Cultures Connection attended two translation workshops in Buenos Aires, organized by Decode Linguistic Solutions on April 26 and 27, which were led by the charismatic Xosé Castro Roig.
A translator, proofreader, journalist and TV anchor, Xosé Castro Roig came to meet the Porteños (the inhabitants of Buenos Aires) and share his experience and valuable tips, during two workshops he gave at the end of April at Work Inn Buenos Aires. The first workshop was about SEO writing, and the second one about Marketing. These workshops were designed for professional translators and interpreters, as well as students or people in the process of a career change. How do you find clients and retain them? How do you market yourself and how can you become visible in the market? Each question had a clear answer, thanks to this renowned Spanish man, whose purpose is to share his passion for translation.
Cultures Connection could not miss this major event. Xosé Castro’s lectures lasted four hours each and were very well received. Most of the participants attended both workshops. The conference room was packed. They were not lectures but rather participative workshops: each of us would comment, give opinions and share doubts.
Xosé Castro was a very good listener. Using personal anecdotes and practical examples, always with a touch of humor, he pointed out the difficulties and pitfalls specific to the profession, and explained how to avoid them. Being a great speaker, he knew how to make everybody comfortable. He asked us to introduce ourselves one by one, so that he could use as an example later in his speech the information we provided. I come from France and I was the only foreigner in the room, which drew attention. The presentation was clearly designed for an Argentinian audience, but that would not prevent a foreign audience to find it very useful.
Tools for translators
First and foremost, a good translator must master his work instrument, that is to say his or her computer. What about you? How well do you know the potential of your computer? We blanked when Xosé Castro asked us what was the key between Alt Gr and Ctrl used for… Nobody knew except one participant that its function is to show the context menu! He showed us a few other keyboard shortcuts that can change translators’ lives, when using Microsoft Word for instance. The faster you work, the more you produce.
Then, he advised the audience to use some Internet resources such as bitly.com to shorten and rename urls, or such as Google Guide that helps you targeting very precise information. For example, you can find documents with a title containing a specific keyword, and you can include at the same time another specific keyword in the content. He also explained how to customize our browser to make the most of our research.
Our profession requires that we spend countless hours in front of the computer. Xosé Castro gave us ergonomic advice, such as what posture is the most comfortable, how crucial it is to take breaks and get some fresh air once in a while, and how to use the Pomodoro technique. He also talked about self-confidence and the emotionally competent stimuli.
An exciting encounter
Xosé Castro, a celebrity in the translation industry for Spanish speakers, travels a lot in Europe and in Latin America. The audience found every word fascinating and was captivated the whole time. He’s such a great man. When the presentation was over, he took the time to greet the participants and talk with them. Then all the ladies rushed to have their picture taken with him! I could not resist either…
I have just started working in the translation industry and I am currently training at Cultures Connection. This encounter had a very beneficial effect on me and shed light on my future career. It gave me confidence, and now I feel better prepared to start my own business soon. Needless to say, the other participants left the conference room having a motivation boost too.
“Be a problem solver, not a problem identifier.” Xosé Castro