A 2014 wrap-up/New Year resolutions

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It’s that time of the year again. Everybody is working like crazy to take some time off for the holidays or simply because clients seem to think the world will end during the holidays. Christmas is around the corner, some of us have already sent our season’s greetings, others are hurrying up to do so now. Mine, by the way, are already on the way. I hope the ones shipped to the other side of the ocean arrive in time. New Year will follow right after that and, when we least expect, it will be already 2015.

As some of you may already now, our blog will take a three-week break for Christmas, New Year and my birthday (I know, I’m being repetitive, but I do love birthdays, so please let me be). Therefore, I wanted to wrap this year up before taking a break. I think it’s worth it having a look back at what we have accomplished and set goals for the fresh new year to come. It makes us recognize everything we were able to achieve (even the mistakes and the bad things, which are also valuable as life lessons), finding closure and allowing us to focus on the upcoming year determined, with a plan to follow.

So here’s my retrospective of 2014:

  • I finally took the courage and changed my life to a much healthier one! Besides changing my eating habit, I started exercising. Now I certainly have a proper work/life balance and, guess what, I feel great!
  • I started running and fell in love with it. After hurting my knee starting out recklessly, I learned the lesson, started practicing Pilates focused on the recovery of my knee, ran my first competition of 4 km (ran and walked). After training more and recovering, I was finally able to finish a 5-km run just running from the beginning to the finish line. Two other running competitions followed up, with better times. It may be nothing to some people, but for me it was a lot!
  • I lost 10 kg! 😀
  • I started the guest post series on the blog and hosted amazing people.
  • I e-met awesome people on social media (especially on Twitter) and engaged more with the ones I already knew. Personally met other equally awesome people.
  • My portfolio of direct clients increased.
  • I started working with a translator role-model and received great feedback from her.
  • I took my branding to a whole new level: created my brand (Alberoni Translations) with a new logo, remodeled my website, took some professionally-shot pics, sent my first custom-made Christmas cards and ordered my first custom-made freebies.
  • I started out as a lecturer at a translation event at the same university I was once a student, which made it even more special.

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My goals for 2015 are:

  • Running 8 km in March and then 10 km.
  • Competing in tennis.
  • Starting practicing Yoga.
  • Attending the IAPTI Conference in Bordeaux, France, and taking the opportunity to visit my beloved England again.
  • Presenting in other translation events.
  • Meeting e-colleagues in Europe in person (those who live in France/England and/or will attend the IAPTI Conference, I’m talking to you).
  • Improving my branding even more.
  • Buying my own apartment and moving out again.

I may have forgotten one or two achievements and goals, but that’s pretty much it. I’m really thankful for everything that happened this year. I must say it was better than expected. Thank you all for reading our posts, liking them, sharing them and commenting! This blog would be nothing without you. Now I hope 2015 is even better, not only to me, but to all of you. May you accomplish all your goals/resolutions and land lovely clients/projects!

Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

See you next year! 😉

Importante note: Posts will be back on January 13th.

Having a downtime? Don’t freak out. Do something!

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As freelancers, one of the things we dread the most is not having work, right? However, all of us have already had some unwanted time off, still have and will keep having. It’s the normal flow in freelancing, there’s no escape. We cannot predict nor prevent it, only learn how to best make use of it – without freaking out. 😉

When I started out, I used to work every single day – including weekends and holidays – almost around the clock (I used to sleep only about 3 to 4 hours a night, when I slept). So downtimes were actually really welcome back then. They meant sleeping. Since nowadays I have a normal work life, i.e. working only during business hours, rarely more than that, I have to make great use of the available time I have.

The subject has come up to me because I’m currently facing some downtime myself. Yesterday, a client cancelled a project last minute and I had no other project scheduled after that. I already had some tasks scheduled to be done “sometime”, so it was just perfect! Yesterday, I made some calls to make doctor appointments (finally!), I e-mailed clients/colleagues/friends whose addresses I did not have in order to ask them to provide it and also did some accounting. Today, I wrote this post, booked a couple of bus tickets, organized some drawers and sent some e-mails. And the time was not enough to do everything I needed to do.

Apart from our regular to-dos, something I came up with for downtimes is scheduling future blog posts. I know some people already do that, but I don’t. I usually write/post them in the same day. And we all know this takes a lot of time, even though it’s a guest post. Therefore, I could save a lot of time for the future.

Doing some accounting, organizing the office, organizing the files in the computer, brainstorming ideas for everything, contacting prospects/clients/ex-clients, updating the CV and updating your social media information are only some of the things we all already know we can do on our free times. Now it’s up to you to find out what other things you could be doing to make better use of every second you have during your business hours when you suddenly find your schedule free.

As to the part of freaking out, or at least worrying a bit, about not having work, I guess we’ll always feel that. It’s natural instinct. Even though we know downtimes are temporary and they come and go, we can’t help feeling butterflies in the stomach thinking “no work, no pay” and wondering how long it will last. It always happens to me, so I won’t even bother telling you not to do so. 😉

How do you leverage your downtimes?

Giving thanks

Hello, dear followers! How are you doing? Are you ready for December?

As for me, I’m having a lazy and rather sleepy morning, so I decided to start the day with our weekly post to see if I manage to “wake up”.

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As you know, today is Thanksgiving. (I love it when special days fall on Thursdays! :D) Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in the US and in Canada every year, on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a religious holiday that does not really belong to any religion in particular. People gather with their families and friends around a table filled with food to give thanks for everything.

In Brazil, we call it Dia de Ação de Graças, but we do not celebrate it at all – it is not even a holiday actually.

However, I do like the idea of being thankful and using the date as an “excuse” to acknowledge all good things that have happened.

This year, I’m thankful for:

  • First of all, as always, my family. We lost one member, but won another, and another one is on his/her way.
  • Secondly, also as always, my friends, who are like family to me. They are always there for me when I need, always by my side in the good and the bad moments.
  • My professional life. I work with something I love the way I have always dreamed of. I wouldn’t change it a tiny bit.
  • The incredible year I had, both professionally and personally. I achieved many goals and accomplished wonders. I also completely changed my health life, and now have a perfect exercise and diet routine.
  • Meeting wonderful people who acknowledge my work and are incredible human beings. And all the other colleagues, for still being there and brightening up my day, every day.
  • And last but not least, you, my readers, of course, for reading, liking, commenting and sharing my posts.

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After writing this year’s list, I read last year’s. It is interesting to see the things we were grateful for in the past – what remains the same and what has changed.

Wouldn’t you also like to take this chance to thank for something?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related resources:
Menu para o Dia de Ação de Graças (English version)
Seven Thanksgiving Related Words and Phrases
The Best Foods to Eat this Thanksgiving (for runners – since I’m into running)
25 Thanksgiving Jokes That Will Get You Through Dinner With Your Family
Give Thanks in 30 Languages (since Portuguese is not on the list: Obrigada!)

How (not) to connect with people on LinkedIn

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Ok, I’m being repetitive and insisting on a subject that has already been covered many times by other people (not only translators), including myself. However, I hope that, someday, somehow, people might start realizing they are doing it wrong. Yes, I know, I hope too much. Nevertheless, if every time I tackle the subject I am able to change one single person, I’ll be satisfied. So here we go again.

LinkedIn is the largest social network on the Internet exclusively aimed at professionals where you can show your resume, career and educational background, work portfolio, connect with other professionals, join professional groups, follow companies. The problem is people think it is just like any other social media platform and do not treat it with the ethics and professionalism it requires.

As its own slogan says, Relationships Matter, therefore, the aim of the connections you make on the platform is not only to add up to your network in number and show you are well-know and know plenty of people. Do you walk around the streets asking unknown people to be your friend? I hope not. Otherwise, you’ll look like a freak. At work, if you want to be someone’s friend, you introduce yourself to the person and tell them why you’re approaching, right? So why not behave the same way on LinkedIn? According to Milton Beck, Talent Solutions Sales Director at LinkedIn Latin America, no behavior you would not have in person is accepted on a LinkedIn contact.

Therefore, do not add any random person just because you thought they were good-looking or influential, or even only because they have the same job as you do. Please, don’t, seriously. If you really want to add someone to your network who might not know or recognize you, introduce yourself and explain why you would like to add them to your network before actually doing so. You also have the option of sending a message with the request, so the person can read your introduction before completely ignoring it for not knowing you (something most professional people on LinkedIn do, including me). Besides being polite, this attitude calls the attention of the person to you, who gets to know you a little better, instead of only accepting another random person that will get totally lost in the middle of hundreds or thousands of other connections.

It’s better to have a few quality connections than a lot of random connections. Do not look unprofessional, only add people you know and always send introductions with your friend requests! Afterall, it’s your professional image at stake, not your personal one. It could cost you job opportunities.

Parla che ti fa bene!

If you are a translator and a blogger, you must already know today is the Day of Multilingual Blogging 2014, so I decided to write our weekly post today in Italian, one of my work languages, but one in which I never write (I only translate from Italian into Brazilian Portuguese). Therefore, please bear with me if I make any mistakes or if I write as a 9-year-old child. :/

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Nell’università, ho avuto la possibilità di scegliere tra l’inglese o il francese come la mia prima lingua di studio e tra l’italiano o lo spagnolo come la seconda lingua di studio. Ho scelto l’inglese e l’italiano. L’italiano perchè sono di origine italiana e ho sempre amato la lingua. Per me, è la più bella, con i suoi suoni e ritmo. Quando un italiano parla, sembra que stia cantando. Mi piacerebbe parlare l’italiano come parlo l’inglese. 😦

L’italiano, come il portoghese, è un lingua latina, quindi, loro sono simili in molti aspetti. Anche noi brasiliani non siamo molto diversi dagli italiani. Parliamo ad alta voce, usiamo le nostre mani per parlare, gesticolando… Questo perché avevamo gli immigrati italiani in Brasile nel fine del secolo 19, inizio del secolo 21, sopratutto nel sud e nel sudest. All’epoca, circa 15% della popolazione brasiliana era italiana.

Oggi, una grande quantità di brasiliani (nel sud e nel sudest) provengono di origine italiana.

Questo è tutto per il mio italiano. 🙂

Puoi trovare alcuni altri articoli interessanti in italiano qui sotto per il vostro riferimento.

L’Italia e suoi infiniti dialetti
L’invisibilità del traduttore
Qualità e tariffe: pagare poco è davvero conveniente?

Social media, branding & marketing

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As promised last week, today I’ll talk about my presentation at the XXXIV Semana do Tradutor (Translator’s Week) & I SIT (International Translation Syposium) at UNESP São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil. I was invited by my former Italian teacher at the same university to present at the event. It goes without saying that it was a fantastic and unforgettable experience to be a presenter at an event I was once a student attendee. Being on the other side, on the spotlight, serving (somehow) as an example is something every professional dreams of.

The idea of the topic arised from the fact that translation courses everywhere lack subjects oriented at the practical side of the profession. However, they are extremely important to following a successful career as a freelancer. I learned how to be a freelance practicing, living and learning, but it would be great if I could guide students on the dos and don’ts so they are better prepared when they graduate.

Branding

‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly […]. ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Do you know the definition of branding? Well, we all certainly know what brand is, right? However, brand, in the context of branding, is not only a name, symbol or logo that identifies a company. It is not limited to a graphic form. It represents the company’s identity and its values and products/services developed and sold. From the point of view of the consumer, brand is a perception that results from experiences, impressions and feelings regarding a certain company, product or service. It’s its internal structure, principles, products/services, relationship with clients, means of communication, and all actions that directly or indirectly interfere on the image.

Branding, therefore, means brand management. It comprises the strategies to add value to the brand. It aims at making the potential consumer believe that your brand is the only solution to what they need. It envolves passion – the most visible external part of your brand. Branding is a simple mental model that collectively represents what people feel, think and say about a brand, where the meaning is established throughout time by experiences and consistent positive engagement.

As a freelancer, you are your brand, so you should know how to manage it accordingly.

Steps to creating a brand:

  1. Choose a name.
  2. Choose a logo.
  3. Have your own domain.

Have your client in mind when following the steps above and be authentic. Don’t try to be something you are not nor show an image that does not resonate with you. The idea is to differentiate your brand from all the others available in the market and to highlight it.

In order to find out what your brand identity (values and attributes you want to pass on to the market) is, try answering the following questions:

  1. What gives you pleasure? (What do you really like doing?)
  2. How do you like working? (At home? At an office?)
  3. In which way? (Try to remember how you accomplished that project you are so proud of. Was it working late at night? Was it following a strict routine?)
  4. Why? (What values you definitely do not give up on? For example, quality of life, safety, challenges, visibility.)

This last question is essential to finding your meaning in life. It requires a deep personal thinking and helps you find what inspires you to get out of bed at 5 a.m. every morning or to work late or even around the clock. As the Cat, in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, said, you need to know where you are going to in order to know which way to take, otherwise, any way will do, and you may find yourself completely lost further down the road.

Marketing

Marketing, as the name says, is how you market your branding. Marketing that does not add value is simply ignored.

The first and most important marketing tool is the website. As a translator, you should pay careful attention to grammar and punctuation. Carefully proofread your content or have someone you trust do it for you. Also, have it translated to all the languages you work with. Again, proofread the translation or have someone do it for you. You can’t afford a mistranslation or a typo.

There are also other physical and online marketing materials, such as business cards, freebies (calendars, pens, notepads, etc.), leaflets, online sweepstakes/giveaways, etc.

Social media

Social media is where you apply your marketing. They are channels of interaction with the client and provide exposure. The most common are Facebook (fan page, not personal profile), Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, about.me.

According to Al Ries, a person’s day is essentially divided into three parts: work, sleep and media. Work and sleep together do not take as much of our time as media does.

The average mind consumes 40 thousand words per day. That’s a lot of information! We have to make infinite choices every day to decide what deserves our attention or not. In order to be chosen by your client, you need to caught their attention, be visible.

The more you are active online, the more “searchable” you become. You publish something interesting on the blog, people like and share, Google recognizes your blog as something important, because people are talking about it, so you are better ranked. When someone googles your name, there you are, on the first page.

If you do not like social media that much, choose at least one and dedicate some of your time every day to it.

Best practices

  • Be extremely careful when choosing your profile picture! If possible, do some professional photoshooting. If not, choose a clean, professionaly-looking picture where your face is clearly visible and recognizable.
  • Take some time to write a full description of yourself and your services.
  • When requesting to add people to your network, if you are not sure the person knows/remembers you, write a personalized request, explaining where you know them from and why you want to connect with them. Do not randomly add people just for the sake of having as many people on your network as possible.
  • Be careful with the content you publish and with the words you chose to write on social media.

I’ll sum up this rather long post telling you the supermarket metaphor. Brands at the supermarket are logistically placed on shelves, right? Some of them are in a prominent position, easily found, no need to look much to find them; others are on the bottom shelves and you need to make a certain effort to find them; others, still, are piled up with other random brands in a basket where it reads “ON SALE”. What type of brand do you want to be?

Here’s the Keynote presentation saved as PDF for your reference (in Portuguese): Mídias sociais, branding e marketing. On Slide 8 you can find suggestions of influential people to follow. On Slide 10 you can find some references (in English). And finally, on Slide 11 you can find all the places where to find me online.

Please feel free to add any comments or ask any questions.

My impressions on the Translator’s Week

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On September, I attended two translation events: the V Abrates International Translation and Interpreting Conference and the XXXIV Semana do Tradutor & I SIT (Translator’s Week & International Translation Symposium). I have already written a blog post about the former here, so now, after a long delay, I’ll write my impression on the latter.

The Translator’s Week is held every year by the undergraduate students of the Bacharelado em Letras com Habilitação em Tradução (BA in Letters specialized in Translation) course at UNESP São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil (where I graduated myself) with the help of a group of professors. It’s a 5-day event, from Monday through Friday, and usually comprises the International Translation Day (September 30th). However, this year, it was from September 22nd through 26th.

In its 34th edition, it’s the oldest translation event in Brazil and one of the most traditional. Held by students to students and professionals, this year, the Translator’s Week launched its I SIT (International Translation Symposium), turning it into an international event.

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According to the organizing committee, there were about 350 attendees from several parts of the country and from other countries as well. The international lecturers invited – Lynne Bowker (University of Ottawa), Jorge Díaz Cintas (University College London) and Yves A. Champollion (CEO, Wordfast LLC) – made presentations in English, Spanish and French, comprising most of the languages taught in the course (the other one is Italian). There were also Brazilian presenters, such as myself, Paula Ianelli, Dilma Machado and Nilce Maria Pereira. And finally, more than 150 paper sessions were presented throughout the week, some of them simultaneously.

In a nuthsell, on her first presentation, Lynne Bowker explained what community-based participatory research (CBPR) is: an approach to which not only researchers but also community members and service providers contribute. She talked about conducting a comparative case study of the use of machine translation and minority languague communities exploring the CBPR. On her second presentation, she talked about machine translation, translatability and user experience (UX). The latter is a hot topic in web design concerned with the subjective experience of the user in a website, therefore, having important implications for website localization. Paula Ianelli‘s topic was about game localization, its processes and practices, with examples of expressions and cultural traces. Yves Champollion explored the roles played by translators throughout history, mentioning the beginning of professional associations. He presented in French, his PowerPoint presentation was in English and there was a translation of his notes into Portuguese on another screen – I must say it was a quite intriguing experience! Jorge Díaz Cintas talked about subtitling. Dilma Machado‘s presentation aimed at preparing translation professionals for dubbing. There was also my presentation on social media, marketing and branding, but that’s a topic for another post (next week, stay tuned!).

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It was such an amazing experience to attend the Week as a professional, after having attended as a student in the past, reuniting with teachers, meeting current students and sharing experiences with them, and networking with other professionals, such as Lynne Bowker, who turned out to be a fantastic person! It was also nice to meet Nilce Maria Pereira and discovering we have so much in commom: we have both graduated at UNESP São José do Rio Preto, studied at the University of Surrey (England) and like Alice in Wonderland. Talk about coincidences!

I hope I was able to give you an idea of how the event was. However,  if you have the chance, don’t miss out on the opportunity of personally attending it next year. It’s totally worth it!

For more information and to stay tuned on the upcoming events, like their Facebook page and visit their website:
Semana do Tradutor UNESP/Ibilce Facebook fan page
Semana do Tradutor e SIT website

If you are interested in learning more about the Translation undergraduate course at UNESP, please visit the course page here.

My impressions on the Abrates conference

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After a one-week pause due to the XXXIV Semana do Tradutor & I SIT (Translator’s Week & International Translation Symposium), we’re back with our weekly posts. But before the Translator’s Week, there was the V Abrates International Translation and Interpreting Conference, I also attended. Therefore, today, I’ll write a bit about the Abrates conference. Next week, I’ll write about the Translator’s Week (it’s too much information for only one post).

The Abrates conference was held on September 20th and 21st, Saturday and Sunday, in Rio de Janeiro. According to the organizing committee, there were 450 attendees, and about 80 on the waiting list. Last year, there were 390 attendees, when the event was held in Belo Horizonte.

Cap. Israel

The conference started with a keynote by Cap. Israel Alves de Souza Júnior, Captain of the Brazilian Army. He talked about translating, but especially interpreting, in peacekeeping missions, with examples of the current mission in Haiti. His presentation was moving and touched every single heart in the room. The audience was so impressed by his stories that gave him a much deserved standing ovation. The most important lesson I learned from his talk was: the first time the Earth was photographed from space, the only thing you could see was the Earth itself, with its oceans and lands, no human could be spotted, showing we are tiny creatures, all equal, and we should, as such, help and cooperate with each other.

Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly

The rest of the morning and the afternoon of our first day of conference were filled with talks we had to choose from. There were three to four talks at the same time. I especially enjoyed Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly’s on the IT terminology of the future. She gave precious tips to how we can keep up-to-date with the always changing terminology and talked about some current terms and their translations, such as gamification, big data, VoIP, fog, appification, application, cognizant computing, wearable devices, consumerization. We also had other contributions from the audience.

Chris Durban

The first day was wrapped-up by another keynote, this time by Chris Durban, who talked about “The right numbers – and the wrong ones”. According to her, translators should know some important numbers in order to leave the bulk market and get into the premium one. One of these numbers is: 5 to 10% of our annual sales should be spent on training and professional development. And to leave the bulk market, we have to write better than 95% of the population. Chris Durban is great! Extremely funny and talkative, she has also kindly autographed two copies of the book 101 Things Translators Should Know – one for me and another for a lucky winner of my Translation Day Sweepstake (revealed on Tuesday, International Translation Day: Valéria Carlini). I loved meeting her in person!

Jorge Rodrigues

On the second day, we had some quite nice talks by amazing people, such as Jorge Rodrigues, about the internationalization of the translator’s career; Fernanda Rocha, about the redundancy in saying we are “professional translators”; Sheila Gomes, about how to use the Internet to place ourselves in the market; Isa Mara Lando, about the main translation mistakes from English to Portuguese (I had some good laughs on this one); Ricardo Souza, about the relationship about translators and translation agencies; and João Vicente de Paulo Júnior, about what we need to be able to translate for premium markets. However, there were some equally great talks I was not able to attend, such as Paula Ianelli’s on game localization, Dilma Machado’s on translating series and Daniel Estill’s on TradWiki, to name a few.

Danilo Nogueira, Chris Durban, Maria Marques and Kelli Semolini

As a wrap-up to the conference, Chris Durban talked about her booklet Getting it Right. Danilo Nogueira and Kelli Semolini also talked about their translation of her booklet, Faça a escolha certa. The project’s proofreader, Maria Marques, was also part of the discussion. The booklet is a guide to prospects, with instructions to people who need translation services on how to make the right choice when hiring a translator.

Jéssica Alonso, Jorge Rodrigues, myself and Paula Ianelli

The event was also a fantastic chance to see and talk to some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, meet new people, meet people who know me from the blog or from the social media. It was great to see Thomaz Vilela, Sheila Gomes, Jorge Rodrigues, Paula Ianelli, Thiago Araújo and Jéssica Alonso (I hope I didn’t forget anyone). It was equally a pleasure to meet Dilma Machado, Ernesta Ganzo and Chris Durban in person.

Next year’s venue has already been disclosed. The VI Abrates International Translation and Interpreting Conference will be held in São Paulo. The date is yet to be determined, but, as always, I’ll keep you posted.

Should you have any questions, please let me know. And also feel free to add your own impressions of the event, in case you have attended it.

Palestra com a intérprete dos presidentes

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Já encerrei os projetos da semana e, enquanto termino de preparar a minha apresentação da XXXIV Semana do Tradutor e I SIT da UNESP de São José do Rio Preto e preparo-me para viajar para o Rio de Janeiro para o V Congresso da Abrates, escrevo a publicação semanal de hoje.

Hoje, na verdade, falarei sobre uma palestra online (diretamente de Washington, EUA) que o Centro de Idiomas Brasillis promoverá com a Sheyla Barretto, a intérprete dos presidentes.

Data: 30 de setembro de 2014 (terça-feira)
Horário: 19h às 20h15
Tema: A influência da interpretação remota sobre o mercado de interpretação simultânea e consecutiva: potencialidade e realidade

Neste mês, o Centro de Idiomas Brasillis inaugura seu Núcleo de Estudos Avançados em Tradução e Interpretação (NEA/Brasillis). A intérprete internacional Sheyla Barretto será a primeira convidada do Núcleo.

O projeto também conta com um lado social. O evento é gratuito, mas os participantes são solicitados a levar 1 kg de alimento não perecível (no dia) a ser doado ao projeto Vidiga na Social, que ajuda moradores do Morro do Vidigal, no Rio de Janeiro.

As vagas são limitadas! Há 25 vagas presenciais para assistir à palestra no telão do auditório do Brasillis: Visconde de Pirajá, 487 (sobreloja), Rio de Janeiro. Também é possível assistir à palestra online. Basta solicitar o link de acesso para se conectar à plataforma virtual.

Reserva de vagas: brasillis@brasillis.com.br ou pelos telefones (21) 2529-8104/2512-3697/98304-1620/98304-9824.

Sheyla_foto para perfilSobre a palestrante: Sheyla Barretto de Carvalho é sócia-fundadora do Brasillis; tradutora e intérprete de conferência desde 1992; advogada e administradora de empresas com MBA em Gestão Empresarial; tradutora, revisora e intérprete da Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA); Profª do curso de mestrado em Interpretação de Conferência do Glendon College; membro da ABRATES, do SINTRA, da ATA, da AIIC, da OAB-RJ e do CRA-RJ. Ela mora há cinco anos nos EUA. Já participou de grandes eventos e foi responsável pela tradução simultânea de personalidades como o presidente dos EUA, Barack Obama. Coordenou a equipe de tradução do ex-presidente do Brasil Luis Inácio Lula da Silva.

Ótima maneira de comemorar o Dia dos Tradutores, principalmente para os intérpretes. Participem! E não se esqueçam que as vagas são limitadas, portanto, não espere para reservar a sua.

How to approach people on social media

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Something has really bothering me lately: people add me on Skype, but do not write a personal message explaining where they are from or where I know them from. I always have to apologize and ask them if I know them so I can decide if I accept the person or not. After all, my Skype is definitely not a place where I collect random people for fun. It’s for work, for immediate and urgent contact with clients and colleagues. Since this (in my opinion) impolite attitude is not restricted to Skype, but also happens quite frequently on other social media as well, I decided to write a blog post about basic social media behavior. Similarly to social behavior, there are some good manners you should follow online as well not to sound impolite or unprofessional.

Let’s start with the main purpose of this post: how to approach potential connections on social media. Always take the time to write a brief personal message to the person you are requesting contact introducing yourself, explaining where you know the person from and the reason you are adding them. This won’t take long and it will allow the person to easily decide if he/she accepts your invitation or not. Chances are they will be more willing to do it just because you were kind enough to provide a personal message. At least this is what happens to me. It shows you are adding that person to your network because you feel they could add something to your knowledge, not simply as another contact to increase your network in numbers.

Have a decent profile picture. By decent I mean one in which anyone can identify you. Not a picture of your puppy, not a picture of a landscape, not one in which you are miles away and your face cannot be recognized. Especially not one emphasizing your boobs, instead of your face, making inappropriate gestures, making a sexy face, in underwear/swimming suit. Your profile picture is your first impression on social media and the only way someone can recognize you or not, especially if you have a blocked network. People will not lose time trying to figure out who you are in order to decide if they accept your invitation or not. If it’s too much trouble, they’ll just ignore you.

Only add people on Skype if you really need to talk to them on a regular basis. Skype is not a social network, it’s an instant messaging system. If you really want to connect with someone, try their LinkedIn, Facebook fan page or even Twitter. If you only want to ask the person something, e-mail them.

Last, but not least, be careful with what you ask people when you do not know them. Asking for personal favors is not a good idea. I was recently contacted by someone who found me on ProZ.com. The person liked my profile and wanted that I “had a look” at their CV and cover letter to “review, edit and analyze” them. Besides contacting me straight through Skype, he/she was pushy and kept insisting even when I tried to say I also had a lot of work writing mine. Even though spending a long time politely explaining I couldn’t do it, the person eventually sent me an email with the CV and the cover letter. I really don’t mind helping with reasonable doubts (as I have already done publicly here on the blog), but asking for personal favors is beyond reasonable. So be careful yourself when you approach a colleague. You can do it, and should, but be reasonable.

There are many other tips as to how to behave online, but these, in my opinion, are some of the basic ones and the ones I felt like sharing because they have already happened to me. If you feel like sharing any other, please feel free to comment below. Or event if you do not agree with any of the ones I mentioned, say it out loud.