Kamila Ołtarzewska is a Polish to English translator specialized in legal, roadwork and humanities translations. She is based in Poland.
Q. How did you get started in translation?
Kamila: Volunteering to interpret at a cinematographers' festival in my town when I was 17.
Q. What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Kamila: Finding jobs.
Q. Describe a favorite experience with a client.
Kamila: I have accepted a job in a new area of expertise. Due to a lack of specialized dictionaries I had to rely on my knowledge of Latin, the Internet and, of course, ProZ.com. Although my neck and shoulders were sore, I did not stop until I finished and was sure I would succeed with checking the translation. For the first time, I sent the text well one or two days before the deadline. The Client acknowledged the receipt and promised to keep me posted as to the possible corrections that would be necessary. After another two days, I got the feedback "It's grand! You're incredible!"
Q. What do you like best about where you are in your career now?
Kamila: The sense of direction I have developed. I am not looking for a career as a secretary or kindergarten teacher any longer.
Q. In what way have you been successful?
Kamila: Once I had decided to focus on translation and related activities, I gradually started receiving more and more offers. That, in turn, triggers happiness and boosts self-esteem. Am I happy about the job. More than any other beforehand.
Q. What has been the secret to your success?
Kamila: I reject the jobs beyond my fields of expertise. Alternatively, if I "skate on thin ice", I double check against "false friends" in my language pair with a view to troubleshooting.
Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Kamila: Find yourself a guru, work as their assistant until they find you a threat.
Q. How has ProZ.com helped you meet your business objectives?
Kamila: The investment in the membership was tantamount to opening a company. In my country, it is dreary in terms of finance. Consequently, it has made me focus on this particular activity, as opposed to looking for easier paths of life.
Q. What are your predictions for the future of the industry?
Kamila: CAT will begin to take over and replace average translators. There will always be a niche for upmarket interpreters and better-than-machine translators for such specific tasks as literature, culture-specific or translation of google-translator-based source language used by non-native speakers into a target language.
Q. What is next for you in your career?
Kamila: CAT tools choice and challenge.