Love what you do and do it with love! - Interview with Caroline Alberoni
Translation is a very diverse industry - we want to introduce some of the people behind making the world a more multilingual place. This time it is an interview with Caroline Alberoni of Alberoni Translations from Brazil. Enjoy reading!
Please tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Brazilian and work as a professional freelance translator for almost four years. I translate from English and Italian, mainly IT, marketing and business texts. You can tell I was born to be a translator by my qualifications: I hold a BA in Letters specialized in Translation (from UNESP, Brazil) and an MA in Translation Studies with Intercultural Communications (from the University of Surrey, UK). I started translating as a freelancer right after I finished my studies, when I came back to Brazil. I currently live in my hometown, Rio Claro, a small town near São Paulo, in Brazil. I’m a social media lover, so you can find me in pretty much any platform: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram. You can also visit my website and blog.
How did you decide to be a translator? What makes you passionate about languages?
When I was in high school and had to decide which course I would choose to follow, I had absolutely no idea which one I’d pick. The only thing I knew for sure was that I loved languages (and still do). I was studying English as a second language at the time, and was a part-time English teacher. So I decided to go through a career guide using this information as basis. When I saw there was a major in Translation, it was love at first sight. After that split second, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a translator. There wasn’t a second choice.
What are good or bad things about freelancing?
I think I’m biased to answer this question, because I simply love being a freelancer. I love the freedom and the flexibility it provides me. We almost always end up working more than an in-house translator, but being able to take a week day off for any reason is just amazing! If I don’t feel well or if I feel like sleeping an extra hour in the morning, the only thing that may stop me from doing so is my schedule for the day. You also get to choose what you want to translate and what you prefer not to. This consequently makes us feel more satisfied. Some people don’t like the loneliness it brings. But I also adore it! I can’t focus properly if there are people around, noise, movement. Anything distracts me, from music to people passing by. Another freelancing responsibility people may not like is being an entrepreneur. Well, I may sound redundant, but being an entrepreneur is just awesome! I enjoy taking care of my marketing, my social media, my website, my blog. I want to revamp my branding, website and business cards all the time! In a nutshell, I love even the bad things (according to other people) about freelancing.
Which of the social networks do you use most successfully for customer acquisition, which ones more for interaction with others in your industry?
I think the website is, by far, the best way to reach customers. LinkedIn is also a great platform for getting to know a professional better. The other social networks, in my opinion, are mainly for interaction. But they end up giving us better visibility as well. I love Twitter to interact with translation peers. It is quite user-friendly and enables real engagement. Besides, people on Twitter are really friendly, helpful and caring.
Where do you find inspiration for your blog?
I usually read a lot: blog posts, articles, books, magazines; not only in translation, but also in management, branding, marketing and other topics that may interest me. I also follow discussions on Facebook groups and always pay careful attention to what people comment everywhere. This allows me to have ideas for my own blog posts. However, something I have learned with blogging is that, even though an idea might seem obvious and not interesting, we turn it into something entirely different and possibly even catchy when we write about it, because we add our own views, experience, feelings, background and transform it into something unique.
How does your average working day look like?
I usually wake up at 6 a.m., either go to my Pilates class or run, come back home, take a shower, grab a fruit and seat on my desk at around 8 a.m. First of all, I check my emails and all my social media (everything people have posted since the day before). If there is something interesting, I save it for later. After that, I decide what I feel like posting that day. On Tuesdays, I publish posts from guests, and on Thursdays, I publish personal posts on my blog. All of that takes a long time, and I usually start working for good at around 10 a.m. The rest of the day is all about translating and replying to emails (I like doing it as soon as they arrive). I stop for lunch when food is ready (I currently live with my mom, so she does the cooking), eat, do the dishes and go back to work until around 7 p.m.
If you could change something in your work environment, what would it be?
I’m currently living with my mom, at the house I was born, due to some family issues, so my office is a temporary one. But I plan on having a proper office in my future house, with shelves for my books and a cozy armchair for reading. I also have to buy a proper chair. I plan on making it the coziest room in my house, after all, that’s where I spend most of time.
What would you pass on as personal advice to translators new to the industry?
If possible, take a translation degree or any other translation-related course. Be active on social media, follow influencers, read what they write and interact with them. Be visible. Always ask for help, either from your teachers or from colleagues/friends. Be open to feedback and learn from them. Try not to make the same mistake twice. Read a lot. After finishing it, read more. Blog posts, magazines, books, articles, anything, on any topic that may interest you. Learn from mistakes. Never underestimate them. Apologize if necessary. Join professional associations. Participate on events, both translation-related and on your field of specialization. Specialize. Sometimes our specialization chooses us, if it’s not your case, choose one that you’re most familiar with and that you enjoy reading and writing about, after all, you’ll do it for the rest of your life. Never deliver projects after the deadline! And if you see you’ll delay the delivery, inform the project manager or the client immediately. If you are not familiar with the topic, do not accept the project.
I could go on with other advices, but I’ll wrap up with the most important one: love what you do and do it with love.