Both freelance and in-house translators can feel isolated and frustrated at their lack of involvement in decision-making on the work they carry out. However, the current need for high-end translation and editing services places them on a good footing to negotiate their conditions of work. To some extent negotiating in-house and as a freelancer are two sides of the same coin. In both it is necessary to negotiate what can be done and in what setting, under what conditions—and these will largely determine the price of the service. However, quality is an essential prerequisite for successful negotiation: your reputation will help you to obtain better conditions.
Based on the experience of freelance and in-house translators and editors, this panel will discuss strategies for self-management and dialogue that may help language facilitators to take greater control of the work they do, make it more interesting and move their careers forward.
Alan Lounds is head of the Language Advisory Service at UPC and Treasurer of MET.
Luci Vázquez will describe how the Language Service of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) has hit a track to success by narrowing its focus, negotiating with clients and management on the basis of quality, and empowering its suppliers. Luci is a translator and editor at UPC.
John Bates will describe the strategies to successful negotiation adopted at the Language Service of Rovira i Virgili University (URV), paying close attention to what needs to be negotiated and with whom. John is Head of the Language Service at URV.
Mary Ellen Kerans will discuss the principles and tools that have proved useful for negotiation, focusing mainly on the freelancer’s position and offering remedies for some of the recurrent syndromes affecting translators. Mary Ellen is a freelance editor and translator based in Barcelona and is presently Chair of MET.
Felicity Neilson will describe how reputation gives market leverage and therefore affects one’s position in any negotiation. She will also explain why quality assurance measures need to be a priority for companies, agencies, groups and individual translators. Felicity is an international communications specialist in the biosciences and runs Matrix Consultants in Paris.