Where do you live/work?
Moved from South Manchester to Hawarden, North Wales in 2014.
Are you mainly a translator or interpreter or both? What languages?
I’m a qualified interpreter having passed the DPSI Law in 2003 but have never really enjoyed it so tend to focus on Dutch<>English translation work only.
What are your specialist fields?
Probably easier to tell you what specialist fields I avoid: literary translations, and I used to avoid tourism as I always felt you needed to have local knowledge of the area described, but nowadays with the Internet, it is actually possible to have been to places virtually and know them pretty much inside out.
What’s the strangest/most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
The day after I had been talking to a new business contact about Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, this new contact phoned me that he had been approached by an agency who had gained a huge contract to work with the Covey Inc. company to have all their workshop materials translated into Dutch! Because of our chat the day before, he wanted to pass this huge project onto me! And to be able to do the translations properly, I was invited to attend all their seminars as a participant for free and they put me up at the hotel in Warwickshire, all expenses paid too. A dream come true!
Tell us about a particularly proud moment in your translation career:
From 2001 to 2008 or 2009, I always had students in translation over from the Netherlands for 5-month work placements. For several years, I also had MA students from Salford over to learn about business skills for running a freelance translator’s business. I am still in touch with all of my work placement students today, having built some great friendships between us over the years. I loved their company at my home office, their fresh approach and outlook, keeping me focused, up to date and on my toes with their draft translations and proofreading and revision feedback.
Tell us two reasons why you like being a translator/interpreter:
Firstly, I love the variety of my work and being introduced to all sorts of specialised and sometimes really random subjects along the way, often in patents, and secondly, all the people I have met through my work over the years, most of whom I am still in touch with today.
What is the most interesting place where you have lived/visited?
In 1990, I moved to Greece with the intention of living there permanently, but the employment/salary situation was very tricky in those days, and I would have to pay almost two months’ salary to pay for a return flight home to see family and friends, and I just couldn’t do it… How times have changed with FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom/Teams, and economy airlines ?
What are your plans for professional development or a new field you’d like to work in?
New technologies…to stay up to date and continually improve the services we provide. I used to teach Trados and Déjà Vu (DVX) to NWTN colleagues and to MA students at the University of Salford for many years, but I fear I may be lagging behind the times now, as I took a bit of a backseat to develop another line of business and to spend time with my step-sons from when they were 5 and just 8.
Tell us something not many people know about you:
I teach four Pilates sessions a week; two at a gym in Chester and two at my local Community Centre. One is a class targeting Runners to develop their core strength and flexibility and the other one is a general Pilates class for any person with a human body.