With some delay, we are more than happy to announce the winner of the August 2021 edition of our Translator of the Month action.
Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals.
We would like to introduce Anja Kehl, a patent translator with a brillliand career in front of her.
You are one of our most regular and trusted patent translators since 2018! How do you remember your first year as a Seprotec translator?
I started my freelance career in 2016, so when I started working for you, it was still in the first years of my career. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly what was 2018 like (life as we knew it before the pandemic has become something unrealistic to me).
What I do remember is that with every new client I learned something new. For example, how to organize myself better, how to disconnect or take breaks, etc.
You have been living in Spain for 13 years now… That is quite a lot! When did you realize that your heart belonged here in Spain?
About 6 months after coming to Spain as an au-pair, I realized that I wanted to stay and study here. What I remember and appreciate most is the way Spanish people welcome everybody with open arms.
What are the most common translation problems in the language combinations you work with?
The most common problem is not really a translation problem. It’s that people think that the German language is the same for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The same thing happens with Spanish, sometimes I’m asked to translate into Spanish for Latin America and when I tell the client, they think it doesn’t matter. But the different regions do matter.
How do you keep yourself active after so many hours translating in front of a computer? We have been told that you love sports…
Yes, I love doing sports. I workout regularly and I try switching my phone off at least 2 hours a day. Disconnecting the mind is important.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a career in translation?
I think the most challenging aspect is more or less the same for every freelance career. In the beginning, you don’t know what to charge, don’t know where to gain experience and clients always demand experience.
My tip is to specialize in 1 or 2 fields that you like. You can’t translate a text you’re not really interested in with the same enthusiasm as one in a field you really like.
Another challenging aspect for me was learning when to say no. It’s very important to take care of your health and not to overwork yourself (although it still happens to me).
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and congratulations on the ‘winning award’. It is certainly well-deserved.