Sunday, September 11, 2011

A joke

Recently, while procrastinating and pretending that I don't have a deadline approaching, I found joke which really made me laugh. I'm not sure how funny it is going to be for someone who is not that familiar with the economics and job market in Poland, but still it made my husband laugh, so there it is:

A professor of mathematics had his radiator break down, so he had to call a plumber in. The plumber arrived, knocked on the pipes, fastened a couple of screws and quoted a price for the repair.
- Are you sure? - the professor asked worriedly - It's half of my salary...
- What is it you do for a living then?
- Well, I work at the university teaching mathematics.
- Why don't you become a plumber then? You could come to work with us, just pretend that you have no education, as they don't like people being too smart in this job. You could earn at least three times as much for doing hardly any work.

So the professor took the advice and became a plumber. He worked for several years, knocking, replacing pipes, fastening screws and earning really good money.
However, one day a new regulation came out and now all the plumbers had to attend further education courses as part of a professional development programme. So the professor found himself sitting in a classroom in front of a teacher, who started by saying:
- OK, so let's see what you lot remember from your maths lessons. Who knows the formula for the area of a cirle?
Nobody volunteered, so the teacher picked the professor to answer the question. Unfortunately, the professor by that point had forgotten the formula, so he decided to get to it step by step. After filling the entire board with calculations, he got a result of -πr^2. But he didn't like the minus, so he started all over again. However, having filled the board once again, he still ended up with -πr^2. In desperation he turned around, hoping to get some help from his classmates, at which point the whole group whispered:
- Change the limits of the integral. Change the limits of the integral...

Monday, September 5, 2011

DipTrans and other things

It has been an extremely busy period - with moving houses, giving births and working, working, working.
Still, somehow, in the midst of it all I managed to pass the Diploma in Translation exam. The relief upon receiving the results though was soon replaced by a great sorrow over getting a distinction in science and a mere pass in literature... Well, never mind...
Now gearing up for the Metropolitan Police exam and considering doing a degree with Open University. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My own, professional Rubicon crossed

As such a vast proportion of translator's job is about using the Internet (nearly all my Clients were found - or found me - here, this is where I most often look for jobs, information, advice etc.), it seems rather inevitable to join this or that translators' community. Personally, I have probably joined everything I could to begin with, but now most of the time I am too busy to participate in everyday life of any of the portals on a regular basis.
Every now and then, though, I will find a while to have a quick look at some of the forums and add an odd sentence here and there, either to express my views or to help someone with their terminology issues. Today, I logged onto one of my "profiles" and I found out that I have been sent a message, asking whether I would be interested in joining a team working on the English version of a Polish website. It would be a voluntary assignment, with satisfaction being the only remuneration.
Now, some months ago I would have probably been delighted at the prospect, as back then I used to look for any ways of getting my name "out there" and just working on something, anything, as long as it involved my translations being used by anyone, anywhere. It took some minutes for me to realise that I'm no longer up for it. So I replied politely, explaining that I can recommend some people who would probably gladly join in, but I, myself, am not interested in the offer due to lack of spare time.
With a bit of nostalgia, I have to bid farewell to my old self (the one that was asking herself every second whether this is already "being a translator" or still "on my way there") and welcome the brand new translator-proper. Who now really needs to get some work done for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Translator's solitude

Solitude is an inevitable element of freelance translator's work.
I cope with it quite well, but I miss people and the social/human aspect of all my previous employments. Of course a decision to become an interpreter would seem pretty obvious, and I might pursue it in the future, but it still doesn't solve the problem fully. A typical community interpreter is still a freelancer and most of the time he/she remains outside any social situation they enter. The real interaction takes place between two interlocutors, while you are simply stood there, interacting mainly with the language itself. After all is done, you go home and can be solitary again.
Thus, I'm starting a part time career in a different field. I don't really treat it as a proper job, but just a chance to get out and interact with people properly. The only things that might be worrying is how it might affect my translating work. I have been rather busy recently, so I guess I will have to organise myself a little bit more (which is by all means a very positive thing) and perhaps give up on some really crazy assignments, that involve working for five days in a row with hardly any sleep.
Very excited.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The future...

I have been recently haunted by my PhD plans. If I had to prioritise my dreams, then they would be:
1) a happy family (I want a daughter!!!!)
2) a PhD
and the rest I really don't care about at all.
It might be due to the fact that since the day I was born I had it hammered into my head how incredibly important knowledge and thinking are, how crucial it is to reach ever higher, to strain your mind further, to seek answers and develop, develop, develop. Improve, improve, improve. As a result I am a completely confused human being, deeply interested in absolutely everything (apart from sports and fashion - although I'm very interested in beauty, so this latter one is not entirely true) and with no other aim in life, but constant chasing after answers to various questions, which might have no practical relevance whatsoever.
I'm slowly trying to make up my mind with regard to what I would like to research and the language seems to be a winner so far. If I only could combine literature, philosophy, sociology, psychology and language into one, good and satisfying topic, I would be an incredibly happy person. At the moment it's just a chaotic and ever changing network of thoughts and ideas. One of them being the difference - between languages, and therefore reception of various events by various nations, social groups and sexes. But there are also other "haunters" out there (or maybe in there?), struggling for primacy.
A wonderful thing is that every completed job gives me more insight into how the language functions, how it defines us and our world. It also shows how insufficient the language is, how limiting, often irrelevant, with regards to both tangibles and intangibles of our daily experience... Which sounds like a good topic too... I'm still waiting for the truly brilliant idea and for a truly big sum of money to make my dream come true. Which means I should probably get back to work. This very moment.