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Alina Cincan: How I chose my specialty fields

After a two-week break I am back with the series about specialization. And we are going to read the story of Alina Cincan who already published a guest post in my blog once. I hope this is not the last time when we collaborate :)
So let's see what Alina has to say about her specialty fields.

Photo by Cea

‘We are all mad here’ (Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll)

 Mad about languages, that is. And I’m Alice, in a way. Not that I’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole, but because my mum has always called me Alice. Sometimes I wonder why my birth certificate does not agree. And I do love tea. See, a little rhyme there.

My love for languages started when I was 7, when I first had contact with the English language. Nowadays children in my home country start leaning languages at a much younger age, sometimes at 3, which I think it’s absolutely great. When I was 11, French came into the picture, Spanish and Italian a little later, but English has remained my first and biggest love.

Coming back to the question of the article, my specialty fields are literature (as you may have already guessed from the quote I chose), education and law. How I chose these (or maybe they chose me) I will explain below. 


I am an avid reader, my passion for books starting when I was quite young and the spark that ignited the flame for literary translations was during my university years under the guidance of one of my tutors back then. It continued during my Master’s studies and this is the reason why I chose to research this topic for my dissertation, which focused on potential issues when translating idioms, proverbs, plays upon words etc.

During my final year at university I flirted with translating EU project documentation, but I did not find it very interesting, though I did enjoy interpreting for the meetings my team had with representatives of various companies from other countries – that’s how I became interested in interpreting. 


Having worked for more than 8 years as a teacher (both in Romania and in the UK) has obviously given me the background and insight I needed to specialise in this field. In Romania I started tutoring young children while I was at university. After I graduated, I worked in a private language school for a year, working with students of various ages (between 4-60), then moved on to work in a state maintained school while also delivering English courses for adults. After moving to the UK, I started work in a language school (adult students), then moved to teaching in secondary schools. All these work experiences have helped me to acquire excellent knowledge not only of specific vocabulary, but also of the two different education systems. 


As for choosing to specialise in legal translations (I also have experience in legal interpreting), it started due to another obsession of mine – I would have said interest but my partner disagreed – books and films on this topic. That’s how I started building up the vocabulary one needs to work in this field. Then I gradually got into translating and later interpreting in this area and I absolutely loved it. It is not only the knowledge that your work is vital for the concerned parties (misinterpretations or mistranslations can be disastrous), but also the feeling you are part of a small group of people who have been entrusted a secret.

I also have experience in translating software, as my partner used to work in IT, but I can’t say I enjoyed it much. As we all know, not all translators are lucky enough to be able to choose to translate only what they like. It does not mean they are not good at it; they may just not enjoy it as much. For example, I have good knowledge of the medical field (again, started as an interest in books and films on the topic), but I can’t say it’s my favourite field when it comes to translating. Although forensics would definitely fit me like a glove. 

Moving away from translation and not really

At present I am Managing Director at a translation company, which means that I moved a little from doing translations myself, but still kept in touch with this love of mine, especially if it is a particularly interesting topic or to help out a favourite client. It is exciting as no two days are alike. I enjoy the variety this job brings.

I would like to finish with this wonderful quote from Paul Auster:

"Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.”

Dear Alina, many thanks for sharing your experience with us!

About Alina

I am a former teacher, translator and interpreter with over 8 years’ experience, now Managing Director at Inbox Translation. I am a language geek who likes to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry. When I am not writing on my own blog, I am writing on other people’s. You can get in touch on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

About Alina
I am a former teacher, translator and interpreter with over 8 years’ experience, now Managing Director at 
Inbox Translation. I am a language geek who likes to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry. When I am not writing on my own blog, I am writing on other people’s. You can get in touch on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn. - See more at:


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