By Adriana Adarve – Owner of Adarve Translations
Since I was a little girl I have heard my Aunt Mary telling me, “Go slow… We’re in a hurry!” I confess that, at the beginning, I could not really understand what she meant by this. Of course, I was a little girl and my comprehension of many things was quite limited.
As life went on, the same saying continued turning in my head, and another similar one also made its appearance into my vocabulary—namely, “Dress me up slowly… I’m in a hurry.” I can only assume this particular saying had more to do with long gone times, when men had valets and women had maids to help them with their dressing routines before leaving their dwelling to pay calls or go to the ball. Though we are not helped into or out of our clothes by valets or maids anymore, the saying is still widely used in my family and country.
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching television and saw a commercial where great advantages were being offered by a service provider, but only if the prompt “Hurry! Call us right now to get this great offer,” was followed by the viewer.
It is not only on television that we see this kind of messages asking us to hurry and do something. Or even statements declaring that such or such company can offer us better and higher quality services faster than the next one. The phone companies and cable service providers are amongst the first ones to come to my mind right now: “Get faster Internet service from us than any of our competitors can ever offer you, and, to throw in a bonus, we’ll charge you half the amount any provider will ever charge you!” Isn’t that what we hear over and over again on TV, the radio and any other media out there that assaults our senses on a daily basis?
It was in this way, hearing yet another commercial that announced faster this or faster that for half or even less than half the price offered by their competitors, that my aunt Mary and her saying came back to my mind once again.
But what does this saying really mean? What is it essence? Interestingly enough, I think a lot of people will actually say that the saying makes no sense at all. After all, if we are in a hurry, shouldn’t we hurry up instead of slowing down? Hmm, probably, but it all depends on the results we wish to obtain, doesn’t it?
“Go slow… We’re in a hurry” actually seeks to teach us that if we remain calm in life, even when we think that for whatever reason we actually need to hurry, if we don’t become desperate, but rather remain relaxed and don’t hurry our actions and behavior, then we are bound to do things right, and we will avoid making the mistakes we wanted to avoid in the first place. By not remaining calm and collected, by hurrying things up, making mistakes becomes unavoidable. As a result, we then have to retrace our steps or actions and start all over again in order to correct those mistakes. What we wanted to accomplish by hurrying things up takes then, unfailingly, double or triple the time and effort that we intended to save from the start.
It seems to me that our efforts to always seek to get more for less, including more things done in a record time—faster installation of anything in the home, be it electrical or not, faster learning of whatever it is that tickles our fancy, faster healing, faster growing of plants, faster money-making schemes, faster breeding of animals, and even faster rearing of children—has become an evil plague of our modern times. The list goes on and on, not only at home, but also in an ever increasing number of industries.
The translations industry, unfortunately, doesn’t escape this rapidly expanding tendency of our modern world to always hurry things up, the ever increasing tendency to request translations in a record time, for the least amount of money possible, but always with the highest quality, a quality that only conscientious, non-hurried work and dedication can really produce.
More than once in my entire career as a translator, but never more so than in the last couple of years, have I had several requests for translations to be done faster, cheaper and with the highest quality expected in the field. These requests for faster—or rush—translations are becoming more and more common as time goes by.
Nowadays, people are always in a rush, always running here and there to get more, to “accomplish” more, and to fit more things into their already hectic lives in the least amount of time. Running, rushing and running some more, even if in the end we don’t really know what we are running for or why we are really rushing so. The more we run, the less satisfied we end up being, and the more we need to rush in order to fulfill the emptiness or the questions left answered by our first rushing attempts.
At Adarve Translations we much rather follow Aunt Mary’s advise. We simply tell ourselves, “Go slow… We are in a hurry!” By working in non-rush mode, we pride ourselves of producing high quality work at the normal pace required of our highly professional collaborators. Of course, we can produce faster, or rush translations as well, if that is the absolute request of our clients, but, knowing the risks involved when rushing through things, knowing that the risks of making mistakes and then having to go back to correct said mistakes don’t really go hand in hand with the competent, high quality work we want to offer our clients, we much rather follow aunt Mary’s advise and go slow, even if we are in a rush!
I believe that Aunt Mary’s advice, “Go slow… We are in a hurry,” goes very well hand in hand with Lao Tzu’s teaching, “The slow overcomes the fast. Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.”
Wishing you to slow down now,
Adriana Adarve, Asheville, NC
About the Author: Adriana Adarve is the owner of Adarve Translations and is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish & French), as well as pluri-cultural, multi-cultural, plurilingual and multilingual.