The solace of syntax in uncertain times

April 14, 2020 by Alison Tunley

Get a Free Quote

Our Accreditations

  • ATA Logo
  • ATC Logo
  • BSI 9001 Logo
  • DIN EN 15038 Logo

Recent Updates

Some thoughts on reviewing translation projects

Reviewing translation work is an essential part of the QA process to ensure no errors have slipped through and the text is of a sufficiently high quality to deliver to the client. It’s tricky work for a freelancer to… Read More

When reading accounts of seismic historical events, I have always been struck by the extent to which ordinary people go about their daily business in a way that is remarkably unchanged. As we witness exactly this kind of tumultuous period in real time, I am sure the same observation will be made about the corona virus crisis. Admittedly my own routine has been spared any great change – I already worked entirely from home, with occasional forays into the great outdoors to run. And, so far, the UK government is still allowing me that luxury. But around the edges of this ordinary routine, the little reminders of the new normal are everywhere. My house is full of children for one thing! Then there’s my partner emailing out work to his teenage pupils from the loft. Mostly my family lurk in their various rooms, but they have a habit of emerging at lunchtime demanding to be fed. Or they get stuck on their Year 6 maths work and come to revel in their mother’s inability to help.

Then there are the more sombre reminders – normally my phone only pings during the day with offers of translation projects. Now it is more likely to bring WhatsApp updates on a friend’s critically ill mother, being cared for in one of our already stretched ITUs. Or there are texts from another friend who is barely avoiding hospitalisation with corona virus. Other messages come in from yet another friend with symptoms, worried about her elderly mother, recently widowed and alone, who is now also falling ill. And in each case, the response is a waiting game. Nothing more to be done than hoping the body fixes itself in time.

In this context, the alacrity with which I pounce on an unremarkable legal translation is perhaps not surprising. What could be more soothing to the soul than a dose of impassive German legalese? Immersion in labyrinthine German sub-clauses proves to be the most welcome form of escapism in uncertain times.

Many freelance translators will be worrying about their source of income in the coming months as businesses all over the world go into hibernation, or worse, under new government regulations. A less obvious loss is the structure provided by work. I’ve always loved the process of translation and been very aware that you don’t necessarily even need to be interested in the subject matter to derive pleasure from the task of translating the text. I’d never been quite as aware as I am now of how soothing the process of converting one language into another can be. It’s a bit like riding a bike – you can almost turn your brain off while you get into the groove of unpacking the source language sentence structure in a way to suit your target language. Let’s hope this particular source of solace continues to be available as businesses adjust to the new reality.

Share This Post

Comments

Add Comment








Andreea Mohan

Taylor Wessing LLP

We are very pleased with the services provided by Rosetta Translations. They always send very prompt responses, transparent prices and deliver their work product at the highest standards.

More Testimonials

Jackie Brook, Sr Product Manager

American Express

Thank you very much for your prompt and efficient service.

More Testimonials

Conor McLarnon

Maximus Crushing and Screening

I have translated multiple projects with Rosetta now and I cannot emphasise how great the service they provide is; quality, turnaround time and pricing is the best I have found yet. The qualities of translations we receive are of the highest standard and communication from the start of a project to the end is consistent.

For a company looking into translations, I would highly recommend Rosetta as first pick, as the support and service they provide is first class.

More Testimonials

Get a Free Quote

©2020 All Rights Reserved