16 Translation Tips for 2017 From Speakers at #ata57

Update October 9th 2019: This blog refers to adaptive/statistical machine translation, which has now been replaced by SDL’s powerful neural machine translation (NMT) solution. To learn more about NMT please click here.

Wow, what an amazing 4 days in San Francisco. ATA 57 was officially the biggest event so far, with over 1800 attendees enjoying sessions, a Tweetup, networking, photobooths and much more. With so many amazing sessions taking place, I think it is safe to say some translators wished they could’ve been in two places at once!

During the event we tweeted speakers to find out what translation tips they would give to a translator for 2017 and you can see their responses below:


“if you had to give a translator at #ata57 one tip for 2017, what would it be?"


It pays to talk to people! As you can see this was the most popular piece of advice during ATA 57. Whether you attend the ATA Conference, ITI Conference, SDL Trados Roadshow or any other translation industry event, start a conversation with as many people as possible – you never know what that conversation might lead to.


Your CAT Tool is your friend! Trial the latest version, join a webinar or get a demo at an industry event by visiting an exhibitors booth (SDL’s I hope). Improving knowledge of your CAT Tool and everything it has to offer will boost your productivity in the long term.


If you’ve been trying the same marketing techniques for a few years now, set yourself the goal of trying something new. Have you ventured into social media yet? Do you write your own blog? Could direct marketing work for you? Think about what you want to achieve in 2017 and try something different!


Your rates are precious to you and vital to achieve your earning goals in 2017. Don’t budge on them!


As our industry evolves you must continue to be flexible and want to continue to learn. With trends such as chunking of projects, deadlines are becoming shorter than ever before. And don’t forget to keep up to date with enhancements in technology for your CAT Tool and see how they can benefit you – SDL Trados Studio 2017 will include two big new innovations; AdaptiveMT and upLIFT technology.


Depending on what stage you’re at in your career, there is the opportunity to either find a translator who can have a positive influence on your career or there is the opportunity as a seasoned translator to become that positive influence for a newbie in the industry.


Understanding the context of the source text is key! Once you have understood it, let your natural tone and flair shine through in your translations.


Whether it is developing relationships with a translation agency or working directly with a client, think about how you can create new opportunities to grow your freelance translation business in 2017.


Some of you may be reading these tips and only a few will interest you. That’s OK, focus on what you want to achieve in 2017 and how you are going to achieve it. It’s all about consistently learning and developing your skills as a translator!

Do you have a translation tips for 2017? Share it with us in the comment section!