Let us announce July’s winner of the 2019 edition of our Translator of the Month action!
This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.
We would like to introduce you to Emily Plumtree, one of our most trusted patent translators.
Good morning Emily,
How do you start your working day?
I work a kind of “split-shift” day. I have three children and working as a freelance translator means I can be there for them in the mornings and after school. As such, the first part of my working day begins at about 9.15 after the school run, when I return home and make a coffee to take into my home office. Once there, I check through my to-do list and make a plan for the day. I then break off at 3.00 to pick my youngest up from school and to run the three of them around to their extra-curricular clubs. The second half of my day begins at 6.00, when my partner comes home from work and takes over. Then I work through to the end of my to-do list.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a translation career?
I was 12 years old. I had visited my uncle in Paderborn for the first time and I was completely entranced by the country and the language. I also loved reading and so, my 12-year-old self decided that a job as a fiction translator would be perfect. In actual fact, I did not make it into fiction translation, but instead went to work for a translation agency in Bavaria after I graduated. I’ve never doubted that I made the right choice. I find my work as a translator truly rewarding.
What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?
Machine translation has changed the industry massively. I prefer translation to post-editing but I understand why it is desirable from an economic point of view. Machine translation along with the rise of translators offering very cheap rates are big challenges to overcome. I have to work hard to convince my clients that a good translation costs money and it’s not just a case of running the text through Google Translate.
Being a freelancer, how do you balance work and personal life?
I’m not sure any freelancer truly manages to balance work and personal life. Certainly, I am not always successful! But it is a job that I thoroughly enjoy and find rewarding and the freedom it gives me to attend my children’s assemblies, school events and medical appointments means I will never grumble about the late nights and weekends I sometimes work.
You are one of our most active patent translator. What do you enjoy most about working with patents and intellectual property?
I didn’t set out to work in patent translation. As I mentioned above, I wanted to work in fiction translation. I answered an advert from Seprotec a few years ago and they provided me with the opportunity to try my hand at patent translation. Now, it is one of my favourite genres to translate as it appeals to the structured and organised part of me.
If you could settle in any country in the world to live the whole of your life, where would it be?
Without a shadow of a doubt, that would be Germany. I fell in love with the country, language and culture back when I was 12 and these feelings have never waivered. I spent a few years over there, living in the Harz Mountains, in Heidelberg and just outside of Munich. I came back to the UK to start and raise my family but I hope my time in Germany is not over yet.
Thank you so much Emily for taking the time to answer our questions. It’s been a pleasure!