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A sense of belonging

According to the Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs pyramid, having a sense of belonging is one of our main needs as human beings, just above the basic needs (physiological and safety and security).

Since I became a translator and more than ever before, I feel that I have achieved such a sense of belonging, and to more than one community.

I am about to celebrate my one-year anniversary as a professional translator (April 1st).

I have wanted to be a translator since I was 18 years old, and I finally got there at the age of 45. In the meantime I taught French for a few years in London, then moved to Bordeaux and worked as a commercial assistant, then, more recently as a paralegal.

When I announced my career change to my friends, colleagues and family members, there were two main reactions:

  • Can you really make a living out of translation?

  • It’s going to be hard working at home every day. Aren’t you going to miss the social interactions with colleagues?

It is the second interrogation that I want to address today.

Since I started as a translator, I have connected with several groups.

I first joined a French online server with hundreds of translators and interpreters: “le Tradiscord”.

Last August, I took part in a national in-person conference organized by the “Société Française des Traducteurs, SFT”, the French national translation and interpretation federation, and I met many interesting people.

A few weeks later, I received an e-mail from a man called Andrew Morris (😉) who asked if I was interested in doing pro bono translations. I seized this opportunity to gain more experience in the industry, and hopefully make a difference to people in need. What I did not expect at the time was that saying yes meant joining a wonderful and international community. I did not expect the dozens of WhatsApp groups either ! 😊

As I am writing, I am on my way to an in-person workshop organized by the regional section of the SFT.

I also interact with other women entrepreneurs in a different group. And, I teach French as a foreign language so I’m also on a WhatsApp group with other French tutors!

My point is, never before in my professional life have I met and interacted with so many different people, from all over the world, virtually or in person.

And what I find amazing is that for the first time in my life, I can interact daily with people who share the same passion for foreign languages and cultures, reading and writing!

Moreover, in those different communities pervades a sense of solidarity, humanity, open-mindedness, respect… all the values that are important to me.

In a nutshell, no, I don’t miss the social interactions I used to have with my colleagues. I miss certain specific people of course. After all, I did work 16 years in the same company. But I can have lunch or dinner with them occasionally so that’s okay. 😊

To conclude, if I can modestly share a piece of advice for future translators or beginners: do not hesitate to take part in virtual or in-person events and join professional federations or associations. There are so many fantastic people out there, and many of them in the translation and interpretation industry!

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Laura, your views on things are very similar to mine. I wish I could give you a hug to celebrate your first year as a translator! 🌷 Congratulations on such an inspiring and uplifting account! I love the fact that we have 'met'. 💖

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Thank you for your kind words Sylvia! 😊

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Thank you Laura. Having read your writing I realized that there are many people have same interest with me. May you enjoy your new career in translating!

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Thank you! Glad my post was useful!😊

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Thank you, Laura, for such a positive and insightful blog. Reading it is very uplifting. Je vous souhaite une bonne continuation and happy anniversary on April 1st!

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Merci Nick! 😊

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