Or “Up to which translation lists should I sign?”, if you’re a pedant and ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which you will not put. All of them! Well, at least those in a language you understand. But how do you manage so many messages and find the time to delete them all? Well, I don’t bother. I have them all go into a Gmail account, which has so much space I won’t have to delete anything for years — possibly forever. You can see that I have thousands of messages in my inbox. And if you look at the list of messages below, you will see that most of them I don’t even open. I just quickly scan through all the messages with my eyes, and open those that I think will be of interest to me.
The other great thing about this system is that you create a huge database of information that you can consult at any time. For example, if a new translation agency contacts me, I can search all my messages to see if there are any comments about the company. Recently I was doing a job with QuarkXPress, and I was searching for some information about the programme. Anyway, I came across a message that I hadn’t read before saying that version 5 of the programme was going free with a computer magazine in the UK. I now have the programme, which I never would have required if I had deleted messages from lists.So, create a Gmail account for your lists, then start signing up. For a start, go to the translation category at Yahoo! groups. Then search in Google for other lists. If you work with — or understand — at least one Romance language, why not sign up to PANROT, a list I created this week. Just sign up for as many as you like. You don’t even have to sign off when you go on holiday, since they won’t get mixed in with your other e-mails.
I should thank one of my most respected translation colleagues, Xosé Castro, who unknowingly gave me the idea of setting up a separate account for my lists when I noticed that in the messages he sent to translation lists, he used a different e-mail address to his main business address.