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Helen Eby

Question and Answer

  • What is your name?
    • Helen Eby
  • Where do you live?
    • Aloha, Oregon, USA São Paulo
  • How long have you been an interpreter or translator?
    • 20 years
  • What made you decide to become a translator or interpreter?
    • I have been working with both languages all my life. I can't imagine not being a translator or interpreter!
  • List one strength that you think sets you apart from your colleagues.
    • Seeing the problems that are behind the problems we see. Those are the ones we have to address!
  • Name the one thing that you most enjoy in your translating or interpreting career.
    • Mentoring others and helping them launch. That is why we run The Savvy Newcomer (www.atasavvynewcomer.org).
  • 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.
    • There was only one assignment I didn't get paid for. I was asked to edit a translation done by a "very good translator". It honestly looked like something a computer wrote, and they didn't give me the source. I kept chasing them, and did it reluctantly.
      They acted offended that I would think it was done by a computer... it turns out they didn't pay, and a couple of years later I got an envelope in the mail for a class action lawsuit asking if I wanted to get my $50 back. I didn't bother. It wasn't worth it.
      I learned this. If it looks unreasonable, it probably is. If people don't give reasonable answers, don't trust them.
  • If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out as a translator or interpreter, wTranslation hat advice would you give to your younger self?
    • Trust your gut. A lot of this is common sense.
  • 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?
    • Hijo de hombre, by Augusto Roa Bastos


Hijo de hombre

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