The cool thing about a translator's job is that you get to learn about things that you wouldn't normally have any interest in. Things that not only you wouldn't think to pick up, but things you'd actively reject given the opportunity.

Anyone can pick up a new book or even read a Wikipedia article to learn something new, outside their usual ballpark. But translating stuff has this neat effect of kinda "forcing" you into curiosity. And it can be pretty neat.

I've pretty broad (if sometimes shallow) interests. I try not to have narrow interests, and I like to learn.

But working on translations, I've learnt bits & pieces about 20th century sculptors and what drove the creation of their art. About railway privatisation in Britain & what a shitshow it was. I now have some knowledge about composite materials designed to withstand extreme temperatures. Recently, I've translated a few books about stage magic.

None of that I'd likely study on my own.

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