CONNECTIONS No. 1

cambrensis

The Standing Out Mastermind magazine

T H E U N I V E R S E & T R A D O S

B Y H A N N A H D O Y L E

The musings of Jean-Christophe Dumaud

Lowering himself with a creak into the buttery

warmth of his chair, Jean-Christophe prised open

the lid of his laptop and gazed out the window as

he waited for the decrepit machine to rouse itself

from its weekend slumber. Outside, a little brown

bird was hopping its way over a hedge, and the

cherry blossom was swaying against a

promising sky. Another morning, another day at

the word factory, another seven hours at the coal

face of human communication.

As his trusty IBM workhorse whirred into action,

he muffled a sigh. Double-clicking on the Trados

icon, he relaxed into the software’s three-minute

start-up time, allowing his mind to wander to the

grandchildren he had watched frolic in the

garden over the Easter weekend, the soft pink

lamb he had served up, the new potatoes fresh

from the vegetable patch, the aborted egg hunt

that had turned into a rain-sodden game of

Scrabble at the kitchen table, the laughter, the

heavy silence that had settled across the house

as various family members had piled back into

their Méganes, the evening alone with the sultry

tones of the Radio FIP presenter and her New

Orleans jazz special.

Trados was up and running now, he had no

excuse. Pushing his bowl of hot chocolate to

the side, Jean-Christophe shuffled his mouse

through the collection of folders he had built up

over the past decade, carefully rejecting some

far-flung memory of an era of typewriters and

brown paper packages arriving in the post, and

trips to the library. He checked his Google

calendar. That was it: 2337 words, a

manageable amount and simple enough text for

some godforsaken English seaside town’s

tourist board. Why they thought they needed a

French translation of their paltry facilities and

self-deluded grandeur (“the world-renowned pier

[…] gorgeous, windswept landscapes”) Jean-

Christophe didn’t know, but his job as a

translator was to endlessly plough on, and if

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