AN INTERPRETER’S LIFE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THIS CRISIS
As a conference interpreter used to travelling all the time and almost anywhere, being forced to stay at home all day long is both difficult and frustrating.
I know it’s not the worst thing that could happen to you and it’s true many people around us are facing a far more desperate challenge; however, coronavirus has turned our professional and private lives upside down and if you are self-employed, this may imply your income will inevitably suffer.
I am sure this harsh time will come to an end, it is just a matter of following the Government guidelines and being patient, but in the meantime we can try to make the most out of this negative period.
Here are some tips that may help you do that:
- Do some decluttering.
Everybody has a room full of unnecessary items, like your study for example. I spent an entire day tidying up mine and getting rid of paper documents that added no value to my bookcase.
Once finished with my home office, I moved on to my bedroom and made a couple of bags of clothes and accessories I am not wearing any more. You know what? Now I can understand Marie Kondo.
- Keep your body and your mind fit.
In other words, do some physical exercise, if you can on your balcony or in your garden if you are lucky enough to have one. There are plenty of videos you can find on youtube, these are my favourite ones: Mad Fit, Pamela Reif and the beginner version if you are not a pro yet Pamela Reif.
- Practice your simultaneous and consecutive interpreting skills.
I always say that working as a conference interpreter is like going to the gym: the more you train, the better.
In a situation where all your job assignments have been cancelled due to this health crisis, remember the Internet helps us keep our brain cells active and fast.
Every day a foreign Prime Minister or President gives a speech to inform citizens about the current situation, like Giuseppe Conte, Donald Trump or Pedro Sanchez.
If you prefer something prepared and developed by professional interpreters for their peers, have a look at the following websites: Wise seminars, Repris Madrid, Paris Interpreting Practice, Speech Repository.
- Organize a remote Aperitivo with your friends, colleagues and relatives.
I love eating and drinking out with my friends, but if this is not possible at the moment you can use technology (like Whatsapp, Skype or House party, an app created to chat or play with your dear ones online).
It’s not the same as face to face meetings, but it’s better than I expected: the important thing is to prepare your cocktail, snacks or appetizers, lay the table and have a good Internet Connection 😊.
- Focus on continuous learning and professional training.
We often complain about the lack of time needed to attend seminars or courses that allow us to increase our knowledge and improve the services offered to our customers.
Well, the time has come: there is a wide range of webinars for interpreters and translators organized by reliable and outstanding companies, such as STL Formazione, Langueparole, Trágora Formación and Cálamo y Cran, just to mention a few of them.
Personally, in the next few days I am going to attend a webinar on remote interpreting and I will let you know more about it.
Reading, cooking, relaxing or any other activities that make you feel better are all good options to take into account in this period, provided you can do them at home.
And you? Do you have any tips or suggestions that can help us stay positive and spend the quarantine in the best possible way?