Welcome to the news section!
Here you will find all the news related to ATRIL and the translation market.
Increasing competence as a translator – a never-ending story
There is much more to being a successful translator than just constantly perfecting your source and target skills. It is equally important to have an extensive knowledge about the subject matter. There is no way to do a great job translating a text from one language into another, if you fail to grasp the terminology and the meaning it conveys. It seems that in this job you never cease to learn. Translators seem to always be on the lookout for ways to increase your competence.
What can you do to acquire competence? There are numerous educational resources at your disposal ranging from formal training, work experience, trade events and workshops, online webinars or independent reading.
An interesting option is to take part in one of many online courses provided by platforms such as Coursera or Udacity. These are organized by reputable universities from around the world, including MIT or Yale. Most of them are available free of charge (you only pay for the certificate). There is a wide array of courses to choose from. You can pursue ones directly related to the translation itself, like this one, aimed at English-to-Chinese translators. Another way to go is to look for courses that expand the knowledge in the subjects you specialize in.
One thing that’s definitely difficult to overrate is high research competence and willingness to learn about a subject through independent reading. It is always a good practice to keep abreast of the most recent developments in the area of specialization. You should regularly check out the news in all sorts of media, both in your source and target languages. You may want to use multiple sources to make sure the data you are collecting is credible and up to date. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box about the potential sources of information, like interviewing people, visiting museums. You shouldn’t hesitate to contact your clients and ask questions.
What do you do to increase your competence as translators and expand your area of expertise?
Cool apps to help you get things done
Effective time management is an extremely desirable competence. Who wouldn’t want to work better and more efficiently to get more time for themselves and their families? While it is hard to underestimate the value of having more time for family life, there are other benefits too. Better organization and time management is often reflected in the finances as well. Time is money, as they say. And it’s by no means just a popular saying! So, here’s another portion of useful and cool apps to try out to help you get things done more efficiently. Make sure you’ve read previous articles on apps and tools here and here.
Cool Apps #1: OFFICE LENS
In a nutshell, Office Lens is like a scanner in your pocket. Thanks to it you can take a photo of a document, an article, etc. and the application will change the image into a scan, which can also be saved in pdf format. Then the app groups the scans for convenient reading. Integration with the cloud means that it doesn’t waste time on e.g. scanning invoices for accountants or transferring files between the scanner and the computer.
Cool Apps #2: IFTTT
A truly powerful tool. IFTTT works on quite a simple principle. The name is an acronym from (If This, Then That). The tool allows you to script repetitive actions and makes your work easier. In other words, it is used to automate processes and to create schematics by the user, by which IFTTT acts. For example, you can create a schema (called a recipe in IFTTT) that will cause the printer to receive a command to print, when the document is uploaded to the appropriate folder in the cloud. Or you can make sure that any exported translation project is automatically saved in the Dropbox.
Cool Apps #3: NOZBE
Nozbe is an app that combines multiple functions. It can be both a calendar, a to-do-list, and – if you work with other translators, editors, project managers etc. – it can, in a sense, act as a communicator in a team. It is compatible with various e-mail boxes and clouds. But that’s not all, because you can configure Nozbe to have access to notes created in Evernote, as well as Google and Office documents. The app is very intuitive and user-friendly. What’s also important is the fact that it looks and behaves the same on all devices and it’s affordable even for sole traders and small businesses.
Cool Apps #4: NOISILI
Something for those of you who sometimes have trouble staying focused, and get easily distracted by what’s going on around you. An app that allows you to mute the environment with a set of sounds selected by the user. You can choose from 16 sliding sliders – each of them is a specific sound – for example, the sound of birds, a river, a travelling train or a café. The slider determines the volume of the sound. The application changes the background colour, which is supposed to stimulate the brain too. The application also has a simple and distraction-free text editor.
Cool Apps #5: 7 WEEKS
Basically, it’s a tool for tracking habits. Banally simple and at the same time incredibly functional. It is based on an assumption that you choose the habit you want to develop, and the app generates a calendar. You indicate whether or not you have completed the action on each day or not. Another cool feature is the possibility to set reminders and keep statistics and charts on how much you have already managed to do.
Overcoming stress at work – what can you do?
Living without stress is a luxury for many people. We are used to the fact that in order to get rid of work-related tensions, everyday duties and fears for the future, we need to spend money or a lot of time. Both of these resources are scarce these days. But there are effective, fast, clever and completely free ways to deal with stress. Who knows, perhaps it could even become your ally?
How does stress affect us?
Low stress can motivate you, it can help focus faster, make you more effective and productive. You might even be inclined to say that moderate stress in professional life is necessary. However, it may happen that stress becomes the dominant feeling. In such a case it’s difficult to fully focus on your tasks. Additionally, the longer and more stressed you are, the worse we feel. It has a negative impact on your sleep pattern, weakens you immune system and generally decreases the quality of your life. Stress affects both your mind, but also our body. Therefore, if you notice it spoils your mood and becomes too much to handle, perhaps it’s worth making an effort to deal with it.
What stresses at work?
Basically anything. Having too much, or too little work, communication with clients or co-workers, unpaid invoices – all of these might contribute to your stress level. It seems especially true for freelancers, who need to take care of everything themselves.
Improve your time management
Unfortunately, inadequate working time management is often the cause of excessive stress. It might happen if you take on too many tasks, or fail to realize that completing some of the projects will require more time and effort. That’s why you should take some time when accepting new assignments and try to negotiate deadlines. If possible, give yourself some time margin, just to be on the safe side.
What also works is diving bigger tasks into smaller ones. Completing your work step by step, gives you a sense of progress and can be motivating. That way it will be easier to focus on more challenging projects.
If you have difficulty concentrating, even when the tasks are relatively small, it’s worth to write down everything you have to do that day. Place the most important and most difficult tasks at the top of the list. These items should be taken care of with priority. Once the most demanding tasks are done, the other ones – by contrast – will seem extremely easy. A well-prepared to-do-list can give you a sense of control over your work and has a potential to decrease your stress level.
Consider physical activity
Sport is the best way to relieve prolonged stress and prevent its recurrence. Every form of intensive activity creates a good mood. Focusing on physical activity makes you distance yourself from your problems gain a new perspective. When practiced regularly will help you better control your emotions. What’s more you will get rid of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. It’s important though to choose a discipline you find pleasurable and tailored to your abilities.
Change the way you think about stress
This is a method presented at a TED conference by a health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. As she said in her speech, according to the latest research, exposure to stressing factors can be very harmful, increasing the risk of death by 43%, but only in the case of those who believe that stress will actually harm them. That’s why a change in the perspective about stress alone can transform your body’s reactions into ones that do not paralyze or block you, but help you thrive.
Remember that the increased heartbeat and fast breathing you experience in a stressful situation is a set of reactions that prepare your body to face a difficult task. It’s the way your body gives you courage. However, chronic stress is unhealthy and can lead to coronary heart disease in the long term. But, as McGonial claims, those who find stress-related body reactions helpful, have their arteries relaxed, and the quick heartbeat resembles one that occurs in moments of joy.