Professional subjects from a personal perspective

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Nicole Y. Adams

I am delighted to share a mini interview with Nicole Y. Adams today. Nicole is bilingual in German and English and lives in Adelaide, Australia, where she runs her translation, language services and consulting business.

Here are Nicole’s thoughts on her career:

1. If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?

I would probably try to specialise a bit sooner. It took me a few years to establish exactly which fields I’m most comfortable with and what sort of text I definitely don’t want to touch ever again. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

2. What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?

The best advice I’ve ever read was in the book ‘The Wealthy Freelancer’. It doesn’t just focus on ‘wealth’ in monetary terms but contains great information on how to maintain a healthy work/life balance and lead exactly the life you envisaged when you set out to become a freelancer. This includes choosing the right clients and saying no to projects that you simply wouldn’t enjoy, no matter how good the pay.

3. If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

In my dreams, I’d be an air traffic controller (yes, really!), but realistically probably a journalist or magazine editor. Definitely something related to language or linguistics.

Thanks, Nicole!

Nicole Y. Adams, TranslatorNicole Y. Adams runs NYA Communications, offering translations between German and English, language consultancy, translation workshops and mentoring sessions. Translation-wise, she specialises in marketing, PR and communications.

NYA Communications website: http://www.nyacommunications.com

Twitter: @NYAcomm

 

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Sarah Dillon

I’m delighted to share my interview with Sarah Dillon today. As I said in my introduction to the 1 Linguist, 3 Questions series, Sarah’s blog, There’s Something About Translation, has been massively influential with respect to my blog and my career in general. If you haven’t already come across it, please do head over and read her blog – it’s a real treasure trove of insightful (and witty) information and advice.

Here is my mini interview with Sarah:

  • If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?

Nothing. Really and truly – absolutely nothing! That’s not to say I haven’t made my share of blunders, boo-boos and faux-pas, but somehow things have always worked out better than I could have hoped for.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?

My Dad once told me that everyone has something to teach you if you just take the time to ask the right questions, and listen. I think that’s great advice for business and for life.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

I like to think I’d be a freelance journalist, but based on my previous career trajectory, there’s a good chance I’d be working in marketing or PR.

Thanks, Sarah!

Sarah Dillon Translator

Sarah Dillon is a German, French, & Spanish to English translator originally from Ireland but currently based in Brisbane, Australia. She has almost ten years’ translation experience and an MA in Technical and Specialised Translation. She is also a member of all the usual suspects (ITI, CIOL, AUSIT, etc.), and is a Director of eCPD Webinars, the premier provider of online professional development for translators and interpreters.

Sarah’s business website is http://www.sarahdillon.com and you can find her on Twitter as @sarahdillon.

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Catharine Cellier-Smart

Today’s interviewee is Catharine Cellier-Smart, a French to English translator who lives on beautiful Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean (jealous?).

Here are Catharine’s answers:

1. If you could change one thing about your freelance career up to this point, what would it be?

This is a difficult one which you might need to ask me again in a few years! Although I’ve many years experience translating, I’ve only been a full-time freelancer since last year, so I don’t think I have enough distance today to know what I’d want or need to change.

2. What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?

Two things really – don’t be afraid to say no, and on a more practical, general business level – get everything down in writing. Also something basic I’ve observed over the years and that it’s good to bear in mind: business and emotions don’t mix.

3. If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

I worked for many years in non-language related jobs but today I wouldn’t necessarily want to return to what I was doing before. I’d probably be happy working in something related to the web or social media, or – why not – as a scuba dive instructor, although I’m not quite sure I’ve got the calm temperament needed for that job!

Thanks, Catharine!

Catharine Cellier-Smart, TranslatorBackground: Freelance French to English translator Catharine is a native of London who has been living abroad since 1990. She holds a degree in European Studies from the University of Wolverhampton, and an MBA from the University of Reunion. After an initial period freelancing (translating, interpreting and teaching) in the early 1990s, she moved into non-language related work until 2008 when she moved to South Korea for three years. After almost 20 years of translating she finally became a full-time freelance translator and interpreter on her return to Reunion Island in 2011 (http://smart-translate.info). Her specialisations include business, manufacturing, transportation, ecology & travel.

She can be found on Twitter at @Smart_Translate and blogs about language and translation at http://asmarttranslatorsreunion.wordpress.com.

1 Linguist, 3 Questions with Iwan Davies

Today’s interviewee is Iwan Davies, a French and German to English translator, who runs Translutions with his wife Louisa. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) Council.

If you could change one thing about your freelance translation career up to this point, what would it be?

I think I would have taken an office outside my home long before I actually did. Louisa and I finally decided in spring 2010 that we needed to find an office away from home, and we moved in here in August that year, but realistically it’s something we should have done long before. I know so many freelancers cite the ability to work from home as one of the best aspects of their work, but from a work/life balance point of view, I can promise you that a separate office in a different part of town does wonders! Obviously it needs a bit more coordination, but we found that the additional focus it gave us has actually resulted in us getting more work done. And home life is now much more balanced – we still work from home occasionally when needs must, but it’s no longer a given that every night after saying goodnight to the kids we go to the home office and do another couple of hours.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you have been given by a fellow translator, or about business in general?

To take up the lease on the office! But also to make the most of any and all opportunities to get out and about and meet and network with fellow professionals. Again, a much-vaunted advantage of freelance life is that you can turn up to work in your dressing gown and never actually have to socialise or meet  your colleagues. But we are social animals and that way lies madness, eventually.

  • If you weren’t working in the language services industry, what would you be doing?

I’d like to think I would be lifting the Web-Ellis Cup as captain of the Welsh national rugby team in the Rugby World Cup! But back in the real world I would probably be in the software industry – I’ve been an amateur computer programmer since I was young and while I’m no Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, I’d like to think I could have held my own. I’d have ended up on the consultancy or customer support side, though, simply because of a desire for social interaction.

Thanks, Iwan!

Iwan Davies, TranslatorIwan Davies MITI is a freelance translator from German and French into English. Working with his wife Louisa through their company Translutions Limited, they support customers in the fields of IT, telecommunications, banking and finance throughout Europe. Away from the wordface he enjoys nothing more than spending time with his family (two girls) and following the fortunes of the Welsh national rugby team.

Find Iwan on Twitter at @iwandavies