SeproTec Translator of the Month: August 2020

9 minutes

We have a great pleasure to introduce the winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec.  A program designed as a way to say Thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

With two University Degrees and working with 5 source languages, we would like you to meet Nicolae Zarna, our November Translator of the Month

What do you start your work-day with?

Nice! Well, after having my coffee while reviewing last night’s news on my topics, I am doing my homework: E-mails, sorting projects based on delivery time, volume and diversity.

This task takes about one hour. After that I start working on my projects for about 4 hours. I enjoy taking a “siesta” around 2 pm.

My ideal start of the working day would be some gym, but this is only a dream at this point unfortunately.

If not much work has to be done, I take advantage and work on my “secret” passion: computer programming.

You studied Economic Science and Law, and Chemistry! But you have been working as a translator for more than 30 years. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a translation career?

After taking my PhD in Chemistry and working 5 years in advanced research fields, I realized that it became somewhat limiting for my style. I was always looking for new horizons to discover and checking around I’ve become aware that translation field can offer me this opportunity because of the endless fields available, just waiting to pick-up.

In a short time, I’ve got the opportunity to work in projects dedicated to support abandoned children that offered me a huge personal reward and the determination to pursue a translator career. There was a time when I was oscillating between translation and computer programming, and translation won the prize.

How did the confinement affect you personally and professionally?

First of all, as freelancer I’ve been working from home for over 25 years, so …. “welcome in my world”. Nothing new here.

Confinement was a fantastic time. Something that occur once in a life time, at least if no major change in the working paradigm is to come.

Having the opportunity to stay with family all day, digging on spiritual topics with your wife or taking a friendly chat on an integrated view on math, physics and chemistry with your 15 years old daughter … this is something impossible in nowadays “normal” times, except during confinement. It was all about charging spiritual batteries! And guess what, with a work load below 30% of normal times, the special benefits granted by confinement where much enhanced.

Have you ever encountered an ethical or moral dilemma on a translation project? How did you handle it?

I was lucky enough during my career that I have not faced an ethical or moral dilemma on a translation project.

As of now I am not in the position to accept and respect my point. I’ll gladly explain why it’s not in my best interest.

You work with five source languages, that´s impressive! Which language pair do you enjoy working with the most?

For the last 4-5 years I only offer my services to only 3 source languages, 2 of them being romance languages, such is my native one. This self-restriction allowed me to have a better focus on the market.

Spanish is my first love and I have remained by far engaged with “her”. I was 7 years old when started learning Spanish, after I set aside my German classes, and suddenly I’ve got the feeling that somewhere in the past , I was a child playing in La Mancha plain. If somehow in an Orwellian parallel universe somebody would prohibit me to provide Spanish into Romanian translation services, for sure I would change my career.

Do you find CAT tools essential for the translator´s profession? From your experience, would a translator be able to make a good living without owning or using any CAT tools?

I personally cannot imagine myself working without a CAT tool anymore. I know that in my country there are still many professional translators that didn’t discovered CAT tools yet, especially those working as sworn translators.

For sure under nowadays pressure rates & delivery time going South vs. work volume going North, it is difficult to imagine how a full-time professional translator can make a good living without using a major CAT tool.

I would not stress here the well-known advantages of using CAT tools, I just want to say that after discovering CAT tools, the quality of the services I provide just skyrocketed.

For me it is amazing how Sepro succeeded to offer CAT opportunity in Court translations, a traditionally none-CAT field.

Thank you so much, Nicolae!  It has been a pleasure to chat with you, thank you for your hard work and enjoy your SeproHoodie!

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