Becoming a Translator: More Freedom and Opportunity

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Topic: Our Talent

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Multilingual Connections works with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. To reward the linguists who go above and beyond, we recognize one “Linguist of the Month” based on their exceptional quality, reliability, and their general amazingness. 

This time, we are excited to feature Nadia, an expert linguist from Buenos Aires who has been translating and transcribing business, legal, and medical material for Multilingual Connections for just over a year.

Here are a few interesting facts about Nadia:

Nadia - Linguist of the Month

Besides English, what languages do you speak and/or translate?

Professionally, I translate from English into Spanish and transcribe from Spanish audio into Spanish text. I also speak Portuguese and a little bit of Russian.

Why and how did you become a translator? 

Even though I’ve always loved learning different languages, being a translator was never really in my plans. I just never pictured myself as a translator, working independently and staying at home, you know?

But six or seven years ago I was going through a very bad year money-wise in my life and I needed a new source of income. For as long as I can remember, I had been learning English, so I thought to give translation a shot. And it turned out to be the best decision I ever made in my life because I simply loved it (I still do) and it paid off in a way I couldn’t have anticipated. Even though it took me about two or three months to get my first job back then, to this day I absolutely love and enjoy this kind of work and I hope I can keep doing it for many years to come.

What do you love about translating?

I love two things about translating. First, the freedom that comes with this kind of job, not only because you manage your own schedule but also because you can do it from wherever, which gives you the opportunity to go anywhere in the world at any time. Just bring your laptop with you. Second is that you are always learning something new which I’ve come to enjoy a lot. 

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in the translation industry?

I recently gave this advice to someone who graduated as a translator and came to me asking about transcription before accepting a job. I told this person, “Take it, just say yes. Don’t be afraid, because you can do it. It doesn’t matter how big, how difficult or how much you are getting paid, just take it. You’ll be slow and hesitating at first and that’s totally acceptable as you are just getting started. You need to gain experience, speed, and knowledge and you’ll only get it by working. So start working, just say yes. You’ve got this.” 

What types of projects do you enjoy the most?

I mostly enjoy large projects with topics I am not familiar with, because they always surprise me. I recently worked on a project about a disease I knew very little about and by the time I finished I felt like you could ask me anything about it and I would know the answer!

What are the most challenging projects that you’ve worked on and why?

The most challenging are transcription projects with poor audio quality. Having a nice, clean audio file is a beautiful thing but that is not always the case. I remember one particular project that was 60 minutes long and had a rush 15-hour turnaround. The audio file was named “van ride” and yes, the whole audio was recorded on a moving van, and oh how it moved! That was a real challenge, I had to pull an all-nighter for that one but totally worth it!

What do you usually have on your desk while you’re translating?

Besides the laptop, keyboard, mouse and headphones, I like to have a big glass of Diet Coke (or coffee if I’m working late at night) and my cat. I don’t place the cat on the desk, but he’s always there keeping me company.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love watching movies and tv series. My perfect Saturday is just staying inside watching a good series or several movies. I also like food – I like going out to restaurants and trying new places and flavors. And cats, I love spending time with my two cats.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Just a month ago, my answer would probably have been Russia, or maybe Calabria in Italy. Today, and after the recent global events, my answer is anywhere, everywhere. It is so crazy how life can change in a blink of eye and all of these things we took granted, like traveling or even going outside your apartment, are just gone. When this crisis is over, because it will be, I’ll visit as many countries and cities as I possibly can.

We thank Nadia for being such a great part of our linguist team. Stay tuned for more updates from Multilingual Connections!