Emailless Friday

Apparently, today is “Emailless Friday” here in The Netherlands. A day that was introduced a couple of years ago, to reduce people’s workload and stress level. But can I be frank? I really don’t have any need for this day. For me as a translator, email has significantly lowered my workload and stress level!

With a hint of nostalgia, I look back upon my first job, where the fax machine was annoyingly rattling on the background all day long. We had to rely upon couriers to deliver translations to external translators and clients in time, either as hard copy or on disk. Even domestic clients involved much more work, so you can imagine the stress levels when working on international projects: the larger the distance, the bigger the challenge.

Today, I just switch om my computer every morning, and messages from different time zones all over the world appear in my mailbox, right next to messages that literally came from further down the road.


Another fascinating memory: in college, we has special “research classes”. We were given a question by our teacher and had to find the right answer in the college library, searching through rows and rows of books. All the while, the clock was ticking away our precious minutes. Would we be able to find the answer within the given timeframe?

Okay, technically that has more to do with the Internet in general, not specifically with email. But still: nowadays my browser gives me access to many, many more references in just a split second. It has been years since I have seen the inside of an actual library. The fact remains that over the past 20 years, digitisation has made my work as a translator much more relaxed. And that is something that I am fully aware of on this so-called “Emailless Friday”.

So thanks, but no thanks: no emailless Fridays for me. Please feel free to end me all of your messages, from all over the world. I will get back to you at my earliest convenience, even today!

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