We've both been on the road quite a bit lately -- actually, we have been traveling to workshops and conferences in Europe together, which has been truly fantastic. During our workshops (we do some jointly, and many individually) we like to emphasize how important it is to have great working relationships with your colleagues. These professionals are your friends, your support team, your cheerleading team (if you need them), your linguistic consulting group (think listservs and industry boards), problem-solvers and very oftentimes your friends. Colleagues and friends help you out when you get sick and cannot complete a translation, serve as contractors if you need them, refer work to you, recommend you, help you, etc. We have always invested time into building our relationships with fantastic friends and colleagues around the world, and for the first time during a workshop in London, Judy came up with a catchy term: the translation tribe.
|Part of the translation tribe at the Proz conference in Recife, Brazil.|
Unfortunately, many times we see some unnecessary fighting and needless disagreements between members of our tribe, be it in person or online. It's certainly true that it's impossible to get along well with everyone, and that there will always be people with whom you cannot agree, and it's fine to disagree. However, rather than weakening each other's position, we think it's crucial to strengthen and build each other up by the power of this international translation tribe.
So let's make a commitment to each other and to ourselves to treat our translation tribe with all the respect, professionalism and yes, love, it deserves -- even when we disagree. We are not saying, by any stretch of the imagination, that our industry doesn't get along, but we have noticed occasional negative interactions and tones, especially in the online space. However, we think it's important for all of us to have a positive, welcoming place (well, a virtual place) to go to with problems, challenges, and concerns: we should be able to turn to our translation tribe for help and support.
We think about this quite frequently: that we would never have made it thus far in our careers without the love and support of mentors, more experienced translators, associations, volunteers, and endless hours of advice and support from our friends. We are extraordinarily grateful to be part of this great translation tribe, which is composed of thousands of individuals. Let's all take a moment and thank each other at some point for how far we've come as an industry. We still have a long way to go, but there's no doubt that we are stronger together. No translator is an island, and you truly cannot do it alone. And you don't have to: you've got your translation tribe!
What about you, dear readers? Do you feel like you are part of the translation tribe?