ATISDA Blog (Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area)

Back to School

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Don’t Let the Kids Have All the Fun

Ah, the back-to-school season. What better time of year for us all to take a class and learn something new. But before signing up for another translation or interpreting workshop, perhaps we should aim to boost our general business skills. After all, language abilities won’t take us far if our computer, social media and business management abilities are stuck in kindergarten.

There are countless resources we could turn to online, but we’ll save those for the next blog. For now, we’ll focus on classes we can attend on-site in San Diego—new backpack and cool lunchbox optional.

San Diego Continuing Education:
This fall SDCE is offering more than 1,300 continuing ed classes, most of which are free. The new semester kicks off Sept. 2, so check out the schedule now.

One third of the offerings teach business and computer skills, such as MS Office, Google tools, blogging, web design, HTML, SEO, WordPress, social media and Quickbooks. New this fall is a project management course, which might interest some ATISDA members. Also included are sessions for learning about Mac computers, the iPhone and iPad. If a five-year-old has more computer skills than you, it’s time to take action.

SDCE’s classes range in length from a few hours to an entire semester. Free courses generally operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so arriving early on the first day of a class will increase your chances of getting in. In my experience, showing up 30 minutes early is usually enough. But before attending any free classes you have to register with the school.

SDCE also provides dozens of Community Education classes that charge a small fee, but don’t require a student card or any waiting in line. There’s one in September on forming an LLC in California, which could interest self-employed translators and interpreters. Other noteworthy classes include one on how to write a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, and one on interviewing and compensation negotiations.

If you don’t live in San Diego, chances are your local community college or library offers similar classes.

Score San Diego:
A wonderful resource for helping you run a successful business is SCORE, a partner of the Small Business Administration. With chapters throughout Southern California, SCORE offers everything from free mentoring programs to fee-based workshops to help you grow and protect your business, and manage your record keeping and taxes.

A sampling of the San Diego workshops coming up in September include: working with government and prime contractors, creating a marketing plan, using insurance to protect you and your company, and marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you can’t attend a SCORE event in person, visit their website for tons of useful information, tools, podcasts and online workshops.

SCORE also partners with Constant Contact, which provides its own workshops, webinars and tools for businesspeople. Sign up for their newsletter to learn about upcoming events and new features and read their blog for marketing tips.

Additional Resources:
If you’re still looking for inspiration, San Diego’s colleges and universities are looking for you. UCSD’s Extension program, for example, is hosting a free Continuing Education & Career Showcase on Thursday, September 18th, to promote its continuing ed program.

Before I end, I want to give a big shout out to ATISDA’s Yolanda Secos, who provided some great suggestions for this blog. We know there are many more resources out there that we didn’t cover, so please add a comment and tell us your favorites. Remember, we’ll discuss online and T&I-specific education in future blogs.

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ATISDA’s Blog Takes Off




Welcome to the debut of the ATISDA blog! Now, before you roll your eyes and question whether the world needs yet another blog about the translation and interpreting industry, you should be asking yourself why ATISDA didn’t launch one sooner.

At least that’s the question our VP of Social Media, Yolanda Secos, had been asking herself. So she set out, looking for a partner in crime, and found me. Her timing was uncanny because I had actually been planning to begin my own blog. My only hesitation in getting started was wondering if anyone would read it. Blogging for ATISDA, on the other hand, sounded much more appealing. It would give me a built-in audience. A higher profile in the organization. Instant recognition. World dominance! (Cue evil laugh.) Naturally, I accepted Yolanda’s offer.

All kidding aside, the purpose of this blog is not for me to drone on about my experiences and thoughts about translation. The central aim is to create content that’s of interest to you, our fellow ATISDA members. We recognize that won’t be an easy objective to achieve. After all, we’re a diverse group of people representing a wide range of nationalities, languages, cultures, and career backgrounds. Geographically speaking, we are also pretty spread out. While the majority of our members reside in “America’s Finest City,” some hail from as far south as Tijuana, Mexico, as far north as L.A., and as far east as the desert regions. I think all we’re missing is someone from Catalina Island to round things out.

One way we aim to make this blog worthy of a bookmark is by focusing on T&I industry-related education, resources, events, individuals and companies in the San Diego area. In other words, we plan to highlight issues that affect us here in our local community.

Another way we plan to make this blog relevant is to invite members to actively participate in it, not just read it. Only by responding to the posts and other readers’ comments can we start a dialogue on important issues and share helpful tips and insights. For those who want to play a more active role, we encourage you to propose topics for future blog posts or, better yet, take the reins one week and participate as a guest blogger on a topic you’re passionate about.

I’ll kick things off in the next blog with a subject I’m passionate about: continuing education. Specifically, I will look at the many non-language classes and resources available in the San Diego area that can help translators and interpreters become more efficient and professional. Many of the resources are free, so you don’t want to miss that!

See, the world really does need another T&I blog.

Yolanda Secos is an English-to-Spanish translator, specializing in education. She has been an Atisda member since its foundation in 2008 and has served as VP of Social Media since 2012.

Yolanda Secos is an English-to-Spanish translator specializing in education. She has been an ATISDA member since its founding in 2008 and has served as VP of Social Media since 2012.

Daire Coco is a Spanish-to-English translator and editor, specializing in legal, financial and tourism-related texts.  She joined ATISDA in 2013.

Daire Coco is a Spanish-to-English translator and editor specializing in legal, financial and tourism-related texts. She joined ATISDA in 2013 and is the main writer of the group’s blog.