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Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:21

Bluebird is still flying, but from home

Given the current state of things, Bluebird is currently and until further notice quarantined and working from home, not only to protect ourselves but also to protect people at risk. Following the government’s advice, we’ve been working from home ever since the first confirmed cases in the Netherlands were reported.

Remote work is in Bluebird’s DNA, it’s a core value of our business (that’s why we chose the name of a migrant bird as our company name, because it really resonated with us, as we love spending periods of time in Spain, our homeland, as long as we adhere to just one golden rule: making sure there is always one bluebird working from the office in Amsterdam) and now, more than ever, we are seeing how our digital corporate culture has become crucial for tackling an uncertain future.

This, which has been our way to do things since Bluebird started, is the present and will probably be the future for other “more traditional” companies, which due to this situation have had no other choice but to reinvent themselves and find a way for their employees to work remotely without this affecting they way they conduct their day-to-day activities. Our two pieces of advice for (translation) teams that suddenly find themselves obliged to work remotely are these two programs: Slack (an instant messaging platform with different channels to bring order to team communication) and Trello (a visual board that helps you to organize translation projects). We will explain how we use them in our day-to-day in a future dedicated blog entry.

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The potential impact that this crisis will have on the translation industry is still unknown, but rest assured that we continue to work just as hard as always and are making the most of our quarantine, as now we have plenty of time to pursue further training in our fields of specialization thanks to the online resources available. We have already enrolled in a couple of online courses, such as this interesting management practicum on Trados Studio, and we’re also planning to expand our knowledge on medical translation, which seems a good option for post-corona times.

Should the workload become lighter, we will have precious time at home to spend it with our loved ones, chat and talk to those far from us, to reconnect with friends, to tackle those items on our to-do lists that we never have time for and to explore new (at-home) hobbies. May all humanity become more united after all this crisis is over and more conscious about the reasons we might be here on earth. We have no doubts that better and sunnier days will come.

Stay healthy and stay home!

 

We all know that "What happens under the mistletoe stays under the mistletoe!"

This year, Bluebird has thought about all the kisses you will give (and receive!) during the holidays. That's why we had these Bluebird lip balms made specially for you to make sure your kisses are extra soft and as sweet and spiced as Dutch speculaas cookies!

Every year around November, we start brainstorming about what kind of gift to give away to our clients, coworkers, collaborators, friends, and relatives. And this year we decided to have this cute lip balms made with a lovely image on them of our beloved street in the Jordaan.

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Celebrating the birth of Christ Child in this way has become an annual Bluebird tradition. In 2018, we made these Christmas lanterns. In 2017, we sent out the  Bluebird test tubes with Belgian chocolate powder. In 2016 Marrit van Natten created a watercolour painting of our office building, while in 2015, we recorded our (hit) instrumental cover of Silent Night. In 2014 we sent jamón serrano of the highest quality all over the globe, including to Japan, the US and Singapore, and in 2013 we had handcrafted notepads made from recycled materials. Last but not least, in Christmas 2011 our clients enjoyed our Bluebird-branded Belgian Pralines.

So we at Bluebird would like to wish you a Merry Kissmas and a Happy Healthy Lip! :D

what happens under the mistletoe stays under the mistletoe
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Friday, 28 December 2018 10:29

Bluebird Lanterns for 2019!

This Christmas season we have created these lanterns—based on the Amsterdam houses design used on our business cards by MO DESIGN and featuring the façade of our office—and are sending them out to our clients and collaborators in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, UK, US, Malaysia, and Japan.

This is the 6th year that we have prepared something special for Christmas. Last year we prepared these Bluebird test tubes with Belgian chocolate powder. In 2016 Marrit van Natten created a watercolour painting of our office building, while 2015 was the year of our instrumental cover of Silent Night. In 2014 we sent jamón serrano of the highest quality all over the globe, including Japan, and in 2013 we made handcrafted notepads out of recycled materials. 2011 was the first time we used Belgian chocolate in our Bluebird-merchandised Belgian Pralines.

All the best wishes for this coming 2019!

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 12:30

Wishing you a sweet start to 2018!

Christmas is an important period of the year for us. At the beginning of December our office displays a Christmas tree, Nativity scenes, stars and colorful lights. In the last week of the month we usually leave Amsterdam to spend some time with our families and friends in Spain. Over the years we have shared our Christmas spirit with our clients and collaborators and have written about this on our blog.

In 2016 Marrit van Natten created a watercolor painting of our office building, while 2015 was the year of our instrumental cover of Silent Night. In 2014 we sent the highest quality Jamón Serrano all over the globe, including Japan, and in 2013 we made handcrafted notepads out of recycled materials. 2011 was the first time we used Belgian chocolate in our Bluebird-merchandised Belgian Pralines.

This year Belgian chocolate has again been the main ingredient in our gift. We filled these cute lab test tubes with authentic Callebaut dark chocolate powder. Our sweetest wishes for the New Year!

 

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 13:18

Bluebird Translations turns 10 years old!

LinkedIn gave us a pleasant surprise a few days ago: I was suddenly getting personal messages and comments on our profile because LinkedIn had posted that it had been exactly 10 years since Bluebird was born. And it has indeed been 10 years since I first registered the business at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, after two years working as an in-house translator in the Netherlands.

Since then our team has grown along with our experience, and so has our portfolio. All this growth has also allowed us to fulfill our dream of sharing our beautiful office space in Amsterdam city center and transforming it into a hub for local translators working in various languages.

Thanks for all the anniversary wishes and for your trust in our daily work.

10 years

Monday, 26 December 2016 12:55

Merry Christmas and the best for 2017!

This is the Christmas card that we've sent this year to our clients, collaborators, family, and friends. The original design, based on our (UNESCO-protected) office building, was done in aquarelle by Rotterdam-based artist Marrit van Natten. You can check out her beautiful artwork at her website.

 

Our best and most sincere wishes from the heart of the Jordaan, Amsterdam, where Bluebird keeps growing along with the community of professional translators with whom we share our work space.

 

Actually, in 2017 we'll have to celebrate our 5th anniversary since Bluebird Translations moved to this office. Stay tuned to this blog for more info on the best summer BBQ in town :)

 

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this coming 2017 
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 13:18

A Bluebird Flies to Rwanda

And comes back..! From mid-July to mid-August, I was using by French skills by volunteering in a community of nuns belonging to Spanish Congregation Religiosas de San José de Gerona.

With 35 people living there currently, their community in Guitarama is the largest in the country. It’s a training community where they receive and instruct nuns-to-be.

The purpose of my visit was to take part in the training by giving two workshops, one on computing and another on guided reading of The Little Prince. I also served as interpreter for other workshops given by a Spanish-speaking instructor.

The experience was quite complete. It included a whole array of emotions ranging from joy to sorrow, but above all it included kindness. Not a single moment passed when I didn’t feel at home.

Here’s a link to the blog (in Spanish) that we wrote during our trip.

 

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015 12:31

Channelling our Christmas Spirit through Music

Our office has always had a guitar, but the cello only became part of the team three months ago, when María first started learning. This video is the result of a few hours we managed to steal from the office clock. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed shooting it. (Thanks to Mr Frank and StreamMyEvent for the logistics!)

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016!

P.S.: Our new "slogan" is right at the end of the video ;)

 

A few months back, I interviewed Josep Condal from ApSIC on the new commercial version of Xbench for the ITI Bulletin, As a follow-up to that, I recently had the opportunity to exchange some words with Michael Farrell, the translator behind IntelliWebSearch. We talked about the origins of his beloved tool and the innovative features of the new version 5.

PDF version

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 If you are based in Amsterdam or you know any fellow translator based here, you might find our set-up interesting or want to let others know about it, so please feel free to spread the word about our project.


We are a small international community of translators sharing a beautiful office space in the Jordaan, strategically located between Haarlemmerdijk and Brouwersgracht, only a 10-minute walk from Central Station.
The office is located on the commercial ground floor of an amazing 17th-century building that houses an art gallery and other office spaces on every floor.


We have 2 full-time desks available at the moment. The space can accommodate up to 7 people. I started it with some freelance friends a couple of years ago, and of the 5 people we now have, 4 of us are Amsterdam-based translators with different language pairs (still no Dutch-native translator on board!).


Featuring:
- Your own big desk
- 24/7 access
- In-room meeting table
- Access to an independent meeting room upstairs
- A work environment, which is concentration- and client-friendly at the same time
- Personal storage space
- High-speed Internet 120MB download - 6MB upload (wired and wireless)
- UPC Kabel Digital TV
- Kitchen
- Multifunction printer
- Occasional Jelly events
- Bathroom
- Cleaning service
- And, last but not least, a helpful knowledge-sharing community of experienced, savvy translators around you


The rent for the workstation is 214/month including service costs and excluding BTW. Obviously this quantity is both deductible for Omzetbelasting and Inkomstenbelasting, so the price we end up paying is actually much lower. It involves a deposit and a flexible 2-month agreement (either of the parties can cancel at any moment on 2 months notice).

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