We are on a mission to get to know our talent better. This week we caught up with 5-star German translator Sandra B., a certified translator specializing in manufacturing, travel and political content.
Q: How did you come to learn another language?
A: I learned English in school and it is still my preferred foreign language because it is spoken throughout the world.
Q: How and when did you start your professional translation career?
A: After finishing my studies in 1993, I worked as a translator for a large building material company. I also worked for the car manufacturer Opel before I started my freelance business in 2007.
Q: What are some inherent challenges that come with translating content?
A: I often do journalistic translations, for example for an Indian magazine.
The challenge is to be really familiar with the cultural, social and political situation in this country because otherwise a correct translation is not possible. In this context, another difficulty is finding a good headline.
Generally, sarcasm can be difficult to translate as well as idiomatic expressions: here, you also need to be familiar with the culture, because it can be misleading otherwise.
Q: If you could instantly learn a new language, which one would you choose and why?
A: Italian, because I love the country and traveling around there.
Q: What are some benefits to speaking more than one language?
A: It is good for your mental fitness and opens your mind, especially when you become familiar with a foreign culture. You have greater freedom to travel and work in other countries.
Q: Aside from translation, what else takes up your time?
A: My two children (10 and 13 years), my hobbies like jogging, playing tennis and, not to be missed, cooking and eating with friends or trying out new restaurants.
Q: Many people assume that being bilingual qualifies you to be a translator, how would you describe the differences?
A: Bilingualism does not necessarily mean that you are a good translator. The excellent knowledge of two languages is the first precondition.
But the next step is that you must be a good writer in your mother tongue to be a good translator.
Moreover, practice and experience in the job is needed to become a good translator.
And, last but not least, your special fields play an important role too. Just being bilingual does not necessarily mean that you know a lot about tires or a certain machine type, for example.
5-star translator Sandra B. joined WriterAccess in 2016 and has helped many companies translate their content to reach foreign markets.
Her focus is on manufacturing, travel and politics, with expertise in technical material like manuals and safety data sheets. Sandra is a state-certified translator from the Academy for Foreign Language Professions in Wuerzburg, Germany.