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: http://swingregime.com/

 

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 http://www.santakim.com.ar/

 

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: https://www.facebook.com/rock.laberinto

 

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 ProZ.com 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 https://www.facebook.com/pages/WOLKE/336068287599

And stay up to date on Die Sonne at http://sonnesonnesonne.tumblr.com/

 

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 https://soundcloud.com/airstone

 

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 http://radiator.bandcamp.com/

 

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: http://tazieff.bandcamp.com/

 

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 https://soundcloud.com/jofish88

You can see more from Icarus too at http://icarussounds.co.uk

 

Finally, this next musician is not a translator, but he works for translators. You might not know this, but ProZ.com’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 jared@proz.com. 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

Celebrations_banner_04_2a

As of this writing, there are already 114 entries and 65 language pairs in the annual ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com 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: http://www.proz.com/topic/267338

Or you can go straight to the contest, check out the source texts and start your entry: http://www.proz.com/translation-contests/43

Looking at the Bright Side of Freelance Translation: An interview with Nicole Y. Adams​ and Andrew Morris​ 6

bright_sideSome translators live in a world full of problems. It can sometimes seem as if things are very grim indeed, and it’s tempting to sit idle, whinge and complain.” Such is certainly not the case for freelance translators Nicole Y. Adams and Andrew Morris. In preparation for their upcoming e-book, The Bright Side of Freelance Translation, the two have been gathering feedback from fellow freelancers on the positive aspects of working in the industry. In today’s post, I had a chance to speak with Nicole and Andrew about The Bright Side of Freelance Translation, the motivation behind the project, and, based on the responses they’ve received so far, if they envision a bright future for the translation industry.


MK: First things first: How did you two get started in the translation industry?

AMI started out as a language teacher then a teacher trainer, spending 20 years in education, but as I moved up the ladder and found myself one day at a desk-job at the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh, I realised I had strayed too far from the things that make me tick. A change in life situation also meant it was time to reassess. Some bright spark suggested translation, so I applied to do an excellent online distance course while still in Bangladesh (focusing on the art of translation itself rather than the business side) and found I was hooked. The day I arrived in France in May 2009, I had lots of enthusiasm but no clients, no leads and a CV that was totally empty.

NYA: I originally studied law, but realised fairly early on that I wasn’t meant to be a lawyer. I went on to study linguistics, politics and history, and worked in corporate roles for a number of years. Then in 2003 I stumbled across an ad by a translation agency looking for a document to be translated, which I was promptly tasked with after contacting them. At that point, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a ‘translation industry’ and that you could make a living from translation. But once I had completed that first translation (and the cheque, much to my delight, had promptly arrived in the post), I was hooked immediately and started to do a lot of research – and I mean a lot!

I built my business part-time for a couple of years and took the plunge to full-time once my part-time earnings were higher than my income in my full-time job at the time. After a couple of years in the business, I flew to Germany to take the state exam as an external candidate in order to become a certified translator, because I thought it was important to back up my practical experience with a recognised qualification. Today, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but translating.

MK: What prompted the creation of The Bright Side of Freelance Translation, and how did you two decide to collaborate on this project together?NYA

NYA: Last year I published Diversification in the Language Industry, which features almost 50 translators from all over the world. When I read their contributions, it struck me how successful and content they were with being translators, and how different their (and my own) experience was from the many horror stories and complaints I was reading in translator fora and mailing lists every day. It seemed that the negative experiences, which no doubt exist, were given so much more attention and air time than the positive aspects of our profession that the new generation of translators was at risk of getting the wrong impression altogether. I felt strongly that more focus needs to be given to translators’ positive experiences and success stories to demonstrate that translation is and will remain a very viable career, and that it is up to us to make that happen.

When Andrew burst onto the scene at the end of last year, it was clear immediately that were on the same wavelength and that he shared this positive outlook and can-do attitude. We decided that something needs to be done to give a voice back to those content and successful translators who do not identify with all the woes we hear about every day – and the idea for The Bright Side of Freelance Translation was born.

AM: For this we need to fast forward 5 years to 2014. I think it was a natural coming together of like minds. We both noticed each other in the virtual world. I’d bought Nicole’s book (see above) and had already begun to experiment with diversification, particularly in the area of what might broadly be called training, exploring the idea of webinars and making frequent posts on the Watercooler forum on Facebook. Nicole picked up on what I was posting and felt we were on the same page. We then got in touch initially just to express that shared attitude. Over the weeks it began to develop into a need to balance out what seemed to us to be a dominant focus (in certain quarters, if not in the heads of most translators) on problems and complaints.

MK: What kind of response have you received so far from the translation community about this project?

NYA & AMThe response has been overwhelmingly positive. Many translators have made very encouraging comments on various fora on Facebook, Linkedin (including the ProZ.com group) and Twitter. There seems to be a shared sense out there that our hunch was right, there is a need for an alternative voice and many translators have felt, so they say, underrepresented in the vital virtual fora because of the predominance of prophets of doom.

On the other hand, there have been criticisms too, and we welcome those, as they help us to reposition and clarify what we are doing.

One such criticism has been to compare our project to some kind of ‘Disney’ approach, ignoring very real problems and painting everything in bright and infantile colours. While useful, such comments display a fundamental misunderstanding of what the project is about. At no point does it attempt to say there are no problems. What it does is to focus on solutions and the empowerment of individual translators to position themselves as agents rather than victims in their own lives and start to make changes in their attitudes and their working practices.  

AMMK: What do you two hope to accomplish through the Bright Side project?

AMThe initial aim has already been achieved. To give a voice to a more balanced approach to our job which celebrates the freedoms, the privilege of being to work with a tool we love (language) and on fascinating texts. Momentum has been generated and I think a certain balance has been restored even at this early stage, in the collective mindset. Even commentators who have previously thrived on pointing out the downsides of translation are now forced to position themselves in counter-distinction to something, rather than simply ruling the roost. They may still criticise the project of course, but they cannot ignore it.

The forthcoming e-book will further crystallise the project and represent a collective project which focuses attention on what can be done. It’s the result of a considerable investment of time by all the contributors and of both time and money by Nicole and me. But it’s free of charge of course, as we felt it was important to avoid any accusation of making money out of this. The ultimate reward is the groundswell of support and the profile the project has achieved already.

NYA: It is important to reverse the current trend towards negativity and doom and gloom. We want to showcase the success of many of our colleagues and share their positive approach to the profession. We certainly don’t want to sweep problems under the carpet, but simply complaining without taking any action to resolve the matter is pointless. We’d like to focus on solutions to challenges freelance translators may be faced with at one point or another in their career, and foster a stronger community spirit. I feel strongly that it is important to support one another, share information and most of all maintain a positive, professional vibe in our industry. I would like clients to look at translator fora and be impressed by the professional discussions, positive outlook and mutual support among translators, rather than witness in-fighting and endless complaints about themselves (the clients), because this is potentially damaging to the businesses of freelance translators anywhere.

MK: Some might say that rates and other working conditions of freelance translators today are not under their control. Do you think that is true? 

AM: No I don’t. My own experience in 5 years, having started out with an empty CV, has shown me that ultimately, everything is under your control. It is certainly true that there are agencies out there which are unscrupulous, cheap and bad payers. And that there are bulk market industry players which impose low rates. But the beauty of freelance life is that you are free to choose whether or not to work with such players. I can’t speak for translators in China or Egypt, where conditions may well be different, but the vast majority of translators we interact with are in Western or Westernised countries, and they have choices to make. It may take time: you cannot set up on Day 1 declaring you will only work with premium clients. Or rather you can, but you need a healthy bank balance as you establish yourself. But as you learn the ropes, and assuming (and this is crucial) that you are good at what you do, everything from your clients, your rates, your specialisms and your working practices are up to you. The problem, it seems to me, is that for reasons which go way beyond the translation world, a number of translators are unable or unwilling to realise that. Facing up to the choices you have to make entails facing challenges, taking responsibility for your own actions and realising you are in control, which isn’t always comfortable, as there’s no-one left to blame once you head down that road.

NYA: Absolutely not, unless you choose to work for fly-by-night ‘agencies’ (or rather ‘translation brokers’) at the bottom end of the market who are focused on nothing but price. For anyone else, that is professional translators, rates and working conditions are entirely up to them. As freelance translators, we are professionals who set our own rates, and clients are free to take them or leave them. The biggest problem lies within our own ranks. It is not the big, bad agencies who drive prices down, but our colleagues who are willing to accept low rates or even offer them on their own accord.

Just recently, a colleague here in Australia quoted a very reasonable $40 for a certified certificate translation, and the client declined, proudly stating that another translator had quoted only $15! So who is to blame here, the client or the other translator? That’s why ‘colleague education’ is so important, and I feel The Bright Side is a step in the right direction, as it shows new or doubting freelance translators that it is possible to charge decent rates and work in favourable conditions. Sometimes it just takes the courage to go for it – and reading about others’ success stories might just give them the nudge they need.

MK: Do you see a bright future in translation for freelancers? If so, what indications do you see of this?

AM: I see a bright future for freelancers who realise the power they have in their hands and work hard on their skills, knowledge and attitudes. Translators who take risks and are prepared to face up to challenges, even despite occasional setbacks, will always survive and even thrive, as those are life skills which transcend any bright_side_1particular industry. We need to be aware of changes, to move with the times, but above all we need to focus on the freedoms, the ability to make decisions, the autonomy that we enjoy. To be freelance is a great gift. It’s a maverick position and it’s a power to be respected, not thrown away.

NYA: I am convinced the future will be very bright for those colleagues who position themselves appropriately in the market and establish strong reputations as specialist translators in a certain niche. Generalists will fall prey to the increased level of automation, the crowdsourcing and the decreasing focus on quality at the low end of the market that we have started to see. But specialised translators who present themselves strongly and forge long-term relationships with companies and boutique agencies will become very sought after and enjoy thriving businesses. Translation buyers will appreciate the high-end service at the top end of the market and be willing to pay for it. As Andrew said, it is up to us as individual translators to rise to the challenges along the way and recognise that success lies in our own hands.

MK: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in translation?

AM: I’d say for the first year or two, take on a variety of projects. Try out different clients and agencies and see what fits. And use the plethora of advice available on the fora to find out about going rates, practices and taboos. And then, when you begin to find your feet, start to shape your job so that it begins to reflect your own unique and individual situation, needs, skills passions and inspirations, working towards the point where your job is a close reflection of you, and where you enjoy what you do on a daily basis.

NYA: I’d recommend gaining in-house experience first; preferably not as a translator, but as a translation project manager to learn all the tools and tricks of the trade, or in your (future) area of specialisation (e.g. as a marketing assistant if you plan to specialise in marketing translations). It’s also essential to do your research and read as much as you can about running a translation business. Today there is no excuse, as there are so many fora, courses and mentoring schemes for freelance translators all over the world. I’d also start networking, and join a professional association and attend its events. Then of course it’s a couple of years of very hard work to establish yourself and build a solid client base. In my experience, the key is to gather testimonials from happy clients as soon as you can. After that, look after your existing clients and try to form long-term relationships. This will allow you to reject any offers that are not in your area of expertise, that don’t match your rate expectations, that come from clients you don’t gel with, or that you simply don’t feel like doing. The result will be a thriving business that you love, with very happy clients.


bright_side_1Learn more about The Bright Side of Freelance Translation by visiting http://www.brightxl8.com/

You can also contribute to the project by sharing examples of your own positive experiences as a freelance language professional here: http://www.brightxl8.com/#!contact/c11m6

Guest blog post: “Videogame translators: 4 simple tips for a great LocJAM competition” by Alain Dellepiane, team GLOC Reply

Today’s guest post is written by Alain Dellepiane of team GLOC in preparation for an upcoming event in videogame localization called LocJAM 2014. In this post, Alain shares some tips on how videogame translators can use their time to stay up-to-date about what’s going on in the industry. 

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As you might have heard, LocJAM 2014, the first global game translation contest is ready to start this 5th of April 2014.

Anyone with a computer and internet access to the locjam.org website will be able to participate in order to translate a small open-source game from English into French, German, Italian, Japanese, European Spanish or South American Spanish.

It doesn’t matter if you are still studying, you have little experience or you are a long time professional: everyone is free to join and there are no entrance fees.

15+ of the largest game localization agencies in the world will then nominate their favorite and everyone will have a chance to win yearly licenses for translation tools, which is always nice.

Of course, your language skills are better than ever, but did you have the chance to prepare specifically for games?

The videogame industry is remarkably fast moving and, in order to be competitive, you need to dedicate part of your time to keep updated on the latest trends and developments. Here are a couple of recommendations: you might not be able to do all of them in these last few days, but you might discover that training for videogame localization is easier (and more fun) than you imagined.

3 minutes per day: online news sites

A long time ago, gaming websites used to be amateurish and unreliable. Not anymore. Online magazines have gradually taken the role once reserved to their paper counterparts, and can now boast the same level of professionalism and support from publishers.

With online readership constantly on the rise, websites tend to multiply and diversify. On one end of the spectrum, we have official sites like the PlayStation blog with obvious promotional aims. On the other, trade websites like Develop geared towards professionals. Anything in the middle will have a different balance between hype and information.

With time, you will probably find your favorite news source but, as a translator, you should try and read a bit of everything. After all, the vapid copy of some promotional websites could prove a goldmine the next time you need to translate some packaging, while the jargon in trade pages could allow you to decode the latest puzzling instructions from the developers!

10 minutes per week: let’s play videos

Let’s play videos are an increasingly popular form of playthrough. Very dedicated fans with screen recording systems play one game from start to finish and offer their running commentary while doing it. The result is then split into small episodes and uploaded on Youtube. Nowadays it’s fairly easy to find videos for all major titles, even in their localized versions. All you need is a quick Google search like “call of duty” ”let’s play” ITA or ”pokemon” ”gameplay” german. If you are feeling courageous after that, you can jump into the maelstrom of Twitch.tv. Good luck!

I will not hide that some of these videos are absolutely cringeworthy, but the benefits still manage to outweigh it.

    • While they can’t replace playing a bit on your own (more on this later) these videos are the easiest and fastest way to know a title, especially if you aren’t very skilled with its genre
    • You will have an insight on how the game is played and enjoyed by its audience
    • If you are (un)lucky enough to find a title you have localized, the video can turn into a focus group of sorts, with your solutions constantly tested (and commented) by real and unaware targets.

Obviously, the opinions in these videos belong to a dedicated minority but, taken with a pinch of salt, they can help you to build a better text for everyone (and will allow you to say, with a pained sigh, that you really do listen to your audience).

Note: if you feel that hearing one more whiny teenager voice might sink you into madness, try watching professional videos like Unskippable or Eurogamer’s previews instead.

2 hours per month: playing demos

As a videogame translator, your text is not only meant to be read, but to be used. Your words will become cogs of the game mechanics and it is your duty to have at least a basic understanding of how they work.

Playing a large number of complete game is not always feasible for a full time translator, but with an Xbox360 or a PlayStation 3 and an internet line you can simply download hundreds of localized demos for free, from all makers and genres. Each takes at most two hours to finish, and will give you a clear insight on the mechanics and terminology of that genre.

One day per year: attend a game show

Freelance translators tend to have busy and hectic lives. Making it even more hectic just to attend a game show seems hardly worth it.

We know; every year we make an effort to attend our local shows and every time our quality of life plummets.

Why do it, then? To be part of the industry. For the whole year you will be just a tiny speck in the far borders of gaming. For one day, go to the core and soak up the culture. It will make the rest of the year much much easier!

Thanks for reading and see you all at the LocJAM 2014 competition!

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Thanks to Alain for sharing this guest blog post with us. For more information about LocJAM2014, you can visit the event’s website at http://www.locjam.org/

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

The ProZ.com newsletter for January featured a short item on translators who are also musicians. You can see the newsletter in the archive, here: http://www.proz.com/newsletter/201401

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 ProZ.com 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 http://ricktreffers.com/

 

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 http://www.stefanolodola.com/

 

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 http://www.reverbnation.com/crimsonjuliet

 

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 http://www.charliewoodward.com/music.html

 

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 http://medioeskeleto.bandcamp.com/ and you can see Derek’s solo material at http://derekjoebrockett.bandcamp.com/

 

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

The ProZ.com community choice awards: Translators Anonymous 4

community_choice

The first annual ProZ.com community choice awards were hosted earlier this year, with site users selecting the most influential language professionals who are active in various media throughout the industry. Nominations were separated into two main categories, translation-related and interpretation-related, and included sub-categories like conference speaker, website, Twitter account, and mentor, to name a few.

You can see the full list of sub-categories and their winners here: http://www.proz.com/community-choice-awards

In this interview series, ProZ.com will feature a few of the outstanding linguists who were recently announced as the winners of the 2013 community choice awards.

Translators Anonymous

The co-admins of Translators Anonymous are two translators who anonymously share via their blog “the everyday neuroses of translating.” The pair received the most votes in the “Best Translation Blog” category.

MK: Your blog is hilarious. How did you two come up with the idea to start a blog?

Admin 1: Why, thank you. About a year ago I somehow stumbled upon Interpretation Is Not Good For You (http://interpretationisnotgoodforyou.tumblr.com/) and nearly didn’t survive from laughing so much. As soon as I could breathe again, I decided there needed to be a translators’ tumblr and asked co-admin if she wanted to run it with me.

Admin 2: I just joined to make sure she wouldn’t get into too much trouble. 

MK: What’s the inspirational process like? Do you see an image that reminds you of a situation, or do you think of a scenario and look for an image to illustrate it? 

Admin 1: Mostly it starts with a situation – something happens at work and I’ll need to vent. Sometimes I know just the gif I want, from a show I watch for example, other times we have to look for the right gif for days or weeks until we find it. It does happen the other way as well; we’ll see a gif and it will be so good that we have to use it somehow. We have a big pile of drafts on tumblr that we work on when inspiration strikes, and our private chat is a complete madhouse (but to be fair, it probably was even before we started the blog). It’s weird, because you’d think we would have run out of stuff to say by now. 

Admin 2:  I also often see a gif that immediately makes me think of a situation, or I might see a gif in a tumblr for another profession, and adapt it to the translation world. We get a lot of suggestions from fans too.

MK: Translators and interpreters generally blog as a marketing strategy but you remain anonymous. Why do you blog anonymously? 

Admin 1: We want to blog about the universal experience of translating for a living, those things we all get every now and then (or can at least imagine), whatever our work situation and language combination. There are people who know who we are, but there are loads more who think they do, and that’s part of the fun for us. 

Admin 2: Being anonymous gives us more freedom as well. We don’t need to impress a client; we just want to laugh at the pains you sometimes go through as a translator.

MK: Can you elaborate on the relationship between you two, the co-admins? Are you co-workers, or just friends who share the same profession? 

Admin 2: We know each other from work and became friends that way.

Admin 1: We are synced to the point it’s scary, as you may have seen on the blog.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/59eadf2006f7dc2380fd0234e185f2ec/tumblr_mw0p0vh4RD1qc01vno2_500.gif

MK: How has the translator community reacted to your blog?

Admin 1: With equal parts paranoia and unadulterated adoration.

MK: What are some blogs that you two follow (translation-related or otherwise)?

Admin 1: I follow a bunch of fandom tumblrs but can also recommend http://interpretelsf.tumblr.com/ which is hilarious.

Admin 2: I read some tumblrs related to other professions, for example http://whenyouworkasasprakkonsult.tumblr.com/ (in Swedish – sort of) and various geek and crafts blogs.

Stay tuned…

You can keep up with this anonymous translation duo by following their blog here: http://translatorsanonymous.tumblr.com/

Stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring winners of the ProZ.com community choice awards.

Brazil conference speaker interview series: Lorena Leandro 1

Meet the speaker

Lorena_Leandro

Lorena Leandro is the subject of the sixth installment of this multi-part interview series featuring some of the presenters of the upcoming conference in Recife, Brazil, which will take place in just a few days. Lorena graduated from the Universidade Católica de Santos with a BA in Translation, and has been working as a translator since 2005. She specializes in the areas of IT, marketing, and business. Lorena is also a member of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network.

You can learn more about Lorena by visiting her blog – “Ao Principiante” – which is aimed at providing tips and advice to translators who are just starting out in the industry.

The interview

MK: How did you get started in translation/interpretation?

LL: When I was 16, I was looking for more information on college courses in a Student’s Guide when I came across a brief text about the work of translators. The year after that I went to college and, in 2004, I graduated in English-Portuguese Translation. After that, however, I had no idea what to expect of the translation market and started a Social Communication college course, but gave up two years later. Eventually, I plucked up the courage and became a full time translator, with no regrets.

MK: What would you consider the most important challenge facing freelance translators or interpreters today?

LL: Many freelance translators find it difficult to stand for their prices and professional practices. Saying no to bad market practices can be difficult and frustrating, but it’s the only way to protect our profession.

MK: What advice would you give freelancers seeking to expand their client base?

LL: I believe flexibility is the key word. It’s important to know how to listen to the clients, and how to communicate with them. Also, to keep pace with new technologies and be open to new opportunities, even if they are a bit different to what we are used to. Always be open to learning something new, whether it’s using a new tool or specializing in a new subject field.

MK: What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in translation or interpretation?

LL: I always say that being a beginner does not mean being an amateur. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a professional attitude from day one, but always be willing to learn from more experienced translators.

MK: You will be giving a session at the upcoming conference in Recife, Brazil, called “O tradutor monotarefa: um novo conceito de produtividade pessoal e profissional.” What can attendees to this session expect to learn?

LL: I believe multitasking is an overrated practice and can seriously compromise our professional and personal lives. We can’t be truly present in what we do if we divide our attention among multiple tasks. I hope I can show my colleagues a new and different way to set their professional and personal priorities by stopping multitasking and focusing on one thing at a time, through a new productivity approach.

The event

This interview features one of the many speakers who will be presenting at the Fifth ProZ.com conference in Brazil, which will kick off this Saturday in Recife. If you’re interested in attending this event, it’s not too late to register:

http://www.proz.com/conference/400