I’ll start again by saying how intimidating that is to be present at one place where so many like you are gathered. Where you find yourself surrounded by people of the same educational path, the same interests (private or business), living in the same country, but this one time meeting in an other country. It’s likely you’ll stumble upon your matches, as translators may find more than one match in another translating person. What joins us and keeps us here at this conference in Budapest? Curiousity is a major driving force, and we all obviously fell prey to it, since we were about 180 on this particular Friday in May, in Hungary’s most beautiful city.
For me it has barely been a month since my last “tiny” conference in Vienna. A conference a month is an opportunity not many translators can afford to bear financially. Luckily, the countries were not that far from Zagreb, so the chance couldn’t go to waste. But no matter how close the destinations, there’s always fatigue coming in the way of completely enjoying something. The feeling crept upon me in Vienna and I wrote a post about it here: http://tralangia.com/wiser-future-conferences/
The same feeling was there in Budapest, too. I tried to shake it off by entering into conversation with my colleagues. Entering into the world of people who perform the same job is a tricky thing. Some are more than ready to talk about their business lives, some are reluctant and some definitely don’t want to reveal anything. I understand that we are all acting in the same field, but we do not dominate it to the same extent. The language combinations and the years of doing the job sets us apart. And it’s at seminars and conferences that we look at others with eyes magnifying the smallest details. This is a fair, where we came to observe, collect words of wisdom from outstanding colleagues and mingle. We are here to educate ourselves, gain an insight into the busy lives of our possible example-setters we secretly admire or we even come up to them to just utter words of praise and support. Budapest was an opportunity where such words could be uttered. I’m not stingy with words of praise. I mean everything that I say, which very often brings me into awkward situations. The presentations all deserved positive remarks. Events like this enrich, but also exasperate both ends of the communication channel- the person emitting and the person receiving.
And you should not forget that such events are a welcome break from our daily routines- sitting in front of our laptop screens and being panicky everytime we receive a possible project. Because it’s exactly that what happens in my head- it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, from being exhilarated at seeing an inquiry among other things in my mailbox, curiousity on opening it, seeing the requested task, going through it and losing almost an endless quantity of time (only in my head, when it’s only a few minutes actually) pondering over and over about whether to accept, can I do it good, can I deliver, won’t I get myself into trouble if I don’t manage to get everything in the text right, if not, should i outsource then? http://tralangia.com/outsourcing-part-translation/ It’s a psychological process, which I can’t evade. It’s so natural that these dilemmas emerge everytime there’s a need for a service you can provide. The question is: will you be the perfect fit for it? If you are not sure, then you either decline or outsource, but the latter only when you are entirely sure that your substitute will do it perfectly.
Getting away from these dilemmas, for a day or two, to strengthen your self-awareness and positive attitude is a necessity.