If there is a phenomenon that needs no introduction to professionals in the field of translation and journalism alike, it is state or editorial censorship: countless governments and other influential entities of varying degrees of dictatorial nature, as well as publishers with an axe to grind or an ideology to serve, have made the lives of those who produce and adapt the written word extremely difficult. From the soviet interference with Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn to the religious persecution against Salman Rushdie, from Saint-Exupéry's anti-authoritarian sentiment being removed in China to the recent alterations made to render Roald Dahl and Mark Twain more palatable to modern sensitivities, books have always been in the crossfire when it comes to the marketplace (often better described as a battlefield) of ideas. What happens, however, when such an impulse is not born of a drive to serve the original text, but rather from that to alter it out of ulterior motives, perhaps purely personal?

Let's take a look at a field filled with minor works that rarely make headlines or are even noticed by the greater public; nothing as glamorous and grand as the immortal works of world literature, but at the same time something that concerns us more directly, as these lesser projects are what translators are likely to be assigned most of the time. Such works are very vulnerable to a completely overlooked form of censorship because hardly anybody knows it's happening in the first place, and that is personal censorial interference by the translators themselves.

A little word of warning: what follows contains profanity, quoted as-is for illustrative purposes.

Around 2005, acclaimed horror writer Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Candyman) teamed up with Spanish software studio Mercurysteam to produce an action game for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, and XBOX 360. The result, titled Clive Barker's Jericho, released in 2007 to a tepid reception: a mediocre affair which ultimately didn't sell very well, it however remained remarkable for its highly disturbing setting, extreme bloody violence, blasphemous religious themes and use of profanity in a time when language in video games wasn't yet as explicit as it is now. Enter the Italian translator who, if their credited works are anything to go by, had never been assigned to anything so "vile" before. Now, we're not here to cast aspersions on this colleague, who probably worked under the pressure of an unreasonable deadline, but out of duty to report we have to note that on top of delivering a localization of middling quality, featuring a number of glaring oversights, they also evidently refused to translate all of the curse words, which we can surmise clashed with their upbringing or personal views, and instead took the initiative to painstakingly remove all instances of profanity from the game: "shit" became "porc..!" (sic) and "fuck you" became "ma vaff...!" (sic). If you're not versed in Italian, think of those abbreviations as having the impact of a "darn" and a "take a hike" respectively. Please note that Italy has no recent history of state-mandated censorship and the game still has a PEGI rating of 18+ in Italy, with a label warning for "sexual expletives and blasphemy", so this wasn't some kind of top-down order to censor this game virtually nobody even knew or talked about; no, the only reasonable conclusion is that this was a personal initiative by a translator who felt offended by the material they had to work on.

If Jericho sounded weird to you, wait until you hear about Rogue Warrior. Shipped in 2009 by British developer Rebel Storm, and starring Golden Globe winner Mickey Rourke, Rogue Warrior was a bog-standard military first-person shooter, loosely based on the escapades of real-world military man and founder of Seal Team 6 Dick Marchinko. Tying to eat the crumbs of the late 2000s Call of Duty craze, the game was a completely unremarkable production under every conceivable point of view... except for one thing, that is the unending, unrelenting, unfettered and likely unscripted torrent of slurs and profanity pouring out of Rourke's mouth virtually every single second of the game, to absolutely farcical effect. It is quite incredible and such a parody of itself that it transcends any sort of pretense of seriousness and comes off as absolutely hilarious camp, which has turned this utterly unremarkable title into a veritable goldmine for internet memes, and saw it widely featured on many popular YouTube channels that wouldn't have given it the time of day otherwise; in fact I suggest taking a moment to search YouTube for "Rogue Warrior quotes" and see for yourself, just so you have a clear picture in mind for what happens next.

Enter the Italian translator. Now, this one is uncredited, so we have no way to verify whether it's the same person as the previous game we discussed, especially as this is a better localization effort overall, more grammatically correct and somewhat more elegant than what we found in Jericho, though with a significant point of contact: here too, every single instance of profanity was replaced with kindergarten variety insults akin to "fool", "stupid" and, at most, "bastard", where the original had "motherfucker", "cocksucker" and "asshole". Like Jericho, this game is also rated PEGI 18+ in Italy and bears the same "sexual expletives and blasphemy" label, even though these are no longer present.

Rogue Warrior (2009)

Can you see the problem? The personal initiative taken by the translator has actively damaged the product they were paid to localize by removing the only ticket to relevancy it possessed. Remember what we said before, that many YouTube channels, some with millions of subscribers, have featured the game for no reason other than the hilarious profanity? This phenomenon, whether by accident or design, has extended the shelf life of the game and amplified its reach, so much so that a huge demographic of gaming enthusiasts are likely to have at least heard of it. Not in Italy though: in that nation, the game is nothing but a boring slog devoid of any personality, unworthy of any attention, and all because of censorial interference by the translator.

Now, Italy is a relatively small market, but let's imagine the parts were inverted and an Italian game being localized into English for the UK, Australian and especially North American markets, which compose an absolutely massive audience. Let's also imagine that the person assigned to the English translation were to decide to do what we have described above, neutering the product of all its appeal on markets so crucial to a game's success. Can you see the damage this would cause to a studio that might have its survival staked on the sales of their game? There is no sugarcoating it: that translator has betrayed the confidence placed in them by the client, interfering with the creative process in a way that's not justifiable under any sort of scrutiny. What's worse is that the client is unlikely to ever know this happened at all: they might see that the game has flopped in a certain geographic area, but the odds they will take the time to investigate the quality of the translation are absolutely minimal. This means that the unfaithful translator will not receive any kind of feedback or repercussion for their actions, probably don't even realize the damage they have caused, and are guaranteed to do it again.

If we as translators discover we have moral, religious or other types of ethical objections that clash with the text we were sent, the only acceptable course of action would be to refuse it, let someone else do the job, and focus our efforts on something we are better suited for.

You may be thinking: "Who cares? Such a big deal about a stupid video game", and if that's the case let me offer some perspective: it is not up to us translators to judge or quantify the product we are localizing. We are not the artist and we are not the target audience, nor are we the gatekeepers of what constitutes art and what doesn't: we are the middleman, no one asked for our opinion, and we should absolutely know our place. In fact, I have selected the two games from the preceding paragraphs precisely knowing they would raise a few eyebrows and be dismissed by some as meaningless. Do we really feel qualified to assess the worth of what we are working on, especially since all we see of it is usually nothing more than an out of context Excel spreadsheet or Word document? What if the person who translated J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit had deemed it a silly children's fable about singing dwarves and not shown it due respect? Perhaps removed or butchered the songs, assuming kids would find them boring. Can you imagine the disaster if a devout translator had looked down on Burgess' A Clockwork Orange as some kind of perverted subversive book, and vandalized it in an attempt to sanitize it, depriving an entire liberal nation of an adequate understanding of one of the defining works on individual freedoms? Do we really trust our judgment to the point that we are ready to risk causing serious, and sometimes permanent, damage? We shouldn't. Do we not care? Then we should leave the work to those who do.

Furthermore, if we take no pride in our work, and dismiss the texts entrusted to us as a load of meaningless tripe that doesn't matter based on our personal tastes, aren't we devaluing ourselves first and foremost? Treating the material we are sent with the utmost seriousness, no matter what it is, is not only a sign of the sort of respect that is always owed the client and the artist, but in the first place it is a sign of respect for our own professionalism. Of course we'd rather be translating a Hollywood blockbuster, or a world-changing novel, but if we can't remain dutiful and faithful to a smaller project, what makes us think we deserve to be trusted with a larger one?

In his 2003 essay Experiences in Translation, world-renowned author Umberto Eco makes the case that a work of literature is a communion of feelings and meanings from the writer to the reader and that, when necessary, the translator must partake in the creative process by adapting the source material in order to preserve those feelings and meanings into the target language at any cost, even if that entails altering the original, for instance when presented with a pun or play on words that cannot be rendered directly. He continues by stating that this dynamic is incredibly important and must be exerted with the most delicate care; as he puts it: "to say almost the same thing". Personal initiative in the localization effort is then not only justified but even encouraged.

However, any alterations we make to the text must be made with extreme care in service of the original, never in spite of it; it is not up to us to decide what goes and what stays based on our whims and opinions, and if we can't abide by that, maybe it's time to consider a different line of work, one more compatible with our convictions. Conversely, a proactive translator with a realistic view of their role can greatly help the author and hugely amplify their reach. Let's do our best to always be the latter, never the former.

Language is one of the key traits that differentiates humans from other living beings. It has allowed us not only to communicate about things that are here and now but also to convey complex messages, which was essential for the emergence and development of civilizations.

While many animal species have systems they use to communicate with their bodies or sounds, only humans have developed this ability to express themselves in a highly complex way. Unlike animals, whose vocabulary is typically limited to simple and life-preserving signals like warnings, gestures of aggression or submission, mating calls, and the like, humans can use language to communicate virtually anything: to discuss past, present, or future, science or religion, real or imagined things, to impart knowledge to new generations – the possibilities are endless.

Language and mythology

Since in prescientific societies, people used myths and religion to make sense of the world around them, they also did it to explain the origin and variety of languages. In different cultures, the creation of language is represented as a divine gift (for example, in the Old Testament Greek or Norse mythologies). Conversely, the diversity of languages is commonly explained as divine punishment for human arrogance or ambition. A famous example is the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. What is fascinating here is that similar myths are found in other, seemingly unrelated cultures. In Subsaharan Africa, it is said that humans sought to build a tower to reach their creator, Nyambe. However, the structure collapsed, some were killed, and chaos ensued, which divided humankind. The people of Hao Island in Polynesia have an almost identical story. In another African myth, a terrible hunger drove people to lose their minds. Because of that, villages lived in mutual isolation for a while, so when the great hunger finally passed, each village spoke its language.

Tower of Babel

What can those myths tell us? Maybe ancient humans were aware that language was a great gift, one that pulled humans out of the muck of mere survival, allowed our consciousness to evolve, and enabled civilization (as represented by the notion of "the tower”, a large-scale, complex building venture), and even brought us closer to gods themselves as the highest form of existence and mastery of the world.

And what about science?

With the emergence of the scientific method and the theory of evolution, the Western world has made attempts to provide new, evidence-based answers. However, for quite some time, the origin and evolution of language were taboo topics in the scientific community. For instance, in the mid-19th century, the Linguistic Society of Paris and the London Philological Society banned further discussion on the evolution of language as a highly controversial subject.

Due to a lack of hard evidence and controversy, it wasn’t until the 1990s that researchers started to delve deeper into this matter. There is no direct link between the human genome and the brain to explain where language came from, and archaeological remains can only shed a little light. Based on fossil remains, scientists have determined that until the anatomically modern humans appeared some 100 thousand years ago, the human vocal tract did not allow for producing sounds that are used in known or modern languages.

Our knowledge of ancient languages is mostly based on written evidence, and comparative linguistics and multidisciplinary analyses nowadays enable the origins of languages to be traced back no earlier than 10,000 years. Beyond that dark veil lie hundreds of years of evolution, during which various subspecies of hominids emerged and vanished, gradual or sudden biological changes and mutations occurred, as well as changes in habitats, environments, and lifestyles. We know little or close to nothing about all those things that could have conceivably impacted the evolution of language.

And while there is no consensus on how language came to be, researchers have come up with different theories about it:

  1. Continuity – a language developed from earlier, prelinguistic systems used by prehistoric humans
  2. Discontinuity – language is a unique trait that cannot be related to other communication systems, but rather it emerged at one point in the course of the evolution
  3. Innate theories – language is considered an innate, genetically encoded faculty
  4. Cultural theories – language is regarded as mainly a cultural system, learned through social interaction

In addition, it is unknown whether language first appeared in a single place (monogenism) or in different places and periods independently (polygenism).

One prominent theory is that of venerated linguist Noam Chomsky, who says that language was created due to an unusual genetic mutation some hundred thousand years ago, which resulted in a reorganization of certain brain circuits. This implies that language is an innate component of human brain organization, the main argument being the “universal grammar”, that is, the fact that grammars in all languages of the world have certain similarities and that the human brain organizes grammar according to the same principles, no matter the language.

Let the Mystery Be

Language is one of humanity's greatest achievements and a tool that has enabled us to work together, organize, and transfer knowledge in complex ways while developing our consciousness and awareness of the world around us. Still, the secret of its origins remains hidden in the mists of prehistory or, as Christine Keneally wrote:

"For all its power to wound and seduce, speech is our most ephemeral creation; it is little more than air. It exits the body as a series of puffs and dissipates quickly into the atmosphere. ... there are no verbs preserved in amber, no ossified nouns, and no prehistorical shrieks forever spread-eagled in the lava that took them by surprise."

Watching series represents one of the favorite ways to relax and fill leisure time for many people. So why not combine entertainment with productivity and engage in learning a new language while watching TV? Nowadays, a large number of series offer the opportunity to learn numerous languages – ranging from fictional ones to rare and widely spoken global languages. Although it is not possible to learn a foreign language solely by watching TV series, it does help in acquiring vocabulary and pronunciation, recognizing grammatical patterns, and understanding phraseology. In the case of having some prior knowledge of the language or concurrently attending a language course, watching a series in that language can significantly aid in improving and speeding up the learning process.

What are the advantages of learning languages through series?

There are numerous beneficial advantages to learning languages through series. For instance, by listening to native speakers, one can grasp the pronunciation of a foreign language and, in some cases, even dialects. Furthermore, it facilitates associating words with context. The visual elements (character movements, lighting, frames) aid in deciphering the meaning of unfamiliar words by placing them in a proper context.

How to choose a series?

When selecting a suitable genre, it is essential to consider several criteria. Ideally, it should be in a somewhat simpler language, especially if there is no prior knowledge. Hence, it would be best to avoid those abundant in scientific terminology or specific slang. It is also helpful to focus on familiar words and phrases, attempt to pronounce them aloud or write them down, and revisit parts that weren't heard or understood well. Watching with others or even trying to communicate with fellow fans online can be beneficial. Subtitles are also crucial in language acquisition. They enable an instant connection between sound and text. Initially, it is advisable to use subtitles in your native language and later switch to those in the new language. Subtitles enhance reading speed and comprehension and enrich vocabulary.

Best foreign language series

1. Dark – German language

This German science fiction series on Netflix follows the families in the town of Winden as they attempt to unravel the mysterious disappearance of a boy named Mads. Despite dealing with science fiction themes, it also portrays the main characters' daily lives, providing opportunities to notice common phrases and words. Starring Louis Hoffmann, Lisa Vicari, and Andreas Pietschmann, the storyline unfolds over three seasons.

2. El Inocente (The Innocent) – Spanish language

El Inocente is a Spanish-language series that revolves around the aftermath of a mysterious murder, adapted from Harlan Coben's novel of the same name. Protagonist Mateo endeavors to uncover the secrets hidden in his wife Olivia's past, facing various obstacles along the way and struggling to figure out whom he can truly trust. This Spanish drama consists of eight episodes, starring Mario Casas and Alexandra Jiménez. While mostly filmed in the Catalan capital, the script is Spanish.

3. Borgen – Danish language

The Danish political drama, Borgen, depicts an unexpected turn of events that leads Birgitte Nyborg, a virtually unknown politician, to become Denmark's first female Prime Minister. Over four seasons, the series explores the role of power and success in a politician's life and how they impact change and shape one's personality. The character of this fictional prime minister is portrayed by actress Sidse Babett Knudsen. This series will be particularly engaging for those with existing foundations in a Scandinavian language.

4. Lupin – French language

The series is inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise. It is renowned for its clever storytelling, thrilling characters, and the way it intertwines genres. Its international success is attributed to its gripping plot and the charismatic lead actor.

5. 1899 – English, German, Danish, Spanish, etc.

The series is set aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the year 1899. Onboard, there is a diverse group of people from various cultures – an Englishwoman Maura with German Captain Eyck, a newlywed French couple, a Spanish priest and his brother, a mother and daughter from China, along with numerous Poles and Danes who serve as the working class on the ship. Characters in the series speak to each other in their respective languages, occasionally resorting to English. The creators of the series, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, aimed to showcase language diversity in Hollywood, something they felt was missing when they, as European children, watched television shows where only English was spoken.

Series Dark and 1899.
Left - Dark, right - 1899

Should we watch a foreign series?

Watching multilingual series not only provides entertainment through intriguing stories but also offers a unique opportunity to learn foreign languages. Series enables improvement in pronunciation by listening to native speakers, while visual elements contribute to associating words with context.

Choosing a suitable series is crucial for successful learning, especially for those without prior language knowledge. Advantages include authentic language material, connecting with series enthusiasts through online communities, and improving reading skills with subtitles.

Instead of the classic binge-watching in your native language, start your linguistic journey with series – and take a step towards expanding your cultural and linguistic horizons. Your language journey can be as thrilling as the plot of your favorite series.

Although the translation of idioms may seem like a Sisyphean task, it is actually a task that can be performed with a lot of creativity, patience and knowledge. As the Cambridge Dictionary defines it, an idiom is “a group of words in a fixed order that has a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word on its own.” Due to their inconspicuous meaning, they often represent an obstacle for non-native speakers as they cannot be understood literally.

Types of idioms

Manojlović, Dajak and Brkić Bakarić (2017) points out that idioms can be distinguished according to 3 different criteria. Firstly, they can be categorized on the basis of their structure. Idioms consisting of minimally two independent lexical units, phonetic words and those assuming a syntactic form.

Idioms can further be distinguished regarding their origin. The most common ones being the Bible (doubting Thomas), literature (to be or not to be), professions (too many cooks spoil the broth) and history. An example of an idiom originating from Hellenic history is the phrase “resting on laurels”. Expressing someone’s excessive contempt for past achievements. They can also be differentiated between national and international idioms, universally used all over the world.  Therefore, the form and meaning of idioms can sometimes fully overlap in the source and target language. One such example between English and Croatian is the idiom “to judge a book by its covers” or “suditi knjigu po koricama”. Also, idioms can be found in many different forms – from metaphors and metonymies to proverbs and similes.

Translating idioms.

Importance of professional translation

Idioms are a domain where translators show their true colors. Some idioms are often overlooked by lay people and machine translation tools as well. That leads to an incorrect literal translation. The study conducted by Manojlović, Dajak and Brkić Bakarić (2017) showed that the majority of translations done by machine translation (Google Translate and Assistant) result in literal translations. Apart from that, some even contained anomalies in form and untranslated parts.

How does a translator approach the process of translating idioms?

So how does a translator approach this challenging process of translating idioms? Firstly, one has to identify the idiomatic expression in the source text. Following that, the translator has to grasp the meaning of the idiom. If the translator is not immediately familiar with the expression, it is then necessary to consult phraseological dictionaries or search engines. The final step is finding the equivalent in the target language. However, it is not always possible to do so. In some instances, the idiom only exists within the frameworks of the source culture.

The translator has to choose between different ways of conveying the same meaning. In the first case, it is possible to translate such an idiom with another idiom of similar form and meaning. In example, “go through the eye of a needle” and “provući se kroz ušicu igle”. If that is not possible, the next step is translation by means of an expression of similar meaning, but a different form.

Phrases “rob Peter to pay Paul” and “prelijevati iz šupljeg u prazno” are an example of such a strategy. The third option is to paraphrase the source idiom in order to transfer the meaning to the target audience. Even though “to be on cloud nine” could be translated as “biti na sedmom nebu”, it is also possible to simply paraphrase it – “biti vrlo sretan”. The final option is to completely erase the idiom in cases where there are no plausible translations in the target language.

To sum up...

Although translating idioms is not the easiest task, it is a fun process requiring creativity and resourcefulness. The usage of an appropriate idiom in a translation can elevate the quality of a text, giving it a natural and authentic character. Since machine translation does not guarantee a satisfying execution.

Read more blogs about translating on our website.

Language is a phenomenon that reflects various social and cultural changes and it progresses and adapts naturally over time. That is why it is no surprise that with the development of the Internet, our language is enriched with numerous newly coined words, phrases and abbreviations. Such words and phrases tend to spread very quickly and are used by many speakers. The users draw inspiration for the creation of new words from different sources, predominantly from pop culture. The development of the Internet has led to a rapid exchange of new words – a process that took years or even decades to occur in the past. The use can sometimes become so frequent that they even enter dictionaries.

Languages of the Internet

As you might have already assumed, English is the language that still takes the crown when it comes to prominence and impact regarding slang. Many Internet users from non-English speaking areas often adopt English phrases (which are sometimes non-translatable) and use them naturally in discourse. However, every language has its own set of slang words that native speakers invent on a daily basis. On the other hand, sometimes they translate English phrases into their native language. For example, LOL has its French counterpart MDR (mort de rire), meaning “dying of laughter”. Another interesting example comes from the Thai language, where the digit 5 denotes the letter “h”. Therefore, 555 means “hahaha”.

The Internet is a source of many new words or ordinary words that have been attributed with new meanings.

The shortest instances of Internet slang are abbreviations and acronyms. They both shorten the words and phrases and enable a quicker exchange of opinions, thoughts and ideas.

Internet slang - abbreviations

BTW – by the way

cya – see you

TBH – to be honest

fam – family

deets – details

sus – suspicious

Internet slang can also be the source of new words and phrases. They often stem from viral tweets, memes, famous TikToks, pop-culture references and other trends that spread instantly on the Internet. Some of them are well known, while others have gone through specific stylistic, semantic or spelling adjustments.

New words and phrases

periodt – used to denote “end of conversation” after delivering certain facts

finna – an adapted version of “gonna” or “going to”

rizz – denoting a skill of attracting a potential partner; the word originates from “charisma”

bop – used when describing a really good song

slap (v.) – when something slaps, it is amazing and you can’t get enough of it

slay – to achieve outstanding success and make a powerful impression

pressed – the state of being very angry, sad or upset

cringe – the uncomfortable feeling triggered by awkward or embarrassing situations or content

yassify – to make something substantially better, more glamorous

the ick – used as an expression of disgust for someone or something

nepo baby – someone who attains success in the entertainment industry mainly because of their family connections, often associated with nepotism

bombastic side eye – a judgmental, disapproving look

menty b – short for “mental breakdown“

It’s giving (sth.) – another way to point out the general vibe of something

hits different – used to denote that something is better than the usual

live rent-free – to live rent-free in one’s mind means that they can’t get something out of their mind

low-key – to keep something discreet, low-profile, or understated without drawing much attention or making it widely known

Read more about it here.

It's not all about word-play

Internet slang is not all just about the textual format. Internet users often use a number of emojis and symbols that successfully replace certain words and convey their intended message. Ever since the emergence of social media, the visual aspect of communication has become more and more important. Various types of social media enable their users to create visual (as well as video and audio) content and memes, which later become widely known and used.

Internet slang is a regular part of our everyday lives. Hearing certain words and phrases online can often be entertaining, humorous and fun. Most of them are temporary trends in language and just like any other trend in fashion, music or technology – they come and go. However, some of them become so deeply embedded in our language that they become a part of dictionaries.

Read more interesting blog posts on our page.

Author: Dora Nikić

The title may be confusing since it is assumed that after completing university (especially faculty of humanities) one does not have a future in their own field, but bear with me and let me explain my career path.

I studied English and Croatian language and literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek and then we come to the fun (stressful) part when in the first year of the graduate university study program you have to choose an orientation in your future profession – will I be a teacher, translator or philologist?

There were no choices when it comes to the Croatian language study program because the lack of students interested in studying literature as a scientific discipline led to everyone in my generation going towards the orientation to become a teacher. Now we come to the most fun (the most stressful) part since in the English language study program there was a choice between the orientation to become a teacher or a translator.

So, the first conclusion is – I don't wish to be a teacher, I don't fit in that profession, and working with young minds is something that would bring too much stress for me. The second conclusion is – if I do enroll in the study program oriented towards becoming a translator how will I ever get a job (Google Translate, this one is on you), especially due to the fact that I don't have a combination of exotic, rare languages in addition to English and Croatian. Arguing with my mum, listening to the comments of society, indecisiveness, crying and all the other dramas of being a young intellectual led me on the path to my final decision. Finally, I decided to become a translator and then attend numerous additional courses after university just to find any kind of job. Those were my thoughts backed up by comments of a small town's society.

"Arguing with my mum, listening to the comments of society, indecisiveness, crying and all the other dramas of being a young intellectual led me on the path to my final decision."

Dora Nikić

This is when we come to a turn in this pessimistic outlook because something important happened. Dora (myself, not the cartoon character) started to really enjoy the translation studies. Everything else became irrelevant, I envisioned my success in the field that I studied. Let's jump to the next conclusions. First, I have to try harder during university and prove to my professors that I have what it takes to make it in the translation industry (yes, it is its own industry). Second, I have to take every opportunity to gain practical experience the sooner the better. It can be a volunteering activity offered by professors or something every young translator starts with – usually Translators without Borders and TED Translators. The third conclusion is that I have to connect with as many colleagues as I can who are looking for a job in the same field, every conversation with them can lead to a potential job offer.

After putting those conclusions into practice, here we are in the company I work for today. When the day came to select if we want to attend student practice as part of translation studies my answer was obvious. In my opinion, everyone who enrolls in translation studies should attend professional student practice if offered, because every opportunity to show one's skills is important. When deciding where to attend student practice, students have many options to choose from, but it takes a bit of luck to get to the place you want based on the number of students.

Then Dora took her mobile phone and embarked on an adventure of searching all translation agencies and trades in the area of Osijek. One blue name popped up, Sinonim. What I first liked about Sinonim is the fact that the agency works with all sorts of clients and thus all kinds of texts from different fields. It was also important to me that Sinonim offers copyediting, localization and certified translation services (as one day I wish to become a certified translator). Sinonim checked all my boxes, and I told my professor about it being my ideal choice for student practice. My wishes came true and I got the opportunity to work in the place of my preference. After that everything came into place, when you work in a field you love and at the place of your choice led by people who are easy to work with, success is guaranteed.

It didn't take long until the student practice became a student job, and the student job a real employment. The process itself was very easy-going. A few weeks after student practice I got an e-mail saying I could come to an interview for a student job, and after hard work and getting along with my work colleagues I immediately got an offer to continue our cooperation after graduating from university. There is so much more I could say, but the most important thing is not to give up and invest yourself in what really interests you (I know, I know, boring inspirational speeches), because then you'll get a chance to meet talented, young people, like the ones working in Sinonim, who will give you a chance and a starting point for professional development.

It’s common knowledge that foreign language proficiency has been improving rapidly over the past few years. However, there are still plenty of reasons why translators are here to stay.

If you’re tempted to use Google Translate for your translation tasks, stick around!

In this article, we’ll give you 4 reasons businesses will always need translators.

Translation Tools are Not Good Enough

Although there are plenty of translation tools available, they’re still a long way from being applicable for demanding translation tasks. 

For starters, the quality of translation tools is nowhere near as high as a human translator. Even though Google’s translation algorithm is improving, it fails to fully capture things like language culture and context. Because of that, the translation you’ll get can be inaccurate.

Take the French phrase Se taper le cul par terre, which means to laugh loudly. According to Google translate, the phrase means Banging your ass on the floor.

It’s safe to assume that relying solely on tools like Google Translate can spell disaster.

You Need Translators to Maintain Consistency

Whether you’re working with a document or a text spanning across several, dozens, or even hundreds of pages, your translation must be consistent.

The more pages you have to translate, the harder it is to deliver an equally accurate translation. When you don’t have a professional translator doing the work, mistakes are more likely to happen.

Think about this example.

Imagine you have multiple people working on the same project that are not professional translators. It’s not a stretch to say that the translation won’t be equally consistent across the entire text.

A successfully translated piece of text must be consistently accurate.

Covered for Specialized Terminology

One of the hardest things to do is to successfully translate a text that has a lot of specialized terms.

Unlike typical phrases and words, specialized and technical terminology requires more understanding and effort. This is because the phrases used in the text relate only to a specific industry or field. If the person translating a text doesn’t have training in that particular field, they can’t translate the phrase accurately and make it fit with the rest of the document.

The problem mostly happens when teams use free translation tools to translate specialized terminology. Unfortunately, the translation ends up being inaccurate.

Take medical terminology as an example.

A 2020 study about translating medical instructions for people who don’t speak English found that when using Google Translate, users retain 82.5% of meaning from the original text. This means that almost 20% of the text’s meaning becomes lost or misinterpreted during the translation process.

The best way to keep this from happening is to hire a professional translator who is trained to work with specialized terminology.

What about the cultural background of the language you’re translating?

Cultural Sensitivity

Language is not just about syntax.

Sure, you can learn how to arrange words to form sentences correctly, but you can’t deny that a certain language has a cultural spirit that a translation must capture to be fully accurate. Phrases are particularly tricky because their translation depends on the cultural context; if you translate them literally, you’re doing a poor job.

For instance, the English language is ripe with phrases like the second bite of the apple, which means a second chance. Here, the literal translation of the phrase is inaccurate.

There are countless examples like this one.

To deliver a culturally sensitive and accurate translation, you need cultural background training and plenty of practice. That’s why businesses rely on professional translators.

Back at you

For businesses, inaccurate translations are often a deal-breaker.

Reflect on the points you just read; no matter how sharp your language skills are, you can always have a few blind spots that get in the way of a perfect translation.

If you want to deliver flawlessly translated texts or documents, you’ll hire a professional translator.

Lots of local companies have dedicated SEO professionals who understand the value of content. Since the demand for onsite and social media content is so great, repurposing old content into new is standard practice.

However, things can get tricky when content repurposing projects include translation activities.

Translating niche-specific in a foreign language is more difficult than it seems. If you don’t deliver a consistently accurate and culturally-sensitive translation, you’ll hurt the quality of your content.

That’s why in this article, you’ll read about 3 different approaches for content translation.

Let’s dig in!

Translate Content Yourself

The first thing that usually comes to mind is to translate content yourself, especially if you’re translating from your native language to English.

It’s no secret that the global English level proficiency is at an all-time high. This notion was confirmed in a 2021 report from EF Education First.


Source: Statista

English proficiency is rapidly improving across all continents, with European countries on top of the list. This hardly comes as a surprise, given that millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce.

In-house content creators are tempted to save the marketing budget. However, you are going to need 3 key things to get the job done:

A superior command of the English language. If you want to translate large amounts of text, your grammar, vocabulary, and syntax must be at the very least on a C1 level. To get an objective feel of your English skills, test your skills.

Often, marketers have misleading confidence in their grammar skills with several blind spots to things like tone of voice and communication style. These can prove to‌ be fatal errors that harm the quality of your translated content.

Keep in mind that a C1 level of English proficiency is not a guarantee you’ll do a terrific job.

Writing Aid tools. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a post for your company’s LinkedIn or onsite content, you’re going to need to rely on writing aid tools. They are incredibly useful because they highlight your grammar mistakes and recommend different phrases.

Some tools, like Grammarly, have advanced features that track the clarity and focus of your text. Even if you have excellent English proficiency, you’ll benefit from writing aid tools.

Translation software. As you’re translating your content, you’re going to encounter lots of atypical phrases and words. The quickest way to do it is to use Google Translate.

Word to the wise - relying on Google Translate to translate large chunks of text can be disastrous. While it works decently well, the translation quality of Google Translate (and other translation software) can vary. So before posting any content, triple-check to see if the translation is accurate.

This statement doubles down if you’re working with niche-specific content with lots of technical terms.

Hire a Freelancer for Translations

When repurposing native language content into English posts and articles, many companies hire freelancers on a project-to-project basis.

If you don’t have absolute confidence in your staff’s grammar skills, this move makes perfect sense at first. After all, it’s better to hire a freelancer than deliver a flawed translation.

When it comes to translation tasks, there are many different platforms for outsourcing professionals.

Here are the leading sites for hiring translators and writers:

Upwork is an established freelancer platform with professionals offering a wide range of services. Translating is one of the more popular assignment requests. Like many freelancer platforms, before hiring a freelancer, you’ll be able to see their rating and what kind of specific projects are they best suited for.

Fiverr is another popular platform for outsourcing freelancers, with one important distinction. Unlike Upwork, Fiverr allows professionals to provide a wide range of services, instead of one specific. If your translation project requires additional writing or repurposing for multiple formats, you’re more likely to find a freelancer with a wider range of skills.

Gengo is a rising star in the freelance translator industry. Some of their clients include Buzzfeed, YouTube, and The Huffington Post. Their line of expertise is customer-help articles and email templates.

Even though hiring freelancers is considered to be a compromise between quality and saving money, it’s not a foolproof translation strategy.

When you work with freelancers, you have limited correction requests, meaning that there’s a risk of a freelancer doing a mediocre job and not delivering the full results.

Let’s face it, a 4.5-star rating does not guarantee an excellent translation, especially if the assignment is difficult.

In case you’re dissatisfied with the results and want your money back, you’ll often going to have to work things out through customer support. That can take days, if not weeks, which is bad when you’re on a tight schedule.

Hire a Translation Agency for Content Translations

Hiring a translation agency is about as sure as you can get when translating content.

An agency has trained professionals that guarantee consistency, accurate translation, and understanding of the cultural sensitivities of the English language. More importantly, they have a logistical structure in place that ensures the translations are delivered on time.

For that reason, translators will never run out of business; even in a world where English proficiency is at an all-time high.

The obvious setback of working with a translation agency is the increased costs of translating. However, that’s often not the case.

If you’re hiring a freelance translator that does a poor job, you already lost money. In addition, the quality of the repurposed content will drop. You’re less likely to make a return on your content.

Finally, if you’re on a tight schedule to translate lots of text, the probability of you missing the deadline is more likely when you’re not working with a certified translation agency.

You can imagine how easily the expenses can add up. Oftentimes, it’s much smarter to hire trusted professionals than spend days researching freelancers, or take up a translation project that you’re not equipped to deal with.


As we said, there are 3 ways to translate your content:

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option works best for the type of content you want to repurpose and translate. However, keep in mind that your users have high expectations for content.

If you underestimate the complexity of the translation task, you introduce other risks that can cost more than what you planned on saving. Think about what you read today and hire our agency for your translation assignments.

Literary translation from Croatian is certainly made more difficult by the complexity of the Croatian language and certain words that tend to become obsolete in time, as they are less and less used in everyday communication. One of such works is Priče iz Davnine (Croatian Tales of Long Ago), which has been translated into twenty languages. We will attempt to discuss and rate the quality of the English translation in this blog post.

Priče iz davnine → Croatian Tales of Long Ago

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić is one of Croatia's most successful writers, who elevated the use of certain linguistic expressions and through her fairy tales helped preserve certain words in the Croatian language, rendering them less known rather than obsolete. The translation of the collection's title is literal, with the addition of the adjective Croatian, to refer the reader to the spatial and cultural context of the work.

The English audience did not receive the fairy tales as published in their first English edition in 1924 with the expected enthusiasm, but this edition allowed for the Croatian Tales of Long Ago to be translated into other languages: Swedish in 1928 and Danish in 1929. A step toward better sales was the publishing of the US edition, where Ivana's fairy tales were received more warmly.

Gizdavi paunovi haughty peacocks

One of the words that is rarely used in Croatian today is gizdav, meaning richly decorated, lavish. In the fairy tale Regoč, Kosjenka (Curlylocks) created haughty peacocks by discarding a magical pearl. The translation “haughty” here denotes proud, arrogant peacocks, which doesn't match the context of this expression.

Ivana entrusted her youngest brother Želimir with the care of the first English translation of Croatian Tales of Long Ago. He ventured into an international collaboration with the English, completing a massive task, as well as taking upon himself the financial burden of it. Seeing the daunting and time-consuming process of creating an English edition finally complete, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić was delighted with the end-product.

loboda (a poor people's plant, similar to spinach) → wild spinach

It is considered that the manuscript of the fairy tales was completed in 1915, and they were first published in 1916 by Matica hrvatska. In the first edition, Ivana decided to publish six fairy tales, and here are their titles with English translations:  Kako je Potjeh tražio istinu (How Quest Sought the Truth), Ribar Palunko i njegova žena (Fisherman Plunk and his Wife), Regoč (Reygoch), Šuma Striborova (Stribor's Forest), Bratac Jaglenac i sestrica Rutvica (Little Brother Primrose and Sister Lavender), Sunce djever i Neva Nevičica (Bridesman Sun and Bride Bridekins).

In the fairy tale Fisherman Plunk and his Wife, there is mention of loboda: a leafy plant that grows in mountainous areas, and the seeds, leaves and flowery tips of this plant used to feed both the rich and the poor. Loboda is also often called wild spinach in Croatian, so the literal translation is quite fitting to describe this plant.

Ubogo djevojče (bad off, poor child) → poor girl

Eight years after the Croatian original, the English translation was published in London, and was soon after followed by the Swedish, Czech, Russian and German translations. Croatian Stories of Long Ago is the most published and most translated Croatian collection of prose, but this doesn't make the translators' work any easier. Some of the translations are literal, some were left out, probably because finding a suitable translation was too difficult, and some are mistranslated. Poor girl is a good solution for the English translation, as it conveys the defining feature of the character.

Gvozden (željezan) kljun iron beak

In this text we used the first editions of Croatian Tales of Long Ago in Croatian and English. In her writings, the author used the motifs and names of characters from ancient Slavic mythology, which certainly further increases the challenge of translation into non-Slavic languages in such a way to preserve the true original meaning and convey the proper sense of what was written. The translation iron beak doesn't correspond to the original meaning.

…tako strahovito velik bijaše orijaš Regoč …so terribly big was Reygoch

The core action of translation is to convey a message from the source language into the target language. However, languages differ, and the transfer must be done in a way that the meaning of the message is accurately carried over. Linguistic barriers are why some words were not translated, as is the case in this example.


The names of three brothers in the fairy tale How Quest Sought the Truth, Marun, Ljutiša and Potjeh, were translated as Bluster, Careful and Quest. The translations of the names Jaglenac and Rutvica are Lavender and Primrose, respectively. Bjesomar is Rampogusto, Malik Tintilinić Wee Tintilinkie, vile Zatočnice Votaress Fairies, Neva Nevičica Bride Bridekins, and Mokoš is Mother Muggish. Translating the characters and locations from Slavic mythology is an extra obstacle because this mythology is unknown in non-Slavic languages, and special annotations interpreting less known and unknown words would make the job much easier. The older editions of the fairy tales had no such annotations, whereas the latter have them.

Skut (the hem of a dress) → the hem of her garment

Before the collection was published in Croatian, there were certain linguistic modifications by the publisher, reviewer or the author herself where common ground needed to be found. We believe that this was the starting point in the English translation process as well, especially because Ivana herself participated in it. The translation the hem of her garment suits the context, and the word skut is very rarely used in the Croatian language today.


Šuma Striborova (Stribor's Forest) is Ivana's most famous fairy tale, both in Croatia and beyond its borders. It has been deservedly translated in a host of languages and stands as a pearl of Croatian literature on the international stage. It is one of those rare works in which every line represents the common treasure of Slavic peoples, and its language a true narrative art. Snake-woman is thus one of Ivana's most popular characters, and the literal translation corresponds with the source.

…a žena nijema …and his wife had gone dumb

The collection was written in the early 20th century and the contemporary linguistic standards had a major impact on it, looking from the standpoint of the present-day standard. Regardless, Ivana's language skill makes her even more special and an even better writer.

The first translation became a representative specimen, used to present the work to prospective foreign publishers. In this way, the book became a model for certain editions even before it was printed.

This example also shows that the translation fully conveys the meaning of the original.

Many Croatian literary works have been translated into numerous languages. Sinonim Translation Agency provides high-quality translation services for all types of texts: scientific, professional, literary, business and marketing etc. We know how difficult and challenging translation work can be, as we have often pointed out in our blog posts, including Five Reasons to Hire a Professional for Your Translation, Differences in Translating Literary and Legal Texts and Translating for EU.

Did you ever wonder about the pricing of translation projects? Why are translation services so expensive? How hard can it be to translate several pages into another language? It's not rocket science. Also, Google Translate is a thing.

First and foremost, we DO NOT use Google Translate for translating in any language pair. Professional translations are done with the help of CAT (Computer-assisted Translation) software. CAT tools, with their translation memories and term bases, shorten and streamline the translation process. Additionally, they facilitate consistency in translations.  Even though machine translation software is getting better, the complexity of certain texts, the variability of terms and key language nuances remain in the human domain. And this is exactly what makes a quality translation.

What is quality?

According to ISO 9000, quality is the “degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements.”
Inherent characteristics mean the qualities of products important to buyers, and requirements are expressed, unexpressed or implied needs and expectations of buyers regarding the product.

Unlike the marketing era that featured  “price wars” with the main task of creating a new market for new products, the current period of focus on quality is characterized by a large diversity of products, market saturation and prices on the edge of cost-effectiveness, with quality becoming the most important aspect for customers. There are currently around 400 translation agencies in Croatia. Clients have a wide choice, and considering that almost everything can be done via e-mail, even the location is not an issue. After all, we also work on the global market with clients from various parts of the world.

Difference between price and value

Even though you probably expect for the price of a translation to be similar at every agency, the price difference can sometimes be up to 100%. This is largely affected by the fact that the price of translations at translation agencies that are not in the VAT system can immediately be 25% lower. Furthermore, there are agencies that operate only online and therefore have significantly lower costs compared to traditional agencies. On top of that, there are agencies working for peanuts, that is, offering translations at extremely low prices. Such translations are known in the industry as extremely low-quality translations since they are done by underpaid, underqualified and/or inexperienced translators not taking paying attention to the quality, style and even basic accuracy of translations.

Let's take a simple example (even though, if we would ask a translator, it would be one of the most complicated ones) – translation of menus. Imagine finally getting several vacation days and using your annual leave. You sit down in a gorgeous small Italian restaurant overlooking the sea and start reading the menu. You're craving for something with an appetizing flavor that goes with the local wine.  And you find –gnocchi in angry sauce. Hmm... A translation done for peanuts.

Somebody translated that menu from Italian to English. It doesn't matter whether the job was done by a freelancer or an agency. A little bit of literal translation, a little bit of inexperience/carelessness and the sauce can become angry instead of spicy.

Practice has shown that it is better to ask the client for a description/recipe/photograph of the meal than it is to literally translate a certain meal. Cuisine is a part of the culture of a nation, and often there are no equivalents for certain dishes in another language. But it is the translator's job to invest their time, to research the dish in question, and to find the best solution or to present the meal using a description. And someone who invested time end effort into finding the best possible solution will also want to be paid fairly for their work.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get,” said investor Warren Buffett. Finally, poor translation services can cost you a lot more than money. Whether it is a translation of a professional paper, brochure, menu, website or advertisement – your communication with consumers shows how much you care about their satisfaction and how much they can rely on you and your product or service.

Translation price does not always reflect the quality, but the level of service must justify the price paid by the client. We all need to stay competitive on the market in order to keep doing business at all. But on the other hand, translators need to set their "value". You would not want somebody to underestimate your work, invested time and effort, right? Translators are the same. Not every translation is equally demanding, but research, knowledge and experience go into every translation, so that the client can get the best possible result in the end. Actually, we can only speak for ourselves here.

What determines the price of a translation?

Specifically, the translation price mostly depends on the quantity of text and the language pair. For example, the translation of a text from Croatian to English will be cheaper than the translation from Croatian to Dutch. Why?

There is a very small number of translators working in the Croatian-Dutch language pair. Their number decreases even more if you consider their reliability. If you entrust your translation to an agency, then that translation agency must vouch for the quality and accuracy of the translation, as well as meeting a deadline. When entrusting your translation to an agency, you should be confident that your translation will be done professionally and to a high standard. That is why the translation price in translation agencies can be somewhat higher than it is with freelancers. At the same time, this gives you some certainty. Working with an agency will ensure consistent terminology and style in your translations since they are likely to use glossaries and translation memories (databases) dedicated to your industry or even custom-made for your company.

Besides, if you don't know the ins and outs of the translation industry, you don't know whether you'll get only a basic translation or an edited/proofread translation. Maybe you need a translation, editing, proofreading and industry-specific revision? To ensure the quality of translations for our clients, every translated document produced by Sinonim undergoes the process of editing and proofreading, as well as quality assurance, regardless of the language in question. Mistakes can happen to everyone. That is why you should do everything you can  to minimize or eliminate them.


How to choose a good translator?

When selecting a translator or an agency, you should take into account everything offered as part of that service, the time required for translating the text, the reliability of the translator and his or her expertise. The translator's job requires learning and improvement on a daily basis. That is the person/agency you entrust with your work, documents, financial reports... Find someone to build a partnership with and help you achieve your goals. At the end of the day, this is what we do at Sinonim. We look forward to every new success story to which we have contributed.

For any additional questions and information, feel free to contact us at info@sinonim.hr.

Don’t let the title fool you. ‘Untranslatable words’ is just an easier way of saying ‘words that don’t have a direct equivalent in another language’. But that doesn’t roll of your tongue as much.


Untranslatable Words: Arigata-meiwaku – Japanese

This could be translated as unwanted kindness. Specifically, it describes a situation in which someone tries to do you a favor, despite you not wanting it, and consequently causing you additional trouble or just not helping you at all, but you are expected to express gratitude nevertheless due to social conventions. A truly Japanese word in every sense.

untranslatable words-japanese


Untranslatable Words: Sobremesa – Spanish

This word literally means ‘over the table’, but it signifies the period after a meal when the people sitting at the table continue to talk and enjoy each other’s company. Not an important word if you have no friends.
Sobremesa can also mean tablecloth.


Untranslatable Words: Zapoi – Russian

This Russian word is used to express continuous drinking for several days, so much so that the person withdraws from their normal social life. Sounds fun.


Untranslatable Words: Handschuhschneeballwerfer German

Used metaphorically to describe a person who acts like a coward by criticizing and attacking only from a safe distance. Literally, it means a person throwing snowballs while wearing their gloves. In both cases – a pansy.


Untranslatable Words: Utepils – Norwegian

Everything feels much better when you have a word for what you're doing. Since utepils means enjoying a cold beer outside on a sunny day, our non-working weekends during the bright and warm days can feel much more meaningful.


Untranslatable Words: Trepverter – Yiddish

Another one of those words we absolutely need in our language. This one, particularly, signifies a witty comeback that you think of when it’s already too late. It literally means ‘staircase words’.


Untranslatable Words: Gökotta – Swedish

One of those words we didn’t know we need in our lives. Gökotta is used in Swedish to express the action of rising at dawn to listen to the birds sing. I don’t like to wake up early for anything, but you go Swedes.

untranslatable words-swedish


Untranslatable Words: Gattara – Italian

We would translate it as ‘(crazy) cat lady’, that is, a woman who owns many cats or devotedly feeds stray cats.


Untranslatable Words: Gigil – Filipino

You know that feeling you get when you see a puppy or a baby so cute you want to pinch it? Well, that’s gigil. Now you know. It can be anything adorable, not just those two things. You’re welcome.


Untranslatable Words: Mencolek – Indonesian

Practically everyone tried to pull this trick on their friends when they were kids, we just didn’t have a name for it. The trick when you tap someone in front of you on the opposite shoulder than the one you intend to approach them from. A simple, yet effective way to humiliate your buddy.


Untranslatable Words: Tingo – Pascuense (Easter Island)

This one is my favorite. It means to continuously borrow stuff from a friend without returning it, until the friend is left with nothing. The fascinating thing about it is that it obviously happens so often there that they need a word for it.
You know what’s awful? Having to spend your money on things you want. Why not just find a friend and take their belongings? Profit.


There you go. A bunch of untranslatable words you will never use, apart from maybe saying ‘do you know there is a word in ___ meaning____’ in order to sound smarter. +100 Intelligence.

In every line of work, there are periods of time when there is too much work to do and little time to do it in. Stress levels tend to soar at such times, and they become much higher than those of everyday work-related stress. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid such situations if possible and, in case such situations come up anyway, manage stress levels to keep yourself from burning out.

Preventing Work Overload

In many cases, work overload does not come up due to inability to get the work done, but due to inability to organize the work in a way that it can be done efficiently. This is why it is important to make a schedule. If you are a freelance translator, evaluate the approximate time you believe will be necessary to complete a project, enter this project into a time slot of your schedule and then accept it. It is important to plan your work, otherwise it will make plans for you.

If you do not determine deadlines for yourself, you will most likely unnecessarily stretch out the task at hand to the deadline determined by the client, even though you could have completed the task sooner. Maybe you’ll work slower, double check terminology you had already researched, proofread several times, etc. All of this is fine if you have time, but it usually yields very little results.

The first terminology check was sufficient, the first proofreading removed all the errors and you just lost an additional hour or two correcting your own style. Make your own deadline, complete the translation and move on.

work overload-deadline

Translators tend to accept all the work they can get, mostly due to fear of not finding work in the upcoming period. This can make translators work from dawn ‘till dusk, and from dusk ‘till dawn again. It may have financial benefits, but it can be detrimental to your health in the long run. A good method for handling this is determining a maximum daily word count that will be your daily limit. Most translators set a number of 2000 to 3000 words a day, but you can decide on whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Stress Management

Modern technology is a double-edged sword. Having a small device that allows you to always keep in touch with other people is both a curse and a blessing. It makes you available at all times, and this is usually not a good thing, especially if you’re a freelancer.

Getting emails on new tasks can cause stress even though it’s obvious there’s more than enough time to meet your deadline. That’s why it’s good to complete your work and unplug. Plan your deadlines and arrange other activities later on; that way you’ll work efficiently, finish your work within the deadline you’ve set for yourself and engage in other activities you enjoy later on.

I’ve briefly touched on this already, however it seems important to emphasize it. Rechecking and checking your translation again often yields very little or no benefits. It is also a very strenuous activity that requires high levels of concentration and can occasionally be time consuming. If you’ve got a decent amount of experience, check as you translate, proofread your text once and move on. That being said, you’re bound to make mistakes at some point; decide to be humble at such times, apologize and fix the issue.

Although the work of a translator is stressful at times, it’s also quite rewarding. It encourages you to read, learn and adapt, enriches your vocabulary and expands your general knowledge. It teaches you to read between the lines and get at the heart of any matter.

When it comes to managing your workload, we recommend that you make your own schedule, work efficiently and refuse job offers when you are overwhelmed. When it comes to managing stress it’s best to work effectively, stop constantly doubting yourself and unplug after you complete your work.

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