Pepe Cortisona

A Translator's Role Model

For those who aren't familiar with it, Condorito is a Chilean comic book dating back to the mid 20th century. It is popular throughout Latin America, and in fact, I first read it in Costa Rica. The main character is Condorito, a funny and endearing bird. He lives in a town called Pelotillehue, and the stories are centered around it's inhabitants.

One of the characters is called Pepe Cortisona. As you can see from the drawing, he is a self-confident guy. Perhaps too confident, but he serves the purpose for this blog post.

Imagine if he were a translator. I'm sure he would bill himself as the greatest in the world. He would start saying things in all the languages he knows. He would have a grandiose computer setup, glistening for anyone to admire. He would tell you that he was the best in the trade and accept and deliver jobs with confidence.

Okay, maybe you don't have to be this confident, but what I want to prove to you is that it pays to have a little bit of Pepe in you, and as long as it is within bounds, accept jobs from clients without leaving a shadow of a doubt that they will be nothing less than excellent.

One aspect that took me a long time to master was telling people what I do. It is not always easy to answer the question: What kind of translations do you do? Do you work for companies? Invariably, I would try to explain too much, and tell them all the different kinds of translations I do and the software I use, and try to get into detail. I would end up feeling a bit insecure and bore the asker. But then I realized that I had to give people a more condensed and appealing version. This went over a lot better.


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