Twitter is an open-source professional development tool. Thanks to Twitter, I’ve read tweets about:
- upcoming seminars by the Société française des traducteurs
- new posts on favourite translation blogs
- translation and interpretation job offers
- various rules of grammar and punctuation
- new online dictionaries and style guides
- marketing for freelancers
- the creation of @No_Peanuts
I’m eager to hear about what colleagues are working on—current assignments, invoicing issues, remarks about the industry… Some tweet about CAT tools, badmouth Proz, or smirk at bizarrely translated restaurant menus (which they’ve photographed).
As for discussions which are loosely related to translation, you can find loads of tweets about expatriate life, multilingual families and culture shock.
Recurring non-translation topic: dogs
Tweeting translators love to write about dogs. I’ve read twitter updates about leash-free parks, vet appointments and hunting escapades. When I’m lucky, I get to click on a cute puppy picture.
Good translation tweets
While there are many must-follow tweeters out there, the most useful tweets to me come from @anglais. This altruistic Canadian tweets about French to English translation and word choice. He or she reminds me of words I’ve almost forgotten and helps me avoid translationese.
Good writing tweets
@RedheadWriting – copywriting advice, business inspiration and a regular ‘bitch slap’!
@bigstarcontent – copywriting, blogging and SEO
@MenwithPens – writing habits and webdesign
Good editing tweets
@guardianstyle – UK English
@ChicagoManual – US English
Good freelancing tweets
@EdGandia He’s one of the authors behind The Wealthy Freelancer. He consistently offers concrete advice for freelancers. He and his colleagues have just announced a free online conference for International Freelancers Day on September 24 and 25. Looks promising!
Tweets from @TranslateTrad
I generally tweet about translation (industry news, French English challenges, continuing education, SEO), freelancing (copywriting, client relations, entrepreneurship) and marketing (social media and blogging). No dogs here.
How to use #hashtags
I’ve been showing up at Twitter since January 2010 and am just beginning to figure out hashtags (#). Use hashtags to direct your tweet to a certain group of people. Many translators end their tweets with #xl8 which stands for translation.
Testing Google Translate. #xl8
Hashtags can also refer to a certain event. For example, thoughts about International Freelancers Day can be labelled with #IFD10.
Just signed up for an online conference. #IFD10
LinkedIn and Viadeo hashtags
If you want your tweets to appear on your LinkedIn and Viadeo profiles, adjust settings on these sites, and use hashtags #in and #v respectively.
When I can’t keep up with everyone I follow, I check my list of translators and writers to see what colleagues are up to.
Twitter Do’s and Don’ts
- Tweet regularly.
- Tweet something useful.
- Tweet several times in a row. It clogs up my stream.
- Be too self-promotional.
See you on Twitter!
It’s a worthwhile investment. And it’s not about landing translation projects. It’s about circulating translator insight.
How are you using Twitter? Who else should I (@TranslateTrad) follow? Did I explain hashtags right? Any more Twitter tips? Do you tweet about your dog?