Translator's Digest

On Ringing in the New Year and Moving Forward

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All entities move and nothing remains still.

– Heraclitus

On July 24th, I published a post explaining this blog’s long silence and announcing my intention to keep the blog going. Then I never published another post again. A once active and popular blog, what characterized Translator’s Digest throughout 2017 was silence. “Did she run out of things to write?” you might wonder. Not at all. Quite the contrary. So, why then, did the blog go silent in 2017? Most likely because 2017 was a year of significant change.

Among many other changes, 2017 was the year I went from juggling my career as a lawyer-linguist and my interest in academia as a part-time law professor, to juggling my career as a lawyer-linguist and starting my private law practice. The decision to leave the academic world and switch to private practice was not an easy one to make. But it turned out to be the right choice for me.

It was also a year in which my significant other underwent complicated surgery (he’s OK now, thankfully) and one of my boys (for those who don’t know, by “boys” I mean my dogs and my cat) had to have his spleen and part of his intestine removed. Mortality, whether our own or that of our loved ones, has a way of putting things into perspective.

Lastly, 2017 was a year in which I admitted to myself my own disappointment not only with the state of our profession, but also with our inability to rationally discuss the issues and find collective solutions. At some point, I realized this blog was not the habermassian public square it originally intended to be. Being repeatedly referred to as an “influencer” (whatever that means), I realized I was in a unique position to drive change, but a simple little somewhat philosophical blog about translation was not the way to go. So, instead, I became more involved in activities that I believe have a much stronger impact on the state of our profession than standing on my soapbox and yelling idly into the crowd.

Enter Change.

The New Year brings new projects. It’s still too early to announce some of these projects, but one I can announce is my blog on legal translation. For those who don’t know, in 2017, my good friend Ana Gauz and I started Language with a Pinch of Law, a blog on the intricate relationship between law and language. As of tomorrow, the blog will feature two new sections:

1) WOW! Word of the Week in Law: Every Monday throughout 2018, you will find a post explaining a particularly challenging legal term to translate.

2) Book of the Month: Once a month throughout 2018, I will publish a review of my favorite book that month on law, language, or both.

My intention with these two new sections is to contribute to translation proper. There’s too much on “how to market yourself” in the translation blogosphere, and far too little about the craft itself and how to actually translate. While soft skills are very much a requirement for getting clients, hard skills are what keeps them coming back. So, my New Year’s resolution (which has been quietly in the making for months) is to actively share what I’ve learned about law and language throughout my 15+ years as a lawyer-linguist with anyone who is willing to read it.

Bidding Farewell.

Writing Translator’s Digest for the past few years has been a truly transformative experience for me. On some level, this blog has helped me evolve as a professional and as a human being. Writing and connecting with my readers has forced me to give serious thought to the issues I care about, not just from my point of view, but from theirs. And while this blog accidentally helped put me and my business on the map, it also achieved something far more meaningful: it helped me get to know people I would not otherwise have ever met and forged many great new friendships and professional alliances.

Every time I cross the Atlantic for a conference or fly to the US, I am warmly welcomed by colleagues to whom I already feel a profound connection thanks to this blog. I’ve had promising young translators walk up to me at conferences to tell me how something I wrote resonated with them and seasoned colleagues strike fascinating conversations with me in reaction to particular posts. There are colleagues I deeply admire and respect who are now my friends because somehow this blog connected us; and I’ve gotten to know and learn from some of the best and brightest people in our field. This blog, and every single one of my readers, will always be dear to my heart. I will be forever grateful to everyone who ever took the time to reach out to me on the count of one of my posts. Because of that, even though I won’t be publishing new posts here, I will keep the old ones online. You will still be able to read them and leave comments (which I intend to read and reply to). But the time has come for me to move forward… and hopefully some of you might even move forward with me.

And with that, Pablo, Marty and I bid you farewell, dear reader, and wish you all the best in 2018.

 

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