On the heels of my recent presentation at ATA55, I want to share some of my favorite tips for proofreading. I’ve already discussed the technical side of things here and here. Today, let’s get physical!
Your body is an important tool for translation work. Sitting at a desk for long hours can be incredibly demanding of your muscles, joints, and skeleton. Taking a few minutes to learn about how to care for yourself while doing the work you love can help you keep doing it longer. Here are a few ideas:
- Warm up your eyes before getting started. With your eyes closed, look up-down-left-right, and all around in both directions. Open your eyes and look at something far away. Repeat during breaks from your work every so often to protect your eyesight and avoid headaches.
- Seriously, look away. Far, far away. The wall in front of my desk it totally blank on purpose. I also have a window to look out of. Use your long-distance vision to let the short-distance vision rest every so often.
- Work with print materials on an inclined surface. This helps you maintain good seated posture and avoid contorting your neck in funny ways.
- Practice good posture! Shoulders back and low, feet on the floor, pelvis tucked in a neutral position. If you need to work on this, try these yoga videos.
- Use technology to your advantage: dictation and/or CAT tools for drafting, text-to-speech during some kinds of editing. Make templates for heavily formatted documents you get often (birth certificates, marriage licenses, academic records…). Your wrists and fingers will thank you.
What do you do to avoid the aches and pains of translation? Share your ideas in the comments!