We all know that one of the main issues that most translators have to face is feeling isolated from a community of colleagues or missing the nice chat you can have in an office (you luckily miss nasty things too, but let me get to the point). Basically, you feel very lonely, especially when you are stuck in front of a terrible term or your CAT tool is just refusing to co-operate and export that urgent project.
Mailing lists are an excellent way to tackle some of these issues! With the internet not only competition has become global, but also support! This means that mailing lists can help you almost 24/7 since it is very likely that someone is reading you right in the middle of the day, even if it is almost midnight in your time zone.
There are mailing lists related to languages, such as Langit (an amazing mailing list for translators and interpreters working into or out of Italian), but also to CAT tools or topics. Although it might not be so easy to spot them in the Wild Wild Web, I do believe they are an invaluable source of information, opinions and sometimes even jobs.
Do you need information on how to invoice a new client outside the EU? A new translation agency has contacted you and you would like to know what others’ experiences are? Are you looking for English-Russian online glossaries about agriculture? Would you like to here others’ opinions about that new CAT?
Although mailing lists should not be seen as a way to avoid doing research, they have significantly broaden my horizons and I know feel part of a community, rather than a lonely translator. And have you ever subscribed to a translation- or interpreting-related mailing list? What are your opinions about it?