The Translator

I’m starting a new category where I’ll post short profiles of people who love their job and can tell you why exactly they love it. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Da Pootz

AngeAngelina is a long-time translator and interpreter. She speaks about four languages but being shy, she’d rather not admit just how fluent she is. Here’s what she had to say about herself.

In a few words, what exactly do you do?

I translate. Sometimes I interpret but most of the time I translate words.

Why do you love your job?

What’s not to love about it? I learn so many things, I visit so many places, be them in paper, I know so many people without necessarily talking to them (I am not a great talker and I write better than I speak*). I love the idea of transferring meanings from one language to another without changing them and while playing with words. I love the moment when the most suitable word or phrase crystallizes in my mind. I simply adore the element of discovery about every subject I come in contact with. People mesmerize me, observing minds and ideas is a sublime and rare experience.

Is there anything you’d rather do?

Precise casting.  No, seriously, if I hadn’t taken to languages I would have liked to be a person who casts metals. The experience is one of a kind. Oh, and wine maker. One day when I grow up I am going to have wine yards and make wines. And taste them.

What’s your most terrible work experience?

I have this shameful episode with a multi-page document in which carbon dioxide was translated as hydrogen dioxide. The editor sent it back to me all red and I turn all red myself every time I remember that. I also take sides when interpreting which I believe is not going to make me the greatest professional. I will spare stories with deadlines like “3 o’clock yesterday” and similar stuff. And I had a very recent experience with a translation from English to Bulgarian, which should have been a walk in the park had not the source text been originally written in Russian by Lithuanians, at least that was my suspicion, and then translated into English. So glad it is over!

And you dream about?

Fluency. In every way.

* DP Note: That’s not true. She’s a great speaker, too.


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