Are Translators The Janes and James Bonds of The World?

Are Translators The Janes and James Bonds of The World?

For those who have any doubts: Yours truly is a Big-Big fan of James Bond. Some people will be very angry, but to me, Pierce Brosnan did a pretty good job. I know, I know, Sean Connery and all that crap.

Loved Roger Moore too. Timothy, well, we better forget him. Actually Daniel Craig right now is a really good Bond. Dark. Troubled. Ruthless.

But Brosnan was the man. Probably because that was the time I spent more money on watching movies than on food or clothing. I was happy to watch them on TV, or to go to the ancient tribes of video rental facilities and rent 1-2 movies a day. Those people owning the video stores probably built three houses on my rental + late fees.

And then You have also the ultimate experience: The Big Screen.

Wow, when Digital Dolby Stereo Surround something-something was installed into the theatres. I mean. Wow!

Anyway, what's all that got to do with the translation industry?

Well, all of us working on these projects are a little like James Bond... or Jane Bond, not trying to be sexist here. Maybe if you're a gal then agent Salt is more appropriate. Or, you know, Sidney Bristow from Alias.

But definitely, translators are absolutely similar to the coolest international spies. Here's five facts that prove this. Without a doubt.

James Bond fact #1: You work only (and always) with confidential stuff, nobody can know anything about it, sometimes not even you.

Seriously. There's this girl who told me a story ​about the translation she was supposed to do. The company (direct client) only allowed her to use their own computers in their own office, and she had to pass couple of levels of security to even be considered for the job. What makes it super funny, is that the company was not any kind of government or military contractor, etc.

It's not that she had to translate for Pablo Escobar or the likes.​

Just your usual company that produces something, say, "factory style". My friend didn't even want to tell me what, because if she told me, she'd have to kill me. Or something.​

And you thought signing a standard NDA was too much fuss, right? ​

James Bond fact #2: You work with well kept secret prices, regardless if you are a client or a vendor.

​This is the part I particularly dislike and if you have been reading forums or blogs on translation, you probably find out that anyone with at least some experience says the same: why in the world is the translation industry not capable to create standardized rates.

And then let clients decide on their vendors based on other criteria. Other than price.

Because at the moment, the only "real" advantage an agency gives is discount me this, discount me that. Which is total bullshit. It should not be allowed. It should not be done. And if you are doing it, it will ruin your business too. You have been warned.

Personally I blame the lack of good marketing in the translation industry, where (I sound like a broken record, I know) every agency, or even freelancers, has only one marketing message: we provide the best quality.

Which is, again, BS. Let's use abbreviations, they're cool.​ And more Bond-like than saying the whole words.

James Bond fact #3: You are a part of a small but chosen community of people who all know each other

Remember how Bond has a contact, a friend or at least an old enemy anywhere in the World. From Czech Republic to Japan, from Madagascar to Greenland, every place he visits, there is someone who knows him. Of course there's a lot of people not knowing him, but those people are killed in explosions anyway so You shouldn't care about them at all.

He's like the master of befriendin' people, drinkin' those vodka-martinis with them, and eventually either shooting them or getting with them into bed. Or both. 

Well this last part I'm not so sure about in the Translation industry, but I'd like to think that we're all too segzy for our shirts.

James Bond fact #4: great parties around he world, full of interesting personas and food and wine and...

Think translation conferences. Those could be also called "the lust of flesh" (I think I picked that up from TV Series "Friends", not sure).

Anyway, since being a translator and thus super secretive 'n all is a pretty lonely job (similar to being the King), once we are unleashed and let out of the cage of our dictionaries and online terminology management and, hey, translation project management systems, we really know how to party. 

Which is totally awesome, and it should be done more often.

Especially if it also allows you to travel a lot and see the world (because who doesn't like that, right?)​

James Bond fact #5: Bond speaks at least 14 languages like we all do (well, sort of)

​If You're a translator then at least two languages are something you have developed to perfection. But the more people You meet, the more You realize they speak at least one more, but better two... or three more. 

Which comes very very handy if you are anywhere near a civilized world and not in the depths of Amazon rain-forests (though I guess some Mayan language could even help you there, at least, you'd be confused with an ancient God(dess)).​

It is also very nice to know that people who speak more languages are smarter (as this article states)​, and this is also true for children so go, teach your kids another language so that they can be Janes and James Bonds later.

There you have it.

If you ever thought that you're not cool enough, you have at least 5 reasons to show the world you are actually, a "Bond". ​

The only missing thing is the Walter PPK, and killing bad guys with it. And explosions. But as they say "the pen is mightier than the sword", so let's leave it just there (world peace and all, yo!)

That's Your real power.

But what is the secret Bond uses that makes him the super cool spy who is always three steps ahead of his enemies?

Gadgets!

He has his guy, Q, who gets him the coolest things, like cars with rockets and pens that explode and wrist watches that have darts flying out of them or what.

And you?

Well you have miniTPMS.

You can be the J. Bond of the translation industry, and "mini" can be your Q. The nerdy professor/inventor giving you gadgets to:

  • streamline processes,
  • work on finances,
  • track projects,
  • manage vendors and clients,
  • create workflows,
  • assess clients and translators... 

ah the list is too long, you'll just have to trust me.

Point being, if you're using any of the tools, you are already ahead of your competition. If you're not, it's time to do so: ​

Join our cool group of international men and women of mystery, because for you(r eyes) only, we have a special list that not everyone can be a part of. 

Click to Join the Newsletter. It's fun. And free. And comes in daily, best served with a coffee. 

Leave a Comment: