Being an auto-entrepreneur means invitations to various business seminars and fairs regularly arrive by post and email. I’m somewhat allergic to “business” per se, but the conventional wisdom is that finding direct clients is the key to success as a translator. And it’s quite fun to don a suit and hustle round some exhibition booths indulging in the pleasant game of business card exchange.
I went to a couple of talks to keep my ear in. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know the French talent for obscuring any topic behind a palisade of incomprehensible acronyms has not diminished. If I relocate to Sarthe (72) I can get my rent subsidised for a couple of years, and various loans at very favourable interest rates. If I employ someone who’s been unemployed for a long time, a troubled inner city youth, a disabled person, or can represent my activity as good for the environment, ditto. All this seems very sensible policy, but it’s not really my principal concern.
As I suspected, most of the businesses and organisations represented were either squarely parochial or long-established multinationals: in general the former have little need for language services and the latter are already doing business with a translation house of commensurate scale.
I talked to a few software providers about my own requirements for billing software that supports multiple currencies (answer: that’s gonna cost ya), received an offer from Loire-Atlantique’s premier business newsletter should I wish to do direct mail marketing, agreed to be interviewed by some business students about being “an entrepreneur,” and met a lovely booth rep who aspires to be a UN conference interpreter. All very pleasant and sociable, but I was beginning to be a little disheartened to not even have found one new client, when I ran into Olivier Breton (pictured). That bike of his looks wacky, but in fact it’s a very comfortable riding position (I tried it). And he needs some T&Cs translating into English. Hoorah!
44 quai de Versailles, NANTES, 44000
Tél: +33(0)9 52 62 08 33
Fax: +33(0)9 57 62 08 33
Port: +33(0)6 76 44 93 86