Professional Translations has dedicated its expertise and resources so that clients around the world can benefit from the greatest experience when it comes to a long term partnership with a specialized language provider.
We strive for the best results in terms of overall collaboration, assistance throughout an ongoing translation project and interesting benefits specially created for our most loyal clients.
We believe that sharing key values and similar vision of our companies can get us to experiencing the best outcome. Professionalism, quality translations and a good balance between the services that we provide and the afferent rates represent the key ingredients of a worthy translation agency.
We consider ourselves very lucky – as a translation agency. Our longtime expertise and success is based on great people, hardworking, passionate and always wanting to offer the best. Over the past 10 years we’ve managed to establish solid partnerships with resources that have overcome our expectations and our clients as well. This is why – today – we’ve thought that you would be interested in getting to know a little better what it really means to be a true professional. A true freelance translator. An insight upon this matter from one of our most valuable resources.
Q: Tell us a few things about yourself (a brief introduction of yourself as a person – what you like, what you enjoy doing in your free time, music, food …enough so that the readers can get to know you a little better).
I would start by saying I am just a normal person. I’m a mother, a translator and a wife. And I try to be the best I can be in each of these roles. My friends know me as an open person, who likes to solve puzzles whenever I have the time and who enjoys spending time with people.
We used to translate quite a lot during college. Of course, we focused on literature and that was pretty much all the experience I had when I started working as a translator. As an actual translator, I discovered that college translations had nothing to do with specialized translations and I still remember the test I took at the beginning. It proved me, despite what I strongly believed about myself, that I didn’t really know English. It took me 30 minutes, maybe more, to translate what today I translate in a few minutes. I remember that at the beginning I used to search 3 out of 5 words in the dictionary and it took me some time to learn the specifics of translations. I had a wonderful employer who had the patience to teach me and guide me and what started as a way to make some money to afford further education turned into more than just a job. You don’t know what being a translator means until you are one and, even if sometimes it is really difficult, it is also a wonderful job because you always get to learn new things.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a freelance translator?
What I like about being a translator is that I learn new things with almost every project. I’ve learned so many things over the years that I can talk to doctors, engineers, pilots and many, many other professionals. There are things I’ve learned and I use in my everyday life. As a freelance translator, the best part was that I could specialize in certain domains, according to my skills. Nobody can do everything, just as a translator cannot be good in every single field and being my own boss helped me in finding the projects I am good at. For instance, I don’t translate IT projects because I believe there are other translators who can do a better job.
Q: Give us a few details regarding your impression over the idea of becoming a freelance translator? How can this job benefit a future graduate from a Letters University, for instance?
R: I tell every person interested in becoming a translator that being a translator means hard work and again hard work. I think every graduate in this field must know and digest the fact that being a translator is not easy. You must enjoy it and you must be willing to spend hours of research for a project of 2 pages. Translating is not just about putting a text from one language to another. It’s also about knowing the culture of the people, the customs and tradition. It’s about staying sometimes awake at night thinking on how to best deal with a project. I remember a project I had a few years ago. I was supposed to translate some activities for preschool children. I wasn’t a mother then and I had no idea about how it should sound like. It also had some rhymes in it that I had to somehow translate to give them meaning in the target language (lucky me it was Romanian). I tried to do my best at the time, but today, after years of motherhood and cartoons, I realize I didn’t do all that well. Translations are about learning and learning, every day, from TV, internet, books, your everyday life, even movies. The translator is a sponge absorbing information from everything around him.
Q:What does being a part of the Professional Translations’ team – most specifically being a specialized linguist within this company – mean to you?
Well… a team means communication and knowing the others in the team. And I think it’s safe to say that I succeeded in becoming what I am now, a translator specialized (mainly) in technical translations, also because of the project managers I’ve worked with. It is, therefore, important for me to maintain this connection by meeting every deadline, by means of efficient communication and giving the respect people I work with deserve.
Q: Explain how did your relationship with PT evolve over the past 3 years – time in which you have become one of Professional Translations’ top experts in terms of translations.
The thing I most appreciate is that I can always discuss with my project managers. About technical issues, time management and any other thing affecting my work. Working closely with the same project managers, as a team, helped me gain confidence in what we can achieve and to rely on them in case of problems. And they got to know me, what I can do and how fast I can do it. So we save time, we deliver quality translations and enjoy the mutual benefits.
Q: How did you find the translation jobs that have been assigned to you by the company’s Project Managers over the past 3 years? Did the volumes or areas of expertise of each document represent any type of challenge?
I don’t know how many people know this, but we, translators, take tests on a regular basis to establish the areas of expertise. And depending on the results of such tests, recorded in a data base, we are assigned projects from various areas. As I said before, no translator is perfect in all areas of expertise so specializing in just a few is the best thing. Even so, every project is somehow a challenge because of the text or layout or something. A small project can be as challenging as a project keeping you busy for a whole month. It all depends on how you deal with it. I personally pay the same attention to each project and I am always trying to deliver the best translation. The size doesn’t matter. Every project is just as important.
Q:What were your expectations in regards to PT – about 3 years ago when you were recruited as a translator?
I didn’t believe at the beginning I would work for so long with PT… I didn’t think I was fit for the company and their demands. I was little and they were so big! I remember that during the first year I only had a few projects for them. But I sure hoped I would have the opportunity to show them I could and in time, hard work and communication eventually took us where we are today.
Q:Was there any particular situation in which you were the most proud of yourself, of your work and which is worth mentioning (translation wise)?
The first time I really felt proud of me was when my employer was selected as translation agency by a major international client after a test translation I performed. It was the first time my work gained official recognition. It was the moment I started believing I was a good translator with many opportunities waiting for me. The second time was after I started working with PT, when a client specifically asked for me to perform a project after delivering a previous project and the client was highly satisfied with my work. Other than that, I am proud of my work whenever I see it on websites or other places. Even if my name is not there, I know it is my work and I am always proud that a piece of me helped build something.
Q: How do you see yourself today in comparison to the freelance translator you were five years ago and how do you see yourself in the future?
I am definitely a far better translator than I was five years ago. I’ve learned so much from every project… and the future will bring me even more. I will most probably do the same thing I do today, I will translate for the benefit of people, learning, searching, typing. Someone recently offered me the position of project manager within a translation agency given the hard work I put in every project. I said no. I am not a project manager. I am a translator. And translators translate, they do not coordinate projects. I actually love my job and for now I do not see myself doing something else.
On behalf of all members of Professional Translations – we would like to take this opportunity and say “Thank you, Alina C.!” 🙂
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