On April 15, I had the pleasure of meeting eight wonderful colleagues during the 3rd #TweetupAthens. I spent 2 very fulfilling hours in the pleasant company of @abalopoulou, @aboutemmanuel, @actualitbilingu, @D_Kalantzi, @dmoustri, @earthlang, @emmanef and @Faye_Mg. We chatted and laughed and it was really nice to meet people that you have so many things in common with and who can understand what your life is like and what it actually means to be a translator.
One of the conversations I had was with sweet Diona (@dmoustri), who was wondering what a translator can offer in Twitter given that there are already many wonderful colleagues who inform us thoroughly and on a daily basis of all things relating to translation – for example people like Catherine (@LinguaGreca). Diona mentioned that with so many people tweeting about articles and blog posts relating to translation and languages, she can’t think of anything new or fresh to contribute. That’s an interesting dilemma, don’t you think?
When I opened my professional Twitter account I wondered about the same thing: what new can I say? Is there something that’s missing that I can cover by tweeting? What will make me stand out and win followers and interactions? We should also take into account that most translators do not have much available time to dedicate to tweeting. So, I thought about it and these are some of the ideas I came up with:
- Tweet about your everyday life as a translator. Share ideas and comments about your translation work in general; for example, when I come across an English word that has many meanings and is always difficult to translate into Greek, I talka bout it with my Twitter followers. Alternatively, you may talk about your working hours or how you manage to fit everything into one working day and how that is working out for you. Or why not share the music you listen to while working? Many subjects could fall under this category; just share the things that make your working life unique and interesting, that your colleagues are familiar with and might even help them learn from your experiences.
- Tweet about the country you live in and its culture. What better idea than to share your everyday life in the city and country you live in? Sure, translators mostly spend their days indoors, but we are all bound to get out at some point. So when you do, share a photo, a moment, an experience. Tweet a traditional recipe, propose a local drink or where people can go sightseeing when they visit your city. This way you show that you stay in touch with the culture of the language you translate into – and we all know how valuable this is for our work.
- Tweet about other translators’ posts. I have a rule of reading at least one translation-related blog post per day. I only wish I had time to read more, but even like that I manage to be informed about the trends, the concerns and the developments in the industry. After you read the post, make sure to add a comment on what you think about it and share your thoughts on Twitter!
- Tweet about subjects relevant to your translation specialisations. All professional translators have certain subject-matters they specialise in and in order to stay abreast of the developments, they read and stay informed. So, why not tweet your findings to your followers? This will prove that you are serious about your work and that you know what you are translating about.
This is just an indicative list of what you can do to give life to your twitter feed. Of course, remember to keep any negative comments off your feed. No one wants to know, for example, how mad this or that client made you feel and, moreover, this certainly does not create a positive impression about you and your professionalism.
What do you think? Do you have any other ideas that you would like to share in the Comments below? In the meantime, happy tweeting!
Emilia Prekate-Kyminas has been a professional freelance translator since 2003. She translates from English and French into Greek and Greek into English and she mainly specialises in legal, automotive, marketing/advertising, IT, business/commerce, football, EU and textile/fashion translations. She has a BA in Translation from the University of Corfu, Greece. She loves to be able to make understanding between people possible and she strives to provide quality, reliable and accurate translations and her translation motto is: Inspiration is in the word, not the form. You can read more about her on Proz and follow her on Twitter @Ellexis_.