Looking back and looking forward.

I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning up the website and figuring out the new direction I’d like to take The Polyglotist in for next year. I’ve reconnected with friends and colleagues, and planned around work projects I’d put in the backburner because of the excessive work load I mentioned on my last post. Some of them will feature very soon in the website, so keep your eyes peeled!

A brand new world?

One thing I’ve been dancing around is a change of specialty. The majority of my career as a translator has happened in the film subtitling industry, but for a number of reasons (I might write about this in the near future), I’m finding my interest drawn towards another industry: game localization, specially that of videogames, but also pen-and-paper and tabletop games. This is not necessarily a young or new niche (if anything, it’s been around for as long as games have been sold internationally), but I’m finding it a particularly fascinating world to peek into, and at this point in my career I’m pretty ready to stop peeking and start doing. Besides, I’d love the opportunity to refresh my love for my profession through the training required to become a proper, industry-grade localizer.

I’m thinking of documenting where life takes me as I aim to get into game localization. That I’ll have to learn new skills and earn my stripes in this completely new world for me is a certainty, but if there’s one thing that fires me up, it is the prospect of learning new things.

It would be very interesting to hear from other aspiring or current localizers (of games, software, tech in general) as well, so let me know in the comments or through Facebook! I’d love to chat more about this subject!

Looking back on 2017, as a teacher

I’m not going to try and minimize how bad 2017 was for the world as a whole. In fact, here’s a gif from the good folks at Extra Credits that pretty much encompasses my sentiments on the matter:

However, this year did introduce me to some new, very interesting students and teachers on Italki. I’ve talked before about how I love the challenge of teaching Japanese and Spanish as foreign languages, but being completely honest, it is each student as an individual case that helps me improve as a teacher, and this year has been particularly inspirational in that sense.

As a teacher, I always emphasize a natural, semi-disorganized, “let curiosity take the wheel” system where it is the student who dictates the pace and the majority of the content, and I function as a channel for information rather than as a mouth-piece, parroting off rules and exceptions. (This is easier said than done, specially in the case of Japanese, where the more I teach, the more awed I am at this language’s amazing, somewhat bipolar nature.) Because the direction can change at any time, I usually have an easily modifiable modular curriculum for each student, that I can change if the class requires it.

However, interestingly, I’ve found that even between students with wildly different learning habits and attitudes, this natural system follows very similar progressions. I have been doing some studying towards refining my system and working on learning more about this structure, and hopefully I’ll be able to use this discovery to further improve the quality of the classes I give to my students.

Tell me about your 2017. Did you start learning any languages? Finish or end a language project? Start working as a translator or interpreter? What are your language goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments, or chat me up on Facebook or Twitter!

Leave a Reply