2020 has been a pivotal year for the global community. We all learned how to navigate a new socially distant and unstable economic climate that at many times felt isolating.
“Stay at home” guidelines prompted vendors to get creative as they embraced virtual community interaction beyond traditional project and transactional structures.
TransPerfect’s family of freelancers is made up of industry vendors who went above and beyond expected project support this year. As individuals, they came together to produce creative initiatives while still driving important linguistics agendas forward.
This year, our vendors and freelancers stepped it up by:
1) Adapting to the work-from-home lifestyle
2) Providing cultural expertise to educate communities
3) Embracing newly established technologies
4) Exhibiting women-led excellence and leadership
5) Taking pride in the human side of their work
Our vendors created a new team dynamic within the growing community of remote workers, proving that even from afar they could make an impact.
1) Adapting to the Work-From-Home Lifestyle
As the world quickly adjusted to living and working from home full-time, vendors had to adapt and meet a new standard of excellence.
Notably, both the expert freelancers and novice remote workforce were working alongside roommates, family, and pets in micro-communities, all without the option to leave except for essential purposes.
Freelance experts who were already veterans at signing on to work in their loungewear mentored others and were dressed to provide their expertise.
Almost immediately, vendors jumped on board with industry leaders to help provide practical takeaways to succeed while staying home.
Many were able to reincarnate face-to-face interactions digitally through collaborative buy-in, offering personal perspectives from different walks of life and professional backgrounds, and sharing photos and video.
Freelance vendors proved that they are the ultimate experts in how to effectively work from home, making a collective impact by shifting our social perspective.
2) Providing Cultural Expertise to Educate Communities
Quarantining to ensure the health and safety of communities kept many from being able to gather in-person during largely recognized holidays and events.
As veteran remote workers whose chosen communities are often significant miles away, our linguists already had experience fashioning a sense of community when apart.
Our linguists are translators, interpreters, and cultural consultants, and must maintain expertise in two languages to provide clients with accurate representation on projects.
We relied on their expertise more than ever this year. For example, we connected with Spanish Latin American linguists to better understand Cinco de Mayo beyond its secular hype. Here’s what we learned:
- Do your own research and fact check what you think you may know
- Travel is a dependable way to learn about holidays and cultures
- You can celebrate holidays by supporting local businesses
- Food is a gatekeeper to community and understanding
This research into Cinco de Mayo inspired more historical exploration of global communities and historical dates, with the goal of providing content to meet readers’ sincere interests versus only providing content that directly equals translation work.
3) Embracing Newly Established Technologies
Language service providers have always been vital to bridging language barriers around the world, even before a global pandemic changed the landscape of reality. Even throughout a challenging year, our freelance experts remained committed to providing the same volume of work and community engagement to ensure these language needs were met.
Vendors also continued to grow their portfolios by mastering the machine translation post-editing (MTPE) process. Their user experience from this year is helping create a tool that will lead the AI industry as well as enhance a specialized workflow.
4) Exhibiting Women-Led Excellence and Leadership
The high number of linguistic experts who identify as women prove we aren’t “living in a man’s world.”
As each voice and story found a space to be told, it helped paint an accurate picture of the intrinsic and positive diversity within the industry, especially in a year when the world needed to hear from voices that felt similar to their own and mirrored some of life’s challenges and triumphs.
Freelance experts continued to show how much intersectionality exists in the language sector outside of being a project statistic.
5) Taking Pride in the Human Side of Their Work
TransPerfect CEO Phil Shawe shared a story this year the equal importance of all positions and perspectives when reaching a collective and essential goal. Vendors celebrated Pride Month this year by listening to stories of individuals who use their diverse backgrounds to help meet the needs of a mix of businesses, organizations, and governments.
Many self-identifying members of the LGBTQ+ community shared concrete and creative ways during 2020 to still show Pride without parades or large gatherings. Virtual parties, phone calls, social media, and letters ensured that they could still showcase “togetherness” no matter what type of community one calls home.
With the privilege of having a public and visible platform comes the obligation to ensure space for stories that accurately reflect underrepresented or diverse groups. Feature posts are a natural medium to shine a light on the unique individuals who partner with linguistic experts every step of the way.
During these challenging times, vendors never forgot that they collaborate with real people and are centrally positioned to keep breaking down language and cultural blocks. Vendors continued to offer buy-in and interest outside of their projects, validating the trust and responsibility companies place on them.
While this year has been challenging because of COVID-19, social upheavals, and changing climates, freelance experts never quit. Thank you for remaining experts during this difficult year.
At TransPerfect, we’re always interested in hearing future blog ideas from our valued freelance experts, as well as continuing to support our clients’ needs through a variety of services. Freelancers should reach out by emailing VE_GetInvolved@transperfect.com, while clients can connect with a member of our sales team here.