A Translator’s Holiday Wishlist
I’m told that 2015 will be the year of the Sheep/Goat. I’m not sure what a Sheep-Goat is, but I’m sure it will be terrifying. In fact, this is what comes to mind when I think of it:
Whatever it may mean, we can use these last few days of 2014, as well as the holiday season in general, to stock up on those essential translation tools to prepare for what will certainly be a tough and ever-enticing new year full of Italian to English translation.
Being a team of Native English translators offering unique language services in Milan, we steer clear of anything relating to machine translation, not to mention how much of a smile videos like this put on our faces:
At any rate, this holiday break has given me a little time to reflect on what sort of additions to my daily setup might boost productivity during translation projects. After all, our Italian to English translators represent our very product, and daily production and efficiency goes hand in hand with success. To everyone’s dismay, we probably won’t be seeing a 4-day work week any time soon despite recent findings that it may increase creativity and efficiency during actual working hours.
With that being said, here are a few translator tools that will make for perfect gifts this holiday season in order to minimize actual working time on the computer and free up those endless hours of translation and keep translators fresh at all times, avoiding inevitable end-of-project burnouts or creative blocks.
1. A new chair
Yes, we’ll start this list with the most obvious, but here’s the catch: my new chair isn’t going to be just any chair, it’s going to be no chair. This lovely article from TIME opened my eyes to what the life of a translator – all that sitting and staring, day in day out – can do to us both externally and internally. Aside from the excess lbs you may put on, the article shows that sitting instead of standing while at work is a recipe for disaster, stating that “one experiment with high school kids found that standing in class instead of sitting improved their test scores by 20%.” Whether test scores or words per minute, an increase in productivity is hard to pass up when all it requires is taking away one object from your daily life.
2. Gift cards to a local cafe
Well, I do like a fresh cappuccino and croissant to get myself going in the morning, but that’s beside the point. I’ve never been a big fan of the idea of an “office.” Everything about it seems too plain and comfortable, completely in contrast with an environment that breeds the innovation and new perspective that Scrambled Eggs Language Services strives to achieve.
My office is that of a traveling one, whether in libraries or waiting rooms, on the tram or on the shoulder of a highway getting a quick response to a client while traveling. The sense of urgency never dies down because I refuse to get too settled in, and experimenting in varying cafes around the Milan area can spark a translator’s creativity as well as enthusiasm for the art of translation, all the while enjoying some pretty good food and drink. Italian to English translation with a side of class.
3. A Spotify Account
Urgent translation requests from clients come in at all hours of the day and sometimes at very unfortunate times. As you may have gathered from my “traveling office” mentioned above, I can’t sit still over the course of a day as I run all over the place for meetings, interviews, bureaucratic tasks, and whatever the activity of the day is. Through it all, however, productivity cannot suffer. The trains, planes, and automobiles that get me from A to B mean I encounter some characters at times, from the cellphone screamer to the crying baby, and my only option is to drown them out completely if I want to make those urgent translation deadlines.
Music gets the trick done every time, and I therefore can’t express enough how translators simply have to isolate themselves at times, even when your surroundings don’t want to make that happen, to be as efficient as possible while providing for your biggest clients.
4. A new cell phone provider
Ever lose service and get it back hours later to find your inbox overflowing with email? Staying connected at all times is indispensable for offering complete round-the-clock language services. Don’t skip out on the best mobile plans and providers out there, or your clients might skip out on offering you more work.
Are you ready for the year of the sheep-goat? Even if you’re not, at least the goats are.