How to Combat Work Isolation

I recently came across an article detailing “5 Ways a Freelance Translator Can Combat Work Isolation”. The thrust of the article is avoiding professional isolation and regaining some of those lost opportunities for being kept in the loop.

In brief, these are to: attend conferences, find professional development opportunities, use your language skills to meet new people, teach a college course and find an accountability partner (AP).

Most of these are a given, although I´d run a mile from the teaching option. I´d much rather be doing something relaxing out of translation time than teaching it as well. Still, horses for courses. I´ll get the kettle on.

However, I have never come across the idea of an accountability partner (AP) before and I find this an intriguing and useful idea.

So what is an AP? According to the source it´s “…a fellow translator we can ´check in´ with at least once a day”, and another definition can be found via this link, that basically defines an AP as someone who helps you keep to a commitment.

The idea is that we ´check in´ with our AP in the morning, discuss our schedules and then update each other at lunch time or later, which helps to keep us motivated, productive and connected.

It´s a nice idea, if you can fit it in between all the urgent stuff (that´s everything) and chasing your tail (that´s everything else). Although it´s probable that we can make the time if we value it enough.

I am reminded of the Zen saying that, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” (As per: Myth #2: I Don’t have the time to Meditate. I am too busy and stressed!)

So get out your phone book, or double-click on that email contact and get active with your designated AP. It will help you: feel less isolated, stay in the loop, get motivated, be more productive and stay connected.

As for all the stress and anxiety, get mindful, all it takes is ten minutes according to Andy Puddicombe´s TED Talk, watch it via this link!

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Certified Translations

What is a Certified Translation?

It is simply a translation that is accompanied by a signed statement made by the translator or the translation agency that affirms the translation to be accurate and to faithfully render the meaning of the original source document.

If you need to submit a translation first enquire of the potential recipient what type (if any) of certification is needed, which may save on costs as many translations do not require any sort of certification at all.

It is important to understand that a Certified Translation may be made by anyone and is not the same as a notarized or officially recognised translation.




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Tips for Effectively Working from Home

Considering working from home or are you already doing it?

Check out this blog for some effective tips on working from home or if you prefer, just read my summary of its contents, set out below:

  • Define your workspace (set aside a dedicated space for your work)
  • Stay organised (keep an up to date calendar, use “to do” lists & organise your files)
  • Understand your expectations (manage the positives & negatives of home working)
  • Take breaks (take time to breathe & step away from your work at regular intervals)
  • Define your working hours (make and stick to a daily working schedule)
  • Don´t isolate yourself (stay connected with colleagues or the real world)
  • If possible, go into the office (try to get some “face to face” time)

The general tip is to be focussed and organised, and not to let your work life consume your home life. In other words: create a balance between your work and your personal life.


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Benefits of Second Language learning

Speaking two or more languages is a great asset to cognitive ability and may even prevent the onset of dementia.

According to this article in The Telegraph, such benefits may include: Improved brain function, multitasking, memory, perception, decision making, and also becoming a more effective communicator.

Many studies have been made on dementia, some of which have focused on the effects of second language learning. According to this report on the BBC News website, learning a second language may prevent the onset of dementia by up to five years.

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Secular Icon

The Rosetta Stone can be viewed as a secular icon for the world of translation. This trilingual stele became the translator´s key to decrypting Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Discovered in 1799 by a member of Napoleon´s Egyptian expeditionary force the stone´s text was a royal edict dating from the time of the Ptolemies, around 196 BC.

It was written in three different texts, Demotic, Greek and Hieroglyths which allowed for the eventual deciphering of the pictorial script.

Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832) finally found the key to deciphering the stone in 1822.

It is currently housed in the British Museum.

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Patron Saint of Translators

Saint Jerome is the patron saint of translators, librarians, scholars and students, mainly due to his extensive writing and his translation of the Scriptures into Latin (called the Latin Vulgate).

He was a Roman priest, theologian, confessor and historian who became a Doctor of the Church and his image in western art is often accompanied by an open book.

He was born in 347 AD (at Strido, Dalmatia) and educated in Rome where he learnt to translate from Greek into Latin. Later he converted to Christianity, studied theology and learnt Hebrew, also becoming a hermit for a time in the Syrian desert.

He died in 420 AD of natural causes and was buried under the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. His Feast Day is 30 September and he is venerated as a Saint by both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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What do the terms “tradução” and “versão” mean?

So, what´s the difference in Portuguese between these two translating terms?

Basically, in Brazilian Portuguese, it is a shorthand form which indicates the direction of the translation.

Thus, “tradução” is translating into Portuguese (i.e. EN to PR) and “versão” is translating from Portuguese (i.e. PR to EN). In English, it’s just called a “translation”, irrespective of the direction of translation.

For Brazilians, “tradução” could also be either way, but use of the shorthand is common and in Brazilian Portuguese the terms immediately confirm the direction of translation.

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