Translation

Continuing with my review of 2012 and plans for 2013, once again I’m amazed at how lucky I was last year in all areas of my life. I will start to introduce the areas, in addition to my book, that will be the subject of categories in this blog.

Saint Jerome 4Translation. I am a full-time translator from Spanish and Portuguese into English. Fortunately, I have always known what I wanted to do, and I have always been happy doing it. Translation has been my driving interest since eighth grade, when I first started to learn Spanish. I studied Spanish throughout the rest of my schooling and added Portuguese to my program as an undergraduate. My skill in both languages was strengthened by traveling in the countries where they are spoken, and Portuguese became dominant after I married my Brazilian husband and started to speak the language exclusively at home. Curiosity about the underlying differences between languages led me to do graduate studies in linguistics.

December 2012 marked my 20th anniversary as a free lance. (The term free lance, by the way, comes from the concept of a knight available for hire. I much prefer it to freelancer.) Add 25-plus years as an in-house translator and editor, and the total comes to nearly half a century and at least a couple of thousand deadlines met.

The image is a depiction of Saint Jerome, or Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, the patron saint of translators, who lived from c. 347 to 420. While I do not practice a formal religion, I like to think that he watches over me and makes sure that my work is both accurate and well expressed.

Last year was one of my busiest yet, with more than 50 assignments, some of them quite long, from 12 different clients. I hope the trend will continue in 2013. The hardest part is the business end: creating invoices, sending them out promptly, and following up when they’re not paid on schedule. I’m improving gradually, and I hope to do even better in 2013. Another goal is to make friends with Windows 7—which until now has been slowing me down as I am forced to learn new ways to perform functions that I’ve been doing on auto-pilot for many years.

Tomorrow, another category!

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Translation

  1. Isabel Leonard

    Seeing St. Jerome and remembering my tussles with Windows 7 and Word 2010 simultaneously reminded me of the Norwegian monk sketch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zQgEqDdvuo
    where the help desk guy is called in to help with the difficult transition from scrolls to books.

  2. Hi Isabel! That’s very cute! I’m half-Norwegian, you know.
    So you also struggled to get used to Windows 7 and Word 2010? It beats me why Microsoft had to go and make so many changes! See you on the 19th and the 21st. BTW, we moved up the time of the party to 2 o’clock.