Today’s guest is Catherine Christaki. You probably all know Catherine for being behind the famous Weekly Favorites. An avid tweeter, Catherine blogs about social media and has regular guest posts that are chock-full of information for us translators. Catherine specializes in IT, medical and gambling texts.
Hello, Catherine and thank you for your participation! Could you start by telling a little bit about yourself?
Hello Emeline. Thank you for having me! I was born and bred in the beautiful island of Crete in Greece. At the age of 18, I left Greece to study French and German in the UK and during my 4-year degree I had the chance to live in Paris and Cologne as well. As soon as I returned to Greece, my translation career started and I also worked in the tourism industry for 3 years to supplement my income. After being a full-time translator for 11 years, I founded Lingua Greca Translations with my partner Christos Floros, also a translator. I translate mainly from English into Greek and I specialize in IT, Medical and Gambling texts. Most importantly: I love my job!
What makes you so passionate about languages?
I have always loved languages since I was little. I started with English at the age of 7 and then went on to study German, French, Italian and Spanish. Back then, it helped a lot than my older brother was studying for his PhD in the UK; I visited him for a month each summer and during my time there I read English books and helped him by typing English texts for his dissertation.
How do you usually celebrate International Translation Day? Is this day special to you or is it just like every other day?
It’s a very special day for all translators and since I joined social media in 2010 I have the chance to share it with colleagues worldwide. If work permits it, I usually attend local translation events in Athens, otherwise I just participate in online translation events.
Which difficulties do you face as a freelance translator? Does working along with another translator beneficial for your business?
The main difficulty I face as a translator is achieving a work-life balance. Working with and being married to a translator means that we rarely manage to leave the office at a “normal” hour. Our kittens sure miss us a lot when we are snowed under work. The benefits though are endless. We regularly work as a team (one translates and the other proofreads), I’ve never experienced the loneliness of working as a freelancer and he understands what I’m going through each day because he’s right there and experiences the same things.
On the other hand, our profession has great aspects. What’s your favorite and why?
The greatest benefit of working as a freelance translator for me is the freedom to work when I want and for as many hours as I wish. Sure, that rarely means less than 10 hours daily, but it’s my choice not someone else’s. Social media has opened many doors for me too. Meeting colleagues and making new translator friends has been very beneficial, both personally and professionally.
What do you think the future holds for us translators?
I think things are getting better by the day. We become more organized and business-driven. Nowadays (and even more so in the future) there is a plethora of resources available, online and offline, that helps us get better in our translation work with glossaries and translation forums and our businesses through the help of associations, workshops and events. No wonder translators are featured in yearly lists of the most in-demand and lucrative professions.
Thank you so much for this interview, Catherine!