freelance translator

Halloween is fast approaching. You are sitting at the laptop, working hard at your translation and localization project. Outside the full moon glows, a ghostly wind blows through the cracking trees, a sleuthy cat perches on the window-sill. The front door creaks open. Floorboards groan beneath the strain of the steps. A hideous inhuman sound outside makes you shake. Luckily, we, translators and localization specialists, don’t often get in the stories like this. However, there are quite a few of nightmares we have to face bravely. Here are some of my scary situations:


The front door creaks open. Floorboards groan beneath the strain of the steps. A hideous inhuman sound outside makes you shake. A blast of air through the window freezes you. You sit at your laptop, surveying the terrible mess in front of you. There is a piece of incomprehensible nonsense on the screen which needs to be proofread: millions of spelling mistakes, semantic knots, loss of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations, a mess of allusions, ambiguities, symbols and puns. Just waiting to unleash the demons’ supernatural power if you dare to make the slightest change.


This type of demonic blood-sucking customers come from hell. They have a tendency to drain your time and energy out of you. When you deliver a translation or localization project, they tend to come back. They come back every day at all hours of the night, asking for just one more change, or a little bit of extra work without increasing a budget. They elicite your energy out of you and then feed off this energy. The creepy side of this story is that it is sometimes very difficult to get rid of the greedy vampires. They can use your own emotional responses to control you. If you don’t recognize them for what they are, and respond to them mindfully with thought instead of emotion, their bite can drain you.


Spine-chilling spiderwebs spread all over the place. They are endowed with supernatural qualities which make them harbingers of mystic energy. Nobody has ever managed to find their algorithms. They weave webs, roll out updates, crawling freelance translator’s websites and shaping translator’s future. One day they can spin the web and get you to the top in Google search results. But on another day they can become drastically spooky. These bloodcurdling creatures can bug your freelance translator website like they do with a fly, into the web, and your website, into which you put all your efforts and half of your life, will be affected for many many months or even years.


A ghostly wind blows through the cracking trees, a precocious, sleuthy cat perches on the window-sill. This creature serves as a facilitator to opening otherwordly doors to the tools which can take your translation and localization projects to the next level: fast turnaround, consistency, translation & localization production increase, etc. But like the cats of mystery color these tools can take off-kilter energies when there is a problem with compatibility of formats, loss of reliability of software and hardware caused by interrupted power supply, internet connection and virus protection.

What’s the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to you at your translation & localization projects?