Believe it or not, cycling is a sport that requires quite a bit of dedication, training, and hard work. Like an effective technical translator does for their projects, cyclists must pour a significant amount of time and energy into their sport. And, because of the overlaps in the work ethic and persistence between cyclists and translators, the two tend to carry quite a few similarities.
At GlobalSpeak Translations, we fully understand and appreciate the closeness between technical translating and cycling, which is why we have our very own GlobalSpeak Racing Team. We know that professional translators are hardworking, driven, patient individuals, and these are all traits shared by cyclists, too.
In fact, translators and passionate bicyclists have a lot more in common than you might initially believe. Today, we’ve rounded up our most favorite qualities between the two, and the top four reasons why cyclists tend to make great technical translators.
1. They Appreciate Cultural Diversity
From the Tour de France to the Giro d’Italia, people across the globe frequently meet up throughout the year to celebrate and enjoy cycling. This is because bicycling, in general, tends to be a sport that attracts people of all colors and genders. Not only is it an enjoyable sport that yields incredible benefits for the whole body, but it’s also an environmentally-friendly way to travel, and a wonderful strategy for cutting back on harmful greenhouse emissions. An activity with advantages like these is sure to attract attention across the globe, and statistics show that areas with higher rates of cycling tend to be more inclusive.
Cyclists who travel for races and training are significantly more likely to be exposed to other cultures, which is an advantageous experience for professional translators who rely on cultural awareness. Culture is a crucial component of any translation project, especially when it comes to sensitive opinions, general trends, and providing translations that make sense.
2. They Know How to Manage Their Time
Despite the fact that they need to spend large amounts of time and effort on eating right and training, most cyclists have normal, busy lives. They must find a way to balance family life with their career, and somehow fit training and races in between. This is why many cyclists can be found employing certain time management hacks, like bringing an extra change of clothes to work with them or commuting to the office on their bikes. Taking steps like these can help make the most of the limited time that a cyclist has, allowing them to train for a big race while also living life.
Knowing how to properly manage the time they have is a key skill that translators must master if they ever wish to succeed. In technical translation, it’s very easy to get sucked into a project and completely lose track of time. One of the worst mistakes you can make in the field is to let your time manage you, instead of you being in charge of your own schedule.
3. They Love a Good Challenge
There’s a reason why cyclists tend to be joyful people; it’s because biking makes us happy. The mere act of riding a bike actually relieves stress and gives the rider a confidence boost, thanks to the massive surge of serotonin released in the brain. This raise in self-esteem and improved mental health could be why challenging bike races, like the 3,000 mile Race Across America, continue to skyrocket in popularity.
The unwillingness to pass up a good challenge and persistence to push even harder are characteristics that really cross over well in the professional translation industry. Technical translators are guaranteed to run into challenging and difficult projects that will help hone certain skills in the long run. Persistence, determination, and the reluctance to give up are crucial characteristics of cyclists and translators who wish to grow their skills.
4. They Enjoy People
While riding to work in your car with the windows up and radio on isolates you from the rest of the world, group cycling opens countless social opportunities. As mentioned before, cultural exposure in cycling is extremely diverse, and there are increased opportunities for interactions when taking a long bike ride. The act of cycling also releases the “feel-good” hormone, Oxytocin, in the brain which can help boost your outlook on the world, reduce social anxiety, and deepen existing relationships.
All of these advantages and skills generated while cycling really help grow and shape a person to be the ideal candidate for the translation industry. Communication skills, friendliness, and positivity are all attributes that are necessary for professional translators. In technical translation, effective communication is especially important to ensure that the right message is relayed.
It truly is no coincidence that our translators here at GlobalSpeak Translations work together both in the office and on their bikes. The similarities between cyclists and professional translators are quite striking, from the way they interact with others to how they look at themselves. Though cycling and technical translation are two completely different activities, key characteristics are obviously quite important between the two. From unwavering perseverance to dedication to growth, cyclists and professional translators aren’t so different after all.