Following a call for work sent out to family, acquaintances and friends, thanks to a friend in Cairo, I started receiving some really great translating free-lance jobs last week, and have reclaimed my role as a working mother. It’s not entirely without complications of course, as this means an adjustment for everyone, however we are all happy and able to make changes to our day-to-day-life in order to improve our living conditions.
Although linguistically the jobs I get are easy, I have been spending a lot of time trying to learn how to use Trados, the program I need to do the translations with. And I mean a lot. I’m good at this kind of stuff and never had trouble working with new software before, but this one is a little different, and getting started hasn’t been as easy as it may look. One of the problems is that the user guide sucks. If we had a sufficient internet connection I would watch an on-line tutorial or something like that, or try to find an alternative instruction manual, but instead now I’m stuck trying to follow the user guide that comes with the program. I always thought of myself as a patient, calm person, but whenever I sit down and try to start my work a wave of irritation and frustration comes over me, and I imagine a giant wall standing between me and my translation job. I think I feel this way because of time pressure - with all that’s going on right now I have time to do the translation work, but I don't really have time to sit down and slowly learn an entire software. Instead I try to set everything up quickly so I can get to the work without a thorough learning session, mess up, get frustrated, search through the user guide for what I might have done wrong, start over, and mess up again. Sigh. Just writing about it makes me stressed.
The good news is though that once I’ve got the translation going, it’s easy, fairly fast and fun. And I know that eventually Trados and I will come to terms with each other. I think I might have missed working a bit. I mean working for money on things that I normally wouldn’t think about working on by myself. Because I’m almost always working, just not for money, and when I want to do something academic or professional, I choose that something entirely by myself, usually on a topic within my comfort zone. Now I get paid and I get to do new, interesting things.
Speaking of which… After a big cooked breakfast, morning exercise, two loads of laundry, a morning filled with school work (Math, English and Science), home-made pizza for lunch, a few hours on the beach with a big snorkeling excursion, showers all around, taco dinner, and a big clean-up, the boys are now sitting happy in front of Tangled, and - it’s time for me to get to work.