Languages broaden our horizons. They allow us to learn about other cultures and discover new ways of seeing the world. This is precisely how our colleague Estefanía from the project management team sees the world of professional translation. She will soon have been part of the team for one year, so ahead of that anniversary and to celebrate it, we would like to introduce you to her.
- What do you like most about your daily work in Okodia?
It gives me the opportunity to come into contact with many different languages, cultures and people every day. I love it when a translator tells me something about their personal life and I respond by telling them something about mine. These little things really help you create empathy and form a team.
- Why are you interested in the world of translation?
Because I love learning foreign languages, seeing how they work, how they differ from my native language and what cultural aspects are reflected in them. Every time I learn a language I discover a new world, or rather, a new way of seeing the world. As for many of us working in the industry, this interest began at a young age. At home I was always encouraged to learn foreign languages (my older sister also studied Translation and Interpreting, although she now works as a teacher).
- What is the most curious thing (strange, odd or nice) that has happened to you in your time working at Okodia?
A translator once recommended a cappella cover of a song from the film The Greatest Showmanand I loved it!
- How would you describe the world of translation?
I would describe it as a very beautiful world, in which you learn a lot from many different areas, where you can often be creative and where you never stop training or learning. Unfortunately, it still has a relatively low profile. I find that odd because I see translations everywhere, from the latest trendy apps you use to chat to your friends to the label of the trousers you are wearing. Probably none of that would exist in your language if it weren’t for the work of translators.
- Some people say that the world of translation is very complicated. After all your years working at Okodia, do you think that’s right?
I think it is a difficult world to start out in. If you are just beginning and your working languages are the most common ones, you need to specialise or stand out in some way so that companies want to work with you. If not, it is very likely that they will already have their trusted translators and will continue to send their projects to them. However, once you get your client portfolio and are up and running, I think it’s a very beautiful profession and one in which you can earn a good living.
- What advice would you give companies thinking about translating their content?
Don’t think twice and do it as soon as you can. I believe that translations add a lot of value to companies, since they allow their content to have a greater reach. In addition, with the increase in online sales and services, companies may have potential customers almost all over the world and they are not necessarily going to speak the language in which they have created their content.
- Tell me about a situation in which you had to make a decision and take a risk without knowing the scope of the possible repercussions.
Well, what I am about to say will no doubt sound very familiar to project management teams: starting a project which has a very tight deadline before receiving the official go-ahead from the client. There are times when it would be impossible to do the job by the required delivery date if you waited for the quote to be confirmed. Over time you get to know your clients very well and sometimes you have to be guided by your intuition and risk starting the job without knowing if they will approve it in the end.
- A country where you would like to live.
Well, I can’t really pick just one as there are so many that I would like to be able to explore! But I do know that it would have a beach and a tropical climate so that I could manage projects while sitting under a palm tree.
- Is there a language that particularly catches your attention? Why?
I would love to learn Occitan. A while ago I had a client who asked us to translate into this language a lot and when I saw the translated texts, everything seemed very familiar to me because I speak other languages that are similar to it. Of course, that was just when I saw it written down, things are often very different once it is spoken!
- How and where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years’ time?
Working in a multicultural environment that allows me to continue doing what I enjoy.