We will publicise a member profile every Monday here on our website, on our Facebook page, on Twitter @NWTN_UK and on LinkedIn. We are starting off with the committee members, but we hope you will all join us in this opportunity to share a little about yourself with your fellow NWTN members.
Where do you live/work?
I live in my hometown of Lancaster. It is a beautiful place to be. From my back bedroom window, I can see magnificent Morecambe Bay and the mountains of the Lake District behind. My ‘office’ is my front bedroom – from where the view is not so picturesque!
Are you mainly a translator or interpreter or both? What languages?
Translator only – French & Spanish to English.
What are your specialist fields?
Travel and tourism, education, art and culture, documents of a creative nature, sport and leisure, promotional materials, journalism, general correspondence.
What’s the strangest/most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
– A pitch for a revolutionary new bra design! I’ve no idea whether it was successful!
– I also once spent a very pleasant afternoon doing a virtual tour of a town in France which I had never previously visited. I was translating the script for a human tour guide and was able to check all the descriptions of buildings, directions, etc. by following the route on Google Earth. It made me want to visit the town in question!
Tell us about a particularly proud moment in your translation career:
This was at the very beginning of my career, when I was thrilled to be asked to translate the brochure and website of Wallonie Tourisme in Belgium. It was a big and somewhat daunting project so early in my career, but the deadlines were generous so I was able to devote plenty of time and thought to it. Although I was not credited by name, it was exciting to see my work on their website and to receive a few hard copies of ‘my’ brochure in the post.
Tell us 2 reasons why you like being a translator/interpreter:
I came to translating from a background in teaching, having taught French and Spanish to A-level for 19 years. What immediately struck me on joining the translating and interpreting community was the positivity and genuine love of their job which everyone has. It’s a far cry from what I was used to in my previous career. Translating obviously has its stresses, but I love being able to actually get a job finished, tick if off as done and then move on to the next one. It is also great to be able to say ‘no’ occasionally and to have the flexibility to arrange my work myself.
Translating also enables me to use my languages at a much higher level than in teaching and offers me so many opportunities to learn new things. I particularly relish the translation challenges thrown up by texts of a creative nature and enjoy cogitating and experimenting with different ideas until I finally have that ‘Eureka’ moment – although that may sometimes be during a coffee break or even in the bath!
What is the most interesting place where you have lived/visited?
During my time at university, I spent my year abroad in Belgium, in a small town in Wallonia. It was very interesting to live in a trilingual country and observe its linguistic and cultural diversity. I was fascinated by how, when travelling along the motorway, the city of Mons could simply disappear from signs to be replaced with ‘Bergen’, and that Anvers is actually Antwerp! I was also intrigued by the Walloon language, so I used to put my other Romance languages to use in reading the weekly Walloon section of the local newspaper.
If I had to pick one very special place, it has to be Flåm, in Norway. The experience began with a spectacular train ride which took me down to the little village which is at the tip of a fjord and surrounded by mountains. It was like another world, the most peaceful and awe-inspiring place I’ve ever been – a million miles away from the stresses of the modern world.
What are your plans for professional development or a new field you’d like to work in?
My next step really has to be sitting the MITI examination. I’ll have to make that a New Year’s resolution for 2020!
I’d also like to learn more about literary translation and try my hand at that.
Tell us something not many people know about you:
During my teaching career, I taught Beccy Barr (a recent news presenter on BBC North West Tonight) French to A-level.