Raquel Hurtado, native Spanish translator

A multicultural upbringing

I have always lived in Barcelona, but my parents’ will to make a world citizen out of me, had a large impact on my love for languages. I started learning English, French and German when I was just a child, and a strong friendship was the perfect guide to Italian. There is still room for more knowledge, there always is. When it comes to words, cultures and communication, I just can’t get enough.

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Laura Dixon, native English Translator

My name is Laura.  I’ve always loved languages.  From the day I started learning Spanish at school, I knew I wanted to work in this field.  I studied Spanish and Human Resource Management at the University of Leeds, falling in love with Spain and all things Spanish, especially when I spent my Erasmus year in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid. After graduating I was lucky enough to qualify and work as a teacher of English as a foreign language in Palma de Mallorca.

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Professional Croatian Translator: Nadira Ljevaković Garić – Part 2

Based on the few months I’ve been working with you, I can only say that you are one of the best clients I’ve ever had. I prefer long-term cooperations and BigTranslation offered me that very thing. It really is a pleasure to be a part of a professional team where you always get your questions answered and, at the same time, have the freedom to organize and decide the amount of work you accept – this is definitely something that makes BigTranslation stand out from other companies.

In what capacity do you work with BigTranslation and what was it that made you choose the company? In your opinion, what makes it stand out from other companies?

Based on the few months I’ve been working with you, I can only say that you are one of the best clients I’ve ever had. I prefer long-term cooperations and BigTranslation offered me that very thing. It really is a pleasure to be a part of a professional team where you always get your questions answered and, at the same time, have the freedom to organize and decide the amount of work you accept – this is definitely something that makes BigTranslation stand out from other companies.

croatian translatorWhat essential qualities or skills should a translator possess? What’s your ‘motto’ on translation, if you like?

In my opinion, working as a freelance translator is not as easy as it may seem. The knowledge of source and target language is essential. Translation goes way beyond being able to speak both the languages you’re working on. One needs to be able to flawlessly transfer both syntax and semantics from one language to another and make the final “product” as natural as the source it came from.
The process of translating itself aside, you need to organize your time, especially if you are working for many clients at the same time. You need to plan, communicate to clients, look for new ones and only then you do the translation work. Many people tell me that I’m having super easy time, a great job where I can work whenever I want to without realizing that I, myself, do the same amount of work which is distributed to 3-4 people in the companies they work in. My motto is: „Think, translate, fascinate“. The greatest pleasure I can have is my clients’. ☺

Imagine a world without translators. What would it be like?

I’ve recently read an interesting story. A professor from the USA was giving some lectures in Japan and started one of them with a joke that lasted a few minutes. After he told the joke in English, he waited for the translator to do his job. The translator only talked for a few seconds and the audience burst into laughter.
After the lecture, the professor asked the translator how she managed to convey all the humour from his joke in only a few seconds. She shrugged and said: “I told them our American guest had just told a funny joke and that all should laugh.”
Most things that we use and buy daily go through the process of language adapting first which is obviously done by translators. Imagine you need to cook for some very special guests and go to a supermarket to buy spices, among other things. How spicy would your lunch be if you didn’t know which spices you used? That’s just a small example how important translation is.
In the bigger picture, translators are the ones connecting the world. Be it culture, finance, politics, education or any other crucial aspect of human existence and growth – none of it would be possible without translation.

Professional Croatian Translator: Nadira Ljevaković Garić – Part 1

My name is Nadira and I’m 28 years old. I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I graduated from High School of Economics and Finance and later studied English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zenica. I also attended many IT conferences and workshops in Balkans. The work experience I have gained is my strongest suit, though.

Nadira shares with us a little about herself and her career as a professional Croatian translator

My name is Nadira and I’m 28 years old. I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I graduated from High School of Economics and Finance and later studied English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zenica. I also attended many IT conferences and workshops in Balkans.

croatian-translator

The work experience I have gained is my strongest suit, though. Besides that, studying and constant education have undoubtedly helped me progress.
During my 10 years’ work experience, I have worked for over 20 different clients/employers and changed 7 different jobs. I worked as a personal assistant, administration department manager, teacher, business development manager, IT project manager, general manager and translator.
I gained most of my work experience in a German software development company. My starting position in this IT company was Business development manager. In less than six months, I got promoted to IT Project manager and then to General manager. This was where I developed my organisational and management skills which eventually encouraged me to start my own business – a B2B translation agency.

How long have you been working with BigTranslation?

I’ve been working as a translator with BigTranslation for 3 months now. Despite being a short period overall, I have to point out that this translation agency is one of the best clients I’ve ever had. I believe that the professional team from BigTranslation is satisfied with my work, effort and accuracy considering the fact that, in these 3 months, none of my translations ever needed any changes or corrections by the team’s lectors.

Which are your working languages? What is it that you most like about translating?

Bosnian is my native language, Serbian and Croatian are “near-native”. Actually, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are all similar. There are some small differences, but anyone who speaks Bosnian completely understands Croatian and Serbian and vice versa. I studied English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zenica so I am qualified to translate from English to Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian and vice versa.
In the world of translating, each project is a new challenge and a chance to learn something new. For me, translating is brain training which I enjoy so much and yet get paid for doing it. I have worked on so many different topics – some made me laugh, other made me sad or even angry (nobody likes poor originals), but overall they made me feel alive.
Have you always wanted to be a translator or did you consider other careers? For you, is translation a passion or a pastime?
I have always wanted to be a translator,  and also to hone some other skills that any translator should have such as organisation, accuracy, promptness, and management as well 🙂 . As I have already mentioned, I’ve had 7 different jobs and finally opted for this job because it offers education, freedom, flexibility and a great salary – all in one package. The bottom line is, I’m finally doing something I truly enjoy in!

Professional Portuguese Translator: Sara Jones

Lost in translation is a movie very dear to me. Apart from its poetic depiction of the characters, multilayered feelings of solitude and displacement, what I find most astonishing about it is its delicate attention to detail. The devil is in the detail and it is based on this fundamental idea that I, Sara Jones, professional translator since 2012, have grounded my professional ethics. My passion: to do linguistic detective work.

Sara shares with us a little about herself and her professional career as a Portuguese translator

portuguese translatorLost in translation is a movie very dear to me. Apart from its poetic depiction of the characters, multilayered feelings of solitude and displacement, what I find most astonishing about it is its delicate attention to detail. The devil is in the detail and it is based on this fundamental idea that I, Sara Jones, professional translator since 2012, have grounded my professional ethics. My passion: to do linguistic detective work.

Multiculturalism and passion for translation

Born to a Portuguese mother and an English father, my life has been marked by multiculturalism and travel. After spending my adolescence in Germany, I moved back to Portugal, where I had previously spent my childhood, and earned my BA in English and German Languages, Literatures and Cultures, followed by an MA in Anglo-American Studies. During my studying years, I realized that I am enthusiastic about languages and cross-border communication.

For 4 years, I worked as a teaching assistant at the German School in Porto (Portugal), followed by the decision to become a translator. I then got accepted for a three-month translation traineeship at the European Parliament, where my wish to translate professionally solidified. Since April 2012 I have been collaborating with several companies as a freelance translator.

In 2014, I started working as external freelance translator (as a German and Portuguese translator) and more recently as a proofreader for BigTranslation. What I find most outstanding in collaborating with BigTranslation is its team, which combines a high level of professionalism with an exceptional degree of friendliness and helpfulness. These last two years have, in that sense, been a very rewarding experience and I hope that many more lie ahead of this amicable working relationship.

Language combinations

I work in the following language combinations:
German >Portuguese, Portuguese > German, English > Portuguese, English > German, Spanish > Portuguese, Spanish > German

Charlotte from England: Experience in Translating

This week, it’s the turn of our intern Charlotte to answer Marie’s interview questions and share a little bit about herself and her experience with BigTranslation. “I was born in the south of England (Crawley) and when I was nine, I moved to France with my family, where I’ve been living for the last ten years (Limoges).”

Translating into English with BigTranslation

This week, it’s the turn of our intern Charlotte to answer Marie’s interview questions and share a little bit about herself and her experience in translating with BigTranslation.

english native translator

Please introduce yourself (where you’re from, where you live, past or present studies, etc.).

How long have you been working with BigTranslation?

I was born in the south of England (Crawley) and when I was nine, I moved to France with my family, where I’ve been living for the last ten years (Limoges). I did a scientific baccalauréat and then a year of classe préparatoire littéraire.

At the moment I’m studying at the faculty of Philology in Valencia, doing the first year of an undergraduate course in German Language and Literature. I’ve been working with BigTranslation for a few months.

Which are your working languages? What is it that you most like about translating?

Right now I’m working with Spanish and English, although I’ve also translated from French to English and vice-versa. Translating well is always a challenge, and I guess that’s what I like the most about it: the satisfaction of confronting a difficult text and to be able to find the exact expressions in another language. If you succeed in doing so, you turn into a kind of chameleon capable of blending into the people of any country and being taken for native (one of my goals!).

Have you always wanted to be a translator or did you consider other careers? For you, is translation a passion or a pastime?

My grandmother is an English/French translator and since I was little she’s helped me with languages, to learn French for example. She’s passed on to me her passion for languages, grammar and literature, as well as for Latin and Greek, and for that reason translating has always interested me. I don’t have any definite plans right now, or specific professions in mind, but translating is a possibility. In any case, I’m sure that I want to learn a few more languages.

In what capacity do you work with BigTranslation and what was it that made you chose the company? In your opinion, what makes it stand out from other companies?

I’m doing work experience in the company and I found it a bit by chance (a poster in the faculty). However I like the style of work and being part of a big multilingual team, and the experience is very interesting.

english translation

What essential qualities or skills should a translator possess? What’s your ‘motto’ on translation, if you like?

Like I said before, my grandmother passed on to me her passion for grammar, and I think that’s essential when translating – good knowledge of how different languages work, because just knowing vocabulary isn’t enough. It’s also useful to have lived in different countries to know how things are usually said, so that you don’t write or speak like a dated exercise book. I think a good translator needs to be rigorous, patient, and above all needs to be passionate about languages and enjoy working with them.

Imagine a world without translators. What would it be like?

Such a world would be very sad! What’s so fascinating about translating is to be able to share different cultures and views on the world, to spread knowledge, to explore languages and the way they work, which always reflects something about the people who speak them… If there were no translators, it’s obvious that conflicts would be far more frequent (although we still have a lot to improve in that matter). Translators are linguistic diplomats, bridges between cultures: to make do with just one language is to cut oneself off from the rest of the world, and the more open we are to countries different to ours and the more we understand each other, the better we’ll all live.