Nice to meet you! With a big smile… Where are you from? I am from Poland, though I live in Denmark at the moment. I am from Uruguay, though I live in Paraguay. I was born in Ireland, but I married an Italian girl, and live in your sunny country.
These were common answers at the Proz.com 2014 International Conference. We should have done a statistical research among translators not living in their country of origin. The second question was: What’s your language combination? And then… what’s your specialisation? Isn’t it weird that I met only one financial translator like me?
After a couple of questions about professional career, the small talk on the leaning tower of Pisa, on Italian food or on travelling prevailed. Good news! Everybody is here to socialise! And socialising was the best part of it, certainly. Business cards were taken out only after dinner. I met very nice people, enthusiast, with a passion for their work as translators and interpreters. Meeting open-minded people who love their job is a like catching some fresh air after a hard day’s work!
Actually, I expected more practical hands-on information from the conference sessions. I was a bit surprised that there are translators who do not know that this is a business, that they have to set their own price list, risk management process and draft a business plan. Or who do not know any CAT tool.
I met some young translators eager to ask questions about this profession to a veteran (after 22 years of translation I am probably considered an “old” translator), and I talked to not-so-young teachers and engineers who have diversified (or changed profession) putting their technical or language expertise into practice with translation – and are more than happy not to have a boss any longer. We are all aware that knowing two or more languages does not make you a translator, and we were all there at the #PisaConf because we know that continuous learning and sharing information with other translators is the only way to become – and continue to be – professional translators with a passion for our work. Sometimes we need to leave our bunker and see new faces. Let’s keep in touch!
Long live the Passionate Translator!