SeproTec Translator of the Month: October 2020

noviembre 17th, 2020 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

Rebekah Edwards is a relatively new translator at SeproTec but has quickly become and important resource within the life science patent translation area.  Fluently speaking 3 languages, Rebeah is the winner of our October edition of the Translation 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.

Translator of the Month winner, October 2020

  

What does your dream career as a translator look like? Has it been fulfilled?

I don’t know if I have a clear picture of my dream career. Before I went freelance that was my goal, especially so I could enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being able to work whenever and wherever I wanted. For obvious reasons, this year I haven’t been able to enjoy much of the latter, so I’m not quite living the dream in that respect! Otherwise, I’m very happy with how things are panning out so far.

However, I’m also conscious that there’s always more to learn, whether that’s diving deeper into my specialisms or discovering a new one. I’m also (slowly) learning Dutch, so it would be great to add that as an additional language pair one day!

You studied an MA in Technical and Specialised Translation (medical, legal, construction, EU and journalistic fields), that’s impressive! How important do you think it is for a translator to specialise?

During my MA studies I was exposed to a great variety of texts and technical fields. This taught me more about how to specialise in a specific field. It also taught me a lot about what not to specialise in and why it’s not a good idea to try to do it all.

When content has been produced by a specialist in the field in the source language, I think it’s important that it’s then also translated by someone who knows what they’re talking about in the target language!

Have you ever encountered an ethical or moral dilemma on a translation project? How did you handle it?

Not really… although there are certain areas I prefer not to work in, such as defence and military. In these cases I’ve just been open about this with the client, and they’ve generally been very understanding.

You are one of our most regular and trusted patent translators. How did you become interested in this specific field of the industry?

After I graduated, I worked in-house at a translation agency with a lot of big patent clients, so it was there that I learnt all about them and their specific style. I also had the opportunity to help them develop patent-specific style guides and glossaries, which was a great way to expand my knowledge.
I think a lot of translators find patents a little daunting, and some might say boring… Once you get to know how they work, though, they can be like putting together a puzzle, which is very satisfying.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I find it hard to stay motivated if I’m bored or not enjoying the texts I’m working on. A variety of different projects is key! So, while I enjoy working on patents, I also like to get stuck into something a little lighter, especially if it’s anything to do with food or drink.
I also find it helpful to remind myself why I love working for myself and that I never have to commute again!

What do you like best about cooperating with SeproTec?

Just how easy it is! All of the project managers are really friendly and excellent at what they do, so I can just focus on actually translating.

 

Thanks so much Rebekah for your time and good work. We really enjoy working with you! Enjoy your SeproTec hoodie 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: September 2020

noviembre 4th, 2020 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

We would like to introduce you to Victoria Pastor de Meer, who is passionate about Law. Victoria has managed to combine her passion with her vocation as a translator and works in 3 languages on a regular basis. Not happy with it, Victoria is always on a continuous training mood, now is the turn for studying Dutch and Romanian.

Victoria is the winner of the September 2020 edition of our Translator of the Month action,  an initiative to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

Let’s have a chat with Victoria.

 

How would your perfect day start?

A few months ago, the answer to this question would have been very different, but in these difficult times that we are facing, my best day would start reading the headline that the COVID-19 pandemic is finally over and life is back to normal.

 

As a translator, you specialize in the legal field. When did you decide to specialize and why did you choose this particular field?

I decided to specialize in legal translation when I was studying my translation degree at university. I opted for this particular field since Law has always drawn my attention. In fact, some time before starting my translation degree I was considering studying law, although I finally decided to study translation because languages are my true vocation.

 

What is your biggest strength as a translator? And your biggest weakness?

My greatest strength is the dedication I put into my work. When I start translating a text, I like to acquaint myself with the subject to ensure that the final translation has the best possible quality. The number of things that one learns by translating is impressive, both linguistically and culturally.

My biggest weak point is my perfectionism. Many times, I have the feeling that some term or expression may have a better translation, or more suitable for the context, than the one I have chosen. I suppose it is something that happens to many translators. In the end, work experience, good documentation and reliable information resources teach you to make decisions with confidence when translating a text.

 

You work with four different languages, that´s impressive! Which language pair do you enjoy working with the most?

The language pair I like to work with the most is German-Spanish. I studied German as my first language in my degree and it has a special value. I could say that it is the most difficult language combination of all the combinations I translate, due to the challenges it poses in all aspects. However, efforts pay off when I feel the satisfaction of having done a good translation.

 

What kind of training do you do to continue to improve your translation skills?

I try never to stop studying something that is related to translation and languages. I am currently studying Dutch and have also taken up Romanian, which I studied as a D language during my degree and always found it to be a fascinating language. Besides that, I like to read news from the international press in English and German to improve my level in these languages by learning new terminology. I frequently visit translator forums to keep up to date on CAT tools and I like to take online courses related to programs that I use in my day-to-day work, such as Excel or Word.

 

What CAT tools do you prefer working with?

The CAT tool I like to work with the most is SDL Trados. I have worked with this tool since I started studying and I still think that it is the one that offers the most benefits and works the best. I also work with SmartCat, which I think is a very good initiative, but as it is an online tool it is a problem when you don’t have internet access.

 

Thank you so much Victoria for taking the time to answer our questions.   It’s been a pleasure and congratulations!

Danke schön, Victoria! It’s a pleasure to work with you! Hope you’ll enjoy your SeproTec hoodie.

 

 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: February 2020!

marzo 17th, 2020 | Posted by admin in Interviews | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

We are more than happy to announce the winner of February 2020 edition of our Translator of the Month action

Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals.

We would like to introduce you to Matthew Schlecht, one of our most trusted patent translators, translating from: Japanese, German, French and Spanish into English, with an extensive knowledge and experience in the research field.

Hi Matthew, thank you for finding some time to answer our questions :) Let’s start!

What do you start your work day with?

Upon waking, I scan my email inbox to see if any critical overnight emergencies have developed. Then, I usually start out with a two-mile vigorous early morning walk unless the weather is terrible. After the walk, I settle down with a big mug of coffee and process the merely important incoming overnight email before starting the day’s work.

Do you have a fixed schedule for work, or do you usually finish your day when your work allows you to?

I work through the morning until midday and then stop for lunch. If the schedule is tight, I get right back to work, but on a normal day I take some time to do errands and chores, and work in the garden in season, to clear my head. Then I get back to work. If I can finish up the day’s schedule by early evening I’ll stop then. If not, I continue until I finish up whatever work must go out by the next morning.

It is often said that translation is an underrated job. Do you think that people understand and value this profession or are there any misconceptions?

Although some end clients have an appreciation for the value that a translator can add, I think that many have little idea of what is involved in the translation process, or over how great a range quality can vary, and they consider translation to be a commodity. These latter clients seem to believe that high quality is still available even when budgets are driven down. Most agency project managers have a much better appreciation of how the translation process should work properly, but they too frequently have an uphill battle conveying this appreciation to the end clients.

What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I can summarize the challenges in terms of two drivers: faster turnaround and downwards pressures on rates. The two together are incompatible with the expectation of a professional-grade, quality translation product. Machine translation is addressing these challenges to an extent, while at the same time defining a new role for the translator as the “final out” person, the one who ensures that all aspects of the product (the translation) are of suitable and deliverable quality.

What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

First, foremost, and always the project managers! They understand the translation process, and appreciate how to collaborate productively with their translators and editors. They take most of the heat from the end clients, while still treating their translators and editors with respect. The projects are also quite interesting, and the PMs realize the importance of a good fit between the translator/editor and subject matter.

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

One tip would be to focus on one or a few areas of expertise, and not to adopt the generalist or factotum translator model, which I believe has a poor future. Another is to become comfortable with machine translation, because it is not going away. There are few subject matter areas and language pairs where MT isn’t making major inroads, and those few will diminish as time goes on. One more, and perhaps the most important, is to develop good relationships with your PMs; to deal with them honestly, professionally, and with respect. This sort of investment will always pay dividends, whether in your current dealings or at some future date when you get a referral or are brought along when a PM changes positions. Become the “go to” person in your areas of expertise and language pairs, maintain high quality, and you will rarely want for work.

Thank you so much, Matthew! It’s a great honour to have you among the team of our translators. And… enjoy your SeproHoodie!

SeproTec Translator of the Month: October 2019

diciembre 10th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Interviews | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

We are more than happy to announce the October winner of the 2019 edition of our Translator of the Month action!

Translators’ work is of vital importance in every translation company. This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals.

We would like to introduce you to Gaëlle Bordet, one of our most trusted Catalan/ Spanish into French translators!

SeproTec Translator of the Month_October 2019

Gaëlle, when did you realize you wanted to pursue a translation career?

After a year as an Erasmus student in the Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, I realized first that I didn’t want to leave Spain and then that Spanish, Catalan and English were my real passion. I needed to keep using on an everyday basis my languages and find a job that combined my passion and would be opened to the world. It was then an obvious choice for me to follow the translation and interpretation path.

What do you start your work day with?

Usually, I start my day with a huge cup of coffee, it’s like a peaceful moment before things get more interesting and busy. Then I start my computer and I can easily lose track of time translating. Hours fly very quickly when I am in front of my screen!

Do you have a fixed schedule for work, or do you usually finish your day when your work allows you?

Actually, I don’t really have a fixed schedule. In fact, I have two little girls and I found a balance between my job as a Mum and my job as a translator. I manage to adapt my schedule to be with them when they need me. However, if there is a lot of work to do (and usually there is!), for me, work must be done and I spent as much time as needed until it’s completely and satisfactory done. For me, respecting the deadlines is very important and if I must spend the night working, it doesn’t bother me.

Do you have a life motto?

I try every day to be thankful for every good thing that happens to me and my family. I think it’s very important to enjoy and appreciate every moment. My family is the most important thing in my life and they really are my driving force.

What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

I love my work with SeproTec. At the beginning, I didn’t want to do juridical translations: I actually thought it was quite boring! However, I wanted to gain experience in every translation filed and I started with SeproTec through a university friend who was working at the Barcelona agency. But little by little I started to appreciate more and more my job. Every project is a new world and a new story. It’s been my everyday life for 14 years now and I hope it will keep on this way.

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

I think it would be that they will have to work hard and try a lot of translation field until they find their own one. There is a lot of hard competition in translation, nevertheless they must not give away their work and if they work with constancy and are reliable, I think their clients will recognise and respect it.

 

Merci, Gaëlle! It’s a real pleasure to have you in the Team! And ejnoy your Sepro hoodie – it will for sure keep you warm as the temperature in December drops!

SeproTec Translator of the Month: August 2019

noviembre 5th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Interviews | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce August 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 Daniel Olkowicz, one of our most trusted English/ German – Polish translators.

SeproTec Translator of the Month_August 2019

Hi, Daniel. What would be your best advice for a student who has just begun to work as a freelance linguist?

Fulfil all the expectations of your clients who are assigning jobs to you. Work smart and be patient even if the results may not be satisfactory at the very beginning. Keep consistently high level of your services and the results will come.

Which are the fields of expertise that you most enjoy translating?

IT, machinery, sports

Working more than 8 hours and even on the weekends in front of a computer may bring serious damages to our health. Have you adopted some specific healthy habits to put in practice during your working hours or after work?

I usually make a brief break every 60 minutes. I just walk around my working space or do some stretching especially for arms and upper body. After work I play football or volleyball every 2nd day.

What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

Very nice project managers I usually am dealing with and very clear and organized way of working.

Do you have a life motto?

Quality matters more than quantity

Thank you so much, Daniel, for taking the time to answer our questions.  It’s been a pleasure! And enjoy your SeproTec hoodie!

SeproTec Translator of the Month: June 2019

agosto 21st, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

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.

Emily Plumtree, SeproTec Translator of the Month June 2019

 

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!

 

 

SeproTec Translator of the Month: July 2018

agosto 22nd, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the tenth winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

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.

In this ocassion we would like you to meet Violet Long, a well-know professional of this house, that has been accompanying us for over a decade.

 

What do you start your work day with?

My work day starts with a glass of orange juice and reviewing my Excel spreadsheet of projects, which are ordered by due date.  Then I check my e-mail to see what new offers have come in.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?

I actually fell back into translation after spending over 20 years of teaching English as a Foreign Language and linguistics.  (My first degree was in translation and interpreting, Spanish and French.)   I was ‘burned out’ by teaching and translation is a great way to put together my language skills and my years of correcting student papers in fractured English!

If you hadn’t become a translator, what do you think you would have done?

I can’t imagine doing anything but translating now.  In the past it was not my first choice, I opted for teaching, but now it offers me the possibility of working from home, working as much as I want (which is usually too much!) while earning more money than I ever made as a teacher and learning about a multitude of subjects, from serious science to the most frivolous fashion.

After more than 10 years of collaboration, what do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

I enjoy working with Seprotec because, first of all, the project managers are all very friendly and helpful. Some I have been working with for over 10 years and they are like old friends, even though I have never met them face to face. Secondly, the company is very professional: the projects are well organized; if there are complaints over a translation, I have the opportunity to defend my wording; invoices are paid on time…

What do you think are the greatest challenges for the translation industry today?

The greatest challenge for the industry, from a translator’s point of view, is keeping up with the technology.  At the same time, technology is a double-edged sword.  On the positive side, having a fast, reliable computer, a fast connection for handling big files, and software that makes the translation process easier, plus, of course, that infinite source of knowledge, the Internet, are a boon to all translators.  However, on the negative side, the use of automatic translation can lead to stilted, unnatural translations that take more time to review than they would to translate from scratch, and the Internet is also full of misleading articles that are themselves bad translations!    Also, investing in the latest technology is expensive and can even be counter-productive, e.g., if the client has not invested in the latest version and there is no backward compatibility.

What is your life motto?

My motto is “Patience et longueur du temps font plus que force ni rage” (Patience and length of time do more than force and rage – La Fontaine).  It reminds me to take a deep breath when I get upset and frustrated as staying calm makes it much easier to find a solution to any problem.   I read this quote first at school in French class, in a La Fontaine fable, and it has been my motto ever since.

 

Thank you Violet from SeproTec’s team.  Enjoy you hoodie!