11 Christmas gift ideas for freelance translators
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11 Christmas gift ideas for freelance translators


That time of year is looming again, and you don’t have the faintest idea what to get the linguist in your life.

What on earth do you get the translator who seems to have it all?

Well, the excellent news is that there are sure to be plenty of things they’re missing. Things they’ve been lusting after but haven’t invested in yet.

And, even better, you don’t have to get them THINGS at all. If they’ve already got everything they could need, then don’t just give them more stuff for the sake of it.

An experience could be the answer.

Grab your mulled wine and mince pie (or festive drink and snack of choice!) and have a trawl through these 11 great options.

1. Ergonomic office equipment

Check out their office space. We’re hoping they’ve got a dedicated one! (If not, making that happen would be the best gift ever, although we realise it might be slightly unrealistic.)

They spend A LOT of time at their computer, don’t they?

And if they don’t have a good set up that’s going to take its toll on their health, if it isn’t already. Think painful wrists, elbows or backs.

Great options for gifts to improve their working environment include ergonomic desk chairs, ergonomic keyboards and mouses, and standing desk converters.

2. A second screen

If they don’t already have a second screen then they’ll probably think all their Christmasses have come at once.

Trust us, it will make their life an awful lot easier and they’ll never look back.

Tip: A lot of the equipment mentioned here is pretty pricey when new, and buying new electronics isn’t very environmentally friendly. A good option for tighter budgets or those worried about the state of our world could be looking for good-quality second-hand alternatives.

There’s sure to be someone out there who bought a standing desk converter and hasn’t used it once, wanting to sell it off cheap!

3. Travel-friendly desk equipment

If they’re on the road a lot, then a bulky second screen might not be a great option. But just because they’re moving around doesn’t mean they have to be hunched over their laptop.

You can get light travel laptop stands or portable second screens that they can easily take with them on their working adventures.

4. Office decor

If they are lucky enough to have their home office, something to make it a relaxing space that helps them focus could be a great option.

Why not get them a plant or an eco-friendly candle to burn as they work?

A painting or picture for their wall is another excellent choice if you’re confident you know their taste well enough.

5. Something to keep them cosy this winter

Translators that live in cold climates all know the feeling of getting chilly at their desks during the winter months.

So most of us turn to nice warm snuggly clothes to try and stay toasty without having the heating going full blast all day.

On that note: is their favourite pair of work tracksuit bottoms looking a little ropey?

Could they do with a decent pair of slippers to keep their feet warm?

If you can, try and buy them from an ethical company that uses eco-friendly materials and pays the people making the products well.

If you have charity shops, thrift shops or second-hand shops where you are, getting something that’s been pre-loved is far more planet-friendly and far cheaper.

There are also plenty of apps out there on which you can find good quality second-hand clothes from their favourite brands.

And if you don’t think clothes are the way forward, how about an infrared keyboard heater to keep those fingers moving?

6. Something for their furry coworker

Have they got a faithful pet that keeps them company whilst they work? Perhaps a new bed or even a cute little outfit for them would brighten their day.

Again, second-hand is often best!

Another great pet-related gift is commissioning a sketch or painting of their furry friend for them to proudly display in their office.

7. Something they can eat or drink

Translators are, at the end of the day, just people (not machines). And most people love yummy things to eat or drink.

So if you’re stuck for something to get them, then some gourmet snacks they can munch whilst they work wouldn’t go amiss.

Or a bottle of their favourite wine to enjoy at the end of a long working week.

To really push the boat out, go for a hamper filled with treats.

Extra points if the food or beverage you choose is somehow related to one of the languages they speak or brings back memories of time they’ve spent abroad.

There’s also the option of getting them their favourite takeaway or cooking for them and treating them to the perfect night in. Even if they’re a foodie, they’ll love having a night off cooking.

Bonus idea: On the subject of things that bring back memories, some typical Christmas tree decorations from their source country would be an incredibly thoughtful gift.

8. Something to encourage their other interests

Work should not be the be-all and end-all, but some translators forget that now and again. So do what you can to encourage their interests outside of work.

If they have a particular hobby, get them something related to that.

Encourage healthy habits with some sustainably-made exercise gear or get them cooking up a storm with that kitchen appliance they’ve had their eye on.

Get them a book about whatever they’re geeky about (besides languages).

If they seem to be lacking hobbies, then perhaps this is a chance to encourage them to take up something new, or something they’ve been meaning to try out but never get around to.

Get them a course or a starter pack they can enjoy in the new year.

Or if you’re not entirely sure what their interests are, a book token for them to spend on whatever they like would go down a storm.

9. A trip

Right, that’s quite enough stuff.

Now, it’s no secret that quite a lot of freelance translators struggle with their workaholic tendencies. It’s one of the negatives of being your own boss.

So a great thing to give a translator for Christmas is something that will get them away from their desk.

Take them on a day trip to somewhere you know they’ll love. You could even organise even a weekend away, or make the trip even longer! Go wild (or as wild as you can on a budget!).

You could take them on a trip to somewhere they can practice their languages.

Wherever you decide to take them and however long for, just spoil them and make some memories.

10. A massage

You can’t go wrong with a massage. Go for a full-body or one that focuses on the back, shoulders and arms to get rid of all that typing tension.

Or really go for it and treat them to a full spa day.

11. The gift of organisation

We’re not going to tell you to get them a subscription to LSP.expert because, although we of course think every translator would benefit from one, adopting a new system is a very personal decision.

The translator in your life might already have their own systems and processes in place and be perfectly happy with them.

But if they’ve actually told you they’ve been wanting to give it a go, then go for it!

A subscription to LSP.expert is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

Have the merriest of Christmases.

The LSP.expert team



29/11/2021


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