Dress for the Job You Want

With the support of the group, I have updated my LinkedIn profile. Amongst other things I claim to be doing for a living (when in fact I am still not earning at all, but surviving on dwindling savings) is translating copy from German, after my epiphany on a recent trip to Hannover when I realised or remembered that I have the ability.

But I had done nothing about seeking out people requiring good English translations from German (I was thinking websites etc – I don’t know – and I’ve no idea where to start*), or agencies who might provide work.

Early in the morning I was chatting to one of my oldest friends. He is usually upbeat, though he has a lot on his plate. Uncharacteristically, he was complaining about various little irritations in his life. One of which was that the PR company he had employed in Germany had succeeded in getting an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, but that the translation to English was terrible. ‘Send it over’ I said. And I enjoyed it.

It was difficult though, and I got too bothered about doing the author justice while producing good English and panicking about possibly having got the wrong end of the stick. German uses a lot of very convoluted sentences and implausibly long compound words, and can be quite treacherous. So I am not sure I could cope with eg a technical dissertation. I was glad nobody’s life depended on it.

It took me back to being at university, and I like that. Could I find a way to make a reasonable amount of money out of it? I doubt it, but it might make another small source of income, which would be a start.



* Actually, I do know where I could start, but it doesn’t seem like a very good start, and I feel sort of embarrassed to pursue people I barely know in Germany with a naked plea for them to think of me in the unlikely event that they ever hear of anyone wanting something translated into better English than they can manage themselves.


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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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