Tell me a story about your job as a translator in six words.

job as a translator

Tell me a story about your job as a translator in six words.

Have you heard of six-word novels, popularised apparently by Ernest Hemingway? The idea is to write a story in no more, no less than six words. Here you can see some great examples: http://www.sixwordstories.net/.

The beginning of this trend is rather sad. Ernest Hemingway is believed to have won a competition for the best dramatic short story with his: For sale: Baby shoes, never worn. This sad story lead to the creation of flash fiction and since then it has been followed by many other examples.

The rules of the game are simple: write a story in no more and no less than six words and it has to be a story about your job as a translator. Below you’ll find ideas from other colleagues sharing their own stories about their job as a translator.

I’ve been fascinated by this idea for a while, but I don’t think I have enough creativity to write a story about my job as a translator in six words. Can you do it? It would be great to see some of your ideas.

I honestly admire every person that can do it. I still struggle. As you can see, I tend to write much longer texts and just the idea of putting anything, even my job as a translator, in six words seems almost impossible. I think this is some sort of a translator’s curse – the more words the better? How do you feel about it? This six-word story exercise reminds me of my haiku or limerick attempts where I always fail to condense my thoughts…

Again, the rules are very simple. Write a story about your job as a translator in six words. Publish it in a comment below.

63 Comments

  1. Megan Onions , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:04 Reply

    Pâtisserie to perfume in one day 🙂

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Feb 7, 2015 at 02:11 Reply

      Thank you, Megan, and everyone, for great contributions 🙂 Keep them coming!

  2. Iris Cristina Permuy Hércules de Solás , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:28 Reply

    Sometimes I interact with real people.

  3. Adelina Rossano , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:38 Reply

    Scientists till noon, poets at night…
    🙂

    (I’m translating a medical device manual in the morning and a novel when I have time, i.e. at night 😛 )

  4. Lisa Rüth , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:40 Reply

    What’s this? Same same but different.

  5. Stefania Marinoni , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:45 Reply

    They couldn’t communicate. Then I came.

  6. Maia Figueroa , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:46 Reply

    She practiced ventriloquism on the page.

  7. Daniela , on Jan 27, 2015 at 16:50 Reply

    Travelling wording skies with Translation Airways

    • Natalia , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:55 Reply

      Oh, this is a beautiful image!

  8. Marianne Reiner , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:07 Reply

    Translators: the key to your words

  9. Anastasia, Greece , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:07 Reply

    A freelancer’s day, an employee’s year!

  10. Mgr. Diana Nisterenková-Chester , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:08 Reply

    “Courtesy,Integrity,Selfcontrol,Perseverance,Indomitable Spirit”

  11. Marianne Reiner , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:09 Reply

    Or to make it really a sentence (with a verb that is!)
    Translators are key to your words

  12. Patricia María Ferreira Larrieux , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:22 Reply

    Translated words like bridges uniting cultures.

  13. Patrick Roye , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:24 Reply

    German technology to English prose; challenging.

  14. Rosário Quadros , on Jan 27, 2015 at 17:39 Reply

    From legal to marketing, connecting people 🙂

  15. Mariana Hernandez , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:12 Reply

    I realized work can be fun!

  16. Katarzyna Diehl , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:13 Reply

    The person I’ve never heard of 🙂

  17. Mónica Pérez Ruiz , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:16 Reply

    Oops, is it that time already?

  18. Krystyna Szurmańska , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:32 Reply

    Puzzles with more than one solution.

  19. Eleanor Toal , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:42 Reply

    Solving puzzles, telling stories, adding sparkle.

  20. Katarzyna Diehl , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:45 Reply

    Who is that with the Prime Minister?

  21. Katarzyna Diehl , on Jan 27, 2015 at 18:46 Reply

    Am I making any sense Dear? 🙂

  22. Katarzyna Diehl , on Jan 27, 2015 at 19:00 Reply

    To make it six, I meant: “Who’s that ?” 🙂

  23. Ana Luísa Lourenço , on Jan 27, 2015 at 19:04 Reply

    Fresh fruit is what I do.

  24. Daniela , on Jan 27, 2015 at 19:11 Reply

    As an environmental translator, this is my 6-word story:

    Raising environmental awareness in two languages.

  25. Angela Benoit , on Jan 27, 2015 at 19:15 Reply

    Creating words that resonate like yours.

  26. Katarzyna Diehl , on Jan 27, 2015 at 19:27 Reply

    She is on a roll today.

    (OK, I’m done :-))

  27. Giovanna Lester , on Jan 27, 2015 at 20:19 Reply

    Transforming pleasure into a living.

  28. Allison Wright , on Jan 27, 2015 at 21:13 Reply

    Sent before deadline! Yes! What’s next?

    (I have read your blog now; copied and pasted from Facebook. 🙂 )

  29. Sonia , on Jan 27, 2015 at 21:31 Reply

    Green commitment for a sustainable communication! 🙂

  30. Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov , on Jan 28, 2015 at 07:53 Reply

    Hunting words I find my bliss 🙂

  31. Anne Boyere , on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:29 Reply

    Colouring pictures with different words.

  32. Fiona Grace Peterson , on Jan 28, 2015 at 13:18 Reply

    Medical English is not for rookies!

  33. Katia De Juan , on Jan 28, 2015 at 14:12 Reply

    Helping to preserve different cultures.

  34. Emilia Prekate , on Jan 28, 2015 at 14:40 Reply

    And along came the translator.

  35. Volker Freitag , on Jan 28, 2015 at 19:23 Reply

    Translating beats collecting bottles any time.

  36. Javier Mallo , on Jan 28, 2015 at 20:36 Reply

    I help words travel with love.

  37. Ludmila Golovine , on Jan 29, 2015 at 05:13 Reply

    Words understood. Lives touched. Worlds connected.

  38. Tomas Donoval , on Jan 29, 2015 at 08:17 Reply

    Coffee, computer, call, client, creativity … collapse.

  39. Nikki Graham , on Jan 29, 2015 at 09:07 Reply

    Up early, up late, mostly translate

    The start of the next one is the first part of my tagline:

    Words are my business, I translate

  40. Flavia Vendittelli , on Jan 29, 2015 at 10:22 Reply

    UK or US, this is the question.

  41. manuela bache , on Jan 29, 2015 at 13:32 Reply

    Translators: wrecking balls for language barriers

  42. Olga Cuzmanov , on Jan 29, 2015 at 14:01 Reply

    Winning lottery won’t stop me translating.

    Seriously 🙂

  43. Olivia-Petra Coman , on Jan 29, 2015 at 18:23 Reply

    Born to do it, keypad attached.

  44. All Graduates | Translating Services , on Jan 30, 2015 at 02:47 Reply

    Set Expectations. Understand. Connect. Deliver. Smile.

  45. Kevin Hendzel , on Jan 30, 2015 at 09:01 Reply

    Hemingway’s own 6-word story always broke my heart:

    “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”

  46. Kevin Hendzel , on Jan 30, 2015 at 09:07 Reply

    On a much brighter note, here’s mine on translation:

    Ideas crossing silently in the night.

    My other idea also uses silence:

    Lives touched in silent, simple waves.

  47. Stella Pantofel , on Jan 30, 2015 at 12:27 Reply

    Context is everything!

  48. Christelle Maignan , on Jan 30, 2015 at 14:30 Reply

    Read, write, share; alone yet connected.

  49. Eszter Hámori , on Jan 30, 2015 at 16:22 Reply

    I’m made of words and change.

  50. Aura Lawson , on Jan 31, 2015 at 22:42 Reply

    Shhh! I’m hunting the elusive equivalent.

  51. Valerij Tomarenko , on Feb 1, 2015 at 10:17 Reply

    To overcome dyslexia, he became proofreader.

  52. Maria-Venetia Kyritsi , on Feb 3, 2015 at 13:01 Reply

    Alone I struggle, making words sing.

  53. Gonzalo Astorga , on Feb 4, 2015 at 21:33 Reply

    Read German and French in Spanish.

  54. Rania Merchak Andraos , on Feb 5, 2015 at 09:17 Reply

    Six words describing my work, uttered by my clients:

    “Wow! That was fast! Thank you!”

    Six words I’d say to describe my work:

    “You learn something new every day.”

  55. Katarzyna Diehl , on Feb 5, 2015 at 11:27 Reply

    – Who is she?
    – An interpreter.
    – Wow !

  56. Katarzyna Diehl , on Feb 5, 2015 at 11:31 Reply

    Ok, who’ll be doing the interpreting ?

    🙂

  57. Katarzyna Diehl , on Feb 5, 2015 at 13:48 Reply

    Many thanks to our interpreters and technicians !

    🙂

  58. Kristina Thew , on Feb 5, 2015 at 21:07 Reply

    day and night making it right

    or

    doubt, decision, do, deep breath, deliver, de-stress

  59. Jacek , on Feb 20, 2015 at 16:25 Reply

    Finding ways into authors’ heads

  60. Oksana Ivanova , on Mar 30, 2015 at 10:37 Reply

    Translators: building bridges across language barriers

  61. Oksana Ivanova , on Mar 30, 2015 at 10:42 Reply

    Anyways, we can always blame translators

    *Blaming translators is a very popular ‘excuse method’ used by others in our company (((

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