Ten Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Translators (2011)

Translators are some of the zaniest people around*, they are often very opinionated and usually regard themselves as intellectuals who are ‘above’ mere materialistic emotions. It follows then, that translators are particularly difficult people to buy presents for. However, fear not, as we’ve put together a list of things that would light up any translator’s face on Christmas morning – providing, that is, that they haven’t got them all already!

1. Ebook Reader

If a translator doesn’t yet have one of these, then it’s probably because they can’t quite justify shelling out 150 or so dollars of hard-earned cash on something that they aren’t quite sure about – if ebook readers (Kindles, etc) were a bit cheaper, translators would probably have been the first to have bought one (and many wealthier translators probably were**).

2. Samsung Galaxy Europa Smartphone

Why the ‘Europa‘? Because it’s arguably about the best Android-running smartphone (for the money) around. However, buying one of these for a translator is only a good idea if said translator isn’t already using a smartphone – and good luck finding one of those!

3. Mox’s Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation

Mox is a brilliant freelance translator with whom all freelance translators can relate. A brilliant gift for any translator this Christmas – available from Mox’s official website. It’s certainly on our Christmas wish list anyway…

4. iTunes Voucher

Everybody loves music and freelance translators have more opportunity than most to enjoy the stuff (what with being ‘free’ an’ all). However, being tech-savy types they probably listen to most of their music online and rarely ever actually bother with iTunes***. Bring a smile to a translator’s face and let him/her actually own a few of their favorite tunes this Christmas.

5. Amazon Gift Certificate

Did we mention how much translators love books? Well, it seems logical then that they’ve each got a list of books they’d like, and probably even an Amazon Wish List. What safer present than an Amazon Gift Voucher?!

6. Microsoft Word 2010/2011

Sadly, there are still a lot of translators who don’t really see the point of upgrading to the latest version of MS Word – especially when considering how much the newest version of MS Word actually costs! However, if you can spare them the pain of having to cough up for it themselves, there are probably only a few out there who wouldn’t thank you for doing so.

7. A Lynda.com Voucher

Lynda.com is, quite simply, one of the best ways to learn about heaps of different software that most translators don’t use but could surely benefit from. The ratio of translators that know of Adobe software (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc., etc.) to translators who can actually use any of it is, well, appalling. Buy a translator a lynda.com voucher this Christmas and they’ll probably look at you with a blank face – however, if you’ve given it to the right person (they’ve got to have a thing for computers), they’ll phone you up in a few months asking how on earth you came up with such an awesome idea for a present (direct them here please)!

8. The Chicago Manual of Style

No self-respecting translator will admit to not actually owning a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. However, if you’re able to check their bookshelf and don’t see a copy of this one on the shelves, it probably means: a) they’re too cheap to buy one, b) they access it online, c) they don’t translate into American English, or d) they know it all already (yeah right?!).

9. Their Very Own Domain Name

Yes. A domain name. There’s nothing quite like getting a domain name for Christmas! Plus it only costs about 10 dollars or so. Why not try www.theirname.com (remembering to replace ‘theirname’ with their actual name, Ho ho ho)? Everybody should own their own domain name name (huh?) – and you never know, they may even do something with it, like, errr, create a website that brings them fame and fortune (or even just more clients).

10. The gift of ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’

Or, if you can’t afford any of the above, simply send them a card mentioning that you’ve looked them up on the internet and Facebook ‘liked’ all their blog posts and that you’re now following them on Twitter (wink wink). At the very least, you’re guaranteed to induce a smile and have them think of you as someone who’s as zany as they are this holiday season.

* we made that up.
** again, no proof.
*** yes, we made that up as well.

What are you hoping to get from Santa this year?