November 10, 2021
Maria Joaquina Marques

Nowadays, one of the words we hear all the time is empathy, which involves three aspects: the affective, the cognitive and the regulatory aspects of emotions. It is an affective and cognitive exercise of trying to interact, while perceiving the situation lived by the other person (in the first person singular), in addition to one’s own situation. In the case of translation and the translation professionals, empathy is essential, as its lack can represent the big difference between a good or an excellent final work for the client that requested it.

While it is true that, as professionals, we all must know how to manage our work flow in order to achieve a good balance between our professional, personal and family life, it is also true that our clients must not forget that the professionals who provide translation services, like all the others, need their help so that the management of professional, personal and family life, of relaxation and socializing moments spent with those around us does not interfere, even if in an indirect manner, with the professional performance they demand from us. A company, regardless of its dimension, must think about the human factor and understand that all professionals that surround it and participate in its business, in a direct or indirect manner, must have scheduled working hours and cannot be available every day at all hours.

In the same way, and also for this balance to be achieved, the clients must prepare in advance all translation requests that they intend to contract, always giving precise instructions, support and reference materials and, whenever possible, having a contact person to whom the professionals can turn directly to clarify doubts or other matters related to the work at hand.  

If, in any way, the client "harms", even if unintentionally, the professionals and their production capacity, while frequently testing this personal and professional life balance, and if the work does not go as expected, this "failure" ends up leaving marks on the professionals’ personal, professional and emotional relationships. The professionals end up feeling that they were not able to be fully present in all aspects required for the successful outcome of the requested work. This way, we must increasingly look after each other and, in this case, the solution always involves a work schedule established in advance, even if it includes changes, and intense communication between the translation professional and the client, since it is important that people can dialogue and negotiate deadlines to avoid constraints and possible failures in delivery or quality in the final product.