Interview with Tim, Translator from English to Dutch:
First things first, we would love to learn more about you: why and when did you decide to become a translator/interpreter? Where did the idea come from, and have you ever considered doing anything else?
I hold a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in linguistics. When I was asked to do a translation job from English to Dutch by Lingostar, it caught my interest.
Being a translator is not my main job. For the most part, I am the co-ordinator of an urban network in the southern part of the Netherlands. But both jobs are highly interconnected. It all comes down to making the effort to use a language that is fully understandable to the receiver.
How different is being a translator/interpreter from what you had expected?
I was not aware of the fact that translation is really more about the world than about language. However, internet always helps me to get a quick introduction into worlds that I am less familiar with.
What is, according to you, the best way to learn a foreign language? How did you learn your languages?
The best way to learn a foreign language is to go to an area where that language is spoken, on your own. And to force yourself to communicate solely in that language with native speakers of that language. Most of the languages I understand and speak I learned that way.
What are the challenges of being a translator/interpreter? What are the perks?
The most important challenge is to capture all subtleties from the source language in the target language. Sometimes a lack of context makes it very difficult.
Each translation job learns me something new about language, culture and the domain from which the original text stems. I now know things about supporting socks, lighting and nature preservation that I was totally unaware of.
Thank you very much!