The finest selection of translators' quirks that will get you through the day

February 6, 2014
The finest selection of translators' quirks that will get you through the day

Everyone has their own habits when it comes to getting through the working day. This is particularly true of freelance workers such as translators. Tomedes recently undertook a survey of the translation community to find some of the weird and wonderful habits that translators employ as part of their working day. 

Working all hours

Many of those who responded to the survey commented on their strange working hours. It seems that 9 to 5 certainly isn’t a routine that appeals to all freelancers. Some respondents preferred to begin their day mid-afternoon and work into the small hours of the morning. Others were up with the birds and still working in their pyjamas by evening. Whatever the preference, it seems that being able to pick and choose your working hours is a popular aspect of freelance translation. 

Working out while working

Juggling work and exercise can be a difficult balance for translators to achieve, but one of our respondents came up with the perfect solution. He breaks up his working day by setting a timer to go off after he has been working solidly for 35 minutes. He spends the next 5 minutes doing gymnastics, much to the amusement of those walking past the windows of his apartment. It’s then straight back to work with another 35 minutes on the timer, counting down to the next exercise break. 

Social media distractions

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many translators find themselves flipping between their translation work and various social media sites, either posting updates themselves or seeing what others are up to as the day progresses. However, one of our respondents took things a stage further, challenging herself to post links to songs on her profile page, with the condition that all songs posted must be linked to the topic of the document she was working on. 

Mouse etiquette

A couple of our survey respondents informed us of their habit of training themselves to become ambidextrous while working. This mainly took the form of using their non-dominant hand for mouse-work when sitting at their laptop or desktop PC. As well as improving the strength of the non-dominant hand, the practice provides an entertaining mental exercise to keep the brain alert and stimulated, thus promoting greater concentration and focus. 

Do you have weird working habits that we haven’t covered above? Feel free to share them with us by using the comment box.