Posted by: Steve Vitek | December 12, 2012

Seven Golden Rules for Freelance Translators Who Want To Age Gracefully

Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you age 7 years within a year or two.

Rule No. 2. If somebody insists on paying you in 60 days instead of 30, which is the norm in the translation industry, tell them that you will have to double your rate. It is only fair to charge twice as much if you have to wait for your money twice as long.

Rule No. 3. Take a nap at least once a day between translating sessions, on a very comfortable bed or sofa and with blinds drawn. If you stick to Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2, not only will you have plenty of time to stick also to Rule No. 3, but you will live to be at least ninety (90). While most employees would get fired it they dared to implement my Rule No. 3, freelance translators can’t be fired for sleeping on the job. Scientists agree that people who take a nap on a daily basis and sleep at least 7 hours per a 24-hour period live at least 7 years longer than people who don’t get enough sleep.

Rule No. 4. Have a blog for sharing your translating experience and your life’s wisdom in righteous rants in you blog posts with other translators. It is so good to hear comments such as “you are so right about everything!” and “I want to marry you!” in your blog’s comment section (even if you have been more or less happily married for several decades). At least you will know that somebody really appreciates you, no matter what your husband or wife says. If you have an occasional troll making disparaging comments about you and your insightful posts on your blog, you can always delete such comments, which will drive the trolls nuts.

Rule No. 5. Keep learning new things about your chosen language or languages. Scientists agree that for example the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is usually delayed in bilingual people on average by seven years. Since bilingual and multilingual people necessarily exercise their brain significantly more than monolinguals, their brain does not atrophy as much, which is often the case with most people after a few decades of light use. If you ever come to a point when you suddenly find that you know just about everything that you ever wanted to know about your chosen language or languages, you can always start learning a new language to keep exercising your brain, such as Danish or Mongolian.

Rule No. 6.  Don’t forget to keep exercising your body as well. You don’t have to be a body builder if you are a man, or an emaciated gym freak if you are a woman. Just make sure that you get enough exercise to feel alive and to be healthy well into your sixties, seventies, or eighties. Scientists agree that light exercising 5 days a week, or walking for as little as 15 to 30 minutes a day, will add at least 7 years to your life.

Rule No. 7. Get yourself a pet if you don’t have one yet, preferably a dog. When you have a dog, you have to walk him at least twice a day, each time for about 15 minutes, which means that you will easily meet the requirements of my Rule No. 6. Scientists agree that the stress levels are significantly decreased in people who have a pet, especially since having a pet is the only way to go anyway if what you need is unconditional love. Scientists also agree that low stress level and unconditional love will significantly extend the life span of most people, regardless of how much money they make.

(Feel free to suggest another golden rule if you feel that something really important has been omitted in my Seven Golden Rules for graceful aging of freelance translators).

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Responses

  1. You are absolutely right; however I don’t want to marry you. It would be highly awkward since I also am a happily married hetero sexual male being. Naps, naps are good. Why is it that most women I know have trouble with that concept? They just seem to want to work and work and work. Productivity is so much better after taking a good nap next to your dog who was the subject of your last blog! Puppies are even better for exercise because you can chase them around cleaning up after the little messes left behind. Sorry about this rant, you caught me in a mood!

  2. You don’t have to ask me to marry you as long as you say that I am absolutely right about everything, as I said in Point No. 4.

    Which you did.

    That works for me too.

  3. Nice post. I definitely agree with naps, especially in the afternoon. Perhaps that´s just my age though!

  4. [...] out Rule 3 from the Seven Golden Rules for Freelance Translators Who Want To Age Gracefully post by ´patenttranslator´, who seems to agree that a mid translation nap is a good [...]

  5. You are so right about everything!

  6. I know.

  7. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  8. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  9. Hi Steve! I wanted to say you are right in everything but it’s already been said :) I caught myself smiling wider and wider as I was reading your post. Thanks for brightening my morning! So far the only rule I am breaking is the one about a dog since we already have a parrot, two hamsters and a turtle in the house :)

    • “So far the only rule I am breaking is the one about a dog since we already have a parrot, two hamsters and a turtle in the house.”

      That sounds like what your kid (kids?) needs.

      What you need, if you want to live a long time and age gracefully, is something that wags its tail at you every time you come home to show total happiness and delight at being in your presence again, and dogs do that best.

  10. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  11. Steve, I’ll be back to you with the topic of aging gracefully in 10 days, after I got the heavy load at moment off.

    But I want to tell you that I find the choice of BB as opening video is a nice choice. It reminds me of my youth. Happy days with the Bebé! Serge is gone, pitty. And BB is still there, aging gracefully. :o)

    • I would not say that BB has aged gracefully. She became a very old woman overnight more than 20 years ago.

      But Sade is aging well. I saw a recent concert of her on Youtube and she has not changed much. Of course, she is still quite young but I have a feeling that she will still be a very beautiful woman in her seventies or eighties.

      • As the Chinese say, “歲月不饒人 (Aging spares nobody).” I am not even sure that I would make it to BB’s age.

        The workload is still growing and it helps me aging disgracefully. Nevertheless, it worths having a life translating, even when one may become old overnight.

        Enjoy the days, young or old. We come to another topic now.

  12. [...] Rule No. 5. Keep learning new things about your chosen language or languages. Scientists agree that for example the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is usually delayed in bilingual people on average by seven years.  [...]

  13. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  14. Very nice tongue-in-cheek advice blog. I am trying to age gracefully, translations or no translations; and I have been happily unmarried for a couple of decades but haven’t changed my mind… I’d make an exception for you. I’ll add to your paragraph no. 5… keep on learning how to use translation software… that should do more than anything to keep the dreaded ‘A’ syndrome at bay. A question: are all these 7-year additions cumulative? I don’t want to live THAT long!

  15. “A question: are all these 7-year additions cumulative? I don’t want to live THAT long!”

    Scientists agree that they are cumulative, provided that you don’t overdo it. Easy does it.

    If you suddenly reach the age at which you are ready to join the big translators’ blog in the sky, you can for instance start accepting crazy rush jobs at your regular rate while agreeing to be paid within 2 or 3 months, and the chances are that you will not be gracing this planet with your presence for too much longer.

  16. I’m going to print these rules and hang them up over my desk!
    I need to shape up on rules 1,2,3, and 4, but I’m doing ok on the others.

  17. That’s good, but as I already mentioned to Elisabeth, strict adherence is not necessary. Different strokes for different folks, etc. Too much of a good thing can kill you too.

    But I am so glad that my golden rules make sense to you and your cat!

  18. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  19. [...] See on patenttranslator.wordpress.com [...]

  20. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  21. Why all this obsession with the number 7? It’s OK to have 7 items in the list, but how come all scientists predict exactly 7 years longer life if you do this or that?

  22. Well, obviously, because it is a magic number!

    If you can’t believe in magic number, what can you believe in?

  23. You are so right about everything.

    Does this mean I should get a dog instead of a cat tool?

  24. Absolutely.

    Don’t you live in France, in Paris, I think?

    How can you live in Paris without a dog?

  25. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  26. [...] Week’s Language Blog Roundup: Words of the Year, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, movies Seven Golden Rules for Freelance Translators Who Want To Age Gracefully Five steps to planning a great sales/marketing strategy for 2013 (first three) New “Studio [...]

  27. [...] Week’s Language Blog Roundup: Words of the Year, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, movies Seven Golden Rules for Freelance Translators Who Want To Age Gracefully Five steps to planning a great sales/marketing strategy for 2013 (first three) New “Studio [...]

  28. Totally agree :) Right now, all I need is the exercise, although I do have dogs! But they exercise themselves outside :D
    Translators rock!

  29. Really useful advises! Thanks for sharing! I think they will help not just to age gracefully but also to live happier :)

  30. [...] Rule No. 1. Always charge at least 1.5 times your usual rate for rush translations. There is no point in charging a cent or two more per word if the resulting stress and aggravation will make you a…  [...]

  31. [...] Rule No. 5. Keep learning new things about your chosen language or languages. Scientists agree that for example the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is usually delayed in bilingual people on average by seven years.  [...]

  32. […] Rule No. 5. Keep learning new things about your chosen language or languages. Scientists agree that for example the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is usually delayed in bilingual people on average by seven years.  […]


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