As I am a freelance translator and work predominantly from home, it means I have complete control over what is playing to create my office background noise (actually a corner of my bedroom). Read on to find out more and let me know what you like to listen to!

What I like to listen to actually depends on what kind of work I am doing. Music with lyrics, talk radio and podcasts can prove too distracting for certain jobs. However, I do find I need some kind of background noise, otherwise I get distracted by the weird noises my house makes or the sounds of my neighbours gardening.

FR>EN Translation and Copywriting

French is definitely the strongest of my source languages and I find that putting on a podcast at a very low volume helps with my productivity. I mostly tune out what they’re saying, but when I do take brief breaks, I tune back in and catch up. (I like to follow the pomodoro technique if I’m feeling particularly demotivated, so I take 5 minute breaks every 25 minutes. If you’re interested in learning more about the pomodoro technique, let me know!)

Some of my favourite podcasts are: Online Marketing Made Easy, The Infinite Monkey Cage, The Guilty Feminist, Sawbones, Global Pillage, BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy, The Grief Cast, Marketing Tips for Translators and The Anthropocene Reviewed. If you have any recommendations – particularly if they’re related to the translation industry or freelancing – let me know in the comments or talk to me on social media! I also like to listen to podcasts and sometimes audiobooks when I’m commuting for a job or out running.

AR>EN Translation

This also counts for trickier translations that require a lot of reading and research. Because they require a little more focus, I will tend to opt for some music on my iTunes. I especially like musical soundtracks. However if I put on anything I know too well, I tend to get sidetracked singing along!

Copy Editing and Proofreading 

These jobs require the most focused reading and combing through texts with a fine-tooth comb. For this reason, I tend to listen to classical music, either in the form of a Spotify playlist (usually Harry Potter or other film/TV soundtracks) or ClassicFM. I also enjoy that ClassicFM has an hourly news programme, so I can keep up to date with current affairs.

What do you like to listen to while you work? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a Norfolk-based Arabic and French > English translator and languages tutor.

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