Open road interview series: Eszter Lelik. Interpreter, translator, winner of a new car 2

Eszter Lelik

Eszter Lelik is the subject of this latest installment in the Open road interview series. Eszter is an English to Hungarian interpreter and translator from Hungary, and was also the grand prize winner of a new Nissan Juke. Her win was announced on 10 January, 2017 in a live broadcast from headquarters in Syracuse. Congratulations, Eszter! On to the interview:

Q. First, the most important question: Where’s the first place you will go in your new car?

Well, I wish I could go on a longer trip with the new car but this is a very busy season for me as interpreter and translator so I can think in terms of a short ride only. So I decided to go to Lake Balaton and visit some friends there.

Q. Now, from your website I see that you have over twenty years of experience as a translator and interpreter. What kind of changes have you noticed in your work and in the industry during the course of your career?

In the course of the past 23 years as it is quite understandable many things have changed. When I started my career, a few years after the political transition here in Hungary, very few people could speak and did speak foreign languages. There was a high demand for interpreters and also for translators in my case, as I worked at that time at one of the Big 6 companies mainly due to the privatization processes where all the documents had to be translated into English. Now, more than 20 years later a new generation grew up, these young people, or rather their parents, realized the importance of foreign language skills so the majority of them speak English, but quite often a second foreign language as well. The multinational companies use English as their corporate language (even if it is e.g., a German company), thus the need for translation has greatly decreased. Nevertheless, considering my specific areas of expertise and the fact that I am doing mainly simultaneous interpreting, plus working not only in English but also in German, I am optimistic about my personal perspectives.

Q. You’ve interpreted for some impressive brands and organizations. What do you find most rewarding about your work as an interpreter?

To become an interpreter has always been my dream. Now, more than two decades after the start of my career I am still certain that I have the best job in the world, at least the right one for me. I like independence, intellectual activity, constant learning, and travelling, always meeting new and interesting people. I have worked for/with famous politicians, celebrities, artists and I sometimes I am amused by realizing that most of them have already disappeared from the public life, from the stage, and I am still here.

Q. Are you optimistic about the future of the language industry?

In my previous answer I have mentioned already what I think of my own future, the future of my career. To be quite honest I am not optimistic at all concerning the future of the language industry in general. With all the translation memories, interpreting gadgets and the obsession with saving money on everything to the detriment of the quality, I think in about 10 years’ time lots of translators and interpreters will be left without any assignment, or paid much less than today.

Q. The theme of this campaign was ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?

Open Road for me means new challenges, opportunities and many new things to explore.  I think in our profession constant learning has to be the first priority. Thus, for me, deepening my knowledge in some specific areas, like medical and legal areas, is very important. Learning the use of CAT tools would be also necessary and also modernizing  my website is there on my agenda.


Thanks Eszter for your time, and congratulations once again!

All interviews in the Open road series can be seen at

5 Translation Conferences you might attend in 2017 2

Pieter Beens is a freelance translator and copywriter working in English to Dutch, and a frequent guest contributor to the Translator T.O. 

In this post, Pieter takes a look a few upcoming events for translators in 2017.

January has already come to an end. It’s February now and the conference season is about to start. In this article I present to you 5 translation conferences you might attend in 2017. They’re presented in order of date, so this overview can still be helpful if the first few are already past.

The benefits of attending a translation conference

Translating generally is a silent job. Many of us do not regularly meet clients or colleagues in daily life. At the same time it can be difficult to cope with all the changes in the industry or simply have a fresh view on what you’re doing or using day after day. Visiting a translation conference can be a good idea then. They offer you opportunities to meet like-minded colleagues from all over the world. As the conference often takes two or more days, there are a number of sessions, combined with some great relaxing opportunities. So there’s always something to take home for every participant: if you don’t like one presentation, it is compensated for by another.

And then there is the networking part of conferences. During conferences you’re drawn into discussions with forum members, fellow participants and providers of industry-leading software or tools (who in many cases sponsor the organization of the conferences). So don’t forget to take your business cards and networking apps, and exchange your details.

Translation conferences to attend in 2017

EliaTogether, February 23-24, Berlin

EliaTogether is one of the biggest industry events in the European Union. Together is hosted by Elia, the European Language Industry Organization. It is held in a different city in Europe each year. This year it will take place in Berlin on February 23 and 24. The programme contains sessions for translators and interpreters, as well as for freelancers and agencies. Last year more than 300 participants were present, so it will be a huge event.

Registration is still possible. Rates are available at


Translation and Localization Conference, March 24-25, Warsaw


The Translation and Localization Conference in Warsaw is unique. It hosts 350+ guests from all over the world (last year there were 30+ nationalities). The programme is both aimed at translators and interpreters. The TLC is held in Novotel Hotel in Warsaw, a great place to stay with a multitude of options to relax and enjoy great presentations. The location is good as are the facilities.

The TLC is organized by a couple of volunteers from the translation industry. They succeed each year in setting up a great event with several interesting tracks. Visit for more information.


BP17, May 4-6, Budapest


The Business and Practice Conference in Budapest is a yearly event that is aimed at freelance translators. It is organized by a translator and hosts a schedule full of masterclasses and business related presentations. All professionals that have a say at the conference are people with real hands-on experience as a translator. They therefore share their own knowledge and experiences, which makes this conference great for starters who want to learn more as well as for seasoned translators that want to network and share knowledge. The BP conference is also a kind of promotion for Hungary as the organization offers plenty time to learn to know the capital of Hungary.

Check out the full schedule at


FIT Congress, August 3-5, Brisbane


The International Federation of Translators hosts a conference every two years. The flagship conference will happen this year again. It welcomes translators, interpreters and other industry professionals to have their say about disruption and diversification.

The call for papers is still open, so you can try to secure your spot for hosting your own presentation at


ATA58, October 25-28, Washington D.C


ATA58 is the 58th conference of the American Translator Association. It will be held in Washington D.C. this year. Each year the organization chooses a different location, but all conferences have in common that they are beyond spectacular. It is a typical American conference in that it is big and bold. There is room enough for networking possibilities, while there are also opportunities to meditate, fitness and relax.

During the conference there are options to pass the ATA examination, and the presentations are full of information for translators and interpreters alike.

If there is a chance, tries to host its own conference each year. In the past the company held conferences in Rotterdam, Stockholm and other interesting cities. The conference is organized by volunteers from the massive translators and interpreters community with support of This year’s conference is still unknown, but if there will be one it would certainly worth to visit with it’s great sight-seeing and networking opportunities and hands-on knowledge sharing.


Other translation conferences in 2017

Of course there are many more translation conferences to be held in 2017. They are spread over the whole world and have varying knowledge levels, networking and relaxing opportunities and price tags. Visit an overview of translation conferences in 2017 at

Translators, interpreters, musicians: language professionals who make music, part two 13

Several readers wrote in after the first post showcasing language professionals who are also musicians. After entirely too long, here is part two.


Mark Bossanyi is a Bulgarian and French to English translator whose other tools of the trade are the bayan (accordion) and the accordina. Here he is with his Sofia-based band Swing Regime:

Check out more from Swing Regime on their website:


Leonardo Ledesma, an English to Spanish translator hailing from Córdoba, Argentina, is the drummer for the band Santa Kim. Here they are performing on television:

Found out more about Santa Kim at


Julia Escobio is also from Argentina, La Plata, and when she is not translating from English to Spanish, she is singing in her band Laberinto:

Julia is also a drummer. You can see more about Laberinto here:


Oliver Minck works in English to German. He is also one half of the duo Wolke, whose fourth album was released in 2012:

Oliver is now working with his new band, Die Sonne, due to release their first album this coming August:

Incidentally, Oliver won a recent translation contest, Poetry with a tune: translation of lyrics, in English to German, where the challenge was to translate the Kris Kristofferson song “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”

Find information from and about Wolke at

And stay up to date on Die Sonne at


Martina Kunst is a Barcelona-based Spanish and English to German translator who is also a singer-songwriter, plays guitar and harmonica and who, together with band mates Milton and Xabier, recently started the band Airstone:

You can hear more from Airstone at


Itzik Greenvald-Mivtach translates English to Hebrew, plays bass, and is in not one but two bands. Radiator has been playing since 2004 and has recorded two albums to date:

Itzik’s other project, 443, was formed with his wife and has been going for the past four years:

See more from Radiator at


Gilles Bel Ange, Spanish to French translator, plays bass and keyboards for the Paris-based band Tazieff, whose first album is available now:

Check out more from Tazieff here:


Joseph Lambert is a French and Italian to English translator and long-time guitar player. Here he is with his cover band Icarus:

Joseph also writes his own music, which you can hear at

You can see more from Icarus too at


Finally, this next musician is not a translator, but he works for translators. You might not know this, but’s own Drew MacFadyen is better known as SweetLips MacFadyen in musical circles, for his serious SkillZ on the harmonica:



Well, I hope you enjoyed this one, and thank you to everyone who wrote in to share their stuff. I had a lot of fun going through and listening to everything, and I am up for a part three to this series if you are. You can reach me at I’ll leave you with a translator-musician classic, without which a list like this would not be complete, Sharon Neeman‘s “5000 Words”:

Have fun. Test your skills. Win prizes. The annual translation contest is on now. Reply


As of this writing, there are already 114 entries and 65 language pairs in the annual translation contest for 2014.

The theme for this contest is Celebrations. Five different source texts are available, and more may be added if suitable texts are proposed or found. Submissions last until July 31st, but don’t wait until the last moment to submit your entry!

An added feature of annual contests are the prizes. All winners receive a winner’s ribbon and certificate for their profiles, of course, but in addition, the following prizes will be awarded in a drawing held from among the winners:

  1. An expenses-paid trip to the conference of your choice (1 winner)
  2. A Dell laptop (1 winner)
  3. An iPad (3 winners)
  4. A 1TB external hard drive, to back up all of your data (5 winners)
  5. A coffee mug, to put on your desk or other flat surface (10 winners)

On top of that, a prize drawing will be held from among all voters in this contest, and the member selected will win an iPad mini. In total, there will be 21 prize drawing winners.


To see more information on this contest, see the forum announcement:

Or you can go straight to the contest, check out the source texts and start your entry:

Translators, interpreters, musicians: language professionals who make music 1

The newsletter for January featured a short item on translators who are also musicians. You can see the newsletter in the archive, here:

Several people wrote back to share what they are up to musically in response to the newsletter, and I thought it would be fun to share that with you here, along with the two translator-musicians (or musician-translators?) who were originally featured. As you will see, there is a wide range of styles represented here, and a lot of talent!


Berni Armstrong translates from Spanish to English, and resides in Spain. He was a long-standing member of the first site moderator team. Here he is performing his song “No Tengo Marca”:

He has also posted a translated version of this song, “Brand Name Blues.” You can see this and many more of his songs here.


Amy Duncan translates from Portuguese to English, and lives in Rio de Janeiro. Here she is performing with her band, Brass Tacks:

Amy is also the author of Getting Down to Brass Tacks: My Adventures in the World of Jazz, Rio, and Beyond.


Rick Treffers works in Spanish to Dutch and also lives in Spain. He has eight albums under his belt, the most recent of which contains fun songs like “Spain is different”:

You can see more from Rick at


Stefano Lodola resides in Japan, and translates Japanese, Korean and Chinese to Italian when he is not performing as a tenor and also teaching:

See more about Stefano and his new album, “Musica Scolpita” at


Jennifer Harper is a sign language interpreter in the US who also sings for the band Crimson Juliet. Their single “Insanity” is set to appear in an upcoming short film:

You can see other songs by Crimson Juliet at


Karen Henry works in Spanish to English and is currently the president of the Translators and Interpreters Association of Jamaica. She also plays the piano:


Peter Kozak is an Spanish – English translator based in Chile. Here he is on the guitar in a piece titled “Dimitri’s Lament”:


Charlie Woodward is based in the US, translates German to English and has had a long and eclectic career in music, working with some big names and also on his own.

You can check out more of Charlie’s songwriting, singing and music at


Derek Brockett is a Spanish to English translator who lives in Mexico and rocks like this with his band Medio Eskeleto:

You can hear more of Medio Eskeleto at and you can see Derek’s solo material at


If you’re not on this list and you should be, contact me at I’d be happy to put together a “part two” to this post.

Radio interview about Translators without Borders with Enrique Cavalitto (Spanish) Reply staff member and Translators without Borders board member and Translation Workspace Director Enrique Cavalitto was interviewed today on Argentine radio regarding origin of, and the work being done by, Translators without Borders in support of humanitarian causes around the world. If you speak or understand Spanish, the interview is only 21 minutes long and well worth a listen.

Interview with Enrique Cavalitto about Translators without Borders, Radio Maria, January 23rd, 2014

Click here to listen:


Click here to download: Enrique_Cavalitto_TwB_RadioMaria_23-01-14

(right click and “Save as”)

Source: Radio Maria