Part of being a professional editor or translator is understanding how to do the best possible work in the least amount of time. And for that you may well need shortcuts. Not the ones that make for long delays or get you to places not worth going to. But the ones that make word-processing software easier and faster to use.
On 15 September, the Language Centre’s Language Service hosted a workshop for twenty colleagues – permanent staff and freelancers working for the Language Service – who are all in the business of making clients and their texts look good.
Monica Bosman, an experienced language practitioner and an expert in formatting, explained how to programme macros and keyboard shortcuts to lessen keystrokes and increase productivity, how to ensure consistent formatting in a document, and what to do when those pesky numbered lists suddenly renumber themselves or a footer suddenly vanishes. Chris Sadie, physiotherapist and campaigner for proper workplace ergonomics, explained how an optimal computer set up, the right chair and regular movement can have a positive impact on productivity.
But doing excellent work quickly requires more than just arcane knowledge of MS Word and the odd leg stretch. To be really good as a professional means that you consistently raise the standard you set for yourself. One of the ways to do that is to interact with other colleagues, to build relationships and to learn from their best practices. And the workshop, held at STIAS in Stellenbosch, was an ideal opportunity to build and strengthen professional networks.
In addition to occasional targeted workshops, the Language Service uses its style guides in Afrikaans and English, feedback to its hand-picked freelancers by in-house quality controllers, terminology lists and a unique relationship with clients to help ensure the consistent delivery of editing and translation services of a high standard. Contact Marguerite van der Waal if you’d like to make use of this service.