Translator of the Month
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Translator of the Month

EthnoLink's Translator of The Month award is our little way of saying thank you and recognising the efforts of the professionals in our industry. Our translators take pride in their work and deliver to a high standard each and every time. To every recipient of this award - thank you for your tireless efforts.

Each month we interview our award recipient to find out a little bit more about them both professionally and personally - fantastic insights!


March Translator of the Month - Davor


1. What languages do you translate from?
I translate from English to Croatian and Croatian to English.

2. Why did you decide to become a translator?
Initially it was by necessity - my parents needed a lot of help settling in Australia. It is only later that I found it more interesting and challenging as a profession. Since then I helped a lot of both in Australia and overseas.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of being a translator?
I would say the most rewarding aspect is assisting people with their needs and making them truly happy. I enjoy seeing positive outcomes as a result of my input.

4. What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
The most challenging aspect would be unrealistic deadlines. I see translating as a creative process too. Sometimes it is hard to find the right word/concept during the first reading. Sometimes, a few more hours is all that is needed.

5. Have you had a particularly interesting translation project that you would like to tell us about? 
I have two – one would be translation of a short novel from Croatia (that was a long time ago). The second would be translating a very interesting scientific article into English. The subject of chemistry is close to my heart…

6. What industries or areas would you consider to be your expertise in translation? 
I have been involved in almost all areas. However I find scientific, medical and legal areas to be the most interesting to me.

7. What changes have you noticed in the translation industry since when you first started?
I am finding there is a lot more competition in the industry. There are a lot more small agencies around. It will be interesting to see if they are still around in a few years.

8. What are your thoughts on the role of technology in the changing landscape of translation?
There are two aspects: technology helping translation and technology being used to replace an academically trained translator. I think the first aspect is the most beneficial aspect not only for translators but for other knowledge workers as well. The second aspect of machine translation I am finding very interesting. I have been involved in quite a few projects that were initially machine translated. There is no substitute for a proper human translation. Machine simply cannot convey the colour and the style of language – not yet, anyway.

9. Do you have any advice for students who are considering a career in translation?
The first advice would be to read a lot and to develop their linguistic skills. With technology taking over our lives more and more every day there is a concern with young people not being able to express themselves. The second advice is to be organised. Translating profession will challenge a young person both linguistically as well as from time organisation point of view.

10. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I mostly spend time with my family. As a Rotarian, I also devote my spare time to making the world a better place for all of us.

 



February Translator of the Month - Inke


1. What languages do you translate from?
German into English and vice versa.

2. Why did you decide to become a translator?
German and English were my favourite subjects at school, and I have always been a book worm and had a love for written language. I stumbled upon translating as a career more or less by accident, when I was asked to correct a translation for a tourist brochure while I was working in England as an assistant teacher, and realized that this was something I very much enjoyed doing and was actually pretty good at.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of being a translator?
Finding just the right translation for a complex expression is always a thrill! I also love getting an insight into a great range of professional fields and different topics when doing the respective translations -- it never gets boring!

4. What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Probably exactly the same as the most rewarding -- finding the right translation for an idiomatic expression can be a challenge, and sometimes there is no "perfect" translation. Many jobs also require me to familiarize myself with a whole new professional jargon, which may take time, but, again, is also part of what I most enjoy about translating.

5. Have you had a particularly interesting translation project that you would like to tell us about?
One very interesting one was about 40 pages of a Phd-thesis on transport and logistics; another one I will never forget was a Red Cross report on the fate of a missing soldier in WW2, which made for quite harrowing reading. A particularly challenging one was a long drawn-out inheritance dispute, which taught me that it is near impossible to get a straightforward answer out of a lawyer!

6. What industries or areas would you consider to be your expertise in translation?
I'm pretty versatile and really take on any type of translation. I probably have most experience with personal documents, but also academic and legal translations.

7. What changes have you noticed in the translation industry since when you first started?
I can't really tell, since most of my projects are relatively small-scale, but I would say that there have been great changes in the way software is used to assist in large-scale translations.

8. What are your thoughts on the role of technology in the changing landscape of translation?
Like I said above, and for me personally, the internet has become an invaluable tool -- online dictionaries and access to other translations on websites like linguee, for example, but also instant access to a great range of professional fields and vocabularies which previously has not be possible in that manner.

9. Do you have any advice for students who are considering a career in translation?
Any language is a manifestation and an expression of a certain culture -- it is essential to not only know a language, but also its culture to be a good translator. It certainly helps if you have lived in a country where a language you are translating into or from is spoken, used that language in your everyday life, made it your second nature. I'd also recommend reading widely and any sort of material.

10. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Reading, going for walks (preferably on a nice beach, if I get the chance), travelling, swimming, playing board games with my kids and watching Sci-Fi shows and movies. Oh, and visiting family and friends in Germany when I get the chance!