As things are becoming increasingly festive, we thought we’d get into the giving spirit by gathering around the warm glow of our…laptop screens, and help you get to know us a little better. Below we hear from Operations Director Jennifer, our Project Manager Marina, and Nikki, our Account Manager.
When and where did your love of languages begin?
Jennifer: Nature or nurture? My dad was a military interpreter, my maternal grandfather’s native language was German, and my English-speaking family lived in Switzerland before moving to New Mexico, USA when I started school. The state of New Mexico has 2 official languages (bet you can guess them!) and I grew up hearing Spanish spoken all around me. As a teenager I rejected both German and Spanish, choosing to study French at school. I felt like a secret agent, communicating in a language that not everyone could understand!
Marina: Being from Catalonia, I was raised as a Catalan-Spanish bilingual, so that was a head start! My love of languages is intertwined with my love for literature and music: craving content that was not available in my languages was basically what taught me English. After discovering how great it was knowing one extra language, I embarked on the journey of learning Japanese, an experience which teaches me every day how deeply connected language and culture are. Languages and intercultural communication are fascinating, and I am very glad I chose this as a career.
Nikki: For me it was in after-school French classes when I was seven! Singing songs and playing games made language learning fun from the get-go, and I think the UK could do with taking a leaf out of other countries’ books and introducing foreign languages earlier in the curriculum. I think a lot of Brits have started a foreign language when they were pre-pubescent and consequently were embarrassed and ashamed on making mistakes while speaking (which is par for the course when learning), thereafter swearing that they will never be good at foreign languages. I hope that national mindset changes!
What’s your favourite thing about working at Web-Translations?
N: I’d say it’s the chance to collaborate with people in so many different industries: it’s fascinating to learn about their goals and challenges, and then help them accordingly.
J: I love to see the websites that we help create, knowing that our hard work has helped a company to communicate with people in a different country. When I can find the time to squeeze in a small translation job, I also really enjoy translating from French to English.
M: I love liaising with freelance linguists from around the globe and learning titbits about their lives, so different yet so similar in a way. I also love translating myself, so I try fitting in English to Spanish translations whenever I can.
What do you think is the most important tip for someone looking to localise their website?
J: You don’t have to translate everything. With a small translated menu and a handful of key pages that you have thoughtfully localised, that’s enough to get started. Then, do a Google ad campaign to bring in visitors. This will give you some initial data and insights to help you plan the next step.
N: Everyone knows the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’, so if you pay nothing for website translation by bunging content into an automated tool (with potentially ambiguous privacy/confidentiality terms), then…
The sight of just one typo or strangely-worded sentence on a website can undermine confidence and trust in a heartbeat: show your customers that you care about quality service by giving your website the same level of care and attention as you would other areas of your business, with a translation carried out by professional linguists.
M: Know your audience. Know who is it you want to reach, and then, translate into their language variant and using the appropriate register. If you want to stand out, you have to communicate with your audience in their own terms – they will reward you with loyalty.
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
N: I’ll be spending a bit of relaxed and Covid-cautious time with family – no doubt with plenty of crisp winter walks – and then having a virtual games night with friends to welcome in the new year. And there will of course be lots of food involved!
M: I am staying put in the UK this year, but thankfully my parents are sending a care package of turrons and neules from Catalonia. I also plan on cooking vegan versions of rostit de Nadal and canelons so at least I won’t feel too homesick when it comes to food – when it comes to people that’s a whole different thing.
J: Gobbling up all the brussels sprouts! I’m thrilled no one seems to like them, because they are so delicious! Happy to leave everyone else the roasted carrots. We’ll also get out for a walk, whatever the weather – our Sproodle will insist upon it! With small children and a bouncy dog, we’ll have a busy Christmas full of excitement, despite the year-that-must-not-be-named. Hoping for lots of Christmas magic for all who read this.
Finally, what’s a surprising fact about you?
M: Vegans who don’t like avocados exist, and I’m one of them.
N: I have what’s known in music as ‘absolute pitch’. It basically means that I can listen to car alarms, microwave pings etc. and give you the musical note they make (G sharp, B flat etc.) without referring to a musical instrument. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is extremely useful.
J: I am fluent in Pig Latin.
All of us at Web-Translations wish you a happy and healthy festive season, and warm wishes for 2021!
22 December 2020 12:02