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 Glossop on the edge of the Peak District where I work from home. You may also find me working in Manchester from time to time with other NWTN coworkers.
Are you mainly a translator or interpreter or both? What languages?
I translate from French and German into English.
What are your specialist fields?
I mainly translate marketing texts and corporate communications for a variety of sectors, such as automotive, manufacturing, transport and tourism.
As it’s still early in my career, I’m working on developing my specialisations. I’m particularly interested in the environment, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and “greening” industry and commerce.
What’s the strangest/most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
I once translated texts for a car museum that focused on historic Formula 1 and Le Mans races. I wouldn’t consider myself a petrolhead by any stretch, but my partner is a big F1 fan so I’ve watched many a race and visited a couple of specialist museums. Soon I found that I had assimilated more terminology than expected, and I was surprised by how much I was enjoying the translation. The text allowed for some fun racing-themed turns of phrase, plus it put all of my second-hand knowledge to good use! It was also a pleasure to have an expert in the house to mull over phrasing with.
More recently I’ve translated projects on everyday tips for living sustainably and being environmentally friendly. I always enjoy these kinds of texts; I get to see a different perspective on the topic and learn about interesting initiatives in other countries.
Tell us about a particularly proud moment in your translation career:
That would be reaching my one-year anniversary of full-time freelancing at the start of this year. I’d been careful to choose the right moment to take the leap from part time, but after a successful first year of going it alone, it’s hard to believe that I ever waited so long! I definitely felt my confidence grow over the year, and it was exciting to finally make plans and set goals without anything else in the way.
Tell us two reasons why you like being a translator/interpreter:
I know it might sound cliché, but I adore the learning process involved in translating. There are so many interesting titbits that you pick up from research or from the texts themselves (which can come in handy as someone who likes a good pub quiz!). Plus with German texts, there’s bound to be a new, wonderfully logical compound noun to learn.
I also love the collegiality among translators. Whether it’s enjoying their company when coworking, sharing translation tips or business advice, their willingness to help or just their all-round friendliness. I do enjoy working on my own at home too, but it’s nice to feel like you are a part of something bigger.
What is the most interesting place where you have lived/visited?
I lived in Vienna for a short while during my year abroad in a somewhat quirky arrangement. Some days I’d be au pairing/teaching at a summer language camp for kids on the outskirts of the city. Other days I’d be completing small tasks in a law practice which also doubled as my accommodation! The space included someone else’s private apartment and the law office. My room was technically part of the office, which served as the only access route to the other facilities. There was at least one morning when I had to make my way past employees to go for a shower whilst still dressed in my pyjamas…quite the experience!
Vienna is the most interesting place I’ve been to in general – the history, architecture, art, food, green spaces, etc. I can’t recommend it enough!
What are your plans for professional development or a new field you’d like to work in?
As mentioned above, I’m still building up my specialisations. There are a few MOOCs that I’m looking to sign up to on sustainable cities and using Big Data for the environment. I’m also looking forward NWTN’s own upcoming creative writing workshop.
Tell us something not many people know about you:
I performed at a Carnaval de Venise classical guitar and mandolin concert when I lived in France. What’s more, I had never played classical guitar before arriving six months prior! I only knew how to play electric guitar, which was no help as the two styles are completely different. Having never had formal music lessons either, I didn’t know how to sight-read, so I didn’t really have any transferable skills for it. That meant I was put in a class for beginners alongside children and retirees – not what I’d had in mind when I thought about meeting people and practising my French! In the end I was very proud of myself for doing it and overcoming stage fright to perform to an auditorium full of strangers.