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Svetlana Beloshapkina

Question and Answer

  • What is your name, where do you live, and how long have you been an interpreter or translator.
    • Svetlana Beloshapkina
  • Where do you live
    • San Diego, CA
  • Years of experience as an interpreter or translator
    • 12+
  • What made you decide to become a translator or interpreter?
    • The love of literature made me want to be a translator and the love of music made me want to be an interpreter. Even as a kid, one of my most favorite activities was to browse through my parents' extensive library, which included books in translation, in search of words in foreign languages that the translator had decided to leave untranslated in the text, adding the translation in a footnote. And my love for the Italian music made me want to learn the language all on my own, the knowledge of which I later applied as a volunteer interpreter for Italian clergy in my church. That's when I realized I loved interpreting, I was good at it, and wanted to continue doing it, along with translating, as a profession.
  • List one strength that you think sets you apart from your colleagues.
    • I received an over a decade long formal education in theory and practice of languages, earning 3 graduate degrees. I have successfully passed the United Nations Competitive Examination for Russian language translators.
  • Name the one thing that you most enjoy in your translating or interpreting career.
    • Learning every day
  • We all have worked on those not-so-perfect assignments. Write about one such assignment that was not ideal and what you learned from it.
    • In one of the recent translation assignments I received a heavily edited text back from the client, in the finalization stage, where my task is either to accept or reject the edits. While the client did not consider this a big issue (they just said "it just happened to be a heavy-handed editor"), my professional pride was hurt a bit, because I felt that many of the edits were preferential, and neither improved my original translation nor really made it worse. It was just a case of synonymy. I then asked the client whether in the future they may provide a glossary, which would eliminate this time-consuming and, therefore, costly, issue. The client replied that while it would have been ideal, but no, they do not have one. I am now considering offering the client my services as a terminologist, which, in the long run, may save them money and headaches to their linguists. I learned that a one-time problem can lead to a permanent solution.
  • If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out as a translator or interpreter, what advice would you give to your younger self?
    • Don't go it alone. Don't invent the wheel. Turn to your more experienced colleagues for advice and mentorship - most of them will be happy to help!
  • Name one resource – such as a phone app, CAT tool, website, and so forth – that you find especially helpful in your translating or interpreting work.
    • www. Linguee.com
  • What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
    • Living with a wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich

 Living With a Wild God

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed comes a brave, frank, and exquisitely written memoir that will change the way you see the world.

Barbara Ehrenreich is one of the most important thinkers of our time. Educated as a scientist, she is an author, journalist, activist, and advocate for social justice. In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, she recounts her quest-beginning in childhood-to find "the Truth" about the universe and everything else: What's really going on? Why are we here? In middle age, she rediscovered the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence, which records an event so strange, so cataclysmic, that she had never, in all the intervening years, written or spoken about it to anyone. It was the kind of event that people call a "mystical experience"-and, to a steadfast atheist and rationalist, nothing less than shattering.

In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, Ehrenreich reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. The result is both deeply personal and cosmically sweeping-a searing memoir and a profound reflection on science, religion, and the human condition. With her signature combination of intellectual rigor and uninhibited imagination, Ehrenreich offers a true literary achievement-a work that has the power not only to entertain but amaze.

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