Business, Linguistics, Translation

Your own pace

How to be at the right pace in your business?

This week I am in Hungary. I would lie by saying, it is like every – any – other country to me. Hungary is my heart, my lounges, it is the core of my life and all, what I am. Years back, when I found this sentence: “Everyone is a foreigner, almost everywhere”, I started to think about its meaning to me, and I found that the best metaphor to understand, how I feel abroad, is like being a drop of water somewhere else, than the ocean, where I belong to. I might be needed, I might be in other waters and feel like I’d be at home, but I am not. When I am here, everything feels right I am a drop in MY ocean.

When three days ago it started to snow, I surely didn’t want to stop running. I started with belief, that until March the only thing, I need to do is being at least 3 times on the road. I don’t need to run faster, neither longer, I only need to run. So running in a one day snow at -5°C is quite a fun. Your face gets cold, the dirt on your nose freezes on the wings of the nose, you even feel cold, when you sweat, but you can keep your pace, the snow doesn’t keeps you back. Running on a three day snow, when there were two nights freezing the slush on the road, which is now covered with fresh snow is more an exercise of balance and staying on your two feet. Pace is not interesting anymore.

This same feeling I had this week with my father. For Christmas I bought him a tablet, so we can chat and use skype and he can check train-schedules and local news. He is almost 78. This was the first time, he used anything connected to the internet.

It is wonderful seeing how he learns, now he checks yesterday’s soccer goals on video and he is able to send me photos on Viber, but he struggles to make a difference between Hangouts, Viber and Email. It is all just chatting and writing on the tablet for him, I guess, he even doesn’t understand, what the difference between an app and a website is. Me, being a teacher – I think, pretty good – don’t tell him everything in the detail (obviously I tell him, how things work, but I don’t start by the difference between a bit and a byte, neither on what is Wi-Fi or what chatting means. It is like SMS for him on a different phone, and it is ok for me). I don’t want to prepare him to understand 10 years’ technology, I just want to him being connected to me, anytime, he wishes. Without waiting for me to call him, now on Viber he can call me, when he feels like. He looks at me sometimes and says: “You know, this is a pretty big difference to the radio, we made up of a crystal and a potato during war” and it opens up my mind, who was born with TV in color and remote control (and people in my age from a Western country grew up with computers and DOS already).

How is this all transferable to business? This year I want to learn, how to get direct clients, I don’t want to bend to agencies, who ask me a translation at 6:50 PM for next morning and after I say yes, they actually only send me the translation at 9 PM (well, yes, GMT is an hour back, but come on…) This won’t happen in one go. As my father has to understand that touchscreen is not push-screen, and Hangouts is not an email, so he doesn’t need to look for a Subject line, I need to understand, how to prepare myself at my own pace for this change and challenge. The biggest step is always to know, where you want to go. There will be a way, I am sure.


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