Weeks during and after the BreXit might bring a lull (with a momentary lapse – of reason?) in the translation market. Many projects might be on hold until the situation settles down for those of us translators who have several customers in the UK.
But 2019 is promising a lot of work for translators and the expected lull, for those who will be feeling it, could look like that low tide before the tsunami. When the wave comes, it is necessary to be well prepared to be able to surf the crest and not be swallowed by the whirlpool.
So this is an excellent time to upgrade and equip yourself to work harder and better. Here are a few suggestions to be ready for the translation market after Brexit.
— Take the opportunity to read those texts lined up on the shelf and look for new books and blogs on translation and subjects of interest to us. ExtraSpeech blog about translators and translation (:)) and Between Translations, a website about translation by Jayne Fox, German-to-English translator has a large collection of articles. There is also the Translation Journal. For Facebook users, there are topics in the Translators and Interpreters forum that bring together quite a few suggestions for readings for translators. Remember: you are what you read.
— Buy or subscribe to a few more dictionaries on CD or on the Web. Although I still find my dictionary books beautiful, looking at words on paper is not efficient at all and not fun any more. Most of the free Internet dictionaries are also incomplete. Also, it really pays to update your (Multiterm) glossaries and your TMs.
— Make improvements in your workspace. To work well for many hours a day, you need to take care of ergonomics to prevent spine pain, circulation problems and RSI, and have your computer ready to work intensely for at least a year. It is not always necessary to spend a lot of money, but it can make all the difference. For example, treat yourself with a footrest (and I have a padded chair to make my life more comfortable), buy yourself a little more memory or disk space (HDD) for your computer, a new, soft keyboard with many smart shortcuts or an optical mouse. These small improvements greatly accelerate our work, take care of our health and – yes! – make us earn more.
— Use it to test programs that you are not familiar with, such as SDL Trados or, for those of us who like to automate things, applications such as AutoHotkey to create scripts and automation. You never know when there will be an opportunity to use them professionally, and so it’s good to anticipate.
— Renew your membership or join translators’ associations that match your profile, such as the Société Française des Traducteurs here in France. There is also the traditional ATA. And there are many others, more specialised or regional.
— Last but not least, do you already have a website? It is now very easy to build one, using WordPress. There are numerous free hosting providers and buying your own domain is very cheap. It is extremely practical to have your updated service offer available to customers on your site, as well as other information they might need, such as pricing, services provided, etc.
Those are just a few suggestions to tackle the After-Brexit translation market. If you have more tips, please add a comment. Good tsunami-surfing for everyone!