• Yelena McCafferty

You probably didn't know this about translators

On International Translation Day this year we encouraged our followers to come up with questions through an Instagram story: ask us anything you wanted to know about translators. And there were some interesting ones!


Have you ever experienced funny or awkward situations?


Yes, as interpreters we often get sent to various locations: production facilities, farms, where we have to wear personal protection equipment that may make us look funny or awkwardly uncomfortable. Nothing wrong with that – it’s just we are not used to seeing ourselves in the new guise.


What language do you dream in as translators?


The language of our dreams depends on the setting. So if the action takes place in an English-speaking environment, I dream in English. If I talk to someone who speaks Russian to me, then I dream in Russian. As with anything else it all depends on the context. I’ve never actually had a dream about someone who spoke a language they don't know in real life.


What do you like translating most?


I like translating anything to do with tourism. Maybe because it's such a broad topic and a positive one! But on a serious note, I like translating a variety of topics, and if I end up translating something really long, I easily get bored.


Have you ever worked with celebrities?


It depends on what you call a celebrity. I’ve worked with politicians, businessmen, creative people and I can tell you that every time you work with someone whose name you’ve heard before, it gives you a boost of adrenaline.


What are the prospects of Esperanto?


Esperanto was created at the end of the 19th century, and I would call it an artificial language. After WWII English became the language of trade and international relations. It’s the most popular language studied at school in non-English speaking countries. To make the majority study Esperanto so it could oust English is unrealistic in my opinion.


I have recently also done a remote talk for Russian language students at Durham University, sharing my experience and expertise with people who may decide to choose the translation or interpreting career.

[Tip: If you would like to receive a quote for written translation or interpreting services, please email us enquiry@talkrussian.com or call 0207 043 6940.]

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