January 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This is the fourth week in January, but I don’t think that it’s too late to set goals for myself for the year. I’ve divided my goals into personal and professional goals that I’ll be working on achieving throughout the year.
Self-Acceptance – For the past few years, I’ve been working on change and trying to be a “better person”. The truth is that I am who I am and I’ve chosen to accept that. I want to grow as a person who is secure in who they are.
Daily Writing – Writing is my favorite hobby and I’ve gotten away from it again. I plan to write each day for 30 – 60 minutes on whatever comes to mind.
Join a Spanish Language Group – I’ve participated in a Spanish language group in the past but I would only show up once or twice a year. This year I am going to participate each month. I enjoy going to these groups to speak Spanish with other language lovers.
Find a new job – This week I’ve started looking for a new job that will be more of a fit for my interests and values. I plan to devote time each week to job hunting.
Continue with my studies – I will continue taking classes and working towards achieving my graduate degree. Even though working full-time and going to school are a challenge, I’m committed to my studies.
Time-management – I am an organized person but over the past few months I’ve been struggling with a heavy workload. I took a time management training at work and I’ve been using the strategies to be more productive.
January 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This quarter I’m taking a course called Basic Translation. It’s designed to give us an opportunity to translate different types of texts (medical, legal, literary, cultural, political, scientific, and technical). The texts we are translating are a small portion of a larger text and the word count is 300. We have a week to complete each translation. To be honest 300 words isn’t a lot and most translators can translate that many words in an hour. Since we are just learning this process it will take us longer to translate however, I do hope that with each translation I will improve my speed. I’ll also be creating a terminology list of the difficult or unknown words or phrases the I have encounter while translating each text. This way, I can begin to build my vocabulary in Spanish and English in specialized areas.
There are two issues that I hope to work on in this class. The first issue is with regards to specialization. Specialization seems to be an important aspect of the translation profession. Many translators specialize in a particular area such as legal, medical, etc. Many translators have had experience working in other industries and know specific terminology for that industry. At this point, I don’t have a specialization but I’m hoping that the fact that I’ll be translating different types of texts will help me to focus on which area or areas I’d like to specialize in. Since I’ve worked in education and finance, these could be possible areas of specialization for me. I was also reading that a translator’s natural interests and hobbies can lead to an area of specialization. This has me wondering if my interests/hobbies in writing, history, literature, and music could be areas that I specialize in as well.
The other issue I want to work on is the fact that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work and study. I don’t know if it’s even possible to create a “perfect” translation of a text but I could see myself trying to make each translation perfect. This could be a huge problem and I don’t want to spend unnecessary time trying to make a text perfect. I’m putting myself on a strict schedule to help me stay focused and to not get sidetracked.
Working and going to school is difficult and most evenings I feel exhausted. I have to fight and keep pushing myself to achieve my goals. Each week I’m giving myself two days to have just for myself so that I’m not always doing school work. It’s important to take time for myself so I don’t burn out.
October 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about why I blog anonymously and how I want to maintain my privacy. Last week in my translation class, we began discussing the translation profession. One of the ways that many freelance translators seem to market themselves is through their blogs. My professor has an excellent blog on the translation profession and I’ve been discovering other translation blogs as well. I’ve noticed that these bloggers use their real names and discuss their professional lives which makes sense because they are trying to market themselves but this is still something I’m uncomfortable with.
I’ve often thought about doing a separate blog on my journey from studying to be a translator to actually becoming one and I’ve even considered using my real name. However, I’m still uncomfortable with this idea and now I’m wondering if my need for privacy could potentially affect my career. I’m sure there are many translators who don’t blog and this probably isn’t even an issue for them. I’m also sure I could come up with alternative ways to market myself. I just wonder if maybe I need to step outside of my comfort zone and try something different. Thankfully, this isn’t something I need to figure out today but it’s something think about for the future.
September 15, 2011 § 4 Comments
I’ve always been very passionate about my hobbies (writing, collecting postcards, and painting) but I was never passionate about my career. I think that was because I’ve just been floating from job to job just to survive and it seemed like I would never find a career that fit me. I’ve always had dreams of becoming a writer, owning a bookstore, and even working as a translator but all of these possibilities were almost unobtainable (in my opinion) and I think I was just stuck in a rut of going to work and coming home. At the beginning to this year, I decided that I wanted to make some major changes in my life and one of the things I’ve done was to start taking courses to work towards a graduate degree in Spanish translation.
I’ve started taking a translation class this week and already I’m learning so much and I’m very excited and enthusiastic about this class and future classes. I’m even interested in connecting to other translation students which is something that I’m not normally interested in (connecting with strangers). I’ve even had dinner with a fellow translation student and I’ve learned a lot from her on the classes, expectations, and professional organizations I can join. This is a huge change in my perspective because I would never try to network or join any type of professional organization for the career field I’m working in now. My heart isn’t in my current profession and I have no interest in gaining further knowledge in this area.
I used to get annoyed with the people that I worked with in the past who would eagerly attend conferences, happy hours, and networking events but now I understand. They were passionate about their career and wanted to meet other people who shared their same interests. I’ve worked with people in the past who would attend continuing education courses and others who had even done research and were published. Now these are goals that I have for myself. Every morning I wake up excited and my mind is full of questions. I think it’s because I’m working toward a purpose. The thought of attending a conference or a training event is actually something I really want to do. I’m also going to join the local profession organization for translators in my city. I’ve also been reading as many blogs and books as I can on the subjects of translation and interpretation.
There is a quote that is credited to Confucius that say, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This is something I’m beginning to believe. It’s a struggle to get out to the bed most morning because I spend a large portion of my day working in a career that I’m not meant to be in. I can only imagine the change that I’ll feel once I start to work as a translator.
September 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The start of a new school year has made me reflect on my childhood and how I felt about school as a child. Starting the school year was something that caused a lot of anxiety for me growing up. I was relentlessly bullied from elementary through high school. To be honest, I had nothing to look forward to but more sadness and the fact that I suffered in silence. I wasn’t only bullied at school but also by the children of the religious community I belonged to. I believe the bullying started because my father did not belong to this religious community and it escalated over the years. I had no peace and no place where I belonged or was accepted.
Being called “ugly” was the worse word that I could have been called at the time. I was very self-conscious because I was super skinny and I wore big glasses. I was constantly told that I was ugly by my classmates and that word is still in my brain when I think about my appearance. I have to consciously tell myself that I’m not an ugly person and that there is nothing wrong with my physical appearance. When I see photos of myself as a child, ugly is the last word that comes to my mind. I just see someone who was quiet and shy and wanted to be understood.
When I was 12 years old, I had a breakdown of some kind. I remember going to the bathroom at church and crying. I cried so much and I felt a change in my soul and my spirit. I couldn’t take being make fun of and I had no one to help me. When I tried to talk to my mom, her advice was to ignore people. I don’t think she understood how serious the bullying was.From ages 14-15, I was very depressed and it’s a wonder I made it through that year and even finished high school.
Perhaps I was stronger than I realized. I used my creativity to help express myself through my writing and music. I also had my sibling and a small group of friends but I didn’t always share with them my feelings.
I see children walking to school in the mornings and they seem happy and eager. I envy their carefree attitudes and even their smiles. Theirs is an experience I would have given anything to have as a child.
September 12, 2011 § 1 Comment
Today I have started a new graduate class called Translation and Interpretation: Theory and Practice. This class is an overview of the profession and will provide insight into the different types of translation positions available, tools, references, business practices, and professional ethics. It’s a prerequisite course for the Spanish Translation program.
I am looking forward to this class and I have a lot of questions to ask. I hope this course will help me to decide if I want to be a translator only or a translator and an interpreter. Many people don’t know the difference between a translator and an interpreter. A translator is someone who translates a written document or text from one language to another. An interpreter is someone who orally translates or interprets a conversation, conference, etc.
Being a translator appeals to me more because you have time to think and reflect on the best way to use your linguistic skills to translate a document. I have limited experience with translating and interpreting and for me, interpreting is more stressful. When you’re interpreting, you have to think fast and to come up with a way to interpret what’s being said. You need to be able to quickly recall vocabulary and specific expressions that you may not normally use. I’ve been asked to interpret and I’m always nervous when asked. I’m worried my brain won’t be able to go back and forth quickly between English and Spanish. I’m able to read, write, speak, and think in both languages but there is something about interpreting that can make my brain go blank. I’m sure my concerns are the same concerns that many people have had who are beginning this profession.
July 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The Daily Post: Are you too lazy or too busy?
It’s both for me. This has been one of the busiest years and I’m too busy for a lot of things. Between my heavy workload at my job and then graduate school, I do not have a lot of time for myself and for my hobbies. There are times when I would love to indulge in something that would make me happy but I don’t have time and I end up feeling overwhelmed and disappointed.
I feel that being too busy had also lead me to be too lazy. It is summer and I created a list of plans for this summer and I haven’t accomplished any of them. I’m just too tired and lazy to do anything when I come home. Since it is so hot, I don’t have the energy to do much and I find myself lying around under my central air. This also leaves me feeling disappointed in myself because I’m not a lazy person and when I set goals for myself, I work to accomplish them.
This was not the plan I had for my life when I was younger. I did not want to become some robot that never had time for anything. I didn’t want to become the type of person that was too busy or too tired to do anything because of their job but that is what has become of my life. One of my friends suggested that I make an effort do something that I really love each night and soon it will become a habit. I think that is an excellent suggestion and one that I will put into practice.
May 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I only have two more weeks of the Intercultural Communications class and I am currently working on my final project. In this class we’ve been studying different approaches to training on intercultural communications as well as ways to develop and implement the training. Last week my professor showed us a video of her doing an intercultural training module for a group. It was interesting to watch the dynamics between her and the people she was training. She was very friendly with everyone and extremely approachable. She was also really funny and just seemed to be “on”. It’s interesting because there was a time when I thought that I would want to be a professional trainer. I thought that it would fit well with my personality as well as the skills that I have as a professional. The more I think about it, them more I realize that training would not have been a good career for me.
I think that I was drawn to training as a career option at one point in my life because I have been the department trainer in a few of my jobs. Whenever there was a new person, I would be responsible for training them in addition to my other duties. I was successful at it and I think the reason why is because I was training someone one on one. I wasn’t standing up in front of a group of people where all eyes were watching me. I also wasn’t trying to entertain the person I was training to keep them interested in what I was teaching them. It seems like you have to “perform” and always be “on” in order to be a successful trainer and that makes sense. No one wants to listen to a person they feel is boring or uninteresting. By nature, I am not a person who is always up for performance. I have a good sense of humor but I don’t know if I could easily tell jokes or be entertaining in order to hold someone’s attention during training.
I know what it’s like to perform because I’ve studied music since I was a child and I’ve participated in many music concerts and recitals. As nervous as I would be, once I started playing, it would actually be a wonderful experience. There was an energy I felt from playing the music and there was an energy I would feel from the audience that was listening. Maybe that’s what my professor feels when she trains. Because I was passionate about the music I was playing, I believe that is the reason I could get up and perform and maybe that is same way my professor feels just as passionate about the subject she trains on.
May 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
I love journals and I try to write in mine everyday. To be honest, I’m obsessed with journals and this is my latest obsession: The Moleskine Book Journal.
I bought this journal to keep track of all the books I’ve read and to keep track of the ones that I plan on reading. It has pages (in alphabetical order) that you can use to write your reflections about the books you’re read.
It comes with this cute bookmark as wells labels you can use to personalize the additional blank pages.
I’m an avid book reader and I hope that I’ll put this journal to good use this summer since I’ll have more time to read.
May 2, 2011 § 2 Comments
I was inspired to write this post to analyze the jobs I’ve had in the past after reading this blog entry. I graduated with my BA in Spanish in 1999 and since then I’ve had a few jobs and none of them have been jobs that I’ve liked. Here they are:
- Bilingual Elementary School Teacher
- Lead Bookseller
- Billing Advisor
- Accounting Analyst (present)
Bilingual Elementary School Teacher – This was definitely not a job for me because I’m not a kid person. My students were awesome but I had a hard time being tied to a classroom all day with 40 kids. The two things I did like about this job was the fact that I spoke a lot of Spanish and I was able to use my creativity to make lesson plans. I probably would have been an excellent teacher if I had stayed. When I started the school year, the majority of my students were not reading at the grade level and many were way behind in math. By the end of the school year, over half of my class was reading at grade level or above and many had improved in their math skills.
Lead Bookseller – I always thought it would be interesting to work in a bookstore and to even own my own bookstore one day; however that changed after this job. I couldn’t believe how rude and ignorant some of the customers were. The thing I did really like were the people I worked with. I think this is the only job were I pretty much liked everyone there. I actually didn’t mind going out to lunch or hanging out with my co-workers on the weekends. I also enjoyed the fact that everyone that worked there was an avid book reader and interested in so many different subjects.
Billing Advisor – This was a position that I held at a university and it wasn’t right for me because it involved a lot of contact with the public. I was fine helping people figure out how to pay for their education and to advise them on where to find scholarship but once again, I had to deal with a lot of rude and angry people. I think there is a lot of frustration that people experience when trying to fund their education and that I can understand; however I did not have the patience to deal with all of the negativity.
Accounting Analyst – This is my current position and it is a heavy accounting position. Even though I don’t have an accounting degree, I quickly picked up on everything which is good. Accounting is very boring to me and it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I’m also in graduate school and I’m studying to be a Spanish Translator. Being a translator is my dream job and it is a career field that I’ve always been interested in. I also like the flexibility that this degree will offer me and I’m leaving my options open as to which direction I’ll go once I finish school. I finally feel like I’m moving in the right direction with my career and I’m looking forward to my future.