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May 22, 2007

How to feed Translating Brains?

(Edited by freelance Chinese translator li – English to Chinese or Chinese to English translation services)
Goal of this article is to provide information about what a translator should eat to increase his/her brain performance. We spend more time on eating than thinking. Ironically, our ability to think and/or learn are strongly related or determined by our diet. Our daily diet can determine how fast we think or how productive we work. Not to mention that our health is only a result of our diet. Simply the old saying, also as a slogan of Eric Schlosser in his book Fast Food Nation “You are what you eat”, advices us that we should be careful on our eating.

Everyone of us has likes and dislikes. That is true for our food as well. Yet small changes in our diets or by organizing our diets we may decrease our stress and increase our productivity support our learning, memorization and remembering the things we learned before.

Translators are busy thinking a better word or expression of original text. So often we look at dictionaries. It is more likely to search a word repetitively and find out at the end that we knew. The reason of not remembering can be a lack of focusing, unproductive learning, our stress at the time of learning or at the time of search etc. Researches advise us that we can minimize negative effects of this situation and let our brain perform better than it is used to.

Dietitians or better living experts say that breast milk has the necessary elements to support our brain development and immune defense. Unfortunately an adult who was not fed with breast milk can not repeat that chance. That does not mean that he has no other chances to support his brain function or increase productivity while eating natural healthy food.

Let’s look at some of the good food that so often we neglect. They say that cabbage does have an effect on thyroid activity. It slows down the speed of this tiny gland. Therefore it is somehow related maintaining lower stress in our daily life. Who does not want a life with no stress?

Although most of us drink coffee to wake up or to think better, yet it is known that high amount of sugar or coffee in our stomach make us nervous. Any translator who drinks more coffee than he eats fruits or vegetables risks his health and also minimizes his performance.

Red pepper or paprika, banana and strawberry are food for happiness. Most of the nuts such as walnut, hazelnut, pistachio etc. are very functional on strengthening our brain and facilitate the communication between our nerves. Shrimp, onion and peanuts are also food that is said to have similar roles.

As a diet, vitamin C resources (most fruits and vegetables), and fatty acid resources –especially Omega 3 fatty acids- such as shrimp, avocado, fish are good for someone who is trying to memorize long amount of text in a short amount of time. Blood circulation and the amount of oxygen that our brain receives through this circulation is also important. Cucumber, lemon and onion are known to be diluting our blood in circulation. The dilution of blood facilitates blood intake of brain and so intake of oxygen. As a result our brain functions better.

The above suggestions are not only for people of our profession but for everyone. But I thought it will be far more logical and important for us to know the type of diet that improves our brain function, allows us to think sharper since we, the translators, are continuously working-thinking machines.

I hope the above hints help you to maintain your well being while you continue to translate and think sharper many years to come.

from:Nizamettin Yigit(an Dutch to Turkish translator)

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