14/08/2014

How to organise a successful translator picnic

As I’ve often said here, it’s essential to build contacts to be successful as a freelancer. Networking skills are vital when you’re self-employed, not just because it gets quite lonely but also because sharing experiences and good practice is what makes us better professionals.

Because I practise what I preach, I was looking for opportunities to network with colleagues based in the South even before moving to Oxford. I noticed a lot of the action seemed to happen in and around London, which wasn’t surprising with Oxford being just a stone’s throw away from the capital!

So I soon started thinking about organising my own events. I’d already organised get-togethers as a teacher and ‘fixing’ for TV companies is all about organising, making contacts and networking so I pretty much knew what to do. It was handy to know a few names when I got started – from reading colleagues’ articles in professional newsletters or interacting with them on social media. Translator associations are sometimes accused of being London-centric and it was easy to see why freelancers around here were disappointed by the lack of events in the region.

Everyone I spoke to was really enthusiastic about a regular translator get-together in Oxford. So, with the help of Catherine Barteau from CBarteau Translations, I launched the 1st translator picnic in Oxford and started promoting the event on social media and professional networks. The picnic was planned for 28 June 2014, in the lovely Oxford University Parks. I created a Facebook page which soon got a lot of interest from translators, with some people planning to make the journey from London.

Most of June had been nice and sunny but as we started getting excited about the event, the weather changed for the worse and I made a Plan B (indoor location). However, after 10 yrs of rainy BBQs in Scotland, I was so determined that my 1st picnic in the South was going to be a sunny one that in the – admittedly a tad rainy! – morning, I checked parts of the park were ok and told everyone we’d meet in a sheltered area.

The weather brightened up as translators started arriving and we were soon able to sit on our picnic blankets to eat the delicious food people had brought. It was sunny until we cleared the park, at which point the heavens opened again! I can now safely say that in the end, everyone was delighted we’d stuck to the park location and as always, it was nice to share our experiences of freelance life and there was some great feedback after the event:

“ Well done for pulling a sunny rabbit out of a very wet hat!
 It was great fun - look forward to the next get-together :-)) ”


Catherine and I run Oxford-Reading Translators and organise 4 events a year (2 in Oxford & 2 in Reading). 

If you'd like to join our group, send us an email at info@amendinstyletranslations.com (Amandine Lepers-Thornton/Amend in Style Translations) or cbarteau_traduction@hotmail.com (Catherine Barteau/CBarteau Translations) and we'll add you to our mailing list.

Why choose me

Professional linguist with 13 years' experience
Translator, teacher & interpreter since 2004
Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Member of the International Association of Professional Translators & Interpreters

Translation experience
Certified translation of official documents:
- birth/marriage/divorce certificates
- diplomas, transcripts & references
- legal/medical/insurance documents
Academic articles/literary essays
Business/marketing communications
CRM software

Interpreting experience
Court hearings
Medical and work-related
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010
Arts/cultural events
'Fixer' for French TV

Teaching experience
Language assistant at prestigious Fettes College
Teacher at 3 leading UK universities
Organised a T&I workshop

Qualifications
First degree in English Studies
MSc in Translation Studies
Professional Graduate Diploma In Secondary Education (French & Spanish)