How can we communicate in a world that forces us to be apart?

pictureAs I write this, the Portuguese Government has just announced the enforcement of a sanitary fence in 3 municipalities, where more than 200 000 people live. I look out the window and see parents waiting outside the kindergarten, waiting for their children, keeping a respectful distance from each other. We’re communicating. We’re communicating that we can’t get close, that we need to be careful, but that we still have a family that we need to take care of.

Being apart is also communication. Our body communicates through what we say, but mainly through what we don’t say and (don’t) do.

I am fortunate to live with a wonderful family, thus enjoying regular close contact and affection, also from my family nucleus. The absence of hugs and kisses, so dear to my culture, for over 6 months, makes me feel increasingly isolated from others. This is also communication; every time I don’t hug, I don’t kiss, I don’t give a handshake, I’m communicating that I care about that person and that that person cares about me.

But, in reality, we are not that isolated. With our Zoom conferences, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger group chats, family lunches where, despite being away for a few meters, we continue to mingle, to chat and to share with each other what it means to be human. Deep down, we continue communicating.

What attracts me the most about translation, and what leads me to have a passionate interest in the area, is precisely that we, as translators, facilitate communication between people and cultures, although separated by thousands of kilometres, allowing them to understand each other.

We continue, without breaks, to translate our clients, to allow the world to continue to communicate and, in this way, not stop. We take the necessary precautions, some of us from home, others from the office, as needed.

We know that we are facing a period of uncertainty, which makes us look to the future with apprehension; we cannot predict what lies ahead, but if we continue, with certain precautions, social distancing, to communicate that we are still close, then we will emerge winners.

And we are here to help you.

Diogo Heleno, Operations Director