As in any other business, freelance translators are not able to work at their own pace. It is our customers, and not we, who determine our workload. Sometimes, we receive multiple translation assignments, some small, some large, from our regular clients that we find hard to decline.
Sometimes, even though you explicitly state that you have some rush jobs to be returned, that you have no time to take another assignment, your clients choose to insist that theirs would take only one hour, that it is very critical, that they should return the translation soon, that they would like to have it translated by you, etc. At the end, you understand that exchanging some emails to politely decline the job already takes some time, and finally you give in. You accept the assignment unwillingly, and suspend your current job to handle the new one.
When we receive such multiple assignments, each with its own “urgency,” we are faced with working overtime, or running the risk of missing a deadline. If you are wise enough to quote flexible deadlines, and have a good typing speed, you can handle a lot of such unexpected assignments.
Currently, I have a large translation project assigned by EUGS-British Council covering some Grant Projects funded by the EU. And considering that I will receive some additional assignments from my loyal clients within this period, I think I will not be able to accept any more assignment for the whole April.
And I have another, but highly challenging assignment for this month: Optimization of the website of a major US State University. Well, it is not a well-paid job, I must admit, since I accepted it as a challenge rather than as a good-paying job, at least initially. I thought that a good reference from a State University for my search engine optimization services would be converted into cash in future optimization projects!
This month is the initial evaluation review period for the said site. I will study the site, its competitors, its position in search engine SERPs (search engine results pages), the potential problem areas that may be leading to its poor position, and remedies to improve its SERP position. At the end of this month, I will write a review together with my suggestions for improvement. Our goal is to have the said University site on the first page of major search engines when internet surfers type in certain keywords. Good luck!
Meanwhile, I am trying to transfer my published English to Turkish Dictionary of Psychology into MYSQL for publishing it online on one of my sites. I need to find a way to uniformly format the existing MS Word document so that it can be converted /imported into Excel, and then to CSV, then to MYSQL. Therefore, I need a good script, preferably in PHP, that does it for me. I tried a couple of such scripts, but failed to get satisfactory results. I think I will have to make some online research, and modify one of the existing scripts to have it fit to my specific requirements.
There is a Turkish saying: “Bir koltukta iki karpuz” that roughly translates as “carrying two watermelons under one arm!” implying that you are bound to break either one or both. I hope I would not break any!