Afrikaans transcribing, yes, typing in Afrikaans!

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Hello everyone, from a very cold and wintry Johannesburg. Who can believe temps of 14 deg Celsius in summer! I’ve my winter clothes out again.

Today I feel I have surpassed myself. Late afternoon yesterday, a client got hold of me and said that she had a transcription for me and please would I pull out all the stops to try to get at least some of it back to her as the gentleman being interviewed actually passed away this week and they would like to use some of the transcript for his memorial service.

Of course, I couldn’t say no to that, and anyway I’m not in the habit of saying no to my clients. I will always go the extra mile to try to meet a client’s requirements, and so I said “of course, send it along”.

I received it. It was 198 minutes of Afrikaans transcription.

Now … I sat there contemplating this. Yes, I’m an English speaking South African, and usually when I start speaking Afrikaans, Afrikaners speak back to me in English. But my vocab is not bad, I’ve recently begun working on my Afrikaans again and in fact I reread Dalene Matthee’s book “Fiela se Kind” last week, in Afrikaans. And the client only asked for a portion of it back this week and she said that I can have 10 days to complete the rest of it. Ordinarily my first thought with Afrikaans work is “outsource it”.

But to be honest, I like the Afrikaans language. I find it poetic and descriptive, and since rereading Fiela se Kind I find I actually think in Afrikaans. So I thought, I’ll take this on. I may only get through 10 minutes of it, and if so can always outsource it, but let me give it a try.

I’ve faultlessly typed 30 minutes of it (without a spell checker, I might add – the lack of Afrikaans spell check options is a whole other potential blog post) and I’m in the happy position of being able to tell my client she will be able to have at least an hour of it if not more before Saturday. And here is the moral of the story:
Don’t underestimate yourself. Try things. Have a back up plan in place, but trust yourself and try things. Your clients will appreciate this.