Anatomy of a translation project

[Disclaimer: I am a bit fuzzy on the exact timeline of events of Days -2 to Day 0. Dramatic license time!]

Day -2: I receive a fabulous offer of translation work. Interesting topic, reasonable fee, challenging enough to be interesting but still doable. Too bad it coincides with the one weekend my parents have chosen to come visit us. Curses.

Day -1: I host a pity party for myself and decide that I must invite others. I tell my mom about the project. “Too bad, we could have helped you,” says my dad. At first, it is not entirely clear how they could help.  I mention something about needing silence so I can focus. It is not until after they leave that I could have used their input. My papi in particular has been useful before as a sounding board.

Day 0:  My family flies home. As soon as I send the e-mail agreeing to take the translation project, I go nuts. You want me to translate how many words again? By when? I remind myself that I can do it. I almost manage to convince myself.

Day 1: I write a rough draft of the translation project. This activity takes place at the same time I:

  • cook dinner;
  • do a load of laundry;
  • get my Kid ready for her bedtime;

Notes to all those concerned about hiring parents for freelance projects: relax. We are masters of multitasking. I am a machine of efficiency, powered by coffee. 

I also notice that my workstation is an ergonomic nightmare. My neck stiffens up.

Day 2: I print out hard copies of my translation, proofread it and make corrections, and send it to the client along with my zippy invoice.  Yay! I meet my deadline!

If I wasn’t so exhausted, I would dance. I settle for a hand wave.

Day 3: I confirm the files have reached their destination. Girl doesn’t deliver, girl doesn’t get re-hired. And I do more laundry.  Didn’t I just do this last week?

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