FlumMoxed

Of course, “flum” does not mean anything, but quite a few of us have been “Moxed”.

The purpose of this post is to get as many people Moxed as possible.

The next mass Moxing will occur at the forthcoming TriKonf 2013 in Freiburg, Germany, 18-20 Ocober 2013, where in addition to attending some excellent workshops, you will have the opportunity to buy autographed copies of the books featured here throughout the conference.

Q: How do you get Moxed?

A: You fall in love with Mox.

Mox in glorious Technicolor (R), presumably at the start of a nice big translation. This is also the first of two volumes of Mox cartoons I would recommend you buy.
Mox in glorious Technicolor (R), presumably at the start of a nice big translation. This is the first of two volumes of Mox cartoons which I would recommend you buy.

When I say you fall in love with Mox, let us be clear that I am talking of the cartoon character, Mox. Somewhat confusingly for newcomers, his charming creator, Alejandro Moreno Ramos, also goes by the name of Mox. Just one syllable, easily pronounceable in a host of languages. Clever Mox!

So, why should you fall in love with Mox? If you are a translator, falling in love with Mox is easy, because Mox is a lot like you. Mox understands you. Mox makes you laugh, because his thoughts are often the same as yours. Mox makes jokes that only someone like you would understand. (Translation: Do not buy this book for a non-translator friend.)  Sometimes, it is as if Mox is reading your mind. Plus, Mox is cute.

This last point is more important than you think. Cuteness is key to translator health.

Most professional translators spend their days being extremely serious. Intense bursts of concentration and high speed typing, demanding research combined with agonising decisions on the big issues of comma placement are all part of our normal working day – or night.

At the end of all of that, you need to look at something cute.

If you have a puppy, or extraordinary baby, or a baby tortoise, or other cute creature, then I am happy for you. This means that when your adrenalin rush from meeting your deadline finally dissipates, the production of endorphins will kick in as soon as you start lavishing love on your puppy, baby, or tortoise.

Please note at this juncture that I am not a medical translator, so if my understanding of the workings of the human body are way off base, then perhaps I need a puppy, after all. Even if you do have a puppy, one day it will lose its cuteness factor, and you will need Mox. Because he is cute. I am glad you like circular arguments, too.

Q: Why should you buy Alejandro’s books?

A1: His cartoons are good. You will laugh.

A2: If you like reading stories without pictures, you will be happy to know that Alejandro has included some fabulous short articles – also humorous – by some internationally well-known translators. Cartoons in words, if you like.

It seems to me that the cover of Mox II depicts our hero sleeping happily on his keyboard after meeting his deadline, imagining that Pam, the evil PM, really did send him an e-mail saying, "Thank you Mox for another great translation!"
It seems to me that the cover of Mox II depicts our hero sleeping happily on his keyboard after meeting his deadline, imagining that Pam, the evil PM, really did send him an e-mail saying, “Thank you, Mox, for another great translation!”

A3: In real life, Alejandro has a new Mox-let. The more the Mox books sell, the happier the Mox baby will be. And we all know that a gurgling baby is much more conducive to good translation than a crying one.

A4: One of the volumes (I shan’t tell you which) has a four-page colour splash detailing some of Mox’s most amazing episodes in his life. In that same volume, there are step-by-step instructions on how to draw Mox. I have discovered that learning how to draw Mox is an ideal ancillary activity when one is listening to ProZ virtual conferences.

A5: When you visit really boring places where you have to wait a very long time – such as the tax office, or the social security office, the doctor’s waiting room, or any other place where everyone else looks as miserable as sin – you will now have a secret weapon (or two) which will put a smile on your face. You can also fool yourself by calling it part of your Continuing Professional Development programme.

A6: Alejandro Moreno Ramos is very charming. If you keep your social media profile pic up to date, and comment on his blog occasionally, he will be sure to recognise you at the next conference. Despite being quite a shy sort of fellow, he is friendly – and accurate in identifying you by name.

Proof of translator nerdiness: In 1976, I learned that some 21% of Israelis were left-handed. That's one and a bit in five. ;)
Proof of translator nerdiness: In 1976, I learned that some 21% of Israelis were left-handed. That’s one and a bit in five. 😉

As the crowd headed towards the luncheon restaurant at the ProZ conference in Porto, Portugal earlier this year, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hello. You are Allison Wright. I am Mox. Perhaps you know me from my blog…” Perhaps?

I love Mox so much I have to restrain myself from commenting on every single cartoon posted on Mox’s Blog. If I want to say something, I have my own blog – right?

The man is famous! I am not. The groupie is being recognised by the star. Suddenly, we have entered the topsy-turvy world of cartoon land.

Why, thank you, Calvo. May I edit your speech bubble?
Why, thank you, Calvo. I bet you say that to all the girls. May I edit your speech bubble?

A7: You need a treat every now and then. When “Mox” was first published, my book budget was non existent. I had to content myself with the blog. How fortuitous that my book allowance had increased two years later to precisely the price of the two Mox books. 

I thought I would have gotten over the thrill of the messages Alejandro drew and wrote in my copies of the books at the ProZ conference in June. But I have not, so I have shared them here.

I confess that I am now a totally flumMoxed translator – not quite as charming and elegant as a good translation, but it is nice to think that I could be.

Allison

Disclaimer: Neither Mox nor Alejandro Moreno Ramos offered me any financial reward or otherwise induced me to write a single word of the above blog, unless you count Alejandro’s tacit agreement to teach me the correct way to eat jamón in public next time we meet, whenever that might be. I did it because I am incapable of translating on a Friday night.

6 thoughts on “FlumMoxed

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  1. Love this! 🙂 I’ve been “Moxed” myself for quite some time. The cartoons are simply brilliant. Thanks for this post and for sharing the pictures with us 🙂

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