Vanesa Álvarez Ortiz is an English to Spanish audiovisual translator based in Argentina.
Q. How did you get started in translation?
Vanesa: I studied translation at university, but I never thought about Audiovisual Translation until I was offered a volunteering opportunity subtitling a film for a festival in Buenos Aires. There, I learned the basics of subtitling and I loved it so much that I ended up specializing in that area.
Q. What are the most challenging aspects of what you do?
Vanesa: There are many challenging aspects to audiovisual translation, since, besides dealing with the normal complexities of languages, we also deal with the technical aspects of creating files that sync to the audio of the content. Audiovisual translators juggle character and line limitations, timing constraints, and lengthy client's style guides, and tiptoe around all of those things to be able to convey the meaning the original author intended.
Q. Describe a favorite experience with a client.
Vanesa: My favorite experiences with clients are actually when the audience of the programs and movies I translate see my name at the end of the credits and take the time to look me up and get in touch with me to thank me for making the content accessible to them.
Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Vanesa: Create a network of like-minded colleagues who can be your support both professionally and socially. Sometimes, you'll feel frustrated and lost, and no one will understand that better than another translator. Networking will give you recommendations, guidance, and even clients. Get out from behind your computer; attend conferences and industry events, join ProZ.com and other platforms, and get to know your colleagues. We shouldn't be competing with one another constantly; unity makes strength.
Q. What is next for you in your career?
Vanesa: In the short term, I want to keep growing VAO Traducciones, my translation studio, by cultivating relationships with film producers and video game developers. In the longer term, I plan to continue specializing further in Audiovisual Translation and to start speaking at industry events.