What I Listen to While I Work

As I am a freelance translator and work predominantly from home, it means I have complete control over what is playing in my ‘office’ (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?