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The way in which book and film titles are often translated into German has bothered me for some time now, but spotting another such example recently has finally triggered this blog post and an attempt to explain this phenomenon.

I have recently enjoyed reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and while I was trying to purchase the last part (in English) on the Amazon.de I couldn’t help but notice the German translation of the title: Bis(s) zum Morgengrauen. It made me grind my teeth. Bis(s)?? It’s a play on words which turns an innocent preposition into the noun ‘bite’ (der Biss) – as if the book wasn’t already the most hyped vampire story on the market and required hints regarding its content? The English title contains no such puns, so why employ it here? It somehow makes it sound more trivial, gimmicky and lacking elegance. OK, I admit this is no high literature, but still… why would you do that?

biss twilight

So I started thinking of other examples where the translator (or publisher?) decided that the original title wasn’t clear enough and required the inclusion of a ‘plot summary’ to avoid any surprises. The premise seems to be that a reader/viewer must be informed and forewarned, in case they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Ambiguity is clearly unwelcome in Germany.

Below are some classic examples of what I am talking about:

  • EN: Bridget Jones Diary – DE: Schokolade zum Frühstück: Das Tagebuch der Bridget Jones (Chocolate for Breakfast)
  • EN: The Life of Pi – DE: Schiffbruch mit Tigger (Ship-wrecked with a Tiger)
  • FR: La Reine Margot/EN: Queen Margot – DE: Die Bartholomäusnacht (Bartholomew’s Night)
  • EN: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – DE: Supergute Tage oder Die sonderbare Welt des Christopher Boone (Supergood Days or the Strange World of Christopher Boone)


  • In the case of film titles, it seems that the standard thing is to either keep the original or translated title with the addition of a subtitle, which should come with a spoiler warning! Below I provide the German titles only as it is obvious which films they refer to. The subtitle in each of these cases does not exist in English, but has been added in the German version:

  • DE: Avatar: Aufbruch nach Pandora (Departure for Pandora, this subtitle does not seem very accurate to describe a brutal conquest attempt of a planet)
  • DE: Snatch: Schweine und Diamanten (Pigs and Diamonds)
  • DE: Jerry Maguire: Spiel des Lebens (The Game of a Lifetime)
  • DE: Operation Walküre: Das Stauffenberg Attentat (Stauffenberg’s Assassination Attempt)
  • DE: The Motorcycle Diaries: Die Reise des jungen Che (The Journey of the Young Che)

  • So why does the German audience require this extra information? The answer may be: because of the high Uncertainty Avoidance Index.

    This takes us to Geert Hofstede, a Dutch sociologist, who between the years 1967 and 1973, conducted a large scale study of IBM employees in 70 countries to establish the values and beliefs shared on the national level. On the basis of this study, he created four dimensions of culture (later extended to five, each scored as a rating on the scale 0-100), which constituted his model of culture. Despite many criticisms of his approach and conclusions, Hofstede remains to be one of the most frequently quoted cultural anthropologist and his survey was adapted and applied in many other fields, including cross-cultural business relations and marketing.

    Based on Hofstede’s study, the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI), also referred to as ambiguity tolerance, reflects the ‘extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations’ (Hofstede, p.113). Countries with high uncertainty avoidance index tend to have more laws and rules to eliminate what is unpredictable and people tend to avoid risk-taking. Low uncertainty avoidance cultures tend to be more tolerant and open to adventures, and life in such countries tends to be less rule-governed.

    Germany, while not at the highest end of the scale – has a UAI score of 65, which is considerably higher than the UK’s score of 35 or the USA’s 46. In terms of language, this would explain the German’s need for disambiguation, clarity and information as all of these eliminate risk. According to a study by Singh & Pereira, the use of local metaphors, puns and idioms is also a result of the rootedness in traditions and ritual, which typifies high uncertainty avoidance cultures (p. 103).

    So, are we getting somewhere here? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. This hypothesis still does not explain why in Poland, which has an even higher UAI score (78), title translations do not show a similar tendency as in German and are usually very faithful to the original. Is faithfulness in translation also some expression of risk-avoidance (as opposed to a more creative approach), but in another cultural context? Perhaps this calls for a more in-depth comparative study before we jump to any conclusions. We can however speculate.

    Bis(s) später!

    Works cited:

    Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations. Sage Publications.

    Singh, N., & Pereira, A. (2005). The Culturally Customized Web Site. Customizing Web Sites for the Global Marketplace. Butterworth Heinemann.




    Several months ago I celebrated a round birthday and decided to spend the gift money wisely – on something concrete and useful. I have to say I am a bit of a sucker for technology, but I couldn’t think of any new gadget that I needed or could justify having, and then I had an ‘Eureka’ moment.

    As a translator living abroad I find it necessary to keep in touch with the language back home in as many ways as possible. Regular visits and phone calls with friends and family are useful, but limited. Listening to the Polish radio is another way to keep in touch with the news as well as the language. Until recently, I was always using my laptop to tune in with some Polish radio stations online, but the sound quality did bother me quite a lot as the laptop speakers are usually not very robust. I therefore decided to investigate if there were any standalone devices to receive internet radio using your wireless network at home.

    I was really happy to see that there was a wide selection of internet radio players available and so my research to find what I wanted began. The devices I looked at offered some slight variations – some required connection to your computer, some required connection to an amplifier and speakers, some used access to some dedicated servers to receive music, all in all, most of them were not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to find something that had its own speakers and could play independently of any other equipment, and something that was just that – a wifi radio, not a multi-functional combi device for all multimedia needs and then some. I then came across the brand Sangean – one I was already aware of thanks to my parents FM radio purchase from a few years back. Back then, we marvelled in the shop at the depth and quality of the sound it produced, and were wondering why we had never heard of the manufacturer – a US-based company.

    And so I started digging and found that Sangean already has some sort of cult following of radio-fanatics and in general is really well rated. The WFR-20 radio promised to have good sound, as well as a slick design – and it did everything else that I wanted – connected to the wifi network in your home to play any Internet radio station one could dream of. Bingo! Where do I send the money? Amazon. Amazing.

    A few months later I love it still as much as the first day it arrived. If I could take one object to a desert island with me – I would take my radio (hoping for some wifi access…). The sound is absolutely fantastic, it is easy to use, looks good and plays all my favourite stations: Polskie Radio 3, ChilliZET, BBC Radio 4, FIP and whatever else my heart desires – reggae, bollywood and blues are just a few turns of the dial away…

    Image courtesy of Ian Hayhurst (flicr)

    Image courtesy of Ian Hayhurst (flicr)




    This is now long overdue, back in May I promised a sequel to my earlier post What Poles Could Learn from the Brits, and here it comes – the chance to retaliate and pick on the Brits, or “Angole” – as we call them in Polish slang.

    Fiat 126p - Polish 'Maluch'

    Going through my list of points to mention in relation to this, I can’t help but think that they all seem to revolve around the ‘fun’ department. Now, Poles may be a melancholic and disgruntled folk on an every day basis, but we sure know how to have fun when it comes to it. For example, parties held at home are so much better than pub get-togethers. Yes, you do have to make some effort preparing them and with cleaning up, but the atmosphere is also so much better. And no one worries about catching the last bus at 11pm – that’s when the party really gets going. At 3am, any sofa or armchair is as good as your own bed, so why not stay for breakfast as well…

    Polish parties can also be completely spontaneous. You drop in at your friends after work for a quick chat, and before you notice the table magically fills with some nice nibbles and snacks (Poles are good at making party food out of nothing), a chilled bottle of vodka and you find yourself talking until the early hours about life, the universe and the meaning of friendship.

    Not far off partying, is dancing. Brits could definitely learn from Poles how to dance. It is one of the most important social skills for every man (particularly for men, as it comes more naturally to women) to learn a few basic dance steps. Guys who can dance (as in, lead their dance partner) are really in high demand amongst women and so they would only be doing themselves a favour by changing their reticent British attitude. It is somehow embarrassing in Britain for men to dance, but excellence in swinging with your beer glass just doesn’t cut the mustard.

    Talking of beer, I am a great fan of the British ale, even though it does take some getting used to. But when it comes to lager beer (Polish equivalent of ‘piwo jasne‘) the Brits have just no clue. Carling? Fosters? That’s perhaps good for rinsing your teeth, but surely not for enjoyment as an ‘alcoholic’ drink? Why take a bland beer from Australia (brewed under license in the UK) as one of your staple pub drinks, when you could be importing the best from the masters of brewing on the ‘continent’? Germany, the Czech Republic or Poland would be far better suppliers of good quality lager. The trouble with the Brits is that drinking beer in this country is not about enjoyment, refreshment on a hot sunny day or the quality of taste – it is about the number of pints you can manage per hour. No offence to my British friends, there are of course exceptions.

    Another observation that springs to mind, is the question of elegance. Poles tend to be more elegant than Brits in general, but also dress up for many special occasions to mark their importance. Christmases, Easters, birthdays and baptisms all warrant putting on a special dress in a woman’s case, or wearing a suit and a tie in a man’s case. In Britain, the only occasion where I have seen people make a real effort to dress up are weddings. Don’t you all British girls and women just die waiting to show off your evening dresses a bit more often? Is a Christmas family dinner nothing more than yet another meal so ‘I might as well wear the same T-shirt that I had on when washing my car this morning’? Brits should definitely learn how to make special occasions special.

    OK, I think I am done with my tirade. Got it off my chest and I feel much better now. I hope none of my British family members and friends take any of what I have said above personally. I love you as you are and you have welcomed me in your country, but as an expat I do miss Polishness and want to celebrate what is good about it. Just like you would miss you baked beans for breakfast in Poland.




    As Kasper’s vocabulary is expanding with every week, I thought it would be nice to create a record of his first few words and expressions at the beginning of this New Year – something we can look back upon in the course of the year to remind ourselves how it all began. He is now aged 19 months and since recently has been exposed to German language additionally to the English and Polish he hears at home. Here are the results:

    KASPER-ENGLISH GLOSSARY

    go-go – this is the universal word for everything that moves – cars, trains, buses, planes etc. It may have originated from a toy car which Kasper got a year ago for Christmas. After pressing a button it said Go, Roary, Go! Not sure, but this is my guess.

    go – means ‘gone’. Kasper usually utters it with great sadness and falling intonation looking at his empty plate. Very different to the cheerful ‘go-go’! I think I know who he takes after.

    choo-choo – train. Trains are very special for little boys and for Kasper in particular. Both of his grandparents’ houses in Poland and in the UK are located near railway tracks and listening out for passing trains has become a sort of a game. Kasper is also a big fan of Chuggington – a cartoon about trains and likes playing with his toy trains at home. Not to mention listening from the earliest days to the reading of the famous Polish poem about a steam train ‘Lokomotywa’. Yes, trains are very special for little boys.

    shoe – no need for interpretation. Kasper knows about shoes and has a lovely habit of bringing us our slippers or shoes and trying to put them on our feet. Victorian mums and dads would be very proud if not jealous.

    cheee – cheers. This accompanies the compulsory clinking of glasses. I don’t recall teaching Kasper this, so it must be based on his own observation. Slightly worrying!

    daj – this is Polish. Strategic word meaning ‘give’. Is it a coincidence he would be saying this particular word in Polish? Does it suggest mummy as the main ‘giver’ of things? Or simply, is it easier to say than ‘give’? May soon become more and more redundant as Kasper perfects his climbing skills and learns to get things himself rather than relying on bigger people’s mercy.

    no – the sweetest ‘no’ I have ever heard. Started off as a Polish ‘nie’, soon replaced by the English equivalent and a source of endless fun in conversation making. “Kasper, do you like sausage? – Nnnnnnnnno. Kasper, do you like chocolate? – Nnnnnnnnno. Kasper, do you like pizza? – Nnnno.” Neddless to say, Kasper loves all of those things. “Kasper, was your lunch nice? – Nnnno. Kasper, was your lunch awful? Nnnnooo.” Phew, finally we are getting somewhere.

    mama and dada – for a while, ‘mama’ was a universal word for many things and many people. However, when sad or in trouble, the meaning of ‘mama’ suddenly becomes very precise and specific. Kasper also says ‘mummy’ which makes my heart melt. ‘Dada’ and ‘daddy’ are coming along a bit more shyly, but surely.

    hello – one of the earliest words, now used very liberally at every opportunity to greet people and things, even food :). Haven’t seen Kasper for 3 minutes – and I get greeted with the most enthusiastic and heartfelt “Hellooooooo!” (So nice to see you, where have you been, haven’t seen you for a while, I missed you so, I’ll give you a hug. Let’s play now!)

    halo – this is the Polish way of answering the phone which Kasper uses often when playing with phones, mobiles, bank card readers and calculators (anything that has a keypad on it and fits in a hand). Works well in Germany as it sounds just as the German greeting ‘Hallo’ too. 2 for 1 deal.

    choo or tschü – ‘tschüss’ ?? Ok, this I think is Kasper’s first German word and means goodbye. Similar to the first sound of the Polish ‘cześć’ so I think it was easy to understand and very easy to say as it is almost like saying ‘shoe’. Still, I am amazed about Kasper picking this up from the Kindergarten so quickly.

    Other words include caʔ for ‘cat’ with a beautiful glottal stop at the end, and Ka-purr for Kasper!

    Roary the Racing Car




    I have always enjoyed being in Germany in the weeks leading up to Christmas – the Germans (like the Poles) know how to make Christmas time special. The German Advent is particularly aromatic – ginger, cinnamon and cloves are necessary ingredients in just about every dish or drink.

    Christmas preparations are even more ever present now that Kasper has started attending a German kindergarten. Children have been busy making Christmas decorations and art and we are looking forward to the little Weihnachtsparty held this week.

    All parents were requested to contribute some Christmas dish and being one of the last people to sign the list I was left with no choice but to make Zimtsterne – cinnamon stars. I have been slightly worried about my culinary début as a kindergarten Mum especially with a range of dishes which are not part of my usual Christmas repertoire, so I have done a lot of internet research to find a good recipe. I have to say the stars I produced came out beautifully (beginner’s luck?) and so I decided to share this one with you all.

    The recipe comes from a German site Chefkoch.de, here I provide the English translation. There are many variations of this and each one will have tens of comments offering personal variations, recommendations and tricks – but please ignore them all – just follow this – this is the easiest, quickest and, in my experience, a very delicious recipe that works.

    PASTRY:

    500g ground almonds
    300g icing sugar
    2 tbs ground cinnamon
    2 tbs lemon juice
    2 egg whites

    ICING:

    1 egg white
    125g icing sugar

    Preparation:

    Mix in a bowl ground almonds, icing sugar and cinnamon. Add egg whites (as they are – not whipped – I think this is the secret of this recipe and prevents the biscuits from going stone hard) and lemon juice and mix using dough hooks. Finish kneading the mixture by hand to a sticky pastry. Roll out the pastry to about 1cm thickness and cut out the star shapes and place them on a baking tray.

    You can decorate them with sliced almonds or a sprinkling of brown sugar. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 150 degrees. Voilà!

    German Cinnamon Stars - Zimtsterne

    If you have any suggestions for how to use the remaining three egg yolks – please write in comments! This time round, I was spared all the trouble as Kasper decided that they would look nice spread on the kitchen floor…




    Eggs Not For Translators

    December 8th, 2009

    A recent translation enquiry and the following email exchange with one of my customers have inspired me to do this wacky mathematical experiment…

    The most precious object - Fabergé Imperial Egg - the Coronation Egg

    The most precious object - Fabergé Imperial Egg - the Coronation Egg

    I have been reading up a bit on the Fabergé Eggs and the tradition of the Russian Tsars to commission a jewelled egg as an Easter gift for their spouses and have been completely beguiled by this idea as well as by the magnificence of the surviving Imperial Easter Eggs. One of the masterpieces, the Coronation Egg, presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife at Easter 1897, was estimated to have sold at the 2004 Sotheby’s auction for about 18-24 million dollars making it one of the most expensive decorative objet d’art in history.

    My customer and I with an almost audible deep sigh commented in our emails on how many words one would have to translate to be able to afford such a precious thing. This thought has been haunting me ever since – exactly how many words? Or rather – how many years would I have to work to be able to purchase such an egg???

    Are you ready to find out?

    299 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have assumed the following:

    To earn 24,000,000 dollars: 1 translator working at a rate of 2,000 words a day charging $0.11 per word (an average rate according to my sources) would have to work for 109,090 days, which equals 298.87 years. Forget holidays, weekends, paying rent or taxes – all of this to buy this one special egg. In terms of total word count – 218,180,000 words to translate!

    Luckily, a Russian jeweller Alfa Jewel has started to produce a limited edition of exact replicas of the Faberge Eggs. The first design, Spring Flowers Egg, which they have now made available costs a mere £166,000. Now, here’s a thought…




    I have now lived in the UK for over four years and had a chance to observe the ways of the British. With a large Polish population living and working in Britain since Poland’s joining the EU in May 2004, there are some things which I think Poles could learn from these close encounters of the third kind and vice versa. But let’s start with my own folk.

    mini-cooper

    1. First and foremost, Poles should take some driving lessons from the British!


    Before coming to the UK, I have never encountered such politeness in drivers – giving way to each other regardless of the traffic regulations – just because they are not in a rush or just feeling generous. An appreciative wave from behind the wheel is something I have never seen in Poland and something one witnesses here all the time.

    Is it the high car congestion and narrow British roads that have made politeness so necessary? If you have driven in Devon on some country roads with passing bays every few miles or if you have ever tried finding a parking space in Brighton or central London then you know what I am talking about. Good driving is not a luxury – it is a survival skill!

    2. Tolerance and multiculturalism

    Britain is the most multicultural society I have ever experienced. Its capacity to accommodate people from other cultures seems to be endless. As an outsider coming to the UK, my experiences have only been positive – as an employee, as a student, as an independent professional or as a new family member. The fact I am foreign never seems to make any difference in my everyday interactions with the British people, and if so then only to my advantage. The Polish society would benefit immensely if it could learn from the Brits how to be more tolerant and open-minded to the different and the new.

    3. Number three on my list – bureaucracy.

    Registering as self-employed in England took one phone call. It is not as easy in Poland from what I hear from my friends and according to this very interesting report Doing Business 2009 by the World Bank Poland ranks 176th in the world for ease of doing business compared to the 6th position held by the United Kingdom. Now, that is a big gap! Come on Poland, do something about it.

    4. Finally, and I am just about to say something completely sacrilegious, Poles could take from the Brits a few cooking tips as well.


    OK, I am not questioning the superiority of Polish cuisine and cooking techniques, but merely remarking on the fact that the British seem to be consuming more vegetables and a wider variety too: sweet potato (batat), celery (seler naciowy), swede (brukiew), turnip (rzepa), courgette (cukinia), aubergine (oberżyna) and asparagus (szparagi) are regulars on the British table. Why not add them to the Polish menu also?

    And talking of food, I would love to see a few more curry houses opening in Polish cities. If I were to move back to Poland, the one thing I would most certainly miss is a good curry!

    This is all I can think of at the moment, although this list is by no means finished. If you have your own observations and ideas on the subject of What Poles Could Learn from the Brits – please put it down in the comments! I also rush to say that there will be a chance for retaliation when I write next on What Brits Could Learn from the Poles! And I am telling you, the list is getting long…




    Eurovision Contest 2009

    May 18th, 2009

    In Poland it is perhaps a bit embarrassing to admit watching the Eurovision Contest, but in England this is almost like a national sport – invite friends, get your popcorn and beers, sink in the sofa for 3 hours and enjoy slagging off the spectacle of bad songs, ridiculous outfits and fake tans. And watch in disbelief the block voting of continental Europe prove once again that being an island has its significant drawbacks…

    As with football, Eurovision always leaves me a bit torn – should I cheer for Poland or should I cheer for England? Luckily, this year’s Polish entry did not make it to the finals (and better so both for Poland and the viewers!) and so I could back UK with a clear conscience. OK, I admit, I don’t even remember the name of the girl who sang for the UK, I only know that Andrew Lloyd Webber accompanied her and co-wrote her song, which was not exactly your typical Euro-pop hit. I also know that thanks to the changes in the voting system the UK entry actually scored decently in the 5th place. No flying tomatoes at the telly on this occasion!

    The winning Norwegians seem to have found the perfect formula though – a Norwegian entry (high scores from all Scandinavia in the bag) by a performer of Russian roots, a song that depending on where you come from can have a Slavic, a Balkan or a Gaelic feel + costumes and stage decorations straight out of the Brothers’ Grimm. All of this presented by a boy with a fiddle, a few acrobats and two tall blondes – a perfect Eurovision song! My husband cringes whenever he hears the lyrics (“Years ago when I was younger I kinda liked a girl I knew”), but I must confess (and this is my 3rd and last confession in just one blog post!) – I love the song and want to jump up and dance whenever I hear it. Well done Norway for making us all happier!




    A recent jaw-dropping event prompts me to continue the story of my son’s adventures with bilingualism.

    SCENE 1

    We are spending a week and a half in Poland visiting my family. My son is now 11 months and practises his syllables such as ma-ma-ma-ma, or da-da-da-da (translates to Polish as ta-ta-ta-ta) etc. He hasn’t yet uttered anything more complex that would resemble a word, although babbling is very much on full blast.

    We are enjoying some tea in my parents’ living-room with the baby playing on the floor when my parents’ cat decides to run across the room and into the hall.

    Me (in Polish): Kasper, where is the cat (“kotek”) gone? Where is the cat gone?
    Kasper (looking up from his building blocks and following the cat with his eyes): ko-tek
    Me, Dad, Mum (jaws on the floor): ????
    Dad: Did you all hear that??! This boy is a genius!

    END OF SCENE

    Genius or not, it was certainly amazing to hear the little boy repeat a word the meaning of which he clearly understands. Hearing the word “kotek” prompts his eyes to wonder to the cat’s usual hanging out spots – the radiator or the top of the cupboard. His pronouncing of the word must have been a bit of a fluke, but not coincidental.

    A friend of mine who is raising a child bilingually in German and English said her daughter’s first word was ‘Katze’! Is this yet another proof of cats’ magical powers or some puzzling trigger in linguistic development of bilingual children?

    Are there any parents out there with some interesting bilingualism stories to share? Please write in comments.

    Kofi, my parents' cat, likes to keep an eye on everybody.

    Kofi, my parents' cat, likes to keep an eye on everybody.




    Translator Mum

    March 23rd, 2009

    My little son was born with his hands on the computer keyboard. Well, almost. The amount of time I spend on my laptop – translating, researching, learning, broadcasting, socialising, listening to music and radio, telephoning, playing, killing time, managing, organising, living – is just too scary to think about.

    When Kasper arrived, I often found myself typing with one hand while holding the sleeping child on my lap with the other. Having fairly long fingers helps with AltGr+2 (=@ on the Polish keyboard) or AltGr+a (=ą) key combinations. I challenge you to have a go if you haven’t tried it before…

    But it wasn’t until Kasper was 7 months old that I embarked on a large translation project and announced with a big bang being back in business. On Mother’s Day (UK – 22nd March) and with the project nearly finished, here are some thoughts on being a new mum and a freelance translator – trying to manage without additional childcare.

    Translation Super-Mum

    You need the following ingredients:
    1. one determined translator mum
    2. one cooperative infant
    3. one patient partner
    4. one translation project that better be worth it
    5. one good project manager (if applicable)

    Preparation:
    So you are a determined translator mum. Accept that from now on the concept of free time does not exist. As a new mum this is probably nothing new – what free time? you ask. Ha! That free time you have just started to recoup in the evenings with your baby’s newly developed sleeping routine. If you follow the advice literature, your cooperative baby (round 6 months) now goes to bed around 7pm and, apart from a late evening feed, sleeps through the night until morning (‘morning’ in baby talk means anything between 3-7am).

    So the deal is – you can work from 7pm as long as you can keep your eyes open – but remember this routine must be sustainable – you can’t kill yourself staying up till early hours as that will have a knock-on effect on your productivity the following day.

    So, let’s agree that 7-12pm is doable – 5 hours of work, then 6-7 hours sleep if you’re lucky – also sensible. The day belongs to your baby and their routine – feeds, walks, playtime, so don’t try and do too much. Don’t feel guilty about not doing any translation work, and take a nap during the day (while your cooperative baby naps) to charge your batteries a bit. If you think a regular full time working week is 37.5 hours (5 days x 7.5 hours), then you get near this if you work 7 days x 5 hours= 35. The extra 2.5 hours you make up during the weekend, when your partner takes the baby for a walk and to visit the grandparents – and voila – this proves you can theoretically squeeze in a full-time workload into a mum’s day.

    Now, the patient partner comes into play. They must be patient as your shared ‘quality time’ is out of the equation. Those nice evenings cuddling up in front of the telly after a whole day of baby talk and potato pure (in mum’s case) – they are on hold for the duration of your project. Your partner needs to show a lot of understanding and help out as much as possible with your baby in the evenings/early mornings and weekends. If they are willing and able to help – then you are a lucky translator mum. I count myself as one – and am very grateful for it!

    As for the translation project and the project manager – the better conditions they offer (interesting topic of translation, decent pay, reasonable deadline, good communication style, professionalism, etc), the happier you will be to be back at your desk every night! Thank you Benny for being my James Perfect.

    It feels really great to be able to achieve this and feel to be back on the professional arena without missing out on your baby’s development. It is definitely a shared effort and a compromise, but remember that every project has an end date and hopefully you get a chance to relax and take a deep breath before the next job comes up.

    The alternative is to move to a country with free childcare!

    So that’s my recipe. It is ready to serve!

    translation-recipe