This is the number 13 in our series of interviews with translators from all over the globe. Translation is a very diverse industry - we want to introduce some of the people behind making the world a more multilingual place. This episode is an interview with Juan Yborra Golpe.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! I am Juan Yborra Golpe and I work as a freelance translator. I am specialized in AV and scientific translation, and I am trying to find my place as an interpreter as well. I have a BA in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada. I also got a MA in Translation Research from the same University.
How did you decide to be a translator? What makes you passionate about languages?
I guess I decided it because I had a knack for learning English at high school, and that led me to fall in love with all kinds of languages. What I love about languages is that they contain different views of the world that each culture has. Learning a new language means learning a new way of understanding the world.
What have you done to improve your translation skills in the last year?
I have tried to attend as many translation congresses, events and meetings as possible. You can learn a lot there and of course make new contacts. Networking is essential. You can also learn a lot by signing up for translation courses offered by specialized companies such as ZOT Formación or Trágora.
How do you prepare for a translation project?
It depends on the project itself, of course. Generally, I try to keep a fluent communication with the client, provide the best service in the less time possible. There’s no need to say that procrastination is forbidden.
What aspects of your job are the most challenging?
Clients! Dealing with them can sometimes be a real pain. Deadlines are also difficult to deal with. Documentation is indeed essential if you are working with a text whose vocabulary you don’t master.
What excites you the most about the languages you work with?
The possibility to learn new ways of thinking and communicate with distant cultures.
What is the funniest translation experience you can remember?
I guess it was when I started to learn how to localize software. I started the translation and all I could see was the code! I only had to translate a few phrases among lines and lines of code and I felt like some sort of hacker. It was awesome but a bit frustrating, too. Luckily, you get used to it and you learn to do it almost automatically!
What are good or bad things about freelancing?
Here in Spain, there’s no doubt that the worst thing about being a freelancer are the taxes you have to pay! Apart from that, you also have to bear in mind that sometimes you might spend a few days without getting a translation project and suddenly get 5 at the same time! The best things are of course being able to work at home and the "freedom" you can enjoy.
What are you wishes for 2014? What excites you, what are you sceptical about?
I suppose that getting more translation projects is always welcome. I hope to attend many translation congresses such as ENETI or Lenguando and make new contacts.
What would you pass on as personal advice to new translators?
Don’t despair if you think you’ll never earn money from translation. Be constant and do your best to achieve your goals. You should always ask for help if you need it.
Thanks to Juan for the answers!