Translator’s life

TRANSLATORION – 2019 REMINISCENCES AND 2020 RESOLUTIONS

For many people, the end of the year is a time of looking back on the previous 365 days and drawing necessary conclusions. For us too – we like to take a look at some statistics from time to time and see our work in a rear-view mirror. Needless to say, the year 2019 has passed so quickly and we’re quite surprised to see the 31st of December in the calendar. Even more so, we cannot believe the year 2020 is almost here and from now on, when you say ‘the roaring twenties’ you will have to specify which century exactly you’ve got in mind.

Let’s have a quick look at the old year then and find out what’s been nice about it. This is a great exercise for everyone: recalling all your joys and successes is really good for your wellbeing.

agile translation

We have translated about 3000 pages

This is our shared score: the number refers to Polish-English and English-Polish translations and it also includes proofreading, verification, and post-editing. 3000 standard pages equal almost 5.5 million characters (including spaces 😉) and more or less 750 thousand words. Words are what we deal with on a daily basis, but these numbers definitely impress us as well!

The range of subjects we have worked on is quite broad; at the same time, they are all related to our fields of expertise. For Martyna, the translated texts normally concerned design, art, and culture, but there were also texts on tourism, ethnography, education, psychology, theology, history, film, and literature. Other texts regarded new technologies, online marketing, UX design, organisational culture, and – somewhat surprising in this list, but still making a lot of sense – tea. Last but not least, one of her texts was connected with sea cephalopods!

For Paweł, this year has been decidedly technical – he has translated texts about, among others: chemistry, manufacturing of boilers and pipes, trailer assembly, crusher overhaul, quality assurance, or CCTV cameras. Some texts also concerned the humanities, linguistics, or business. The most interesting text was a series of instructions for coaches whose task is to organise fire preparedness trainings for children – and we’ve had a chance to learn a lot from that too.

Together, we’ve translated catalogues, menus, leaflets, contracts, terms and conditions, applications, offers, class scenarios, advertising materials, websites, instruction manuals, technical documentations and specifications, industrial machine descriptions, MSDSs – indeed, the only thing we’re missing now is a translation of a full-fledged book!

Zamek Cieszyn Galeria Szara Czeskie Centra

We’ve cooperated with over 30 organisations

The clients we’ve cooperated with are companies (sole proprietors, start-ups, and corporations), public and cultural institutions, foundations, universities, NGOs, cafes, large translation agencies, and individuals. Some of them have been our long-term clients, whereas we’ve only started to work with the others recently – and we’re happy about all of them.

 

We’ve had a 3rd company anniversary

We’ve worked as translators for much longer, but this is when Translatorion came into being – 3 years ago, in autumn. And we really have no idea when this time has flown. We’re happy we can develop constantly and we mean much more by this than just digits in Excel spreadsheets. We can develop personally – each new text lets us learn something new and become better translators. We learn how to be simultaneously: translators, project managers, administrators, finance ninjas, legal advisors, PR specialists, and customer service experts, not to mention being a close-knit couple. We’re doing well and we hope to do even better!

 

We’ve started blogging

Thanks to launching our blog we have a chance to be in touch with you in a new way. We had taken a lot of time to prepare for this as we wanted to start off with meticulously prepared material so as to offer you well-thought-out, useful texts, carefully crafted in two languages, Polish and English. We could just copywrite short, marketable, and SEO-tailored articles but we wish to touch worthwhile issues – and in a meaningful way. Languages are our passion (sorry for this terribly cliché statement – but that’s the way things are, actually) and we’d like to write about them as much as possible and as best as possible (tinkering with words to write with words, can you see this metalevel here?). Even if we don’t succeed in encouraging anyone to share this passion, we might at least show you that being a linguistic freak is pretty cool. Mindfulness seems to be the hottest topic these days – and we’re sure that reading and thinking (slow and focused) are great and well-tested methods of self-care.

 

We’ve returned to university

Well, in fact, only Martyna has, but since we share all our knowledge and experience, this is a bit as if we both rematriculated and we’ll reap the fruits of studying together. Enrolling in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (text editing major, post-graduate degree) will broaden not only Translatorion’s horizons but also our offer – the studies concern all the aspects of book editing and publishing, from text edition itself to desktop publishing, to book and font design. Yay!

 

We’ve walked nearly 300 km to Santiago de Compostela

This achievement may not be strictly related to translation but it does say a lot about us. Walking the Camino – yes, on foot – along the ocean, from Porto to Santiago, had been our dream for a long time. And we’ve made it real! We need to reuse the hackneyed phrasing – walking is our passion too. Walking, you can muse over numerous linguistic cases. What’s more, walking across Portugal and Spain, you can test your linguistic skills in real life! Isn’t that awesome? On the road, Translatorion was more than a duo – in our journey, we were accompanied by a friend from the Serfenta Association – Krężi. Two weeks of tranquil movement, September ocean breeze, speaking and thinking in several languages at once – you need to try this as well!

translators in Spain

What comes next?

What are our plans and dreams for the next year? They’re great and many, and all interrelated.

Obviously, we’re going to translate – even more and even better. We’d like to specialise in our areas of expertise and continuously increase the quality of our translations. We do hope we’ll establish more business relationships. We want to be in a regular, professional, and direct contact with you – and we do enjoy hearing positive feedback from you.

We’ll continue writing blog articles (the list of ideas is growing strong) and share what matters to us with you. We’d be happy to write about topics that interest you – so feel invited to share what matters to you with us too. Apart from the blog, we speak to you from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – even if we’re still just small fish in the big sea of social media, even if not everything we show is neat, pretty, and shiny, we’re simply open and honest with you there.

We have a dream – a dream to read more in the upcoming year. In other words, we wish we could have more time to do what we love best, which is not easy. The list of titles awaiting us (and awaited by us) is also growing. From time to time, we post pictures of the books we recommend on Instagram (#recommendedbytranslatorion), whereas in the future, we’d also like to write their reviews as part of our blog.

Of course, Martyna plans to systematically attend her classes and lectures at university and to derive a lot from them, and finally, to successfully defend her graduation work (related to 19th century text edition, wow!). Education-wise, we’d like to pull out more time for another thing we love, that is learning new languages and perfecting the ones we already know. At the moment, these languages (brand new, rather new, and renewed) include German, Italian, French, Czech, Norwegian, and Portuguese – if we’re lucky enough, we’d love to obtain certificates from the final two in this list. Here we could mention another issue, which does not concern learning a new language as such, but is definitely related: Paweł intends to educate himself in terms of technical writing – to become a technical writer as well as a technical translator. And since sky is the limit, we might also become interested in trying our hands at programming languages, why not!

The year 2020 sounds dead serious – and as we don’t want the profession of translator to die out, we’d like to improve our technological competencies. There are so many programmes which support translators’ work and we’re not referring only to Microsoft Office and CATs but to other types of software with versatile functions and goals. It’d be great to become acquainted with as many CAT tools and subtitle creation programmes as possible. We’re also planning to deal with Adobe trainings and tutorials. Well, there’s a lot in store for us, apparently!

happy new year in translation

We’re quite sure we must have forgotten something, even though the list is so long. We don’t know if we’re going to have enough time for all these plans – but certainly, we have enough eagerness and enthusiasm! We haven’t mentioned our private plans – some of them include travelling (the call of Camino!) and regular cat stroking and pampering.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and have a very happy new year!

Martyna and Paweł

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