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Tell us about yourself. How long have you been working as a translator? Are you a freelancer or do you work for a company? Where have you studied? How did you find out about our community?
Lets seeI started translating in September 2006. At the time, I was studying Spanish and Russian at the University of Maryland (go Terps!). On our campus, there was a program for students proficient in Spanish and English to help out interpreting at the Medical Center. Thats where it all got started!
After graduating in 08, I started freelancing and have been doing it ever since.
Our Translate for Life project is based on the principle of pro bono. Why did you choose to help people this way?
My first experience translating was on a volunteer basis, and it was one of the most rewarding things Ive ever done. Communication is something that can make or break an effort to help those in need. When I found out about this opportunity, I simply couldnt pass it up. People share their gifts all the time; I figured this was a great way to share one of mine.
Could you, please, share your experience of taking part in our projects? What have you discovered about Russian charity? Have you changed your view on charity? Do you think that charitable translations helped your professional development?
This is kind of a funny question. Finding out about Future Actually and the programs we support has been an eye-opening experience. I grew up with stereotypes, and have been learning that thats all they are stereotypes. Taking part in this group has been one of those things that really put to rest any lingering preconceived notions I had about Russia in general, and served as a reminder that people are people, regardless of where they are or may be from.
In terms of career, helping out Future Actually serves as a refresher for me. After a while, working solely because you need a paycheck can mar the experience of translating. Its still enjoyable, but having a purpose-driven motive recharges the batteries and helps (me, at least) better appreciate the skills Ive worked for.
The members of our community are united not only by a desire to help, but also by their profession. How do you understand, what it means to be a translator?
All I can say is that translating is not a mechanical job. Being a translator is about understanding language, culture and content.
I am a curious person by nature, and for me, one of the most interesting parts of the job is researching the topic of my source material and learning about things I would rarely even have an inclination to read about. So, when a job comes in for a translation of a new medical study, I may have to do a lot of background research on the topic before I can begin, but thats half the fun.
Every day we meet new words. Moreover, to translate often means to find an appropriate word. As translators, we can say that we care about words or even love words. Could you please tell us about some words that you love (from any language you know)?
I would say I discover a new word that I love for a variety of reasons weekly, especially when the etymology is interesting. Nevertheless, I have an affinity for single words that best represent basic concepts (which we seem to leave out in modern English). For example, Übermorgen in German means the day after tomorrow. Do we have a word for this that is used in modern English? Overmorrow? Nope! in Russia. A person who doesnt really care. Someone can be apathetic, they can even be indifferent. But do we have a word like that in English? Nope.
Usually professional translators more often criticize than praise their colleagues. Is there a translator whom you can praise?
This is a toughie. For better or worse, I dont know many people in the field. What I will say is that I deeply respect translators of poetrynot just any poetry translator though. I am always deeply impressed by translators who are able to maintain or recreate rhythm, culturally modify imagery and preserve the tone of the author.
If you are a member of our community, its likely that you love your job. However, perhaps, you have something that you also love to do in your free time. Tell us about your hobbies.
Hobbies are great and wonderful things. That being said, it doesnt usually take much to get me interested in something new. More constant hobbies of mine though, besides language study, include playing the trombone and guitar (poorly) and I have also been known to juggle once in a while. Additionally, I love to cook!
Is there anything you would like to wish our community?
2 words: Get em! The program is doing a wonderful thing, and I do wish it many years of continued success.
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