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  • Valérie Gillet

It's not me, it's not you, then what is it?



I'm becoming more and more a translator "by default".


What does it mean?


I'm realising that even though translation remains my main source of income, it's not what I enjoy doing the most anymore.


And it hasn't been for a while.


Why?


Because translation as an A>B exercise from hell slaving 14 hours a day including nights and weekends over kilometres of text is not something I've ever enjoyed doing. It's something I do because it pays the bills and feeds my kids.


Don't get me wrong: I love translating. I've always been good at it. It's always come easy to me. And I love that I can earn a decent living doing something I'm remotely good at using my brain.


What I don't like is having to chain-translate tens of thousands of words within impossible deadlines in CAT tools that don't work properly half of the time with hundreds of tags not to be misplaced. All that using TMs and TBs that are a nightmare and just enough time to reread my work quickly in Antidote before delivering a half-cooked text. A text for which the exact same number of days was allocated to the revision as to the translation, which is absurd.


With a proper briefing, enough time and the right tools, I can do a good job.


I hate having to take on tasks I know before getting to work will be problematic down the line. I hate not being able to negotiate a feasible deadline and/or a revision fee to have the text reread by another translator before I deliver it. Even more so when I know very well the reviser will take one full week to proofread my text, or even two, when I've had only 4 working days to translate it.


So right now I'm a translator "by default". And not a very happy one at that.


What I'm really good at and excited about, however, is transcreating.


Because when you give enough time and budget to a proper transcreator who can write, and I can write, you'll get added value every time.


And it's all about value, isn't it?


So in the end it's a bit me, it's a bit you, it's a bit the economy, it's a bit not having the luxury to turn down monster projects.


And it's a bit frustrating. But it can get better.

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