2016 Translator Wish List


Happy holiday season! No matter if, what, or how you celebrate, this is the time of year when gift-giving explodes (and, more practically, perhaps you have some business spending to do to boost your tax deductions). Here are some ideas for gifts to get the professional language lover in your life, or maybe just treat yo’self:

  • The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell, by Yudhijit Battaharjee – The true story of a dyslexic traitor and his attempt to steal from the FBI. I just ordered this for myself, and I can’t wait to dig in – a language issue as the key to solving a crime? How fun!
  • Interpreters with Lewis and Clark, by W. Dale Nelson – Another true story with language professionals at its core. The story of Lewis and Clark’s journey across America never ceases to fascinate me (I love hiking and kayaking, but wow!). This will take it to another level. Summary in French here.
  • Books in translation – Share your own favorite, or try something new. Words Without Borders has a long list of women writers in translation here.
  • Movie passes – Have you heard about the new film, Arrival? Linguists are central to the plot. The heroes, if you will. And who wouldn’t want to feel like a superhero for once?
  • Yoga passes – Whether you are a translator, interpreter, academic, or other kind of linguist, chances are you spend a lot of time doing physically taxing work (lengthy typing sessions, demanding conferences). I’ve noticed more and more of my colleagues talking about how much they love their new yoga routine – it has to be the perfect form of exercise for an introvert. Groupon is a great place to snag some trial runs for the linguist in your life.
  • A very nice notebook – I started using the Bullet Journal method this fall when the needs of my various business and personal interests all started to collide. Wow, guys. Basically, you take any notebook you like and create a custom planner – if you like calendars, there are dozens of suggestions for calendar layouts. If you like lists, there are hundreds of ideas for lists to keep. My favorite feature was the “habit tracker.” Using a really simple chart, you list out what is important for you to accomplish (walk the dogs, take a yoga class, do a source-language maintenance activity) and how often. Then you fill in the squares when you actually do it. Game. Changer.

What other ideas do you have for presents for language professionals? What’s the best present you ever received? Share in the comments below!


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