We've had such an amazing opportunity over the last month to really slow down. To take a moment and observe the world around us. To pay attention to all those little details that otherwise go unnoticed in our busy lives.
And I've just been amazed at how the whole world has been adjusting and connecting. The resiliency and compassion of people has just been staggering, almost as staggering as the situation itself.
Hearing from our translators over the past few weeks has opened my eyes this resiliency and compassion up close.
When I spoke with Vanina, I got a glimpse into just how important the family bond is right now.
Matt: Right away I've been curious to learn how translators are directly effected in their work. So far it seems like translators are even busier, would you say the same?
Vanina: Oh yeah, I still have my regular accounts with Smartling. Since I am working a lot with the company I have a lot lined up for my regular accounts!
Matt: I know you mostly translate medical and technical text, how have these industries been responding?
Vanina: I cannot complain in this regard, I have been translating and working a lot and I can say I have my regular workload, I definitely haven't noticed a reduction.
But this is my personal situation, I cannot say it is what is happening to most translators. But, luckily, my workflow has been continuous.
Matt: Have you been translating a lot of content around COVID-19?
Vanina: Pretty much, mostly notices or advices as regards COVID-19, but not medical content.
Matt: That's interesting to hear not much medical content. Have you noticed any changes in the demand for translation in general? Are there any new brands. Or industries requesting less, and others requesting more?
Vanina: Maybe, it seems like there's a shift. For example, one Smarting account I work with has changed a bit of their content, more aimed at this situation we are all experiencing. I've seen a lot content a round advices official guidelines, etc.
Matt: You spend so much time interacting with different brands that I'm curious, how do you think companies should react and adjust to this situation?
Vanina: It's quite difficult to anticipate something like this due to the global impact of this virus.
For sure, all companies need to allow employees to work from their houses… but taking into account the brands or businesses themselves. I think that some will need to do their best to “survive” this crisis.
Matt: Do you think there will be a shift in the demand for translation with this situation?
Vanina: I’m not sure, really. I’m quite optimistic ad at the beginning I thought I would see a reduction in the jobs, but as I said before, that really hasn't happened. So really I cannot tell if there will be a shift, to be honest. I just prefer being optimistic given the situation and hope for the best!
Matt: Since you already have experience working from your home, thanks to tools like Smartling, what kind of routine or process do you have for staying productive?
Vanina: I’m used to starting very early in the morning, as I told Elizabeth for the book I´m a very morning person! Right now that’s a huge advantage, ny daughter is just like my opposite and she sleeps a lot so that’s a big help.
Moreover, my husband owns a family business and due to the lockdown the company is closed, so that’s also helping me a lot. He takes care of our daughter mostly all day until I finish working.
For the positive, I love that I can be more involved with her homeschooling. I like to take breaks between my work to help her with her learning, and in fact we actually do that as a family task! The three of us join together to help with her homeschooling.
Matt: That sounds wonderful! It seems like your day has evolved quite a bit, have you developed a new routine at all?
Vanina: Well, now I take a break at noon and I prepare lunch for the 3 of us! When I was. alone, I would just eat quickly get back to work.
So, in that sense, my working schedule changed since I take a break of about 2 hours at noon and then I keep on working until 6 or 7, and normally I would have stopped at 4:15 to pick up Antonia from school at 4:30.
Matt: Now is such a great time to learn! Are there hobbies or skills are you picking up to stay busy?
Vanina: I love cooking, so I am trying to improve my “baker” side and it´s working =)
Matt: That's amazing! Have you had the chance to head outside at all? New York has been really quiet! How has the area around you been impacted by the sudden change?
Vanina: Argentina is weird, some people do not understand the seriousness of this virus and some parts of the city aren´t really in quarantine. Luckily my neighborhood is quite, and people are conscious.
Argentina has many financial problems (serious ones) and many people cannot stop working since they earn a daily salary, and that is the main problem we are facing. I am very sure that the financial impact in my country (and in many ones) will be devastating.
Matt: Absolutely, there's going to be a big shift in a lot of places and I think its great you're already starting to think about how this might impact us. Are there personal stories you would like to share, about yourself, your family, or your community?
Vanina: There is one situation that is quite special to me, my younger brother will have a baby at the beginning of June and I do not know if I will be able to meet my nephew as soon as he is born. In case I cannot, I do not know when I will be able to meet him, so that upsets me a bit.
Matt: I could only imagine. This whole situation has really shown how important our family and loved ones are. Is there anything you've been doing together as a family?
Vanina: Just promise me you won’t laugh... I DO CROSSFIT AT HOME EVERYDAY JAJAJA! Training is part of my life. It is an important part of my daily routine and it is the way I unplug myself.
I got my family joining too! have some vacation WODs I can do at home so I have so we do it together before diner, and sometimes Antonia joins also.
If you haven't already, definitely get your hands on a copy of Move the World with Words to read more about the lives of our translators!