Yesterday I met my colleagues from the translators' association in Mannheim. The good thing was, I didn't have to go far away because the restaurant we met was just 2 tram stations away from my place. Even better thing was, we discussed so many things and exchanged so many ideas that we were sitting and chatting there for the good 3 hours.
But the actual focus of the meeting was on the program for the International Translation Day which will be celebrated with champagne and fireworks on the September 30th, 2016 in Heidelberg and Mannheim. (Don't believe me about champagne and fireworks though it's another good idea for this day). Since all of us were translators and interpreters, we thought - hmm, why not to tell people about us? What do we do? How do we do what we do? Where can you see us? Can you see us or we don't want anybody to see us? Why do we hide in the booths? Do we really think in 2 or 3 or 4 different languages? Do we have headache in the end of the working day? and many other important questions nobody can answer you but us.
The slogan for the International Translation Day was picked from a presentation from a friend of mine who made an inspirational speech about the importance of being seen and STOP HIDING! This was such a powerful idea that unexpected it has got its new life in the mind of the head of the translators' community of Heidelberg and Mannheim. She thought - actually this is a challenge for every freelance translator. We are not seen, we are not heard, but we are still there.
But do we really want to be seen? The image of a shy translator who sits at his desk and works at his papers is so powerful and in many cases so true. We started to ask each other and found out - yes, some of us are afraid to contact new customers, some of us don't want to be seen in front of many people (then you never will be interpreter, for example), some of us just want a magic post box where the projects come in and we don't have to go out into this crazy world and ask for what we really want. So on the September 30th we will organize some events and show what we actually do, how do we do that and we'll try not to hide in the booths and in our home offices at least on this one day.