Translation is undeniably a type of mind labor that calls for focus and miminum distractions. This is why i find it astonishingly difficult to work in cafeterias and other outdoor places -even my own home, with… my full fridge, my books, and the laundry- for  more than a few hours.

Everything can be distracting in that case. however, It can also be very lonely, especially when one is translating a big contract, a book etc. When you have set your phone to mute, vowed Not to Check Your e-mail for at least 10 minutes (that’s why you have the pop-up mail box, in case something urgent comes) and closed the door what is there left between you and the hauntigly empty word document? What can soothe your tormented translator’s soul when the work load is so much you can only hope to finish months from that moment?

Well…. Music! Music is for me the only way to keep from drowning in a sea of words and although it,too, can be distracting, a careful selection of songs – or radio station – will do wonders! It allows my mind to think but it won’t let it get distracted by lyrics and meanings. It allows it to drift for a while but never very far away. I usually prefer peaceful songs and low volume. I only turn the volume up when I’m making my coffee or take a small phone break.  I don’t mind producers as long as they don’t speak all the time and have interesting things to say.

Do you listen to music when translating/working? Does it bother you if the person next door is headbanging or shower-singing when you are trying to focus or do you just turn your own music louder on? Is music distraction for you or a sought for companion?