METM21 Online presentation 

Together in style – from snippet slam to professional support bubble

Holly Hibbert, Madrid, Spain; Aleksandra Chlon, Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the reasons you became a freelancer may have been to escape co-workers and workplace drama so that you could do your job in peace. Even if that’s the case, you probably miss bouncing ideas off colleagues and drawing on their experience. Or turning to them for help with a particularly awkward phrase. There are online resources for translators, of course, but you never know who you’re really talking to in a Facebook group.

Together with four other translators, we attended a METM breakout session last year. We spent an hour dissecting short but knotty snippets in French. When our time was up, we all agreed that we wanted to keep going, so we did. Our presentation will explore a year of snippet slams: we meet online once a month to tackle thorny sentences in French and render them into English while discussing any translation issues involved. In between live slams we interact through a WhatsApp group, picking each other’s brains when we stumble across challenges in our day-to-day projects.

One of the group’s main purposes is to help each other improve our translations, including on questions of style. Our discussions make us better translators, editors and writers. Other practical benefits include being able to recommend trusted colleagues, which is a great way of providing added value to clients. We believe being part of such a group would be beneficial to any MET member.

This presentation will discuss the merits of a close-knit network, explain how we hone our skills, and how you can go about forming your own friendly, non-judgmental professional support bubble. Examples of our French-to-English snippet slams will be given, but knowledge of French is not necessary to attend.
[Read a member’s review of the presentation.]

About the presenters

Holly Hibbert is a French-to-English translator specializing in legal and commercial translation. After eight years working as a translator and project manager for translation agencies in Toulouse, she now works for herself from her new home in Madrid and is enjoying the dual challenge of settling into freelancing and learning Spanish.

Aleksandra Chlon has translated from French, Polish and Russian into English since 2015. Her training includes a master’s degree in translation, a European Parliament traineeship and three years as an in-house translator. She specializes in the medical and marketing fields and lives in Edinburgh. She likes hiking and stained glass.