We are more than happy to announce the winner of the May 2022 edition of our Translator of the Month action.
Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way of saying thank you and recognising the efforts of the industry professionals.
We would like to introduce you to Joan Chapman, one of our Intellectual Property proofreaders.
You are a qualified Accountant and have an MBA from the Open University. That’s so interesting! Why did you decide to step into the Translation industry?
Accountancy is all about the detail, so the link with proofreading is clear. It’s about creating order from confusion and ensuring that the finished product is as good as it can possibly be. Having spent over 40 years working in a variety of financial and management roles, I decided to use my transferrable skills in a role that would allow me to work flexibly. I also enjoy reading, so this job is ideal for me.
As an avid reader yourself, do you consider reading as training to continue to improve your proofreading skills?
I actually find that proofreading as a career has a negative impact on the pleasure I get from reading as a hobby. It’s very difficult to switch off from the proofreader role and I find myself spotting errors when I’m trying to relax with a novel. Having said that, I would agree that a love of reading is a good starting point when it comes to proofreading.
Speaking of literature, have you ever considered doing literary proofreading? Apart from Intellectual Property, are you open to try other fields?
I do think it helps to specialise in a particular area and I tend to specialise in Intellectual Property. However, in addition to the proofreading that I do for Seprotec, I also have a small number of other clients. For those clients I proofread transport audits as well as more general letters and reports. I haven’t (to date) done any literary proofreading, although I wouldn’t rule it out. At the moment, I have enough work without broadening my scope, but I’m always open to a new challenge.
As a freelancer, how do you keep a healthy mindset?
Working as a freelance proofreader can be quite isolating. We spend hours and hours looking at the computer screen. I try to keep a healthy mindset by taking regular breaks, walking outside whenever possible, and relying on the support of my husband and a small group of freelancers who communicate regularly and provide advice, support and understanding.
What do you enjoy most about working with Seprotec?
I’m enjoying working with Seprotec as the work is varied and interesting. The new types of documents they have introduced have been a challenge but have increased my knowledge and understanding of the whole process. I’ve also been lucky enough to work on a number of other projects with them over the last 2 years. Seprotec were also very supportive recently when I needed to reduce my availability due to a serious family medical issue. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to work the hours that suit me. I also have a great relationship with a number of other freelance proofreaders, and we provide support and advice to each other on a daily basis.