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  • Writer's pictureYelena McCafferty

Language Freelancers at the Time of Change

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

This week I was delighted to do an online talk on language freelancers at the time of change for the Language Professionals’ Networking Event initiative run by Gabriella Ferenczi.

Change for language professionals has indeed been multifold. On the one hand, there are companies looking for multilingual staff for certain positions and we have explored the most popular languages according to the latest research by the Confederation of British Industry and Pearson. However, in 2019 only 1% of actively recruiting companies identified foreign language proficiency as one of the important factors in their candidates' CVs.

We looked at specific examples of current job postings where knowledge of a foreign language is a must but how recruits may struggle if they are subsequently asked to translate or interpret for their new employer even though it was not in their job description.

We also explored vacancies for full-time inhouse translators advertised by various companies specialising in anything but languages.

As a logical follow-up it was good to analyse situations when companies will still need independent language professionals even if they have staff with foreign language skills.

On the other hand, we have the COVID-19 implications hitting literally everyone so I shared my knowledge of how colleagues adapted to the new market conditions and continued to trade. Using a matrix of price decrease impact, I also demonstrated how it didn’t make much business sense to cut your rates.

I advised everyone to keep your ear to the ground and gave several examples of how you could use situational opportunities to your advantage. Here’s one: with restaurants being allowed to open from 4th July but having to take their customers’ contact details for track and trace, why not leave your business card rather than just give your details verbally: it’s a perfect opportunity to promote your business!

[Tip: If you would like me to do a similar presentation on this subject for your event, please email me or call 0207 043 6940.]

Continuous success means continuous innovation
Language freelancers have to continuously adapt as no industry stands still


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