Inventions For Freelancers pt. 1

Part 1: Translators

With CAT tools, terminology software and corpus-building, one could think that translators had all the productivity enhancements they needed. One would be wrong! In this post, we will sketch out some of the inventions that are most needed in the sector. We take no responsibility for the outcome of anyone actually manufacturing any of these!

1)    Dayjamas

Almost every translator has had the embarrassment of answering the door to the postman while still dressed in flannel or a cotton onesie. Dayjamas would be the solution to this. Made to look exactly like day clothes, Dayjamas would give people the impression that we aren’t the kind of people who shower only once the job is off to the PM. All we would have to do know is explain to the neighbours why there was still light coming from the living room at 3am last night.

2)    Desktop Tanning Lamp

While it is absolutely not true that translators melt in contact with sunlight, long hours in front of the computer can impart that pasty look. With desktop tanning lamps, fitted snugly on top of your monitor, you could get achieve a perfect tan while chipping away at that 10,000 word job on egg packing machinery. All we would need then would be one that can tan the rest of the body through clothes.

3)    Online coffee

One of the rare reasons to leave a computer during a job is to fill up our three gallon coffee or tea mugs. This loses precious time that could easily be used in terminology work or shouting at your crashing CAT software. Online coffee would sort this out. Simply submit your favourite drink onto a website and configure your delivery as you wish. Even better, buy a cup with an integral sensor so that coffee miraculously appears at your door just as you are downing the last drop. Sure, all that might cause us to get the caffeine shakes but the extra work would be so worth it!

4)    360 degree networking headset

Going to networking events is wonderful. It does, however, mean going through the tedious process of picking clothes, ironing them, hunting down business cards and using public transport. With the 360 degree networking headset, we could go to events without leaving our rooms. Better yet, they would allow us to create avatars that look any way we wish. As far as anyone else knows, there is no reason why we don’t all look like like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Why shatter the illusion?

So, what do you think of these? What do you think we need to invent?

About Jonathan Downie

I am a conference interpreter, public speaking coach, preacher and researcher.
This entry was posted in Humour, Translation. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Inventions For Freelancers pt. 1

  1. Krisztina says:

    So what shall we call Dayjamas? DJs? :)

  2. Great list! I would also need a sort of alarm that should go off every time I get sidetracked into FB or Twitter when I’m actually doing research for my translation -like now :S!

  3. Mike Gulliver says:

    You could conflate 1 and 2 by inventing clothes that tan, and add 3 by impregnating them with dermal caffeine patches.

    I have 3 – it’s a coffee machine with a timer set up on my desk that brews up a gallon of coffee for the start of the day. If you need more, or you want fresh coffee… buy a second and set the timer for lunchtime – if you eat lunch, and don’t just exist on a diet of chocolate-based nibbles.

    4 is actually there already, but only for voice driven communication at the moment. Remember Facebook bought Oculus? Their Rift headsets will do 360 degree immersive VR, and there is some tricky machinery around that will allow you to control an avatar in the environment. The recent signing avatar offers hope for SL users too.

    What I really want at the moment is a little imp to colour in the broken letters in my terrible-quality photocopied 19th century manuscripts, so that the OCR will work properly, and I won’t have to manually transcribe it.

    Oh, and Rock radio, that plays without using words in any language I know, so that I’m not distracted… and find myself translating the latest track by Mes Aïeux into into my Victoriana.

  4. Katerina Strani says:

    These are all brilliant. An actual social life would also be good!

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