Ten years sounds like a long time, and it is, but it's incredible how much we, as a company, have grown. No small feat, we are looking inward this month as we mark our 10-year anniversary. We began with just one employee, an English to Spanish translator, and now we're a global team!
In this segment, the second part of our month-long anniversary series of interviews, we asked questions to one member of our splendid team of translators who keep the company heart beating.
Spanish to English and English to Spanish translator, Andrea, has been a part of the Day Translations family since 2010. Today, she dishes on how she manages her career and life while translating projects.
When she started, Day Translations was just one of three entities powered by the same team. The other two were World Interpreting and at Your Spanish Translation, which have since taken a second seat to DT’s steady rise to major global translations player.
1. What's your background?
I lived in Argentina until I was 13 years old. When I [then] moved to the United States, I only knew very basic English. I have always loved languages and learning English fluently was simple for me. In High School, I took French as a foreign language since I already spoke Spanish.
2. How would you describe yourself?
I love to read, and am very organized. I think these qualities helped me become a good translator because reading allows me to learn about different topics and being organized means that I can always find reference material that will help me translate accurately. I am also very detail-oriented and love grammar.
I do not think that makes me unique, but I think they are very important, if not the most important qualities a translator should have, besides being fluent in the languages he or she works with. I am mainly an English to Spanish translator, but I also translate Spanish to English.
WHAT IS WORKING AS AN ENGLISH TO SPANISH TRANSLATOR LIKE?
Here Andrea shares with us what it's like working as an English to Spanish translator on a day-to-day basis. How important it is to stay organized and keep your working environment free from distractions!
3. Can you tell us about the freelance translator lifestyle?
I think it is great that it allows a person to work from home and we are able to set our work hours, vacations, etc. However, it does require a quiet place to work, free from distractions, since it is easy to make mistakes. I like to imagine what I am reading about and it is hard to do this if there is a lot of noise!
4. What role does timing play in your line of work?
I think it is extremely important to not procrastinate. Since freelance translators set their own hours, it is easy to put an assignment off until later, but things might come up in between that could make it difficult to meet deadlines, so starting early is key.
5. What were the translation projects that you learned the most from?
Medical documents. These are extremely difficult, mostly because I know how important it is to get the exact term since sometimes a person’s life can depend on it. But they have taught me a lot about the medical field and the amazing things our bodies and science can do! I love being an English to Spanish translator, especially when I learn new things every day.
6. Did you have good teachers to point you in the right direction?
I had one English teacher in the eleventh grade who truly loved grammar. It did not make sense to me then, but I still remember her ‘grammar pet-peeves’ and some of those are my ‘grammar pet-peeves’ now!
7. Are there any challenges on the horizon for you?
I would like to practice speaking French. I am fluent in writing but I have not had much practice speaking it in a few years.
8. Do you have any anecdotes about languages or any translation related stories?
I cannot recall any work-related ones, but I do find mistranslations entertaining. I remember being at a Chinese restaurant where the instructions for how to use the chopsticks were completely inaccurate. All I could think about were the thousands and thousands of people that have probably read these instructions.
Related Post: Mistranslations Can Be Interesting, Confusing or Costly
Working with Day Translations
Now for the most important part! We asked Andrea what it's like being a part of the Day Translations team as a Spanish to English and English to Spanish translator!
9. How has Day Translations been a part of your life?
As a company, Day Translations has helped me reach goals in my life that I am not sure would be possible had I had a job working outside my home. But more importantly, I have had to pleasure to ‘meet’ people I admire and consider friends, even though we have never met face to face.
10. In what way has working for us opened up possibilities for you?
Because I work from home, thanks to working at DT, I was able to move to a town [Sonoma, California] that is more affordable, where I can have a home with a big back yard. The idea of having children in the city was somewhat overwhelming in terms of security but I love where I live and it was only possible because of DT. I am also able to support my family and give my son everything he needs.
Thank you so much Andrea for your insights! Everyone at Day Translations knows that her sense of dedication and organization, shared by so many members of our team of translation services professionals, is absolutely vital in making us the world-class provider we are today. One full decade after we first hung our small little shingle on the Internet!
We hope you enjoyed reading our second translator feature! Please check back in with us next week, when we’ll introduce you to another key member of the Day Translations team!