Why running makes me a happier translator

It’s frustrating, counterproductive and yet everyone who works at a desk has experienced this: you stare at the screen, read the same sentence over and over again and still, the right words won’t come.

Like writer’s block, “translator’s block” can happen for different reasons; it could be due to lack of inspiration especially if the source text is repetitive and/or poorly written or lack of time if a tight deadline limits the amount of background reading and research available. While being stubborn and sticking at it often doesn’t help, focussing on something completely different nearly always does. One of the great things about being self-employed is to be able to take a break not just when you want to but when you need to to be more productive. And to make the most of that break, different strategies work for different people.

Running does it for me, and for colleagues Denise Muir and Marion Lurf. And with enough green spaces and fresh air in Scotland to keep the average runner in high spirits for a while, it’s easy to see why! When runner extraordinaire Denise moved to Italy a couple of years ago, I temporarily lost the motivation to run. But I realised something had to be done when I started missing the way-too-early runs along Portobello beach and up Arthur’s Seat. I decided to join the University of Edinburgh JogScotland group that meets at lunchtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and was immediately hooked again. It’s a fun and effective way to get some midday light – dare I say sunshine – in excellent company. It always leaves me feeling energised, refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day at my desk.

So running definitely makes me a happier translator because it’s helped me keep the perfect work-life balance over the years. Whether you work from home or at a desk why not give it a go?

Why choose me

Professional linguist with 13 years' experience
Translator, teacher & interpreter since 2004
Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Member of the International Association of Professional Translators & Interpreters

Translation experience
Certified translation of official documents:
- birth/marriage/divorce certificates
- diplomas, transcripts & references
- legal/medical/insurance documents
Academic articles/literary essays
Business/marketing communications
CRM software

Interpreting experience
Court hearings
Medical and work-related
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010
Arts/cultural events
'Fixer' for French TV

Teaching experience
Language assistant at prestigious Fettes College
Teacher at 3 leading UK universities
Organised a T&I workshop

First degree in English Studies
MSc in Translation Studies
Professional Graduate Diploma In Secondary Education (French & Spanish)