Panel discussion

Facing up to freelancing: dealing with the main issues

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Moderator: Malcom Hayes
Saturday 28, 16:00-17:10, Room 3

This round table discussion seeks to initiate a wider debate focusing on some of the practical problems and realities facing editors and translators who either work alone or in small groups. Members of the panel representing a variety of working circumstances will briefly explain their own experiences by giving their answers to a series of questions posed by the moderator:

  • Where and how do you find work?
  • How do you determine what to charge and pay?
  • How do you ensure you get paid?
  • How do you promote and guarantee quality?
  • How do you build your image and develop your business?
  • How do you collectively organise and coordinate projects?

Then, we will proceed to a more general debate and discussion with all present, in which other practical issues could also be raised.

Malcolm Hayes (moderator) is the founder and president of a small language services cooperative based in Lleida, Spain. He has a first degree in Geography and a Masters degree in Immigration, Education and Social Work. His specialist areas are translating texts on urbanism, tourism and marketing and editing academic publications (mainly social sciences and agriculture).

Anne Murray is a full-time freelance translator who works from home in a small village in Catalonia. Having graduated from Dublin City University in 1990 with a degree in French and German translation, she moved to Spain, where she taught English and ran a language school for 8 years. She translates mainly technical, medical, and pharmaceutical texts from Spanish, Catalan, and French into English.

Mary Ellen Kerans has been a happy freelancer in Barcelona for over 20 years, with occasional projects for institutions including a recent 7-year period developing a health sciences English program at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. Her Masters from Columbia University Teachers College is in teaching English to speakers of other languages. The scope of her work encompasses curriculum design and materials writing in English for specific purposes, author’s and journal editing and translation.

Felicity Neilson is an international communications specialist in the biosciences and runs Matrix Consultants, a small Paris-based company offering language focused services in the Pharmaceutical and Medical sectors. The organisation’s activities include training and coaching, technical translations and medical writing.