Translators of Language Department: Meet Patricia!

Spanish translation, marketing, Portugese translation

We’re highlighting the amazing ongoing efforts and experience of our language experts, as well as an inside look as to how much we value our translators and interpreters! The knowledge, loyalty, and attention to detail that our community embodies are what make Language Department unrivaled in language services.


 

Meet Patricia in Barcelona, Spain…

 

 

 

 

What is your native language, and which are you fluent in?

My native languages are Dutch and English, but I’m also fluent in Brazilian-Portuguese and Spanish. I translate primarily for Legal, Business & Marketing, and Financial companies.

When and why did you become interested in translation?

In my twenties, I studied Spanish and English at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting, but I switched to Utrecht University for a Master’s Degree in Latin America Studies.

I then worked in journalism for over a decade, until I decided to go to Brazil to make an independent documentary with disadvantaged teenagers and young adults in a community in Rio de Janeiro. The work was super fulfilling, but I didn’t get paid, so I started working on the side as an interpreter and translator. I really enjoyed it; it felt like returning to one your favorite spots from your childhood, and since I love writing and being my own boss, translating feels like a natural fit. 

What is your favorite part about being a translator?

There are so many parts I love about being a translator! What I love the most is getting a better understanding of different and new worlds and connecting cultures. But, I also love the fact that translating is like solving a giant puzzle sometimes. Sometimes the puzzle is easy, other days it feels like an unsolvable brain teaser, so when you find just that right terminology or syntaxis…that’s very satisfying.

And then there’s the diversity of the job, and the fact that you learn so much about stuff you may have never even heard of before: one day you’re translating a technical report on air pollution, the next a court ruling on intellectual property rights, and then a coffee ad campaign. All in a week’s work!

What are the most important phrases to learn first in a new language?

Every time I moved to a new country, three times so far, the most important thing was always knowing how to say “I’m sorry that I don’t speak your language, but I’m trying, so bear with me.”

This usually brings a smile to someone’s face and they’ll immediately try to teach you a few new phrases as well. So, it’s good to always have a notebook at hand.

What is your favorite word in another language?

It’s the name of a neighborhood in Rio: Jacarepaguá.

The way that Cariocas – inhabitants of Rio – pronounce it, is 100% smooth. As if you’re licking the last drop of delicious food from your plate. I always wanted to move to Jacarepaguá, just so I could say I live there.

What language would you love to learn next and why?

Catalan. Since I’m living in Barcelona it would be nice to have conversations in Catalan that exceed topics like the weather or my dogs.

Where are your best tips for traveling internationally?

Keep an open mind, embrace the differences, and eat lots of street food!


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