Christmas lunch at Viva – John Gardam writes:

This year the YTI Christmas lunch was held in an Italian Restaurant in Leeds, Viva, 9-11 Bridge End, less than 10 minutes walk from the railway station. We were accommodated in a private room downstairs where all 27 of us could sit round one long table with sufficient room for the waiters and waitresses to walk down both sides. We had all pre-ordered from one of two menus and soon the food began to arrive. I had chosen Atlantic Prawns and Smoked Salmon for the first course. Next came Medallions of Fillet Steak and all the Trimmings with a Slice of Italian Christmas Cake to finish. There were several other choices for all three courses which all looked good. Needless to say there was plenty to drink and a couple of glasses of beer helped the food go down.

But it is not only the food that is important at these occasions. It is nice to be able to talk to other translators who do similar language combinations and to renew old friendships. Freelance translators live a solitary life at work but on these occasions the sound of conversation can be deafening. As a Trados fan it was interesting to compare notes with people who use MemoQ and Déjà Vu and hear stories of how various agencies take a long time to pay and others will pay extra for working at the weekend. Most of us have to face up to the prospect of having to buy a new computer every 4-6 years and this becomes more complicated if you need to transfer all the data you have collected from your old computer to the new one. It was interesting to discuss this with other translators.

As I walked back to the station I could not help thinking that it is at these occasions that one makes contacts that can be helpful during the coming year. Networking is very important for freelances and it is always nice to enjoy a good meal with sociable people. My thanks to the committee for organising it and to the staff at Viva for providing it.