This is the third post in the Open Road interview series, this time featuring Arabic translator Mac Sharkawy. Mac specializes in legal and financial translations and currently resides in New York City. For all posts in this series, visit http://www.proz.com/open-road
Q. I see from your ProZ.com profile that you specialize in accounting, finance, and law. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience in these fields?
A. Well, I was a lawyer in Egypt for 12 years and worked as an arbitrator as well, and this gave me a lot of experience in legal terminology. When I moved to the United States, I switched to a career in finance, spending another 12 years in different banking positions, in finance and in financial advising within both the commercial and credit arenas.
Q. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career as a freelance translator?
A. With the new tools and technology in the industry now, my job is so much easier than it was before. Every day there is something new. It’s exciting to see technology advancing in such a way that makes my job easier and helps me save time, which is wonderful to have in this business. I also enjoy helping other freelancers get into the field. My goal is to take advantage of these new technological developments to outsource work to my colleagues in other countries. Right now I work closely with other freelancers in the Middle East and Latin America, which enables me to add more language pairs to what I offer as a company.
Q. How has being a member of ProZ.com helped you meet your freelance objectives?
A. To be honest with you, if it wasn’t for ProZ.com I would not have gotten into translation. The site provides me with clients who are in need of my services, as well as helpful training courses and substantial discounts on CAT tools. ProZ.com has also given me a community of fellow language professionals. For example, sometimes you get stuck on a word or a phrase – you know the translation, but you’re unsure of how to phrase it in the situation – so you ask a KudoZ question. Within minutes there are people helping you and providing their opinions. It’s a unique community and I participate as much as I can. I believe ProZ.com is a great service and a really helpful platform for both freelancers and companies.
Q. The theme of this campaign is ‘The Open Road’. What is next for you in your career?
A. For me, I plan to keep expanding my business and marketing myself as a freelance translator. I intend to take advantage of new training and opportunities, and to stay up-to-date on the many technological advances in the industry.
I want to thank Mac for taking the time to do this interview with me (while in the airport waiting to board a flight, no less!), and congratulations on your prize!