Looking for a versatile (INTP-INFP) lateral entrant with 7+12 years full-time experience?
My ISO 17100:2015
compliance at a glance:
I also comply with section 3.1.3 of the standard (Professional competences of translators), as contents of this website should amply illustrate (including section on reasoned translation
As aptly pointed out by the ITI, many translators and interpreters are lateral entrants
: for identical language skills, and identical writing skills in the case of translators, this may give them a crucial edge over "translators/interpreters only".
Yet an increasingly common mistake among end clients and translation agencies' PMs alike is to consider translators as interchangeable — maybe because PMs themselves are, too often, considered as interchangeable "sales" staff.
If you consider translators as interchangeable, this likely means you neglect to know your providers and to know your translation projects. This likely means you consider translation as a commodity
Today, this issue is compounded by increasing automation of processes among some translation agencies, that may entrust management of multilingual translation projects to "sales profiles" who don't truly master any of the languages/subject matters involved. If a PM does not master a given language/subject, how can s/he spot poor translations and/or reviews BEFORE they reach the end client, and more importantly, spot the best ones in order to build a portfolio of reliable providers?
Over the past 12 years, I came across a PM claiming two years as such in France, but who somehow did not pick up that no one ever says "Bon après-midi
" as a greeting in French but only when parting. The reason is very simple: "Bon après-midi
" does not actually mean "Good afternoon" but "Have a nice afternoon". I came across PMs with over 5 years alleged experience but who still genuinely believed all originals provided by end clients are always properly written and reviewed, hence should never raise any request for clarification whatsoever, much less need extensive rephrasing/restructuring in the target language. I came across PMs who are "afraid" to transfer translators' requests for clarification or even comments/explanations to the end client, simply because they do not master both languages involved and/or do not (take time to) understand the material itself: so they cannot assess whether such requests for clarification and/or comments/explanations are warranted or not — crucial or not. I came across PMs who select unqualified reviewers (unsurprisingly), then ask me to input my initial translation back into their web CAT tool, because it was better but overwritten. I came across a (very automated) agency that proudly announces, in their newsletter, that one of their PMs "dispatched" 1,000 translation projects in one month: that is an average of 50 translation projects per day (for a 20 working days month), or over 6 projects per hour (assuming an 8 hours working day
Under such conditions, how can you know your translation projects, know your providers and match them appropriately? How can you not hinder proper communication between translators and end clients? How can you deliver top quality sustainably?
Fortunately, there are still, in our profession, some people who understand how complex it is and who do strive to know their providers. If you are one of them, here is a short overview of my background.
In a nutshell, my Bachelor
and Master of Science in Business Engineering
form a five years curriculum (300 ECTS credits ~ 600 credits in UK universities / 150 credits in the US and Canada) set up by the HEC Management School
at Université de Liège
(Belgium), that aims at training future CEO's and high executives, functions that require an ability to understand a wide range of subjects. I actually chose this curriculum because I am an avid and eclectic learner... definitely not because I have a taste for business and/or "power" :o).
I always were fascinated by human behaviour but it just so happens that psychology was considered a dead end around me at this time.
When I actually got my MScBE, I couldn't ignore any longer how much "business" is not me, and I felt like learning something else. Two years ahead of the then much feared millenium bug, I was lucky enough to be part of the 30 or so people selected among some 1,600 candidates for a paid speed training in programming (3 full-time months @ Abis Training & Consulting
) by a company looking for university graduates with an interest in computer science and this is how I became a software developer
and worked as such for 7 years.
Three years into the job, it was not challenging anymore... I did get a Java programmer certification in 2004
, but still no interesting challenge, maybe because I was about the only woman in a "male geek" environment, and the only French native among exclusively Flemish colleagues. I had to find another, more fulfilling, challenge...
Language always was my strong suit: I could read and write before entering 1st grade and I always were an avid reader. My 1995-1996 academic year started with a two months placement as an editorial assistant in Exeter, Devon, UK, at CIT Publications Ltd, a small company that specialised in business directories for worldwide telcos. When the family I was staying with came to pick me up at the airport, they were so impressed with my English they asked me what I was doing there: apparently, I sounded Californian to them (I wish we had that kind of weather in Belgium :o) ). When I got back, in November 1995, I decided that, from this point forward, I would only read English books: my aim was to get as close as possible to a native's mastery of English. An unattainable goal, of course.
So when I decided to become my own boss as a freelance translator in January 2005, I had been reading extensively in English for almost 10 years, as well as a little bit in Spanish (my five favourites to date: Man and his Symbols, edited by Carl Gustav Jung; Frank Herbert's Dune series; Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder; Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley; Tara Road, by Maeve Binchy).
My decision to become a freelance translator led me to get the IoL DipTrans
for English to French in 2008 and also take a Creative Writing
workshop (American English) in 2009, because I think a good translator/transcreator also has to be a good writer, and I wanted to approach writing from a native English perspective, as opposed to the French one.
I now have over 12 years full time experience as a freelance translator and need a new challenge again. Hopefully, it will be fulfilling my true passion, i.e. psychology, and go back to university for 5 years while freelancing at the same time -- I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth :o) -- to get a Master of Science in Psychology and Education and add a new set of skills to my "slash career".
Curriculum for my BScBE and MScBE was as described below when I graduated in 1997 (back then, just before the Bologna process was initiated, a minimum score of 13/20 was required in each chosen subject. It was later lowered to 12/20, and is only 10/20 today). This training (as well as my 7 years experience as a software developer) has been extremely useful in my work as a translator/transcreator, as it allows me to understand a wide range of subjects.
Languages: English, Spanish, Dutch - Law: Constitutional and European Law, Law of Contracts, Business Law, Advanced Business Law, Social Law, Tax Law -
Finance: Finance 101, Accounting & Finance, Cost Accounting (or Activity-based Costing), Managerial Accounting, Corporate Accounting, Financial Analysis,
Company Financial Management (Seminar), Financial Audit, Company Financing, Asset Management & Financial Modelling - Economics: General Economics/Economics for Industry,
Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Political Economics, Government Economics - Mathematics: Mathematics for Economists and Managers, Statistics, Probability Theory,
Advanced Mathematics, Advanced Probability & Statistics Theory, Financial Mathematics, Operations Research I, II, III, Mathematics for Financial Transactions - Sciences:
Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry Laboratory, General Chemistry/Chemistry for Industry, Chemical Engineering, Physics for Industry, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy -
Technology: Electricity, Electrotechnics, Electronics, CAD & Materials Technology, General Machine Tools & Productics, Energy Technology, Technology: a State of the Art -
Computer Science: Computer Science 101, Data Base Management Systems, Data Analysis, IT Systems Analysis, Information Systems Design - Management: Logistics & Manufacturing,
Human Resources Management, Enterprise Role Play, Business Strategy (Seminar), Theory of Organizations, Preparing to be a Manager (Seminar) - Marketing: Marketing 101,
Market Research, Strategic Marketing Management - Environment: Environment & Industrial Ecology, Entrepreneurship & Environment.