The senses

The Senses

Life is a phenomenon of the senses.

Difficult to call it something else | When Summers are colder than Winters.

Inside a box | In a memory of a moment | You fold your hopes.

As if trapped in a wagon of a train that stops everywhere | And picks no one.

Unstoppable. Pessoanian. Real.

Speed is useless. It destroys everything | There’s no place you can get to fast |

The senses always know better | And they always have it their way.


Note: I couldn’t help but use the word “Pessoanian” in this poem and this is due to a recent post I wrote for Alberoni Translations blog on the occasion of 79 years since Pessoa’s death. Check it out here.

Image from here

Theodora project. At the gardens

As she was approaching the gardens, she noticed that the roses looked neglected and sad. No place to hide in the palace. Even sadness was conveyed in all ways possible. Flowers suffered too. The gardener had been sick.

Helena had no intention to continue this path. She knew that Petros would never return from Venice. As she was struggling in the meander of her thoughts, she picked some of the exotic flowers recently planted by Perusian and headed to Theodora’s Champers. The Empress had been acting peculiarly. For the first time, Helena knew nothing.

Some suggestions about handling translation projects, tight deadlines and fatigue

Dear colleagues, freelancers and tired inhabitants of this globalised world,

Here’s a pretty quick post to share some thoughts of mine (call them tips) about translation work and coping with many projects at the same time. Which translates to…. making the impossible, possible.

I must stress that I have only been translating for five years so these are tips of a newbie. Something tells me I will always be a newbie. It’s a gut feeling.

These are the tips:

  • Take a break every 2 – 3 hours to look outside the window (but please read this article here for specific and professional guidelines). Relax our eyes. Have your cup of coffee or tea standing up.
  • While taking a break you are bound to think of translation work and you could even solve a “mystery” or two about how to better translate a certain term. You rest your eyes but at the same time empower your brain by giving yourself a different “space” to think.
  • Apply used tea bags on your eyes. I haven’t tried it yet but I will do one day. I have been drinking coffee, no tea..
  • Treat translation projects as if they are urgent. If you quickly proceed with one and then another comes in, you are more prepared. I did this last week and as I was approaching delivery of an urgent project (for which I worked over the weekend at high speed), another one came in and I still had an ongoing project to continue working on.

Share your ideas!

a presto,


Translators who write

Dear all,

Through the act of translation we get trained to write. I don’t mean getting better at writing. I am talking about the need to write. Our desire to write our own things grows. Which translates to…. we are unleashed.

If writing is something you do on the side, it might be intimidating to start, proceed and conclude a project. And it gets worse if you have many ideas because working on many writing projects at the same time could stall the writing process.

But what if you choose to see it from a different angle so that you can actually help your writing?

However and notwithstanding the enigmas of how to handle the writing side of me, I have been able to make a lot of progress this month. So, I don’t really think there’s a best way to do it. It depends on what works best for you.

If life has given you overwhelming events worth writing about, do it. If it has given you frustration and you need to write that too, you can.

But do treat your writing project with love and utmost care. From A to Z. Perhaps as if it was a translation project. You are the happy client that receives a job well done and delivered on time. No one else can judge you. Writing isn’t how you earn your living. Don’t publish your work if you are not ready. The time will come if it’s meant to be.

You met your deadline. A deadline that gives life to more words.

— Do you write too? Do you find inspiration in your translation work? Does translation make you want to write more?


image from here