Saturday, November 07, 2015

Fairlingo's wordplay

Have you heard? Fairlingo is in beta! They are shrinking the world with out-of-the box, creative, innovative, developments. Since I know some of my readers are better travelers than myself and have multiple language skills, let's do some advertising for once. Fairlingo is owned by Vertaalbureau Perfect, a Dutch translation agency that encourages language lovers to have a go at translating for money. If you're anything like me and playing with words makes you smile, why not check out!

Technology can make us more stressed and creates new opportunities for criminals and terrorists, but hey, it definitely allows us to dream bigger dreams. New concepts like Fairlingo could even allow you to make a living in Terlingua, a mining district in Texas, where the only community life is in a ghost town. This is where Jim Keaveny and Anna Oakley have their social life. They built their home in the middle of the dessert, using every means to be self-sustaining. The off-the-grid life: no water, electricity or other so called 'modern-day necessities', except...the World Wide Web!

Anna works as a webpage designer, so the internet is one luxury she does need. No problem, because everyone in Texas has the right to have access to a phone line. However remote their home may be, they can still be up-to-date with what's happening in the world,

Fairlingo and Terlingua; they could be a match! Dream on that for a bit...

Off-the-grid life in Terlingua with Flora Dessing*
I love my physical job and the team of people I work with, but I like the idea of being able to go anywhere in the world and work from 'the middle of nowhere'. So yes, Fairlingo makes me dream a little bit. For now, I'm doing it all wrong. When I go off-the-grid, I don't even bring a computer. I don't even bring a smartphone, to be completely honest with you. I suppose my life is in beta, but let there be room for development.

So far my assignments for Fairlingo as a translator (Dutch to English) have been a lot of fun. Language is culture and translation is not just knowing what one word means in another language. No, you want to think of how a native speaker of the other language would actually say it. How will the message come across? My younger brother taught me: "How did I learn to speak German? Well, I just try to be a German."
(Beware: the next moment he can be an orange-loving Dutch guy, who gets offended if you mistake him for a German!)

So translation is getting into culture (forever interesting!) and playing with words (fun!). The cool thing with Fairlingo is that it works so fast, using the internet. I'll pick up an assignment and they tell me I have 24 hours to get the translation done. As soon as I've finished translating, a revisor picks up the assignment and in no time the whole project is finished. I get valuable feedback, which gives me the opportunity to improve my language skills and the customer gets quality for money. 

The only down-side is the vast number of competing translators, who are so much more 'on-the-grid' than I am. But then again, I'm in beta..! :-)

*For the Dutch readers, here's where I got the other half of my inspiration: Floortje Naar Het Einde Van De Wereld

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