It may seem like a moronic question, but it’s more important than most professionals realize. This is something every translator, proofreader—or anyone in the language services field for that matter—should ask themselves on a regular basis. The brain is like a muscle.
How is your workout routine going? 😉
So, you’re a translator that’s just starting out or you’re someone who has been in the field for years… perhaps you may even have your own translation company/team. It can be overwhelming to juggle everything in this professional area. Some weeks are better than others. One moment you’re thinking you have too much time on your hands, the next you’re begging the clock for more hours.
If you’re not careful, you can get stuck in this routine of receiving-doing-delivering and, before you know it, you forgot to go to the (brain) gym again!
You’re not dating language… you’re married to it!
Training courses, workshops, and other materials are a must to keep up to date with the latest information for language service providers.
However, we shouldn’t forget the basics: writing not only benefits from reading—it thrives from it.
Yes, you may stick to translation or proofreading tasks, perhaps you don’t venture into copywriting or heavy styled editing, but at the end of the day… you’re still writing! You’re still using writing techniques and turning them into cohesive and coherent texts.
Whether you like or not, you’re not dating language, you’re married to it! And like most marriages, it requires commitment and continuous learning, otherwise it becomes stale and broken.
Reading books is a wonderful (and enjoyable) way to not only exercise your brain, but also to give you that “break” you need (but one that you don’t indulge in all too often).
Don’t read only book genres you’re familiar with… branch out!
Consider reading a book you wouldn’t normally read. Maybe you don’t like romantic novels… give yourself a chance to try something new. Research a good novel and read it. Chances are you will confirm your dislike of the genre, but perhaps there’s a slight chance you might actually enjoy it!
Fancy those deep emotional stories or maybe gut-wrenching plots? Consider reading a non-fictional book. It might give you a terrible case of the “yawns,” but we all evolve in terms of likes and dislikes, perhaps you’ll discover a new genre that you like.
The idea is to push your brain out of its comfort zone, to challenge it and help it grow and expand. We tend to only go for things we already know we like. Not too often do we venture into worlds we “feel” we might not like or that, in the past, we didn’t appreciate. However, as people, we’re always evolving, and so should our professional skills.
Think of book genres as islands, and you’re the captain of your ship. How long have you been on the same island sipping your Piña colada, so comfortable in your lounge chair and waving at the seagulls? If it’s been too long, it’s time to sail towards the unknown and visit other islands!
Different book genres can broaden our minds and even teach us new techniques in content description, sentence structure, copywriting, and so on.
Your brain will be challenged. It might growl at you from time to time, but if you keep at it, you will reap more benefits than you realize!
In a world that’s advancing at such a rapid pace, those of us that keep evolving in our skills will be the providers of the future.
So… I’ll ask again: what was the last book you read?
And after you answer that, ask yourself the final question: is it time to set sail to other islands?
I would say: it’s about time! 😉
So, will you accept our challenge? Try starting here: