Working less and “il dolce far niente”


Photo by Julia Wimmerlin on Unsplash

I was scheduling my social media posts when I came across this article. The subject of working less, instead of more, that has been gaining ground recently (finally and thankfully!) has my total support for years, so I loved this article (it’s long, but worthwhile, believe me). I wanted to comment on practically every paragraph of it, so I decided to write a post, instead of simply posting it on social media.

When I started out, I worked a lot – weekends, holidays, nights! At the time, I lived with my mom, and I remember she would bring me food at the desk because I didn’t have time not even to eat. I remember my parents would go to bed and wake up, and there I was, still working. And when I went to sleep for a couple of hours in the morning (or afternoon), it was not the same as sleeping at night, so I would never rest properly.

Have you noticed how people preach being busy and working on weekends and overnight as something to be proud of? I hold a grudge on those memes, and I feel really sorry for people who proudly share them on social media. Just as I feel sorry for project managers who ask for my availability past 8 pm. “Look, I am so professional and dedicated, I work until late at night!” Sorry, pal, not something to be proud of. Your reply will only arrive in the next morning anyway, so you could have used the time you spent writing me the email to leave earlier and go home to your family. Seriously, people, just stop!

I don’t remember exactly when I stopped playing with my health and sanity, but I did eventually. I started respecting weekends and a good night sleep, and taking vacations (with absolutely no work whatsoever). After a while, I started following regular working hours and exercising in the evening (after reaching my maximum weight and having health problems). Mind you, I’m 34, and it must have taken me only a year or so to start having health problems and realizing I needed to change. I learned with practice. That old living and learning thing.

Nowadays, I wake up at 6 am, run three times a week in the morning, take a shower, have breakfast and then start working, at around 9:30 to 10 am. I have a decent lunch at around noon, do the dishes and rest a bit on the sofa while taking a quick peak at social media watching series (maybe not one of my healthiest habits, due to the flow of information to my brain, I know). Every week day, I hit the gym in the evening, so I usually stop working at around 5 to 6:30 pm, depending on the day. Take a shower, have dinner, rest a bit on the sofa while watching series and, again, taking a quick peak at social media and emails, after all, I usually spend all this time from when I stop working until I finish my dinner away from my cell phone (a great break to the mind). I used to do this until the time I went to bed, but nowadays I’m even changing this nighttime habit. At around 9:30 pm, I switch my cell phone to airplane mode, go to bed and read a book for about an hour, before going to sleep.

The secret? Being heavily productive in the restricted working hours you have left, avoiding procrastination and social media during working hours.

[T]he work we produce at the end of a 14-hour day is of worse quality than when we’re fresh, […] undermines our creativity and our cognition, […] it can make us feel physically sick – and even, ironically, as if we have no purpose.

I’m totally aware my routine will hardly fit anyone else. The fact that I’m single, have no kids and live by myself plays an important role in making it easier, but if I wasn’t organized, determined and strict, this wouldn’t work anyway. Even if you are married and have a bunch of kids, you can make it work. The secret is learning your daily routine, creating your own working hours, whenever they are, and strictly following them. Restrict your social media time to avoid procrastinating. Actually, restrict everything that is not work-related. Be professional and respect your working hours. The benefits will be worth it: more time to do whatever you want.

Keep human! See people, go places.

After all, what do you work for? Earning money, paying bills and living the life, right? We all preach the greatest benefit of being a freelancer is being free. However, most people use this freedom to work even more. That will never make sense to me. Use your freedom to go see a movie on a weekday afternoon when you have no projects, walk in the park, have a coffee with a friend or do nothing.

[Doing nothing] helps you recognise the deeper importance of situations. It helps you make meaning out of things. When you’re not making meaning out of things, you’re just reacting and acting in the moment.

Now that is something I seriously need to master, although I have been trying hard to practice: do nothing, be idle. It’s so hard! It’s as the article says, when we have nothing to do, we end up reaching for our phone or turning on the TV. It’s like we can’t handle being left only with our thoughts. Think of it for a moment… This is so sad! The good thing is it doesn’t really mean, in the strict sense, to do absolutely nothing. You can meditate, knit, doodle, discuss a problem with friends, cook… anything that doesn’t require 100% concentration. I went to the beach a couple of weeks ago and I tried to put this into practice: when in the water, I tried to sink in its energy, feel the waves, let my thoughts flow freely; when under the umbrella, I tried to watch the sea, listen to it and, again, let my thoughts flow. Remember: what works for me may never work for anybody else and vice-versa, so find what suits you.

I’d love to hear how you organize your day in order to maximize your productivity and have a decent work-life balance. Also, feel free to share how you practice your dolce far niente.


P.S.: You may have noticed I’ve been absent from the blog and from social media. First, the same old thing: projects. Second, I’ve been feeling quite tired lately, so I’m respecting my body and, instead of dedicating time to the social media and the blog, I’m using that time to rest a bit more. I’m putting the free in freelance to great use. 😉 However, don’t fret. I’m already slowly going back to normal. On February 1, a new Greatest Women in Translation interview will be published, with Antonia Lloyd Jones; on February 5, a new podcast episode will be published, with Reginaldo Francisco (Win-Win project), just before taking a break (after 20 episodes, it’s time for a well-deserved break: we return in July with fresh, newly-recorded episodes); on February 9, our guest of the month is Dolores Guiñazu; and on February 20, hopefully, another post by me.

Guest post: Freelancer as a sole breadwinner

Today, we should have the second part of Israel Alves de Souza Júnior’s guest post, but we had a change of plans. Stay tuned for his post next week. Meanwhile, I can assure you will love today’s guest. It is a huge pleasure to have her on our blog, since she is one of my role-models, besides being widely well-known in our profession. Please give a warm welcome to Marta Stelmaszak!

Welcome, Marta!


Freelance translator as a sole breadwinner: opportunities and challenges

The decision to go freelance may have different roots and causes. From sheer frustration with a working environment, to an entrepreneurial calling, professionals start their freelancing journey for a variety of reasons. Yet it hardly ever is a leap of faith. Freelancers, including many freelance translators I know in person, turn to running their own business often in situations where they can afford to – and of course that’s responsible, reasonable and safe.

The majority of freelance translators I know have a significant other who in part to the household expenses, or have themselves benefitted from previous careers in which they paid their student loans or mortgages off. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that and I never realised my situation was anyhow different until recently.

To give you a bit of background, I was supporting myself right through my higher education (I asked for it, leaving my country, parents and friends far behind), and jumped right into freelancing as my main and only source of income straight after graduating. For the past five, maybe six years, I’ve been a sole breadwinner for my one-person community. Now that it’s changed and I’m no longer sole, I’ve noticed a significant change in my circumstances. If you are a freelance translator who’s the main, or sole, breadwinner, I think you may have had similar experiences or thoughts.

Absolute freedom

On a positive note, if you’re a sole freelance translator, you can enjoy this absolute freedom to work any time you want, arrange your routine exactly the way you feel like and don’t feel like you’re affecting anyone around you. Truth to be told, it’s not solely applicable to sole freelancers, but if you have a partner, you’re most probably following some sort of a shared or negotiated schedule. Not that I miss it, but long gone are days where I’d pull an all-nighter or work right through the weekend with home food deliveries.

Survival instinct

Being a sole breadwinner, especially if you have others depending on you, can serve as a catalyst for your survival instinct. From my own experience, I know that it’s totally different to be faced with a situation where you have to do something about marketing your services or else you’ll be running out of money for rent, and the same situation where this means a slower month but it’s not a complete disaster. This survival instinct gives you strength to go out of your comfort zone and do things you haven’t thought you were capable of.


Another side effect is the determination you may accidentally develop as a sole freelancer. In my case, I knew that I had to find a way of growing my business and there were no other possibilities, nothing to fall back on if something goes wrong.

Health risks

On the flip side, all the sole freelance translators I know tend to be a bit neglecting when comes to their own health and condition. It’s so easy to stay up all night or just not eat properly, or work for 18 hours straight… I know I used to pay much less attention to my health and how I felt, always finding there were more important things to do, or issues that needed my attention. Of course, this was really damaging to my health, resulting in a long antibiotic treatment by the end of 2014.

More stress

I never felt I was particularly stressed back then, but now from a perspective of passing time and changed circumstances, I know just how nervous and overstressed I was on a day-to-day basis. Feast and famine periods, late payments, dealing with non-payers, currency fluctuations, these were recurrent topics in some of my worst nightmares. Sole freelancers tend to be exposed to these stress triggers much more, as of course they’d be affected more dramatically, but also there are very few people to share this worry with.

Workaholic tendencies

Do sole freelancers work more? This has proven to be the case in my scenario. I used to work much more than now, with lower productivity and generally less happy, but I did put more hours into my business. I secretly suspect I was a bit workaholic, while now I definitely have a much healthier attitude to work. What’s the push and what’s the pull?

If you’re a sole freelancer, have you experienced similar feelings or situations in your life? Do you agree with me?

Thank you so very much, Marta, for accepting my invitation and taking the time to write something to the blog! It is a huge pleasure to host you here, you being my role-model and all. 😀

I did have roughly the same experience as you: I used to work a lot more before than I do now. As I already told my readers over and over again, in my beginning, I used to work almost around the clock, sleeping threee to four hours a day at the most – when I slept. Nowadays, I work from 8 a.m. (or later, depending on my sleep needs) through 5 p.m., because I religiously go to gym every evening. I usually don’t work on weekends nor on holidays, except when necessary, of course. The benefits are way bigger than those of working too much.

Please do add your own experiences. 😉

About the author
4869smMarta Stelmaszak is a Polish and English translator and interpreter specialising in law, IT, marketing and business. She is a member of the Management Committee of the Interpreting Division at the Chartered Institute of Linguists and of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters. Marta is also a qualified business mentor, a member of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. In 2015, she has been selected by IPSE as one of top 15 freelancers in the UK and graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Marta runs the Business School for Translators, an online course and entrepreneurial blog for translators and interpreters and published a book. Marta is active on Twitter and Facebook, where she shares information related to the business aspects involved in being a translator and interpreter.

Having a downtime? Don’t freak out. Do something!


As freelancers, one of the things we dread the most is not having work, right? However, all of us have already had some unwanted time off, still have and will keep having. It’s the normal flow in freelancing, there’s no escape. We cannot predict nor prevent it, only learn how to best make use of it – without freaking out. 😉

When I started out, I used to work every single day – including weekends and holidays – almost around the clock (I used to sleep only about 3 to 4 hours a night, when I slept). So downtimes were actually really welcome back then. They meant sleeping. Since nowadays I have a normal work life, i.e. working only during business hours, rarely more than that, I have to make great use of the available time I have.

The subject has come up to me because I’m currently facing some downtime myself. Yesterday, a client cancelled a project last minute and I had no other project scheduled after that. I already had some tasks scheduled to be done “sometime”, so it was just perfect! Yesterday, I made some calls to make doctor appointments (finally!), I e-mailed clients/colleagues/friends whose addresses I did not have in order to ask them to provide it and also did some accounting. Today, I wrote this post, booked a couple of bus tickets, organized some drawers and sent some e-mails. And the time was not enough to do everything I needed to do.

Apart from our regular to-dos, something I came up with for downtimes is scheduling future blog posts. I know some people already do that, but I don’t. I usually write/post them in the same day. And we all know this takes a lot of time, even though it’s a guest post. Therefore, I could save a lot of time for the future.

Doing some accounting, organizing the office, organizing the files in the computer, brainstorming ideas for everything, contacting prospects/clients/ex-clients, updating the CV and updating your social media information are only some of the things we all already know we can do on our free times. Now it’s up to you to find out what other things you could be doing to make better use of every second you have during your business hours when you suddenly find your schedule free.

As to the part of freaking out, or at least worrying a bit, about not having work, I guess we’ll always feel that. It’s natural instinct. Even though we know downtimes are temporary and they come and go, we can’t help feeling butterflies in the stomach thinking “no work, no pay” and wondering how long it will last. It always happens to me, so I won’t even bother telling you not to do so. 😉

How do you leverage your downtimes?

In-house or freelance translating? It’s up to you!

Hi, dear followers! How are you doing? I know I’ve been absent from the blog – it’s been three weeks since my last weekly post. I’m sorry! Working a lot, no time left for writing, unfortunately! 😦 This week is less busy, so I promise there will be a post on Thursday. Stay tuned!

For now, we have another translated post. This time, from Portuguese into English, for a change. The source is Traduzir in-house ou traduzir como freelancer? Só depende de você! Today’s translator is Viviane Real.


When I got Carol’s invite to take part in her guest posts, I immediately decided to talk about how I see the possibilities of ”working freelance” vs ”working for a translation company”’. However, only after learning that translator Mariana Sasso had chosen the same topic and after reading her text did I start to think about how to approach different aspects from those she had already tackled in her post. So, in this text I’ve tried to talk about the same subject from a different point of view and I hope I was able to pull it off. 🙂

The first time I came across these two kinds of professional possibilities was right after I got my Master’s degree and entered the translation market.  An agency was offering both internal positions and freelance opportunities. Since I didn’t have any experience and was eager to get in the market, I applied for both. I ended up being selected for one of their internal positions so my first experience was as an in-house professional translator.

The experience as an in-house translator was, undoubtedly, invaluable, since it allowed me to take my first steps in the profession and to learn how the technical translation market works. I can also say that this job helped me to complement the sound education my BA in Languages specialized in Translation provided me. Back then, in my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of working in-house was the stability and safety provided by formal employment. In fact, I used to be quite wary of the possibility of working and making a living as a freelancer. I used to think to myself, ””Is it possible to make enough money working from home? What if there is no work? What if there are no clients? What if…?”.

I worked at the company for almost a year and when I left, my second professional experience started: this time as a freelancer. To my surprise, the fears of being self-employed I used to have before soon became meaningless, because right from the start, I can say that there was always frequent and uninterrupted work. Soon, I came to notice some aspects that, in my opinion, are advantages over in-house work. As a freelancer, I could truly dedicate myself to what I like the most: translating! That might seem obvious, but it isn’t. As an in-house translator, besides translation itself, professionals are also responsible for several stages through which the text must go until and after its final delivery to the client: revision (comparing the original to the translation), proofreading (reading of the translated text only), implementation of updates/corrections/alterations/client feedback, etc. These changes are not motivated only by problems with terminological or linguistic quality. For instance, the client frequently asks for changes in the source after the translation has started or even after delivery, thus an update is necessary so that it matches the new source. Some other times, even though the client or reviser often recommends important alterations that improve the overall quality of the final text, there are situations when the suggested changes are questionable in terms of relevance, such as replacing a noun phrase with a verb phrase – ”chocolate cake” becomes “chocolate flavored cake”, and it is up to the in-house professional to accept/reject and implement or not these modifications (bearing in mind that in case of rejection, it is necessary to justify the decision). It is important to highlight that I don’t think these post-translation stages are less important, and I believe that enjoying or not these other tasks depends on the translator profile. Now I know I am one of those professionals who don’t like them. Thus, one of my first and happiest discoveries as a freelancer was that I could just translate and feel free to refuse working with revision, implementation, updating, etc.

For four and a half years, I worked as a freelancer. During this period, I started and kept solid partnerships with some companies and was also able to focus on technical areas I like the most, namely IT and marketing.  After that, I felt the need for a change, for doing something different so I started to consider the possibility of getting back to in-house translation. Even though there were not many problems with the freelance translator routine and work remained plentiful, the “wind of change” was blowing again and I decided to follow it.

I got back to working as an internal translator for another company. I can say that, in this second in-house experience, I missed the time when, as a freelancer, I used to ask to take a look at a text before accepting the job and if it was a gyratory crusher’s hydraulic pump, I could simply refuse it and wait until something less “overtly technical” came along. This time, besides the impossibility of refusing texts about themes I was not quite familiar with and the endless demands for alterations in translation that I mentioned before, another side of working for an agency started to really get to me: the lack of subject variety in the material to be translated. I reckon it is appropriate to mention the importance of text variety in order to keep the technical translator’s work routine a healthy one. In my opinion, translators rest from one translation not only after it’s delivered and they can take a day off. When we start working on another text about a whole different subject, in a way, we are taking a break from the previous one. However, in a translation agency, such variety is rather limited, for the company has their client portfolio and naturally, those with the highest demands will take up most of the staff time. Generally, texts from the same client tend to be about the same subject. So, for a few more months I implemented countless relevant and non-relevant alterations and translated the same old things all day every day, until I realized that life as an in-house translator was not fit for me anymore or I wasn’t cut out for it, or both. In less than a year, I decided to go back to my freelancer life and that is how I do business today.

It’s crystal clear to me that affinity (or lack of it) for freelance or in-house work is really a matter of personal preference, without absolute advantages or disadvantages, just like Mari Sasso stressed on her post. In spite of the benefits, such as interpersonal relationships with coworkers and guarantee of frequent work provided by the company contract (which Mari Sasso also pointed out), in order to assure my own satisfaction and good professional performance, the most crucial facts are having the power to decide whether or not to translate a particular text; being able to dedicate exclusively to tasks I enjoy and knowing that I will always profit from subject variety. Nevertheless, I admit that another professional might have a totally distinct experience, appreciating the advantages of life in a company, which surely are real.

Currently, even when I am capable of understanding very clearly that I ”wasn’t born” to be an in-house translator, I see that both experiences I’ve had as such in addition to both freelance experiences were equally necessary and relevant to make me come to this conclusion. I believe that, if I hadn’t given myself the right to change when I was longing for it, even though I was satisfied with being a freelancer, then I might still be flirting with the idea of getting back to working in-house. In other words, I believe that some “certainties” are just conquered after we give ourselves the right to try out different options and possibilities. Therefore, for beginning translators who are still entering the market or for those who know only one of these sides, I’d say it’s necessary to experiment with both in order to find out which one suits your professional profile better.

Thank you, Viviane, for kindly volunteering to translate a post for our blog! 🙂

About the translator
10721040_755978441140302_412829723_nViviane has a degree in Pedagogy by the University of São Paulo. She holds a Cambridge Proficiency as well as CELTA and DELTA certificates which have helped her build a 13 year career in English Language Teaching. In 2013, she felt it was time for a change and started a course at PUC-SP to become an Interpreter and this year, she joined the DBB course for translators. Nowadays, she is a freelance translator living in Jundiaí, SP, Brazil.

Guest post: How to understand your internal body clock

Welcome back to each and every one of you! How’s October going so far? Getting ready for Halloween? I’ve just returned from a trip to visit a friend and today I’m getting back on track with my beloved routine. There’s nothing better than following a carefully planned routine to work, right? Today’s guest, Nora Torres, will help us understand our internal body clock to plan our day accordingly.

Welcome, Nora!

Graphic by Nora Torres

First of all, Caroline, many thanks for inviting me over!

I’d like to take this opportunity to share with your readers some interesting facts I came across while looking into how to improve my time management skills, productivity, and life enjoyment by getting my daily schedule in sync with my body’s internal clock. Bottom line is we can manage to get more done each day if we do everything at the right time.

A 24-Hour Guide to Planning Your Day in Sync with Your Body’s Internal Clock

Have you ever heard about such thing as the suprachiasmatic nucleus? The SCN, the human body’s master clock, lies deep inside the hypothalamus, behind the eyeballs, and controls circadian rhythms. In lay terms, the SCN instructs the pineal gland to increase the production of melatonin (a hormone that regulates the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle by promoting sleepiness and reducing motor activity) when daylight fades, and to decrease it when the SCN receives daylight information from the optic nerves. This process regulates many different body functions over a 24-hour cycle.

The guide below can help you plan your day following your circadian rhythm:

  • In natural conditions, your body temperature begins to rise just before you wake up, and continues to rise until noon. The sharpest increase in your blood pressure occurs in the morning, on awakening. With daybreak, melatonin secretion is inhibited. All this prepares you to start your day off!
  • Working memory (the system by which data input is brought into the brain, interpreted, and sorted), alertness, and concentration improve gradually during the first morning hours.
  • Mid-morning is usually the time when your concentration, alertness, and working memory are at their best. Research has shown that 8 to 11 a.m. are the best hours to tackle the day’s toughest intellectual projects, with mental alertness peaking at about 10 to 11 a.m.
    Tip: Use this period of time to take care of high-order problem solving and other intellectually challenging work, leaving relatively easier tasks for later.
  • 11 a.m. to noon: Focus and concentration normally begin to decrease, but alertness remains high.
    Tip: This would be a great time for a business meeting. With good part of the most challenging work for the day already done, you are still in a good position to make complex decisions and solve tricky problems.
  • Verbal reasoning skills hit their highs at noon.
    Tip: This would be the best time for an argument. Do you still have to make that phone call to claim a long-outstanding payment? Go for it at midday!
  • From noon to about 2 p.m., cheerfulness is usually at its best, just right for business socializing.
    Tip: If you wondered whether it would be better to discuss that collaboration agreement over a working breakfast or a business lunch, you now have the answer.
  • From about 2 to 3 p.m., your metabolism slows down and your sleepiness increases, which makes this the ideal time for a short nap.
    Tip: Taking a 20-minute ‘power nap’ at this time of the day can improve your alertness and motor skills.
  • Long-term memory peaks at about 3 p.m.
    Tip: This would be an excellent time to go over the glossary and reference material for an upcoming translation project or interpretation assignment.
  • From 4 to 6 p.m., alertness gets a new boost.
    Tip: You can plan to finish your important work for the day at this time. Alternatively or additionally, you can answer non-rush e-mails, do your billing, and schedule your next day.
  • The period from about 3 to 7 p.m. is usually the best time for physical performance.
    – Blood circulation, hand-eye coordination, reaction times, and muscle strength hit their highest point in this period.
    Tip: Plan to play your favorite sport, have your workout session, or just go for a brisk walk at this time of the day, and you will get much better results. Keep in mind that:
    – Fastest reaction time occurs at about 4 p.m.
    – Greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength, at about 5 p.m.
    – Joints and muscles are warmer and more flexible (reducing the risk of injury) in the late hours of the afternoon.
    – Your blood pressure reaches its high at about 6:30 p.m.
    – Your highest body temperature occurs at about 7:00 p.m.
    Very important tip: Evenings are the ideal time for a glass of wine, as your liver is better able to metabolize alcohol at that time.
  • Melatonin secretion begins with sunset, in response to fading light.
  • You may be surprised to hear that, for most mortals, creativity peaks at about 9 to 10 p.m. When you start to get low on energy just before bedtime, your frontal cortex (part of the brain responsible for things such as attention, planning, and working memory) gets less involved in processing what is going on around you. Instead of concerning yourself with your current projects (that tight deadline that is driving you crazy, a challenging interpreting assignment scheduled for the next day), your brain is able to wander more freely, and think in non-linear ways.
    Tip: Problems requiring open-ended thinking are best dealt with at this time.
  • Deepest sleep occurs at about 2:00 a.m.
  • Lowest body temperature, at about 4:30 a.m.

All this may vary, of course, based on your own chronotype and energy cycle (i.e., whether you are a morning or evening person (a “lark” or an “owl”), but most of us are right about the middle.

At this point, I know what you may be thinking— We do not always get to choose what time we do things. But having this knowledge can help you tune your schedule to the ticking of your internal clock as much as you can. I do hope you can give it a try and would love to hear your findings.

Harriet Griffey: The Art of Concentration: Enhance focus, reduce stress and achieve more. Pan Macmillan, 2010.
Melatonin: A Closer Look, The American Heritage® Science Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Company.
Sue Shellenbarger (for The Wall Street Journal, Work and Family Section): The Peak Time for Everything: Pack More in a Day By Matching Tasks To the Body’s Energy. Updated 09/26/2012, Accessed: 09/18/2014.
Josie Padro (for alive Interactive): Your Body Clock. February-March 2014. Accessed 09/18/2014.
Stephanie Dutchen (for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences): A Light on Life’s Rhythms. Accessed 09/18/2014.
Bob Condor (for The Chicago Tribune): The Body Clock. Published 10/31/1994, Accessed 10/02/2014.
Kayte Nunn (for The Sydney Morning Herald): Reset your body clock. Published 06/02/2012, Accessed 10/02/2014.
Tanner Christensen (for Creative Something): Why You’re More Creative At Night And How To Reproduce The Effect. Posted 09/07/2013, Accessed 10/02/2014.
Belle Beth Cooper (for Buffer): Why Most Olympic Records are Broken In The Afternoon: Your Body’s Best Time For Everything. Posted 07/18/2013, Accessed 10/03/2014.

Thank you for accepting my invitation and kindly taking the time to write such an enriching and informational post! The topic is extremely interesting and useful to all of us, freelance translators, who have to manage our own time. It helped me understand my internal body clock better, and I’m sure it will help my readers as well. 🙂

What did you think of the topic? Do you think your personal internal body clock has a similar schedule? Would you like to ask us any questions?

About the author
A 24-Hour Guide_NTorres_pictureNora Torres is an English-Spanish translator, expert back-translator, localizer, proofreader, quality manager, and linguistic validation consultant. She holds a B.A. in Translation with a Major in Law from the University of Buenos Aires, and has been in the translation industry for over 30 years now. Initially an in-house translator for the largest publicly-held bank in Argentina and a classroom-based and distance-education Teacher of English for International Trade, she became a freelance translator in 1992. Nora was Vice-President of FairTradeNet, a Geneva-based association of freelance translators and, as such, was part of the delegation representing FTN at the World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003. She became a certified life-sciences linguist in 2007 and is currently co-owner of Translartisan, a translation studio specializing in biomedical translation. You can find her on FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedIn, or contact her through her website.

Você não tem dormido o bastante? Cuidado!

Olá, queridos leitores! Como passaram o fim de semana? Empolgados nesta segunda-feira?

Hoje lançaremos a série de traduções de publicações do blog! 😀 A primeira publicação traduzida será do inglês para o português do texto Not getting enough sleep? Be aware! Espero que gostem!


Normalmente, recomenda-se que as pessoas durmam de sete a oito horas por dia. Algumas pessoas podem precisar de mais ou até menos horas que isso. Entretanto, é muito comum encontrar tradutores trabalhando até tarde da noite ou mesmo a noite toda, sem conseguir dormir nada.  Já passei por isso e posso afirmar que não é bom para a nossa saúde. Hoje em dia, preciso de oito a nove horas de sono por noite para trabalhar adequadamente no dia seguinte. No entanto, sei que sou uma exceção. Foi por isso que decidi falar sobre um tópico tão comum entre os tradutores: a privação do sono.

Privação do sono é a condição de não dormir o suficiente.

A vermelhidão dos olhos é apenas uma das consequências que você pode apresentar quando não dorme o bastante. E as consequências  podem se tornar sérias a ponto de até mesmo modificar os seus genes! A privação do sono pode aumentar…

  • o risco de derrame cerebral
  • o risco de obesidade
  • o risco de diabetes
  • o risco de alguns cânceres
  • o risco de doenças do coração
  • o risco de morte
  • os riscos de se ter um acidente
  • a probabilidade de pegar um resfriado
  • os níveis de ansiedade
  • os níveis de depressão
  • o risco de hipertensão

Ela também pode:

  • estimular a perda de memória
  • causar danos aos ossos
  • diminuir a produção de espermatozóides
  • prejudicar o seu coração
  • debilitar o reconhecimento
  • diminuir a sua expectativa de vida

Uma noite sem dormir fará com que você se sinta cansado e irritado, mas não causará um impacto direto na sua saúde. Diversas noites sem dormir, entretanto, podem afetar a sua saúde geral, e os efeitos mentais tornam-se mais sérios.

Uma boa noite de sono, por outro lado:

  • aumenta a imunidade
  • ajuda na perda de peso
  • aumenta o seu bem-estar mental
  • previne o diabetes

Normalmente, as pessoas dizem que não é possível recuperar o sono perdido. No entanto, é possível se recuperar de noites não dormidas e, depois, criar uma rotina saudável de sono que funcione para você. Para você se recuperar de um período de privação de sono, adicione uma ou duas horas de sono por noite. Vá para a cama quando você se sentir cansado e só acorde quando o seu corpo lhe avisar que já é hora. Se acabar sendo 10 horas de sono por noite, não se preocupe. Com o tempo, você saberá a quantidade exata de horas de que precisa por noite.

Você também pode precisar de mais horas de sono do que o normal se estiver grávida, se recuperando de uma doença ou se tiver passado por um esforço físico extremo.

Manter horas regulares de sono ensina o cérebro a se acostumar com a rotina. Isso será muito mais fácil se você for um freelancer, como eu. Organize sua agenda de acordo com suas necessidades. Se os seus prazos de entrega de trabalhos lhe obrigarem a trabalhar até tarde em uma noite, compense na manhã ou na noite seguinte, ou até mesmo presenteie-se com um dia de folga o mais breve possível. Não se esqueça de que uma das vantagens de ser freelancer é organizar as suas próprias horas de trabalho, não somente para trabalhar mais como também para trabalhar menos, quando necessário.

Além de uma boa noite de sono, o relaxamento é também extremamente importante. Eu, por exemplo, não consigo me deitar logo após desligar o computador. Primeiro, preciso relaxar e me preparar para ir para a cama. Se você for como eu, pode:

  • tomar um banho quente
  • praticar alguns exercícios de relaxamento
  • ouvir músicas relaxantes
  • ler um livro

O que funciona para mim é deitar no sofá e assistir à TV. Assistir à TV me ajuda a não pensar em nada, esvazia a minha mente e me ajuda a desconectar do trabalho. Você precisa encontrar o que sirva para você.

Uma última dica: não trabalhe no seu quarto. Se você não tiver um cômodo que possa ser chamado de escritório, trabalhe na sala de visitas ou em qualquer outro espaço onde possa acomodar uma mesa.

Você tem alguma outra dica para compartilhar conosco? Você pode também compartilhar as suas próprias histórias de privação de sono, caso tenha alguma.

Translator’s bio
Esther PicEsther Dodo é paulistana, formada em Administração de Empresas, tradutora freelancer e, atualmente, está prestes a obter certificação como tradutora no par inglês-português na New York University (NYU). Reside nos EUA desde 2001. Entre em contato com ela pelo LinkedIn e pelo Facebook.


I know I’ve been totally absent from the weekly posts lately. Mea culpa! I’m really sorry, my dear readers! I promise I’ll try not to let you down again. This week’s post, however, will be in Portuguese. I had to write two texts this week related to today’s topic, so I got carried away and wrote a special post in Portuguese for you. Hope you like it.

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape

Acredito que ser empreendedor vá além de apenas fornecer seu produto ou prestar seu serviço. É necessário ter visão de futuro, ter vontade de crescer e de fazer a diferença. Para isso, é preciso sair da zona de conforto e arriscar, dizer “sim” às oportunidades e “não” ao que não for condizente com seus ideais. Isso requer ousadia, coragem e força de vontade.

Eu sou uma empreendedora nata. Minha paixão é traduzir. No entanto, também amo empreender, gerenciar meu negócio, divulgar meus serviços, administrar minhas ferramentas e estratégias de marketing, e encontrar novas formas de fazer tudo isso.

Muitos de vocês já conhecem esta história: minha trajetória de sonhos e de realização deles começou quando eu tinha 12 anos de idade, quando minha mãe resolveu me colocar em um curso de inglês em uma escola de ensino de idiomas. Aos 15, viajei sozinha para a Suécia, para passar as festas de fim de ano com uma tia que mora lá. Durante três meses, fiz um curso particular de inglês e tive que utilizar tudo o que havia aprendido até o momento na prática. Logo depois, fui convidada a ser monitora dessa mesma escola de idiomas, ajudando os alunos com as tarefas e tirando dúvidas. Em seguida, tornei-me professora e continuei na profissão até meu último ano de faculdade. Quando tive que escolher o curso para o vestibular, somente uma coisa era certa: teria que ser algo que envolvesse o inglês. Descobri o curso de tradução, foi amor à primeira vista. Não havia segunda opção. Prestei como treineira e, um ano depois, prestei novamente. Não passei. Nessa época, aquela minha tia que morava na Suécia se mudou para a Inglaterra e, como tinha acabado de ter um filho, me convidou para trabalhar como babá para ela. Trabalhei e fiz cursos de inglês em Cambridge por sete meses. Voltei para o Brasil, fiz cursinho e passei no curso dos meus sonhos dois anos depois. Concluídos os quatro anos da graduação, mudei-me novamente para a Inglaterra, dessa vez para Guildford, para fazer mestrado, também em tradução. Um ano depois, voltei ao Brasil e comecei a procurar emprego. Meu sonho era ser freelancer, ou seja, ter meu próprio negócio. Na época, acreditava que seria difícil conseguir clientes logo de início, portanto, também procurei emprego em outras áreas em que o inglês fosse necessário. No entanto, para minha surpresa e grande alegria, consegui meu primeiro cliente, uma agência de tradução, depois de dois meses de procura. Esse cliente me fornecia projetos em tempo integral e, portanto, logo abri minha empresa.

Minha trajetória como empreendedora começa, de fato, aqui. Antes de mais nada, pedi que meu primo, com experiência em web design, fizesse um logo para mim. Depois disso, pedi que ele desenvolvesse um site (a princípio, somente em português). Criei perfis corporativos em redes sociais (como Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest). Criei este blog. Fiz cartões de visita. Posteriormente, decidi criar uma marca e, consequentemente, outro logo com base nela. Eu e meu primo trabalhamos em conjunto trocando ideias e testando modelos. Atualizamos o site, inserindo versões também em inglês e italiano, idiomas com os quais trabalho. Atualizei todas as minhas redes sociais e fizemos um novo cartão de visitas (tanto em português quanto em inglês). Nas redes sociais, sempre posto publicações de blogs, notícias e artigos interessantes e úteis relacionados à tradução e a empreendedorismo em geral. No blog, como vocês já sabem, convido pessoas semanalmente para escreverem sobre algum tópico específico relacionado a tradução, sempre algo diferente, com o qual meus leitores podem aprender. Também semanalmente, eu mesma publico sobre outros tópicos (embora o blog seja em inglês, pois possibilita uma cobertura de leitores maior, as publicações são tanto em inglês quanto em português). Além de toda essa estratégia de marketing, também procurei outros clientes e, hoje, tenho cerca de sete (entre agências de tradução e clientes diretos).

Não para por aí. Meu próximo passo é tirar fotos minhas com um fotógrafo profissional, em estúdio, para utilizar nas redes sociais. Também estou tentando fechar negócio com uma empresa de marketing para criar brindes, como blocos de notas, canetas etc. Em setembro, estrearei como palestrante. Fui convidada a apresentar uma palestra sobre marketing, branding e mídias sociais na Semana do Tradutor da Unesp (tópico do nosso próximo convidado, portanto, não perca na terça-feira), mesma universidade em que me formei. Será um enorme prazer e uma grande conquista pessoal poder passar aos alunos minha experiência, ajudando-os a entrar no mercado.

Sempre busco me inspirar em outros tradutores, tanto brasileiros quanto estrangeiros. Tento aprender com eles o que posso fazer para melhorar meu negócio e também o que não fazer. Eles me inspiram a ter novas ideias e a inovar. No entanto, sempre aprendo também com outros profissionais. Como gerenciar meu negócio? Como administrar minhas finanças? Como divulgar meus serviços? Como ajudar aspirantes a tradutor e alunos de tradução a entrarem no mercado de trabalho? Como aprimorar meus serviços a fim de atender às necessidades do cliente? Como conquistar novos clientes? As dúvidas do empreendedor são inúmeras, mas sempre há respostas para todas elas. Basta procurar nos lugares certos e estar aberto a aprender sempre mais.

Other posts where I also talk a bit more about my educational background:
Studying overseas (or How to choose a translation course?)

Not getting enough sleep? Be aware!


It’s generally recommended that people sleep seven to nine hours a day. Some people might need even less or more than that. However, it’s very common to find translators working late at night or even around the clock, therefore, not getting any sleep at all. Well, been there, done that, and I can say it’s definitely not good for our health. Nowadays, I need eight to nine hours of sleep every night to work properly the next day. But I know I’m an exception. So that’s why I decided to talk about such a common topic among translators: sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep.

Bloodshot eyes are only one of the consequences you can get when you don’t sleep enough. And they can get serious enough to even change your genes! Sleep deprivation can increase…

  • stroke risk
  • obesity risk
  • diabetes risk
  • risk of some cancers
  • heart disease risk
  • death risk
  • risks of having an accident
  • probability of catching a cold
  • levels of anxiety
  • levels of depression
  • risk of hypertension

It can also:

  • fuel memory loss
  • damage bones
  • decrease sperm count
  • hurt your heart
  • impair recognition
  • shorten your life expectancy

One night without sleep will make you feel tired and irritable, but not directly impact your health. Several sleepless nights, however, can affect your overall health, and the mental effects become more serious.

A good night’s sleep, on the other hand:

  • boosts immunity
  • helps you lose weight
  • boosts your mental wellbeing
  • prevents diabetes

People usually say you can’t catch up on lost sleep, but you can recover from sleepless nights and, after that, build a healthy sleeping routine that works for you. In order to recover from a period of sleep deprivation, add an extra hour or two of sleep at night. Go to bed when you feel tired and only wake up when your body tells you it’s time to. If it ends up being 10 hours of sleep a night, don’t worry. With time, you’ll learn the exact amount of time you need every night.

You might also need more sleep than usual if you are pregnant, have a chronic disease, are recovering from an illness or have been through an extreme physical exertion.

Keeping regular sleeping hours teaches the brain to get used to the routine. This is much easier if you are a freelancer, like me. Organize your schedule to meet your needs. If your deadlines make you work late one night, make up for it on the next morning or night, or even reward yourself with a day off as soon as possible. Don’t forget that one of the advantages of being a freelancer is organizing your own working hours – not only to work more but also to work less, when necessary.

Besides having a good night’s sleep, winding down is also extremely important. I, for example, can’t go to bed right after shutting down my computer. I need to relax and prepare myself for bed first. If you’re like me, you can:

  • take a warm bath
  • practice some relaxation exercises
  • listen to some light or relaxing music
  • read a book

What works for me is lying down on the couch and watching TV. Watching TV helps me think of absolutely nothing, so it empties my head and helps me disconnect from work. You need to find whatever works for you.

One last tip: don’t work in your bedroom. If you don’t have a room you can call your office at home, work in the living room or in any other room where you can fit your desk.

Do you have any other tips you can share with us? You can also share your sleep deprivation stories, if you have any.

Guest post: Freelance, but fixed, translator (in Portuguese)

Welcome back, dear followers and readers! Hope you have been enjoying the fantastic World Cup games. Today Brazil plays its second game against Mexico at 4pm (- 3 UTC). Make sure you don’t miss it, because I’m sure the boys will do an amazing job again. 😉

Back to blogging, our guest today is Sofia Rezende, freelance translator who works specifically for one account, and she’ll talk about her job.

Welcome, Sofia!


Tradutora freelancer, mas fixa

Quando a Caroline me convidou para escrever no blog como convidada fiquei sem saber sobre qual assunto eu poderia falar, pois não me considero referência em uma área específica. Foi ela mesma quem me sugeriu: “fale sobre como é trabalhar como freelancer, mas fixa em uma conta”. Então, percebi que há alguns aspectos interessantes que posso contar sobre minha rotina de trabalho.

Presto serviços de tradução por meio da minha empresa para uma agência de tradução, especificamente para uma determinada conta. Não entrei nessa situação de propósito, simplesmente aconteceu: comecei a pegar muitos trabalhos de um cliente dessa agência e fui convidada para fazer parte de uma equipe fixa para uma demanda diária. Esse formato de trabalho, como qualquer outro, tem suas vantagens e desvantagens.

Esta é a listinha de vantagens que vejo:

  • Segurança: você sabe que todo dia chega um trabalho. Às vezes menos, às vezes mais, mas sempre chega (no meu caso, na maioria das vezes, chega mais).
  • Rendimento: como o cliente é sempre o mesmo, o assunto tende a ser semelhante. Isso exige menos pesquisa do que quando se trabalha com assuntos muito diferentes. Assim, é possível traduzir um volume maior em menos tempo. Você acaba se familiarizando com um glossário e um guia de estilo específicos.
  • Feedbacks: recebo muitos (em quase 100% dos trabalhos), tanto dos revisores da equipe da agência, quanto do revisor do cliente final. Isso ajuda a melhorar a qualidade da tradução.
  • Relacionamento: há quase três anos tenho uma relação com o mesmo gerente de projeto e a mesma equipe de tradutores e revisores. Conversamos por e-mail, Skype, Facebook e já me encontrei com eles pessoalmente uma vez. Essa é uma bela vantagem: almoço anual com a equipe pago pela agência! (rsrs) Em uma profissão solitária, esse contato e apoio são muito valiosos. Aprendemos uns com os outros e nos ajudamos em momentos de aperto.
  • Remuneração: como você se especializa de alguma forma em um cliente e reserva um espaço na sua agenda para ele, consegue negociar um valor superior para compensar essa dedicação.

Bom demais para ser verdade, não é? E é mesmo. Existem também desvantagens em se trabalhar apenas para um cliente e/ou uma conta:

  • Insegurança: por um lado, há a segurança de todo dia chegar algum trabalho, mas, se um dia o cliente for embora ou se a agência fechar as portas, o tradutor fica sozinho e sem trabalho. É o famoso “colocar todos os ovos no mesmo cesto”.
  • Monotonia: como o cliente é sempre o mesmo, o assunto será quase sempre igual e tem hora que realmente fica monótono. Isso pode atrapalhar seu desempenho.
  • Compromisso: o gerente de projetos conta sempre com sua disponibilidade, que foi pré-acordada em X horas por dia, em um período de tempo específico. Na conta em que trabalho, há demandas grandes com prazos maiores, mas há muitos trabalhos pequenos de 20, 50 e 200 palavras, por exemplo, com prazos curtos. Por isso, há a necessidade de uma equipe de plantão pronta para fazer entregas em horários pré-estabelecidos. Acontece que, nesta semana, você tem um médico na segunda às 11h, precisa buscar a mãe no aeroporto na terça às 15h, sua cachorra vai ser castrada na quarta e sexta tem reunião de pais na escola do seu filho. É preciso avisar o gerente de projetos com alguma antecedência sobre suas ausências.
  • Plantão em feriado: exceto nos feriados internacionais, nas datas comemorativas o cliente continua mandando trabalho e há demanda para a equipe. O gerente de projetos sempre consulta quem estaria disposto a trabalhar no feriado. Coloquei como uma desvantagem, mas não é necessariamente algo ruim. Você acaba ganhando mais com isso, mas todo feriado eu fico “tentada” a trabalhar em vez de folgar e aproveitar.

O que eu considerei vantagem e desvantagem aqui você pode considerar o oposto. Tudo vai depender das suas preferências pessoais. No início tive um período de adaptação, mas hoje esse formato funciona muito bem para mim. Espero que contar um pouco sobre minha realidade tenha ajudado você a conhecer uma forma diferente de trabalhar como tradutor autônomo.

Thanks for accepting my invitation and taking the time to write about your experience to our readers, Sofia! I’m sure we have all learned something new with it. 🙂

Is anyone else a freelance translator, but works with a specific account only? If not, would you like to work like that?

Author bio
ImageSofia Rezende é tradutora e intérprete com graduação em Letras pela UFMG, pós-graduação em tradução pela Gama Filho e formação básica em interpretação de conferência pela Versão Brasileira. Atua na área de tradução desde 2008.

Guest post: Freelance x in-house – a personal perspective (in Portuguese)

Dear readers, welcome back from the extended holiday! I hope you enjoyed Easter and are ready for the week that, for many, start only today.
Our guest today is Fernanda Lima, who talks about the difference between translating in-house and as a freelancer. We already had another guest, Mariana Sasso, with the same topic, but Fernanda takes a more personal approach. It’s definitely worth the reading!

Welcome, Fernanda!

Courtesy of picjumbo, by

Traduzir in-house ou traduzir como freelancer? Só depende de você!

Quando recebi o convite da Carol para participar dos guest posts, decidi imediatamente falar sobre como percebo as alternativas “trabalhar como freelancer” x “trabalhar em uma empresa de tradução”. No entanto, após saber que a tradutora Mariana Sasso havia escolhido o mesmo assunto e, depois de ler o texto dela, comecei a pensar em como abordar aspectos diferentes daqueles já tratados por ela sem seu post. Portanto, neste texto procurei falar do mesmo tema por um viés diferente, e espero que tenha conseguido. 🙂

A primeira vez em que me deparei com essas duas formas de atuação profissional foi logo após defender o mestrado, ao entrar no mercado de trabalho da tradução. Uma agência anunciava tanto vagas internas quanto oportunidade para freelancers. Uma vez que eu ainda não tinha qualquer experiência e desejava ansiosamente entrar no mercado, me candidatei para ambas as opções. Acabei sendo selecionada para uma das vagas internas oferecidas, portanto, minha primeira experiência como tradutora profissional foi na modalidade in-house.

Sem dúvida, a experiência como tradutora interna foi de valor inestimável, já que nesse trabalho dei os primeiros passos na profissão, aprendi como o mercado da tradução técnica funciona, e posso dizer que esse trabalho ajudou a complementar a sólida formação que a graduação de Bacharelado em Letras com Habilitação de Tradutor me ofereceu. Nessa época, uma das facetas da tradução interna que me parecia mais positiva era a estabilidade e a segurança do emprego com carteira assinada. Na verdade, eu via com alguma desconfiança a possibilidade de se trabalhar e de se manter como freelancer. Pensava: “será possível ganhar o suficiente trabalhando em casa? E se não houver trabalho? E se não houver clientes? E se…?”.

Permaneci na empresa por quase um ano e, ao me desligar de lá, teve início minha segunda experiência profissional: agora como freelancer. Para minha surpresa, os receios que antes eu tinha em relação ao trabalho autônomo logo perderam o sentido, pois desde o início sempre houve trabalho frequente e ininterruptamente, posso dizer. Logo, também comecei a perceber alguns aspectos que, na minha opinião, são vantagens sobre o trabalho in-house. Como freelancer, eu podia de fato me dedicar ao que mais gostava: traduzir! Isso pode parecer óbvio, mas não é. No trabalho como tradutor interno, além da tradução em si, o profissional também é responsável por diversas etapas pelas quais o texto passa até e após a entrega final para o cliente: revisão (cotejo do original com a tradução), proofreading (leitura apenas do texto traduzido), implementação de atualizações/correções/alterações/feedback do cliente, etc. Essas mudanças não são motivadas somente por problemas com a qualidade terminológica/linguística da tradução. Por exemplo, muitas vezes, o cliente solicita mudanças no texto original após o início ou mesmo após a entrega da tradução, portanto, é necessário atualizar a tradução para que ela corresponda ao novo original. Outras vezes, embora frequentemente o cliente ou o revisor recomendem alterações importantes e que aprimoram a qualidade do texto final, há casos em que as modificações sugeridas são de relevância duvidosa, como trocar “de” por “do”, ou “bolo de chocolate” por “bolo sabor chocolate”, e cabe ao profissional interno aceitar/rejeitar e implementar ou não essas alterações (lembrando que, em caso de rejeição da mudança, é necessário justificar a negativa). É importante ressaltar que não considero essas etapas posteriores à tradução menos importantes, e acredito que gostar ou não dessas outras tarefas depende do perfil do tradutor. Hoje sei que faço parte do grupo dos que não gostam. Assim, uma das minhas primeiras e mais gratas descobertas na vida de freela foi a de que eu posso apenas traduzir e me sentir à vontade para recusar trabalhos de revisão, implementação, atualização, etc.

Durante quatro anos e meio trabalhei como freelancer, período no qual desenvolvi e mantive sólidas parcerias com algumas empresas e pude também direcionar meu trabalho para as áreas técnicas que mais me agradam, a saber, TI e marketing. Após esse período, comecei a sentir necessidade de mudar, de fazer algo diferente, e passei a considerar a possibilidade de voltar a trabalhar in-house. Apesar de não haver grandes problemas com a vida de freelancer e o trabalho continuar abundante, o “vento da mudança” estava soprando e decidi dar ouvidos a ele. 

Voltei a trabalhar como tradutora interna em outra empresa. Posso dizer que, nessa segunda experiência como tradutora interna, sentia falta de quando, como freelancer, pedia para dar uma olhada no texto antes de aceitar o trabalho e, caso fosse um manual de bomba hidráulica de uma britadeira, eu podia simplesmente recusar e esperar que aparecesse algo menos “técnico demais”. Dessa vez, além da impossibilidade de recusar textos de temas com os quais não tinha muita afinidade e das infinitas solicitações de alteração da tradução, que mencionei anteriormente, outro aspecto do trabalho em agências passou a incomodar bastante: a falta de variedade temática dos textos a serem traduzidos. Acho que aqui cabe falar da importância da variedade de textos para que o trabalho do tradutor técnico, principalmente, se mantenha saudável.  Na minha opinião, tradutores descansam de uma tradução não só quando a entregam e podem passar um dia livre. Ao começar a traduzir outro texto, de assunto totalmente diferente, de certa forma estamos descansando do texto anterior. No entanto, em uma agência de tradução, essa variedade é bastante limitada, pois a agência tem um portfólio de clientes e, naturalmente, os clientes que tiverem maior demanda ocuparão mais tempo da equipe interna. E, geralmente, os textos de um mesmo cliente têm o mesmo assunto. Assim, foram alguns meses implementado incontáveis alterações relevantes ou não e traduzindo o dia inteiro todo dia a mesma coisa, até que percebi que a vida como tradutora interna não se adequava mais a mim, ou eu não me adequava mais a ela, ou as duas coisas. Em menos de um ano, decidi retornar à vida de freelancer e atualmente estou trabalhando assim. 

Vejo claramente que as afinidades (ou a falta delas) com o trabalho freelancer e interno são mesmo uma questão de preferência pessoal, não havendo vantagens ou desvantagens absolutas, assim como ressaltou a Mari Sasso em seu post. Apesar de saber de benefícios, como os relacionamentos interpessoais com colegas de trabalho e a garantia de trabalho frequente proporcionados pela atuação em uma empresa (como também lembrou a Mari Sasso), para minha satisfação e bom desempenho profissional são mais importantes e decisivos os fatos de eu ter a palavra de decisão sobre traduzir ou não um determinado texto; de poder me dedicar exclusivamente às tarefas de que gosto e de saber que sempre me beneficiarei da diversificação de assuntos. No entanto, reconheço que outro profissional poderia ter uma experiência totalmente distinta, valorizando mais as vantagens da vida em uma empresa, que de fato existem.

Atualmente, ainda que eu seja capaz de entender claramente que “não nasci” para ser tradutora interna, entendo que as duas experiências que tive in-house, somadas às duas experiências como freelancer, foram igualmente necessárias e relevantes para que eu pudesse chegar a esse entendimento. Acredito que, se naquele período em que eu desejava uma mudança embora estivesse satisfeita como freelancer, eu não tivesse me dado o direito de mudar, talvez estivesse ainda hoje flertando com a ideia de voltar a trabalhar internamente. Em outras palavras, acredito que algumas “certezas” só são conquistadas quando nos damos o direito de testar as diferentes opções e possibilidades. Portanto, para tradutores iniciantes que ainda estão ingressando no mercado ou para aqueles que conhecem apenas uma dessas atuações, eu diria que é preciso experimentar ambas para descobrir qual a mais adequada ao seu perfil profissional.

Wow, Fernanda! Quite an experience, right? Now you can certainly say you know both sides. Thanks a lot for sharing your rich experience with us! I’m sure many indecisive translators out there will truly benefit from it.

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About the author

Tenho Bacharelado em Letras com Habilitação de Tradutor (inglês e espanhol) e Mestrado em Estudos Linguísticos (ênfase em Estudos da Tradução), ambos pela Unesp. Sou tradutora técnica desde 2008 e costumo dizer que se não existisse tradução, não haveria qualquer outra coisa que eu pudesse fazer na vida.