The problem with “screening” translators

An acquaintance who owns a translation agency was complaining to me the other day about the pool of freelancers who send him applications. He claims that he wants top-quality translators, but so many mediocre ones apply that he can't sift through all the noise. He keeps creating stricter screening procedures in the hopes of filtering […]

Volume discounts

One question that often comes up among freelance translators is whether we should give volume discounts. I'm not against giving them in principle, but I think that we need to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Crossed purposes Often agencies will ask for rather large volume discounts — larger than translators are willing […]

Ministry of Kitchen Sinks

A lot of Japanese government agencies have English names that are more … descriptive … than the Japanese. Probably the worst offender is the 文部科学省, which has the quite unwieldy official translation of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This is a real pain when you're constrained for space, such as when translating […]