When a source text gets boring…

Let’s be honest: not all source texts are engaging and keep you on the edge of your seat. Even if it’s your area of specialty or your favourite subject, sometimes you just can’t get through it without yawning. Especially, when an originally interesting content suddenly becomes boring and you can’t bear it anymore. Well, there is a way to go about it and ignite more interest in a mundane source text.

First, it can be helpful to give rein to your imagination and try to visualise the content in more vivid surroundings. You can, for example, take your long financial report out of the context and place its content in an unreal situation. It could be a cartoon with fantasy characters who use a secret code to communicate with each other. A random listener hears financial terms only, whereas the characters decipher real meaning and adventure hidden behind the encoded message. Sounds distracting? Well, it can be just a 2-minute exercise that will not divert your attention from translating, but simply change your approach to the text.


                                                                                                                                                                                           (Photo by Y. Arrahil)
Another thing I like to do to revive my boring texts is to imagine the text in a real life situation. I try to picture how the reader and the author look like, what they are doing while reading, what resources they are using to write the text, what are their interests, professions, how they will use the information from the text, how the content will change their way of thinking. This little exercise shows the effects of the text, its actual usability and can turn even the most repetitive text into an interesting piece.

If all this seems too absurd, a short break or good music may be helpful to make a text more interesting. However, this can be less effective and less amusing than methods number one and two above. After all, you never know what works best for you until you try it.

Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.

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