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What translators do in their free time

Posted 5/11/2014

Ways freelance translators spend their free time.

  • A blanket and a book are Translator’s best friends. When our translator friend has some downtime between a project and the next, he will most likely cuddle on a soft living room chair with a fluffy blanket, open a book he has picked weeks before and completely immerse himself in the reading… Spotting grammar mistakes, suspect translation mistakes and thinking how he would translate this or that other sentence himself. Ahhhh, it is so nice not to think about work!!!


  • Movies. Productions in original language are not always that easily available, and then again: one has to always be in touch with his native language, appreciate and enjoy it. So we are finally… again in the living room… or, in case some stronger factors such as noisy relatives, pending duties or a sense of duty allow it, in a cinema. Who knows what the original text of this or that part was like, ‘cause this would have never made sense in the original language. Then THE END: it was nice for once to do something different!


  • The daily routine changes: the translator can (trying not to be caught in the act) take a book with him in less crowded corners of the house… despite the knocking against the door of younger sisters or vain male flatmates. Same goes with longer, more relaxed lunch breaks during which our translator friend finally has time to read labels again, use scissors to cut away ridiculous spelling and translation mistakes in order to post them on some social media: nice, a day of social interaction!


  • Not only reading… but also writing is as well important. Our translator friend, as well as other fellow colleagues, enjoys writing. Moreover, well, lets’ say it… we cannot really be so mean… on a variety of topics, not exclusively translation. The act of writing really conveys the highest sense of freedom and satisfaction, makes the translator feel an all-round person who is not only able to transfer thoughts, meanings and images, but also create some of his own. This especially about some other of Translator’s deep passions, such as cooking, walking, gardening… all topics he also specializes in, because every profession relies on big passions.


  • Finally yet importantly, let’s admit there are some other activities taking place during our Translator’s free-time: seriously, I don’t mean making the invoicing, rethinking the marketing, etc., now. I have known quite a lot of colleagues and found all of them interested in some other form of artistic activity (besides translation, which is one per se already) such as playing music, painting, writing, taking pictures of amazing landscapes. I have known chaotic people and other with an almost religious sense of harmony when arranging the environment in which they live, both of which expressing in an original way the personality of those individuals.


This is only a trivial article about some translators’ quirks, meant to make some people smile while recognizing themselves in the descriptions and other go like “Never in my life!” And you, do you have more translators’ quirks to share?

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