Where do you live/work?
I am lucky enough to live in the Lake District about a mile from the bottom tip of Windermere, in the North West of England.
Are you mainly a translator or interpreter or both? What languages?
I am a freelance Russian, German and Dutch to English translator. I offer translation, transcreation and localisation services primarily, although I do a little subtitling, teaching and project management on the side.
What are your specialist fields?
Prior to moving to the translation industry, I worked for 11 years in the packaging industry, using my languages to build customer relationships with global brands, offering advice on brand image, global consumer trends, and sustainability requirements. I spent my time in both the sales and marketing department, so for this reason, my main areas of specialism now lie in corporate communications, B2B and B2C marketing materials, manufacturing, sustainability, and education. In addition to the above, I always jump at the chance to use my skills for sports and music projects, where I have a personal interest.
Tell us two reasons why you like being a translator:
First and foremost, the variety of work is greatly satisfying. I love learning about new companies, technology and niche subjects. It allows me the opportunity to keep learning and never to feel bored. Every day is very much a school day.
I enjoy resolving particularly tricky translations and seeing the effect that a good translation can have, especially when that business goes from being a local enterprise to standing proudly on an international stage.
Finally, I love the freedom that translation gives me. With a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old it is important for me to be flexible with my work. I also hope that we will be able to live abroad in the Netherlands for a year or two, once the Covid-19 situation has calmed down. I would love for my children to gain a solid grasp of Dutch in a similar way to myself (I was brought up bilingually by a Dutch mother and an English father).
What is the most interesting place where you have lived/visited?
I lived in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 2008 to 2010. The city encapsulates all that made me choose to learn Russian in the first place: incredible history, literature and culture, magnificent music, beautiful architecture, and the famous Russian Soul (‘russkaya dusha’). I experienced so many amazing opportunities, such as enjoying the White Nights from a rooftop on Nevsky Prospect, to being invited to travel for two days and nights on a ‘party train’ for a skiing trip in the North of Russia. Above all, I forged relationships with friends and colleagues that still hold strong today.
What are your plans for professional development or a new field you’d like to work in?
I have recently completed a website and app localisation course, so I am really excited to be using the skills from this course in my work. There is something deeply satisfying about working on websites – maybe it is to do with the fact that your work is so prominent and (hopefully!) useful to other website users.
This week I also learnt that I have received a bursary for the Bristol Translates Summer School. I am over the moon to have the opportunity to learn from some of the best names in literary translation. I can’t wait for a week of learning and networking with other professionals in July.
Tell us something not many people know about you:
I am a classically trained musician (oboe and violin) and studied for two years at the Rimsky Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire in Russia.
I am also a keen outdoor swimmer and swam Coniston Water a few years ago to raise money for Mountain Rescue. When my business is a little more established and I have more time for training, I would like to swim the length of Windermere.