By Marion Rhodes
A little more than a year ago, when I started working as social media coordinator for the Colorado Translators Association, I was very much a newbie to the world of xl8 and t9n. Even though I had been working as a translator for many years, I never really thought about connecting with others in my industry using social media. Little did I know that there was such an active community of professional translators right at my fingertips!
Part of my job as social media coordinator involves updating the CTA Twitter and Facebook accounts with relevant information. In order to find interesting articles and tips to share, I started searching for news online about translators and the translation industry. I created Google alerts for these terms and began monitoring the relevant hashtags (xl8 and t9n for “translation”) on Twitter.
Right from the start, I was amazed at how much translation-related information is available on the Internet every single day. Through news articles and blog posts, I suddenly discovered insights into our industry that I had never imagined.
And I quickly realized something else. Some translation professionals seemed to be omnipresent: on Twitter, in Facebook groups, in blogs, in podcasts and interviews, in webinars, in the ATA Chronicle, at industry conferences. There are thousands of translators across the globe, but the same names just kept coming up online.
If you’re following translation-related news on Twitter, you probably know most, if not all, of them. But if you are new to the scene like I was a year ago, here is a list of some of the translators who are particularly active on social media, and why you should check them out:
Who: Catherine Christaki (@LinguaGreca)
Why you should follow her: Catherine shares tons of valuable information for translators on Twitter, and she has an interesting blog that covers a variety of topics of interest to translators of any language. It also features a Q&A series called “20 Questions,” where she shines the spotlight on her industry colleagues and allows them to introduce themselves.
Who: Tess Whitty (@Tesstranslates)
Why you should follow her: Coming from a marketing background, Tess has great insights into how to market your translation business, which she shares in her blog and on Twitter. She also runs a podcast series called “Marketing Tips for Translators,” where she interviews successful colleagues about their secrets.
Who: Corinne McKay (@corinnemckay)
Why you should follow her: Corinne offers advice on how to manage a freelance business, discusses topics of interest to translators, and has a variety of useful tips for industry newbies on her blog “Thoughts on Translation.” She’s also the author of two translation books and hosts a podcast with her translation partner Eve Bodeux (@ebodeux).
Who: Marta Stelmaszak (@mstelmaszak)
Why you should follow her: Marta is very active when it comes to sharing information on Twitter and offers lots of great business advice for translators on her blog. She also runs a successful online “Business School for Translators” course.
Other names worth following:
Chris Durban (@ChrisDurbanFR)
Nicole Adams (@NYAcomm)
Jost Zetzsche (@jeromobot)
Kevin Lossner (@GermanENTrans)
Judy Jenner (@language_news)
Dagmar Jenner (@Deutsch_Profi)
Uwe Muegge (@UweMuegge)
Steve Vitek (@VitekSteve)
Jayne Fox (@jaynefox)
I’m sure there are many more, but these are the ones I have encountered most often so far.
Now, what does all of this mean for you? For one thing, you should follow these people and enjoy their willingness to share information with the rest of us. But there’s more to learn from them than translation tipps. Just a year ago, these people were all complete strangers to me. Today, I know their names, recognize their faces and know which language combinations and specialities they work in. If I saw one of them at a conference, I wouldn’t be shy to walk up to them and introduce myself, because their online presence has provided me with plenty of conversation starters.
Most of all, if someone needs a translator in one of their language pairs, these people will be the first ones on my mind for referrals. Based on their expert contributions to our profession, I know that I can recommend them without hesitation. They may still technically be strangers, but thanks to their well-rounded online presence, they are less strange to me than the hundreds of other translators who also work in their language combination.
If you know of anyone else who is very active and worth following, please add them in the comments below. I’m looking forward to getting to know even more of my fellow translators.