Sunday, 30 September 2018

International Translation Day 2018

International Translation Day is celebrated every year on 30 September on the feast of St Jerome. St. Jerome is famous for his Latin translation of the Bible from Hebrew (known as the Vulgate) and is considered to be the patron saint of translators. 

Expert linguists play a pivotal role in our modern world!

Over the past week, translators worldwide once again have seized this opportunity to spread the word about translation and draw the public’s attention to the pivotal role that expert linguists play in our modern world.

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) has teamed up with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and launched a social media campaign to raise the profile of the translation industry. Translators getting involved in the campaign have used the hashtags #thisistranslation, #ITD2018 and #ITImorethanwords.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

When life’s comfortable – and you’re not seeing it!

For many of us, life a few years ago most likely wasn’t as comfortable as it is today. We habitually focus too much on where we still want to improve, but tend to overlook what we’ve already achieved, what we can truly be proud of, what should make us feel good about ourselves!

I’d never thought about this much until my recent visit to Erlangen, where I lived from 1999 until 2002. I was studying languages and translation at the Institut für Fremdsprachen und Auslandskunde (IFA), yet I never aspired to actually become a translator… As I was walking past all the places that I have such vivid memories of, I couldn’t help but admit to myself: I have moved on a lot in the last 15 years.


We habitually focus too much on where we still want to improve, but tend to overlook what we’ve already achieved.

Life’s comfortable today: not only do I have a secure job in translation, I’ve also lived in the UK for many years, so my English-language skills (both written and oral) are much more refined. What’s more, I’ve hit upon new passions, such as writing for this blog! And passing the bridge where I’d meet my mate Carolin for runs in Erlangen’s Meilwald, I realised: I didn’t particularly enjoy running then, whereas I derive a lot of pleasure from it today.

We often do not see the things that have worked out well for us.

All too often in our thoughts we dwell on what still doesn’t work for us in our lives, or what we’re still not good enough at. The income aims we’ve noted down in our business plans and this year again haven’t achieved. The client we’ve always wanted to work for, but still haven’t secured a relationship with. The long working hours in the evenings that we’d vowed would be a thing of the past by now.

If we leave all that aside for a minute, we can shine a spotlight on something else: past achievements to be proud of, personal crises we’ve mastered, or all those measures we have implemented successfully! Let’s recall notable stages in our professional development, the ways in which our work lives have changed for the better, or bespoke strategies we’ve devised to improve how we manage our day-to-day business.

A recent trip to Erlangen taught me that our minds are programmed to focus on what we’re still not good enough at, and to not see the things that have worked out well for us. Chances are for quite a few of us life today is more comfortable than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago – we just need to sharpen our awareness of it!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Digital decluttering: Combatting information overload

No doubt we’re all subject to information overload and overstimulation as we’re moving about the web nowadays. In the vastness of the online world, it’s easy to get lost very quickly.

Minimalist Francine Jay has just released a blog post entitled “Go placidly”, in which she notes: the world has become noisier lately – not in an auditory, but in an information-coming-from-all-directions way.

I suspect more and more of us are indeed slowly and surely starting to feel “digital fatigue” or “the urge to disconnect”. Francine suggests giving ourselves permission to occasionally tune out and do our own thing instead.


There are lots of reasons why I became hooked on minimalism a couple of years ago. Francine’s page-turner “Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify” was one of them.

We’re all having to grapple with information overload and overstimulation. In her blog post “Go placidly”, Francine Jay encourages us to step back rather than keep up with the social media scene and try to be seen, heard, liked or followed constantly.

Combatting information overload: Tuning out occasionally and doing our own thing instead