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Meet the linguist: Ewa Erdmann (Transliteria)

'Snow' photo (c) 2009, Herry Lawford - license: Hello from snowy Russia!
Remember the #followfriday tradition on Twitter? I've been thinking that it would be great to do something similar on Facebook. From now on I will recommend one colleague each Friday on my Facebook business page. Last Friday was my first try and it went great :) I also felt that this tradition could continue in my blog. Catherine Christaki had the same idea and I am very thankful for the support of both Catherine and Tess Whitty. So, I am starting a new rubric called "Meet the linguist". Soon you will be able to see it among featured rubrics in the upper section of this blog.

Why am I starting the rubric? I have two goals:
1. To inspire more networking among linguists.
2. To help people who come across my blog to find a specialist they need.
You can see my first recommendation here. I was happy to recommend Ewa Erdmann. Ewa has been playing a huge role in my life as a colleague and as a friend. You can check her website and her blog and follow her on Twitter (@transliteria).

Ewa Erdmann (Transliteria)
I have also asked Ewa some informal questions. Here are her replies:

1. Please share some fun facts about you that you don't normally share in your bio.

  • At some point in my life, I seriously considered starting a career as a model (even attended a few castings).
  • My guilty pleasure is sports betting, although I haven’t been doing it for a while, due to lack of time.
  • Although I’ll be thirty this year, I still look like a teenager. Sometimes, bus drivers want to sell me child tickets!

2. What was the best project in your career so far? 

Oh, there were so many of them! Just kidding. The longest one was translating a course book for a direct client, and it was quite an experience. Yet, the best one was a three-day interpreting job at a trade exhibition. I was still a student and this experience made me realise how much I want to be an interpreter and how rewarding this job is. I remember that I had spent a few weeks preparing myself for the exhibition but it was truly worth it. The fact that the company hired students and not professional interpreters is another story, but when you are young and do not know much about the industry, you don’t really think about it. The most important thing is that the client was very pleased with my performance and I was enormously inspired to pursue a career in translation and interpreting.

3. What was the worst project in your career?

I still shiver when I remind myself of this project when the PM blamed me for missing one sentence that their DTP department misplaced. Besides, they asked me to apply corrections suggested by the proofreader which were not even highlighted in the track changes, so I had to compare my translation with the corrected one and apply the changes. We kept sending the file back and forth which was extremely stressful for me. I was a newbie then so obviously took the whole blame on me and felt awful. Now, I would definitely deal with it in a proper way and would not allow for such bad practices to ruin my work. Having said that, it was a lesson that taught me a lot and made me a better professional.

4. Can you share top 3 things you like most about being a freelance translator and interpreter?

Only three? There are plenty of benefits freelancing gives me but the most valuable one is that I can spend a lot of time with my little son and that I am not missing any of his milestones. Thanks to freelancing I can be a mom for him every day, not only at weekends. This comes of course at a price but that’s another story.

The second thing is definitely freedom. For me, freelancing equals freedom: of choice of projects, clients, places I work in and people I meet. It’s a fabulous way of working for those who, like me, value their independence. The job of a translator and interpreter takes me to places and people that otherwise I would never be able to visit and meet. Each day brings something new and working on different projects keeps my mind stimulated. I absolutely love the variety this job brings.

5. Why do your clients love working with you? What is unique about Transliteria?

My clients often tell me that I am not only their translator but also a link between their company and their Polish clients. This is exactly what my services are about: giving the client much more than a text in a different language. Therefore, my clients, for example, have a unique opportunity to market their business among the Polish community in the UK.

Transliteria also unites Polish local businesses by organising networking events and workshops for Polish business owners. It’s an exciting project with a potential for the future, and I am working intensely on its development at the moment.

Dear Ewochka, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful facts! You are amazing! I wish you all the very best in your career!

Dear fellow linguists and translation buyers, from now on you are welcome to check my Facebook page every Friday evening to meet more great linguists! And don't forget to check my blog every week for more interesting facts about each colleague!

Your professional translator, Olga Arakelyan.

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