1. Translate and create

This week, we focused on a series of articles devoted to transcreating — the process of “adapting marketing content so that the words and the meaning carry the same weight in different cultures,” as defined by Caitlin Nicholson of LinguaLinx. But, comes out, the virtues (and sometimes evils) of transcreation reach far beyond the marketing domain. In an article aptly titled “Translating Success,” Nicole Fallon Taylor of Business News Daily shares some tips that can help companies expand into new markets. The main points are:

  1. Choose a reputable translator.
  2. Create a style guide.
  3. Don’t use machine translation.
  4. Don’t ignore regional dialects.
  5. Don’t forget about cultural context.

The article includes quotes from Judd Marcello of Smartling and the already mentioned Caitlin Nicholson of LinguaLinx and is an interesting read for those who are just starting out their “global journey.”


In another article on a similar topic, Clint Poole of Lionbridge shares further insights on globalization lifehacks, including the following “lifehacks”:

  1. Ensure that your writing is simple and straightforward.
  2. Eliminate culturally specific references.
  3. Use culturally neutral and flexible design elements.

Sometimes transcreation can be studied through seemingly unrelated cases. For instance, Iris Yim of SparkleInsights takes a look at transcreation through a cinematic lens. In an article about a Chinese adaption of a Korean TV drama, she ponders about the globalization lessons marketeres can learn from such popular culture examples. Though it’s a peculiar way to think about the subject, it’s definitely worth a thought or two.

2. Tour the Americas

It’s been a busy week for the translation industry. With #TAUSac16 just ended, #LocWorld32 and #TranslatingEurope in full swing, and #AMTA2016 just about to begin, the Smartcat team is touring the North America to “see the people and show ourselves,” as they say in Russia. At TAUS, Smartcat’s vision of the future of translation technology earned us the second prize in the Innovation Contest.


Consider it a self-plug, but our view on the translation industry resonated really well with the audience. Our CEO Ivan Smolnikov started with referring to our key belief “that software should be free, and no one should be bound to be continuously counting licenses.” Then he went on to show what we believe is the future of the industry: advanced collaboration and artifical intelligence at the service of people (and not the other way around). We are currently preparing a detailed article based on our TAUS presentation that we will share on our blog. And if you are in for #LocWorld32 or #AMTA2016, you can talk in person to Ivan or our COO Jean-Luc Saillard and share your own views — we will be glad to hear your feedback!

3. Become a PM (or not)

The relationship between project managers and freelancers is an ever-topical subject. In the latest episode of #TranslatorsOnAir (proudly sponsored by us), translators Dmitry Kornykhov and Elena Tereshchenkova team up with Natalie Soper, a translator who made a sharp (or not so sharp) turn to becoming a PM in an international training company. Watch this episode if you want to know:

  • What lessons you can learn while working as a project manager at a training company.
  • What steps can you make to make the switch and go freelance.
  • How your previous job experience can help you in your freelance career.
  • What are some do’s and don’ts for translators and project managers to get along with each other.

You can watch the episode on CrowdCast or right here (via YouTube): By the way, #TranslatorsOnAir airs every Wednesday at 4 pm UTC, so stay tuned for the next episode at!

4. Borrow words

Which is better — to experience depaysement while traveling and eating something that gives you a shemomechama, or to be told that you have a backpfeifengesicht by someone who gives you a forelsket? If neither of this makes any sense to you, these articles from Transparent Language and BBC Culture will let you complement your vocabulary with some new terms that you are missing out in English.


The first one lists 22 words from other languages that don’t have direct translations to English. For instance, if someone picks on your commas and misspellings, you can always call them a Pilkunnussija in Finnish, and you won’t have to refer to touchy topics by calling them a “grammar nazi.” You will also know that there is a special word in Russian referring to the act of selling something to get booze — which is kind of sad. The second article goes into an almost opposite direction and talks about words that seem English to non-English speakers but are unfamiliar to anglophones. From it you will know that “body rental” has nothing to do with prostitution, “talking back” is not necessarily an unfriendly behavior, and “face control” is unrelated to the mastery of facial muscles.

5. Tell your story

And here’s something for the weekend. “Social media is one big exercise in storytelling. But it’s all so fragmented, with each of us telling pieces of stories, never taking the time to explore, and all competing for the same audience.” This is how translator Andrew Morris introduces us to Fabula, a community attempt to stop for a minute and hear each other’s stories in the hustle and bustle of our freelancing routines.


The idea is as follows: Every week, Andrew sets a topic (the one for this week is “the kindness of strangers”). You join the “Fabulistas” Facebook group and write your own story on that topic. Then the best story is chosen, shared on the Fabula website and facebook page, and eagerly publicized by Andrew and the other members. This may sound simple, but, when you think of it, it does sound like something we miss these days in the translator’s community: the chance to hear and be heard. After all, aren’t all lives stories?

So that’s it — we wish you a relaxing weekend and great stories for the next week! PS. We would love to hear your opinion about our weekly digest. Which bits did you like? Which not so? What else can we write about? Do let us know in the comments!

About the author

Hi, I’m Vladimir “Vova” Zakharov, the Head of Community at Smartcat. Translation is my profession and my passion, and I’m excited to be able to share it with the amazing Smartcat community! Questions? Suggestions? Just tweet us or write to Facebook page!