New year quiz and social

On 12th January, our industrious events team – Holly-Anne Whyte and Alanah Reynor – helped launch us into 2024 with an opportunity to have some fun and network with colleagues during our New Year quiz and social.

Written by Hélène Wilkinson

As participants joined this popular event, the first thing that happened was that their screens exploded into fireworks thanks to the magic of Zoom, or perhaps it was really Holly-Anne and Alanah who were sprinkling a shower of colour on our computers and phones to celebrate 2024. Anyway, the wizardry set exactly the right tone.

Our hosts explained that there were two parts to this get together: a highly anticipated quiz and an opportunity to share success stories and possibly talk about future goals.

Let’s face it, the quiz was always going to be an occasion for high drama, and fun. There were loud contributions, timid suggestions, a few slightly inconvenient glitches and most importantly, time to chat with team members. The question themes – all with a link to France, obviously – favoured vexillology enthusiasts, film buffs, amateur geographers and wannabe lexicographers. And apparently, Team Six won the day, just because some clever people knew stuff!

(Mais on est d’accord, hein ? La question tordue sur les fleuves de France ne tenait pas debout ! Tout le monde sait bien que le Rhin ne traverse pas la France, il la longe, tout est dans la nuance…)

The second part of the meeting provided even more possibilities for discussions, the idea being to share the triumphs, big and small, of the past year. In one of my teams, it was great to hear from someone who had enthusiastically demonstrated her nerdishness (in the nicest possible way of course) to a potential client … they did not get back to her. Speed forward a few months and that very client, a niche agency, offered her a substantial piece of work that was both lucrative and fun. And what about another translator, who after an already long career, was thrilled to extend her skills set with a book translation? This person benefited from word-of-mouth, still a great marketing tool. For my part, I was happy to celebrate a professional partnership with a trusted colleague for cross-revision, it’s such a great way to keep learning!

If truth be told, amid the success stories and other feel-good topics, there was a sense of wariness, if not worry. Oh yes, the acronym which-must-not-be-named (AI for those of you half asleep) had reared its head. Mentions of post-editing replacing human translation, discussions of how to make decent money in this situation and thinking about the future were clearly swirling around. Nevertheless, in the teams I joined, I am very happy to report that the time used to talk about positives far exceeded the time for negatives. That’s got to be a good omen.

Voilà un événement en ligne qui donnait du peps, on en redemande !