This week we interviewed one of our translators, Karine. She has been working with us for 1 year and today we share a bit about the woman herself.
1. “Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?”
“My name is Karine, I am 44 years old and I have a husband, 2 daughters and a cat! We live in Sceaux, a small town south of Paris. I have actually mostly lived in the Paris area, even though I spent some of my much younger years in Germany, and some of my student years in the USA. Besides French and English, I speak Spanish (I am in fact half Spanish but I learned the language in school rather than at home).
During my free time, I love : reading (novels, both in French or English) and cooking. I also love travelling (my next trip is to NYC!) but the French Alpes are definitely one of my favorite places in the world. I aslo practice Zumba and Pilates on a weekly basis and enjoy skiing and snowshoeing during the winter.”
2. “You previously worked in financial services before making translation your primary business area. What motivated to make the switch?”
“I had had the opportunity to do a bit of translation during my career in finance and really enjoyed it. That said, I loved my job… until some changes within the company started to seriously bear an impact on my job, and the number of hours spent in the office became so overwhelming that I only saw my children for 30 minutes each day. I decided it was time to get a life back and do something I liked, but which also gave me the opportunity to enjoy my family time.”
3. “What do you think makes the job of translator so important?”
“Nowadays, an increasing number of people speak different languages. However, this is not the case for everyone and that’s where translators can make a real difference. I believe translators have a very unique task. They basically help people from different cultures understand each other. Translators are communication facilitators and I am proud to be one of them.”
4. “Is there a particular industry or sector for which you find translating more interesting?”
“I have always found the content I have had to translate interesting. Each new assignment is an opportunity to learn something new. However, to this day, the assignments I have enjoyed the most had to with tourism and leisure.”
5. “What kind of material is more interesting when it comes to translating?”
“Websites, definitely! Translating a website gives way to creativity. It is ok, and even recommended, to step away from the original version with a website translation project.”
6. “Of all the countries you have visited, which one is you favorite and why?”
“Tough question, but if I had to pick one, it would most likely be the United States. I have actually lived there for a few years and have enjoyed the fact that, generally speaking, American people are not as formal as in my home country. The attitude is more laid-back. I loved the diversity over there, the fact that it is so big and I truly love the language too, so that probably helps!”
7. “Have you ever lived in or visited another country in which they observed a tradition or custom that you found bizarre? Which country was it what was the tradition?”
“Yes indeed! The strangest thing I have seen? Well, I had the opportunity to visit a high school and I remember seeing quite a few kids carrying around a bag of flour, holding it as if it was a baby (some bags even had baby hats on them!) I enquired about this and I was told that as part of their curriculum, some kids were taking parenting classes and had to act as if they had a baby for a week (carrying, changing, feeding the “baby”). In that specific school, they had decided babies would be represented by packs of flour but apparently, this custom is fairly widespread and different schools have different fake babies, including robots in some cases.”