What is ADvance?
The ADvance initiative has been championed by our Vendor Management department as a way of recognizing and rewarding the outstanding work of our top translators.
As a language services company we need to be able to rely on a consolidated database of expert and experienced mother-tongue translators.
The ADvance programme aims to reward those vendors who excel in their daily work by consistently performing well and more specifically those vendors who:
- Deliver on time
- Deliver quality
- Communicate clearly and punctually
- Are reactive and proactive
- Embrace developments in the language industry
Every quarter, two of our Local Units will vote for their preferred vendor and the winner will be able to choose a prize from the following:
- Professional development package (through ProZ and TAUS training sessions)
- Language Technology package (memoQ upgrade and maintenance package)
- Personal treat (Amazon voucher)
And the winner is…
We have just concluded the first edition of ADvance and we are pleased to announce that we have our first winner…
Professional translator from Italian and English into German: Claudia K.
Claudia K. has been collaborating with Arancho Doc since 1999. We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions to try and understand how she came to become one of our top translators.
When did you first realise what you wanted to do?
I have a vivid memory of my first English lesson at school when I was just 10 years old. Until then, I had had a fairly sheltered upbringing and hadn’t really had any exposure to foreign languages. So the possibility that I could actually learn to speak a completely new language came as a complete revelation to me. That day I remember coming home from school and telling my mum “when I grow up I want to work with languages”.
How did this revelation determine your studies?
I finished high-school in Germany, but before taking up my place at Saarbrucken University to study languages, I decided that I first wanted to experience living abroad, so in September 1989 I accepted a position as an au pair in Milan.
Little did I know that the next 12 months would turn out to be decisive not only for me but also for Germany as 1 month later the Berlin wall came down. When my year came to an end, I, on the other hand, decided to attempt the entrance exam in German, Italian and English for the Milan College for Translators and Interpreters (Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori) and much to my surprise I was offered a place!
So instead of returning to Germany I ended up staying on in Milan. Since I was living away from home I also needed to support myself and so I worked during my studies as both a German language teacher at the Goethe Institute and the Wall Street Institute, as well as teaching in various multinationals and doing some translation work on the side.
Upon completing my studies I went to work in the sales office of a pret-a-porter company in Milan following the German and Austrian markets however after one year I realised that even though I was using my language skills to a certain extent I was not doing what I really loved – transferring information from one language to another.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of freelance translation?
I consider myself to be extremely lucky to make a living from doing something I feel passionate about – translating into German.
I love the freedom of being my own boss and working from home. Of course, even though I can be flexible with my time, in order to be successful and keep my customers happy, I do have to be disciplined. I generally start work at 8 or 9 in the morning, but I do allow myself to take time off during the day now and again for personal commitments or to pursue hobbies such as sports. I find that this also helps refresh my mind which ultimately leads to greater concentration and productivity.
Luckily for me until now I have always had more than enough work to keep me going, and have relied on word of mouth recommendations rather than having to actively seek out work, but this does mean that sometimes I have to work 6 or 7 days a week.
One of the things I love about freelancing is that you never quite know what work will come your way. Indeed, I started working with Arancho Doc thanks to a chance meeting back in 1999!
Another advantage is that you can try out different types of work and change direction easily according to your likes and dislikes.
Are there any particular translation or interpreting assignments that stand out in your mind?
In the past, I also worked as an interpreter, mostly at trade fairs or accompanying business delegations to Germany. However, one of the most notable and outstanding experiences was accompanying a group of German tourists on an adventure holiday to the Libyan desert – I spent two weeks sleeping under the stars – an amazing experience that I will always remember.
I also used to translate various books for the tourism sector and I have to say that I did get a sense of satisfaction from seeing my name in print.
And what about your work these days?
Even though I enjoyed working as an interpreter, I eventually realized that I am much more suited to translation work.
However I did get the opportunity several years ago to teach German to future translators and interpreters in Como. This was a great experience that required me to continually explore and question my own language.
These days I specialize in technical translations – and even though most projects are fairly routine, I do love the precision and accuracy that this kind of work demands.
And since I mostly work with language service providers rather than direct customers I am also able to develop solid working relationships with the Project Managers and appreciate the work they do that allows me to concentrate on what I love doing best – translating!
The only drawback to my work as a translator is that as much as it’s interesting to work in a “virtual office” and interact with so many people from so many places around the globe, it’s a shame that I rarely get to meet my business contacts in person.
We would like to thank Claudia for her time and congratulate her once again on being the first translator to win the first edition of ADvance.