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Top Ten Translators' Blogs [2010]

The list below is from 2010. For a more up-to-date list please visit Top 10 Translator's Blogs [2011]


Blogs have, to a certain extent, lost their potency of late. The hype surrounding the ability to pen your thoughts and share them with the world has passed. On top of this the quality of blogs being written has turned many people off as they usually come across postings of little practical use. However, there are still gems out there and Kwintessential decided to conduct some research into the translation blogosphere in order to find the top ten translators’ blogs.

Before the research commenced our team decided upon the criteria against which they would assess the blogs available. The following outline the essential factors taken into consideration when the team analysed blogs.

1. Look > the look of a blog incorporates the format of the blog, the aesthetics, the ease of navigation, length of posts, colours, use of logo, etc.
2. Content > we came across tens of blogs however when it came to content clear differences existed between them. The team were looking for content that was a) relevant, b) useful, c) varied and d) interesting
3. Frequency of posts > When the initial fact finding was carried out it was agreed that any blog that had not been updated with a post within the preceding two weeks was not going to be taken into consideration. The reasoning behind this was that if a blog was truly going to be among the top 10, it should at least be updated regularly.
4. Owner > only blogs written by translators are included. Any blog written by an agency or business was disqualified.
5. Language > only blogs in English were considered.
6. SEO > marks were also given for blogs that performed well in search engines and were easier to find.

Following a lengthy search of blogs, assessing content and comparing them against each other, the Kwintessential review panel agreed on the following blogs as the top ten for 2010. We decided not to vote for a number 1, i.e. the best, but to give acclaim to all shortlisted.

The Philologist (http://www.translationlanguageculture.com/)

The blog is written by Werner Patels who specializes in translations from German, French and Spanish to English as well as from English, French and Spanish to German. Based in Canada, Werner keeps his blog well updated with a variety of posts ranging from feedback on the latest tools he has tried out, language issues, things happening in the news and issues facing fellow translators and interpreters.

Transblawg (http://transblawg.eu/)

Transblawg is updated by Margaret Marks who is a German-English legal translator. Margaret posts charming and personal posts to her blog which offer the reader a real insight into the life of a translator. A recent set of photos taken of marathon runners whilst she took fifteen minutes out of her schedule are a nice touch which offers a window into her life and surroundings. Her comments on news and events are all up-to-date and she offers simple yet important tips and slices of information that anyone interested in German – English translations would enjoy.

Thoughts on Translation (http://thoughtsontranslation.com/)

Corinne McKay is American Translators Association-certified French to English translator, specializing in legal, corporate communications and public health/international development translations. Her blog has already received attention by being voted the 79th most popular language blog as rated by the recent Lexiophiles contest. As a blog it is great reading for any freelance translator or even agency. Corinne offers great posts on practical and useful issues facing freelancers. From her tips on marketing to translation agencies to practicalities on juggling work and life, her blog is a must for anyone’s bookmarks.

Blogging with Swedish Translation Services (http://swedishtranslationservices.blogspot.com/)

Tess Whitty is a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur. Tess’s posts are full of useful tips and advice for fellow freelancers. She clearly has a thorough understanding of business development and the need for freelancers to improve their abilities to develop and do better commercially. The blog is also a very useful read for any budding freelance translators wanting some insight into the nature of the work and how it links in with the sector as a whole.

Brave New Words (http://brave-new-words.blogspot.com/


B.J. Epstein completed a Ph.D. in translation studies in June 2009 at Swansea University, with a dissertation on the translation of children's literature. Now in Norwich, England she is a lecturer at the University of East Anglia in literature and translation also works as a translator, writer, and editor. One of the most impressive things about this blog is the sheer diversity of posts. Dr Epstein covers pretty much any topic worth covering in her 400+ posts and is a treasure of links, resources and tips.

Translation Tribulations (http://www.translationtribulations.com/)

Cared for by Kevin Lossner, a German to English translator and technical consultant. Kevin’s blog is rather niche however we concluded this was its strength. Although the blog is meant to focus on translation technologies, marketing strategies, workflow optimization, resource reviews, controversies and other topics of interest to translators, it is in fact heavily biased towards looking at technology within translation. The conclusion was therefore that this blog is very valuable for others looking at using or currently working with certain tools or technologies.

Musings from an overworked translator (http://translationmusings.com/


A title that most translators can relate to, the blog is kept by Jill Sommer a full-time freelance German to English translator. Blog posts aside Jill has a nice format to her site with tabs at the top pointing towards information about her; what she is currently reading, what she is currently working on and a list of useful abbreviations used in her posts. It was felt that these additions to the website were a bit different and innovative and allowed people an insight into what Jill is up to. Post-wise the frequent updates are all interesting, relevant and useful.

Translation Times (http://translationtimes.blogspot.com/)

Owners Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner are a pair of identical translating and interpreting twins working in Spanish, German, English, and French (Dagmar only). The slick, modern and bright look of their blog immediately won fans within the review team. The format and navigation of the blog is also more in line with a website, offering readers the ability to reach categories through links at the top of the page. The posts are peppered with lots of insight into the industry as well as specific posts on humour, professional development, marketing and even fraud.

Blogging Translator (http://blog.philippahammond.net/)

Philippa Hammond works from French, Spanish and Portuguese into English, specialising in law, EU matters and marketing and communication. The posts since 2007 offer a nice look at the development of a freelance translator in terms of the experience, issues, challenges, etc they have faced. The personal tone of the blog makes one feel like Philippa is communicating directly to the reader.

There’s something about Translation (http://www.dillonslattery.com/)

Sarah Dillon is a full-time professional translator working from French, Spanish and German into first-language English. The blog offers readers useful tips and detailed guides on the things they don’t teach you in translator school. Posts include interviews with other translators, reports on events and conferences as well as hot topics in the world of translation. A clean, smart look which integrates well with web2.0 functionality makes this a blog worth watching.

Copyright Kwintessential Ltd


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