In this global village that we call Earth, language professionals – translators and interpreters – are on the frontlines, communicating anything and everything that is going on.
Language professionals aren’t thought of as health care workers, but we are the bridge between people speaking different languages. We are interpreting and translating for clients, emergency and medical professionals, and documenting everything related to Covid-19. Our diverse world has truly pushed us to the forefront of this pandemic, and we are closely involved in every road leading to a cure!
Here are a few thoughts for my fellow colleagues that might be of help during these days; and more broadly anybody now working from home:
- Take breaks: Your mind and body need a break after an intense session, and especially when you have interpreted or translated bad news. There are many hard days ahead.
- Exercise: Releasing energy reduces stress levels and re energizes and recharges the mind.
- Set boundaries: Know what kinds of interpretations or translations you can handle. Interpreting or translating in delivery rooms, Emergency, the ICU et al means interpreting or translating to families that they need to say farewell to their loved ones or conveying the news that somebody does not have long to live. I’ve been there; it is hard, but I’m not afraid. Not everyone is the same, so make sure you are truly prepared for what you are getting into.
- Share the moment: Language professionals typically perform in isolation, which is why it is important to surround yourself with others in similar situations in order for you to confidentially share experiences, or even just vent.
- Keep yourself alive: Make sure to eat well and get enough sleep! We cry and burn out after hard assignments because we are human, and for a century we have not seen something similar and today we need to be one country, one goal and one language. You cannot take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first!