Interview with Vitaly, Interpreter and Translator from English, French, and Spanish to Russian, and from Russian to English:
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?
English came easy for me in high school and that prompted me to enter a university in my hometown and study there, majoring in English and doing German as a second foreign language. While in university, I started to offer translating and interpreting services to make some money. I made a final decision to be a translator after graduation and I never came to regret it! Surely, I thought of changing my career several times in my life but it would still be something associated with languages and being around people of different nationalities.
How different is being a translator/interpreter from what you had expected?
Looking back now, I can say that overall, a career of a translator/interpreter has met my expectations.
What is, according to you, the best way to learn a foreign language? How did you learn your languages?
I believe that the best way to learn a language is in a country where it’s widely spoken. When you are totally immersed in the language you can make fairly rapid progress. I could not afford to travel abroad when I was a student, so I just spent countless hours in the local library reading books, preparing mini-glossaries, staying in touch with my pen pals. I also tried to use every opportunity to talk to native speakers.
What are the challenges of being a translator/interpreter? What are the perks?
Well, if you work in-house there is more dependence on your boss and colleagues: you may feel exploited, slighted, or stressed. On the other hand, you do not have to spend time and money looking for work as it is there for you on a daily basis. Being a freelance translator can be extremely satisfying if you have a good clientele base which can keep you busy day in, day out, thereby minimising your potential “downtime”. Also, you are your own boss and can enjoy all freedoms, flexibility and creativity that stem from it. However, you have to have very good business skills, marketing yourself and your abilities to potential clients.
Thank you very much!