In the fifth part of the series titled “The Travelling Translator”, I will describe non-translation-related aspects of what I did during Week 4 of my experiment of combining work and travel. If you missed the previous episodes, you can find what preparations I did Before Departure, and what challenges I had to face in Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.
We are all somehow connected with peers and other translators, whether on Twitter, Facebook or on translation related forums. As we are scattered to the four corners of the world, we do not really have the chance to actually meet each other in person, apart from when we meet in conferences. Travelling to other cities gave me the opportunity to get in touch with translators located in the area and arrange a casual coffee chat, lunch or dinner. Such meetings serve not only my enthusiasm of actually getting to know a little better people in the same field as me, but at the same time it allowed me to see how these colleagues work, what strategies work for their market and get an essence of the country’s translation market from those that actually have practical experience in it. While you are there, colleagues may have organized unofficial social gatherings that you could attend as well!
Translators have tens of clients that they have never met in person, as we tend to do all our corresponding and translation project assignments online. It is of great interest to me to match a face to an email address, so I got in touch with the clients located in the areas that I was planning to visit. It may be wise to inform them before the travel commences, so that they have a fair idea of when you will be arriving. Some have not accepted my invitation (a few did not even reply to my emails), some were very happy to arrange a knowing-each-other-better chat. It is a good idea to get in touch with clients you have never worked together with in the past, presenting your services and informing them that you will be around the city in case they would like to meet you in person and see how you could collaborate in the future! Of course, we need to keep in mind that they are busy people and they may not have the time for such meetings, however, even if one agrees to meet up it is a positive outcome and it is worth the effort!
Remember to carry your business cards or post cards with your logo printed on them. You can use them not only to give them to potential clients you meet while on the road, but you can use them to photograph them having as a background the places you are visiting. At a later stage, you can use these pictures on your blog or upload them on your social network channels or even use them as header images on your website! Such images give a personal effect on your website, and if you are like me that prefer custom images on one, they will work as a charm! When you return, you could give these to your website designer for some Photoshop processing and they will serve as personal touches to your website.
Next week is the last week of my traveling experiment. Let’s see what challenges are going to be faced, if any! Stay tuned!