- What exactly does the General Editor of Mitra Translations do?
The editor’s work is somewhere between the translator’s and the project manager’s work. It goes in both areas of expertise. To achieve high quality, it sometimes necessary to get feedback from the translator and discuss the choice of phraseology, or carry out kind of a micro-research in specialized literature, dictionaries, etc. The project manager stands on the other side of the bridge – he or she makes the contact with customers and a great part of the work depends on our good communication. Though rarely, the editor also talks to the end customer whose requirements often change in the course of the project, or have been missing in the first place; very often we’re talking about hundreds of pages after all. However, the editor’s proofreading talent often comes first – I’m talking about all those little “details” like spelling and literary norms that sometimes neither customers, nor linguists clearly understand. In order for you to get the whole picture, I shouldn’t fail to mention a couple of very interesting moments like text formatting (which can be a real headache sometimes), evaluation of external translations, localization (or adaptation) and to top it all off – the technical aspect, called CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools.
- Why did you choose this career? What qualities define you as translation agency editor?
Choosing the right qualification is something you have to figure out for yourself, though I have worked in many different fields, not always putting my university degree into practice. The truth is I have always wanted to work as a linguist and when I found Mitra Translations, I was over the moon. But later I gradually came to understand that in this business, along with the purely linguistic aspect, there are also other types of issues, that are just as important. The time factor maybe comes first, i.e. the ability to plan your work, choosing the projects with higher priority over all the other stuff that wouldn’t affect the end result. Of course, I’m talking about cases where you’re racing against time to meet the deadline, and you know you have to everything you can. Then there’s the need for a more flexible approach, requiring different levels of concentration for individual projects; not to mention the fact that bigger translation providers have their own criteria, that is sometimes quite unstable and/or different from the allegedly clean-cut criteria established here in Bulgaria. On the other hand, when we’re talking about whether the translation is intended for printing, software use, or what the target audience is — these are three entirely different things. Going back to the qualities which define a translation agency editor, I would add one more thing and that is curiosity. During the middle ages, curiosity was considered a mortal sin, but today you just can’t unfold without it.
- What do you enjoy about your work? And what are the things you find not particularly pleasant, but are still part of your duties?
It may be a paradox, but the thing I enjoy most about my work is exactly the thing that puts me off. For example, I like reading different types literary works that provoke me and call for a second read. Literature that leaves a profound impression on you or has more than one interpretation. As part of my work, I have to read texts which are also difficult, strictly specialized, e.g. technical, medical, legal, financial texts, etc. You can’t be a specialist in everything but the source text of a commercial contract can be quite lousy, trust me. This raises the question exactly how much the translator and the editor are allowed to change the text. It’s always possible to come across a text that will bring out some kind of emotion within you and it’s not always a positive one.
- Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you.
I’m sure there is something, but I’m not going to reveal it yet.
- What do you like doing when you’re not at the office?
I’m working on my new apartment. Apart from that, the usual stuff – reading, listening to music, watching movies; I can’t say I’m the most social guy in the world.