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Meet the linguist: Olga Dyussengalieva (@OlgaDyusen)

Happy Saturday, dear readers!
It's not Friday, so it's going to be a #follorsaturday recommendation of a fellow linguist. And what a great linguist! Her name is Olga Dyussengaliyeva, she lives in Kazakhstan and is an author of a wonderful blog "More than words" at

Olga recently invited me to take part in her new project which is a series of podcasts about different aspects of freelancing. We talked about pros and cons of being a freelancer. If you know Russian  you can listen to the podcast on the side panel of her blog.

Olga is also a real professional in using Wordfast, so she decided to help the colleagues who are just strting to use this TM-tool. You can download WFA Essentials right from her blog.

Olga recently participated in my other series about staying healthy and fit. You can read her post here.

I also asked Olga to answer my questions. Here is the interview.

1. What was the best project in your career?

This is going to be rather emotional. When I lost one of my jobs I was very frustrated with the situation and really didn’t know what to do. When suddenly my colleague asked if I wanted to join a big translation project: Process Design Engineers training materials. The project took me three months, I finished it exactly before I started a new job and made good money during the time that I expected to be a famine for me. Obviously I was not tuned-up for freelancing then and was job hunting. But this project gave me income and something to do, that surely mitigated the stress to the system which unemployment could cause then.

2. What was the project you hated most in your career?

I agreed to translate procedures for an agency, which subcontracted to a huge oil and gas project here, in Kazakhstan: development of Kashagan oilfield. I worked at this field for a year, and even updated some of the procedures myself, working with a group of engineers there. So I was quite experienced in the specialization of the work, - the main reason why the agency approached me. But the agency imposed their own god-knows-where-they-got-it-from glossary for the procedures, with ridiculous translation of certain terms. I immediately regretted for accepting the work, since every term was a choice: another battle with the agency for quality or accepting their terminology and compromising quality. Still can’t understand why they were looking for someone experienced in the certain field, if they weren’t interested in the expertise.

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

Flexible schedule: I’m an “owl”: work well at night and can do nothing in the morning.

Creativity: I love how freelancing involves so many other things, such as establishing your brand and promoting yourself through SMM.

Variety: Although I stick to my specialization, which is technical translation in industrial engineering and oil and gas, every project is different from another. You never stop learning new things.

4. Why do clients love working with you? What is unique about your services?

Clients don’t like me for being unique: they like me for delivering quality translation on time :) Which should be a normal thing, rather than something unique. I guess my clients also appreciate my quick responses: I never leave a single message unnoticed, and even if I’m not interested in certain offers at the time, I will always reply. Experience as well: I’m a “hands-on” translator, who learns at the actual production / construction sites. Clients like me as interpreter, especially English-speaking clients, as I’m working on making my speech as “native” and pleasing to the ear, as possible.

Dear Olga, thank you so much for the interview! You are a real star! I wish you all the very best! 

Your professional translator, Olga Arakelyan

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