It's time for another in our series of posts introducing you to the people behind ProZ.com...
It's time to reprise our series of posts introducing you to the people behind ProZ.com, given that we've had an influx of new colleagues in recent months....
This is the latest in a series charting the development of the embryonic Pro Bono Project, which matches volunteer translators with worthy non-profit causes. Our first “clients” have been environmental agencies, and few could be more urgent and important than the cause of Professor Bill Ripple and his film, the Scientist’s Warning.
ProZ.com’s Pro Bono Project has completed its first real month in action, and there’s been a LOT of action, especially when it comes to environmental projects.
I thought the easiest way to tie the threads together would be via a monthly newsletter, keeping you updated on the non-profit clients and the translators involved, as well as updating you on other must-know areas of the project.
When it’s an unworkshop, obviously. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Perhaps you’ve heard of Translation Mastermind, a group that I’ve been running for a few years now, several of which have been in partnership with ProZ.com. The participants (around 1,350 translators) are made up of a small minority who’ve joined independently and the vast majority who enter the group as one of the benefits of being ProZ.com membership Plus subscribers.
All over the world as we speak, good work is being done by volunteers. From aiding refugees to rescuing animals, from teaching underprivileged children to staffing a local charity shop, this quiet work goes on day after day, carried out by unsung heroes. And at times, as in the recent case of Ukraine, we witness mass mobilizations of people power that are truly inspiring.Read More
All our lives are marked by milestones which appear clear in only retrospect. Each time we make major decisions or react to unexpected circumstances, we never really know what lies ahead. But looking back, we see how each key event – whether welcome or unwelcome –played a part in making us into the person we are today. A chance meeting, an unplanned travel experience, a divorce, a disease – all emerge along the journey as seemingly random events, and it’s only later that we recognise them as real turning points. That is certainly true of English and French into Italian and Spanish translator Patricia Ferreira, whose life and travels have taken her far from home, given her a varied career in languages, and culminated in an inspiring triumph over adversity.Read More
Many translators speak of how their final career choice was somehow the result of an action or decision by one or both of their parents, but few trace the journey back two generations to a grandparent. However, that’s exactly the case with long-term ProZ member Mario Freitas, whose grandfather – even though he wasn’t a career diplomat – served as Brazilian ambassador to El Salvador, Honduras, and Lebanon. It was in Beirut that Mario’s parents met – his father was of course Brazilian, and his mother Lebanese – and it was precisely because of that cosmopolitan experience that his father later placed Mario in an American school in their hometown of Belo Horizonte.Read More
While some translators had jet-setting parents who carted their kids with them across the globe, complete with international schooling, and others grew up amid several languages, surrounded by grandmothers or uncles muttering away in exotic tongues, Élisabeth Fuchs begins her interview by saying “My background’s not very interesting.” Ah, but appearances deceive. It may be true that she has lived her entire life in a 200-km radius, and that the most adventurous move was from Lorraine, in the northeast of France, to Alsace in the…er…northeast of France, when she was still a young child. But when you zoom in and look at the detail, every human story, every background, has its fascination, and Élisabeth’s is no exception.Read More
Imagine growing up in one country and enjoying your late adolescence and adult life in another – but without ever leaving your home town. Such was the experience of Tvrtko Štuka, who was born in Zagreb, in what was then Yugoslavia, although the city is now of course the capital of Croatia.Read More
Just close your eyes for a few seconds and type a sentence or two at your keyboard. Then open them and see how you got on. If you’re a touch typist, chances are you didn’t do too badly, but nevertheless you’re keen to check – a task for which you use your vision of course. Now imagine operating “in the dark” throughout your professional career, typing sentence after sentence, translation after translation, without ever being able to see the page, and without using any kind of speech-to-text software. The trick? Well, on your keyboard, there are tiny key bumps on the F and J keys, as well as on the number 5 on your numerical keypad. Perhaps you’ve never stopped to give them much thought. But for a blind person, they are essential, and orientate the fingers around the entire keyboard.
Welcome to the extraordinary world of Stefan Paloka.