On specializations

You can’t be good at everything. That’s why most translators will have subject fields they specialize in. Either because:

  • they have some academic or professional background in that field;
  • they have some other kind of connection with a specific industry;
  • they received relevant training related to a subject;
  • they have significant experience in that specific field;
  • or they simply have a strong interest and enjoy doing a lot of research related to it.

As to me, my ultimate goal is to do ONLY what I like. Don’t get me wrong. Every project I take on gets my full commitment, but I grow really excited when I receive a new project for a clothing brand, a new car model or some fun, appealing copy for a travel app… you get the idea. These are my personal interests; I am a consumer of this type of content. Talk about putting yourself in the customer shoes, right?

Chapter 1 – the girl who liked to play with nuts and bolts

When I think about it, my first contact ever with foreign languages was in fact with technical terminology.  Growing up in a family business in the automotive industry, I soon started wondering what camshaftBremsbelag or coppricherchi meant. Then, at the age of 5, I would pester my parents wanting to enrol in school a year earlier so that I could learn to read. I finally beat them into enrolling me mid-schoolyear (ahh the eighties, no strict education rules or guidelines) and by the end of elementary school I got my way into middle school without being old enough by impressing the school board with a poem written under total pressure. By then, it was clear that despite my father’s efforts I was going to choose languages over engineering or management. I did kept involved in the family business until my father passed away, in my late twenties, and maintain, up until today, a solid network and a close relationship with this industry.


Chapter 2 – The travel junkie

With both my parents running a family business, I never got the chance to take long vacations. Instead, we would take short breaks in our home country, Portugal. So, I started building up my traveling bucket list and developing a serious interest for tourism. When I graduated, I started working in the international marketing department for a software development company. Part of my job was to take part in international trade fairs, so we were travelling around Central Europe all the time (that’s how I got to know one of my favourite cities ever, Ljubljana). Needless to say I got hooked! Since then, I’ve visited over a dozen countries and nearly 20 cities, in 3 different continents. I don’t take (many) pictures or write about my travels but I do love convincing other people to travel. As to myself, I don’t have a bucket list anymore, I have travel plans!


Chapter 3 – Passion for Fashion

The interest for fashion came about later. After struggling with a somewhat curvy figure since my teen years (the Kardashians weren’t a thing at the time), it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I decided to embrace a style that suited my body type and gained a strong interest in the fashion industry. I take it much more seriously nowadays, taking courses in this field and reading specific publications. Fashion, beauty and jewellery brands actually account for a significant part of my work, (over the past year, I have done over 300 transcreation jobs for the fashion industry). I love the fact that this type of brand does not require simple translation. More than conveying meaning, I love creating an impact and make the reader feel in a determined way.


What about you? How did you decide on your specialization(s)?

My summer readings

Last time I found myself at an all-inclusive resort, I was pretty relaxed… for the first couple of days. And then I started stressing out with the fact that I was not doing anything productive.

I know,  know, that’s what holidays are for… Anyway, this year, I decided to pack a few books to catch up on my reading, for the waiting periods at the airport, for instance.

I always try to follow the advice of Rose Newell, at her presentation in TLC conference this year. While she talked about “real CPD”, she mentioned three important  fields on which we should keep improving our expertise:

  • training in the subject matter;
  • writing skills;
  • marketing and negotiation skills;

So, here is the list of the books I read while spending one relaxing week in Morocco (loved it, by the way!). I will not make a review of all of them, there are plenty already about all of them all over the web. But I do reccomend each one of them:

Books about translation:


Branding and social media:

What about you? What are you reading this summer?


My little baby blog has been having some recognition this year. My post about PMI Certification for Translation Project Managers was shared on the prestigious blog platform for translators The Open Mic earlier this year.

My very first article also made the pages of the well-known online magazine for the translation industry TAUS REVIEW.

And now, this exact same post has been nominated for the ProZ.com community choice awards, on the Blog Post category. This award is granted for “a single blog post, as opposed to the “blog” category, which is based on a blog as a whole.”


I’m also super excited that the e-book I recently published along with my two colleagues and friends, Rui Sousa and Luísa Matos is nominated for the Book category, which awards “the best book published (print or digital format) from January 2015 to date”.

You can read the recommendation in the Translation Journal and if you’ like to purchase your own copy, it’s available at Lulu.com. And if you like it, don’t forget to vote!

If you havent’ voted yet, the voting phase will be open until August 26th. So, there’s plenty of time for you to visit all your websites, blogs, twitter accounts, social media groups, etc., decide on your favourite and vote!

On the meantime, congratulations to all nominees, thank you for contributing and… good luck!

What if we wrote a book?

I met Rui Sousa at a phase when my career direction was changing. With nearly a decade of experience in the translation industry, I was convinced I could build a solid career as a freelance translator. I saw my experience as a translation project manager as an asset. At least I knew what  NOT to do, and I thought that was a beginning. I realized Rui and his partner Luísa Matos had followed similar careers, working as project managers and then as freelance translators. We shared the common belief that project management skills contributed a lot to the way we presented ourselves as translators. And we thought it would be useful to share this knowledge and experience with our colleagues. Continue reading “What if we wrote a book?”

E se escrevêssemos um livro?


Conheci o Rui Sousa numa fase de transição profissional. Na altura, com quase uma década de experiência na indústria da tradução, tinha a convicção de que conseguiria estabelecer uma carreira sólida como tradutora freelancer. Via, na experiência como gestora de projetos, uma vantagem. Pelo menos, sabia bem o que NÃO devia fazer e achei que isso seria um bom começo. Percebi que o Rui e a Luísa Matos tinham tido um percurso semelhante, trabalhando como gestores de projetos e, depois, como tradutores freelancer. E que tínhamos em comum a convicção de que os conhecimentos de gestão de projetos contribuíam significativamente para a forma como nos apresentávamos como tradutores. Achámos que seria útil partilhar estes conhecimentos e experiências com outros colegas. Continue reading “E se escrevêssemos um livro?”

APTRAD Conference in Porto: a city invaded by translators

The title is inspired by Susana Valdez’ facebook post on the morning of the conference. In fact, walking around Porto this weekend, you could spot a translator on almost every corner. APTRAD was holding its first conference and roughly 200 professionals took this opportunity to network, learn and relax over a nice sunny weekend in our beautiful city. Unable to attend all the sessions, I managed to put together a few key sentences to try to describe the essence of this event. Continue reading “APTRAD Conference in Porto: a city invaded by translators”

ISO 17100: the quality standard (also) for freelancers


There are many translation companies certified by the ISO 9011 standard and/or that have adopted the procedures determined by European Standard EN 15038. As of May 1, 2015, ISO 1700 standard has replaced the latter and is now the new quality standard internationally recognized and aimed at all language service providers, including freelance translators. Basically, it defines the requirements for procedures, resources and other aspects necessary for providing a quality translation service, in line with the best professional practices. Continue reading “ISO 17100: the quality standard (also) for freelancers”