“Translation is a Combination of Variety, Novelty, and Challenge” - Multilingual Connections

“Translation is a Combination of Variety, Novelty, and Challenge”

Translation is a Combination of Variety, Novelty, and Challenge
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Topic: Our Talent


At Multilingual Connections, we work with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. How do we pair each project with the best linguist for the job? We take into consideration their native language, region, and area(s) of expertise to achieve the highest quality of linguistic accuracy and cultural relevance. Linguists who go above and beyond are recognized as “Linguist of the Month” based on their exceptional quality, reliability, and their general amazingness. This time, we are excited to feature Liberty, an expert linguist from Colorado who has been translating and transcribing market research, academic, medical, and financial content for Multilingual Connections for the last year. With a degree in health sciences and a passion for language and culture, Liberty brings knowledge in the industry as well as a certification in Translation Project Management.

Here are a few interesting facts about Liberty:

Liberty Johnke

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

I translate French and am gradually reviving my Spanish. With all of this newfound time spent at home, I’m cruising through Portuguese lessons and I plan on learning Italian and German next.

Why and how did you become a translator? 

I grew up bilingual, having been enrolled in Denver International School and learning French alongside English. I completed my AP tests by the end of eight grade by attending class at the nearby high school. The French side of my family comes from Paris and Guadeloupe, a small French-speaking Caribbean island, where we visited frequently and I got the chance to practice French in an immersive, familial setting.

Two years ago, I sold my car and doubled the amount I put into savings every month to be able to take off on an international house sitting adventure with my partner. I have a background of travel with my family, but the time felt right to revisit the head-on immersion, daily adventure, and inner reflection that comes with travel. This prompted me to reevaluate the professional direction I was heading in and scan my interests, skills, and personality to land a compatible remote position with a value-backed company. It was in Spain when my translating took off, propelling my excursions through Europe and beyond. I knew I found an amazing fit!

What do you love about translating?

I love the combination of variety, novelty, and challenge that comes with translating. Because the speakers, culture, context, and subject matter differ from project to project, I get mind-opening insights into a world I would likely never see in person. I’m always kept on my toes and I learn something new every time, plus I get to simultaneously exercise my eye for grammar, composition, editing, writing, and organization. Considering the ability to work anywhere in the world while doing this, I count my blessings often. 

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

Keep finding the balance between pacing and pushing yourself, and keep your professional sights high. Start small and take on the projects and daily hours you can handle. After you find your confidence and efficiency increasing, see if you can do a little more each day or take on a more challenging project. Ultimately, you want to find a range of hours (and project types) you’re willing to work every day and stick with it. In my experience, this, along with quick breaks throughout the day, has protected me against burnout and has preserved my attention and quality. 

If you like what you’re doing and the people you collaborate with, I recommend sharing that positivity and gratitude by going the extra mile: give frequent thanks, finish a project a day or two early, and respect nuance and concision in written communication.

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

My laptop, noise-canceling headphones, fresh local flowers, sparkling water (I’m a converted fan since having this as my only option in Italy), and occasionally a box to prop up my computer to create a makeshift standing desk.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to mix socializing with sports and could play tennis, soccer, and frisbee for hours. I also like continuing my education through reading and online courses (right now I’m studying the history of American capitalism, climate change, French political science, and the science of wellbeing). 

I spend my free time exploring local restaurants with family and friends, discovering new film and music, hiking and biking trails, tending to our little garden, pet sitting, activism, and travel. Activities I have rekindled in quarantine include puzzling, painting, amateur meme-making, enjoying Honey Bunches of Oats, yoga, and bingo. I have also picked up a few new health habits such as strategic people dodging and erratic sprinting when I hear a sneeze.

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

Literally anywhere outside of my four walls. I’ll even take Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

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

Want to stay connected?

We periodically share news and updates around translation, language and culture. Rest assured we’ll never share your contact information with anyone!