United in translation: Getting translators together for some fun, food and learning

Written on 30 September, 2021

On 17 September 2021, Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) held our annual event for freelance translators in Farnham. The event brought together many of our translators, some local and some travelling a good few hours on the train to attend.

The event involved two translation-related workshops, open networking and a traditional British afternoon tea. To further acknowledge the wonderful work our freelancers do, we had a professional photographer taking headshots of those interested, and gave out desktop planting kits as gifts they could take home. We hope our translators enjoyed the occasion as much as we did.

Here is what one of the guests said: “It is so kind of STB to host things like this for freelancers. It really makes you feel appreciated and valued and not like just someone on the other end of an email that you send work to.”

United in translation

The recent pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, including how we work and how we interact with our families, friends and colleagues. Some of the studies conducted in the past year have highlighted the adverse effect it has had on people’s mental health, due to social isolation, workplace and childcare-related anxieties, stress caused by the uncertainty surrounding the future and, for some, even the grief of losing a loved one.

The language industry also took a big hit during the pandemic. With businesses reducing their international operations, there was less translation work out there for a great number of linguists. There was a rise in projects related to COVID-19, but for some translators, having to translate distressing texts relating to the pandemic further aggravated the anxiety and stress they were already feeling. As a freelancer there are limited networking options with peers and friends in the language industry even in normal times, but since March 2020, many have been pushed further into isolation.

The freelancer event was a small effort on STB’s part to get some face-to-face learning and conversations going and hopefully revive the thought that the industry is still very much united in translation.

Hopefully, this is just the start of a return to many more social gatherings and networking events!

Written by Marya Jabeen