I love podcasts, but I’m also really picky about them. Working full time, I only have so many hours in the day so I don’t want to waste said time on podcasts I don’t enjoy. There are a few podcasts out there that are very useful to translators but Smart Habits for Translators is one of the few I’ve really fallen in love with.
Note: This podcast isn’t just for translators! I think freelance editors, letterers, PMs, etc. working in the translation industry will also find a lot of the advice useful.
What is Smart Habits for Translators?
Veronika is a English-to-Russian translator and Madalena is a Spanish and Portuguese-to-English translator who also has a few marketing programs for translators. They have both worked in-house for companies, are certified by the American Translators Association (ATA), and now have very successful freelance businesses.
In the very first episode they mention how they were having conversations about healthy habits and decided to start a podcast talking about these habits.
They are freelance translators trying to balance their career and personal life in a healthy way. They discuss healthy habits and strategies for translators to help them achieve the life they want.
What I Like about Smart Habits for Translators
First of all Veronika and Madalena have clearly worked hard on this podcast. They have a great opening tune, a clear introduction, have planned each episode carefully, and communicate exactly what you’ll get from an episode.
The audio quality is also really good. Their voices are clear with no white noise (although sometimes a little echo). And they’ve clearly edited out the blank spaces and mouth noises so each episode is easy to listen to.
There are a few too many podcasts that spend a lot of time at the start talking about unrelated things. I love how Veronika and Madalena jump right into the topics. Then they have some personal fluff time at the end if you want to stick around and listen. I normally wouldn’t listen to the fluff, but their end segments still have some useful tips and I like listening to them.
They discuss a wide variety of resources and tips for translators. They know two people aren’t the same and what works for on might not work for another. So they try to offer a variety of approaches and to an issue someone might be having.
I also really like how they try these habits for themselves. They discuss what worked for them and what didn’t. They’re very honest about their own failings as well as their successes, which I found to be really refreshing.
One person said it sounds like you’re listening to two friends chatting over a cup of tea, and it really does!
Smart Habits I’ve Picked Up
I now work in-house full time so not all the tips are useful for me, but there are still a number of habits that I can apply to my own work!
In episode 1 they talk about work/life clarity, the idea that it’s healthier to be aware of you’re needs at a time and not force yourself to always have “balance”. Sometimes your personal life needs to take priority over work and it’s fine that you can’t juggle everything.
In episode 2 they talk about imposter syndrome which a lot of translators experience. My favourite piece of advice from this episode was to write down every time someone says something nice about you or your work. I need to get better at this and keep a note of nice things people have said. It’s often too easy to be hard on ourselves and brush off compliments.
I skipped the episode about going to conventions because a lot of events have been cancelled due to COVID. However, there was one after episode segment where they discussed taping business cards into a notepad, then writing some information about the person and what to follow up with. If I was still freelancing I would 100% do this. It’s such a good idea!
“When you read more, you write better.”
– ep.5 Reading More When You’re Not Working
Of course there’s also the healthy habits for reading and exercising more (just 30 minutes a day!), stepping away from your computer regularly, and eating more fruit. I think these are things we all know we should do but struggle with. However, I really liked some of the concrete tips for keeping up these habits, and the resources that were suggested for keeping track of them. (Like the DONE app – if only I had an iPhone!)
The financial habits episode with Susie Jackson was also really, really good! If you’re a freelancer who struggles with finances then give this one a listen! A great habit that I did when I freelanced was track everything. Susie seems to track more than I did, but it’s incredibly useful to track your incoming/outgoing money, jobs for clients and how much they pay etc. She also suggested a book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz which sounds really good.
I have only listened to 13 episodes so far but I am hooked.
There’s so much good advice crammed into each episode. I love the well-recorded honest discussions between two experts. And I love just listening to them talk.
100% recommend to any freelancer working in the localization industry. Not just translators but editors, letterers, project managers, etc.
Other Translation Podcasts
If you’re looking for more podcasts for translators then check out these ones.
I don’t listen to them but you might find them useful/interesting.