When I was younger and people asked which A Levels I was doing or what I was hoping to study at university, the response of “languages” or “French and German” always seemed to provoke the same response: “Ooh, are you going to be a teacher then?” It seems to me that becoming a translator or interpreter is not well-known or at least well-publicised as a career choice.
I have always loved reading, writing and words. This fascination was nurtured over the course of my secondary education and as soon as I had any experience with translation, thanks to my inspirational French teacher, Mr Davies, I was hooked. I started searching the internet for all and any information I could find on translation as a career and I found some amazing sources of information and advice and I am still finding them (see blogroll).
I take great inspiration from Sarah Dillon’s blog in particular, as she highlights what I find so interesting about this industry: the translators themselves. It is fair to say that I was quite nervous when I first started interacting with translators with much more professional experience than me, but I have been quite simply bowled over by the advice and kindness shown to me by my fellow linguists. The truth is, as Sarah says:
We’re a pretty amazing bunch: who we are, what we do, how we came into translation and the choices we make everyday as professionals.
I have had some direct experience with interpreting, but I have always preferred the more considered approach that translation allows. Nevertheless, I found interpreting to be thoroughly stimulating, although mentally exhausting! Another angle is, of course, teaching or tutoring. I have worked as a French and German language tutor in the past, and, although I do enjoy passing on my enthusiasm for these languages to others, translation will always be my main focus.
I love what I do, and I thoroughly enjoy demonstrating and using my passion for translation and languages to benefit others, whether providing volunteer translations or helping businesses access other markets and audiences.
What do you love about being a translator?