An interview with Sonia – the diary of a Spanish linguist

Hero Curve Element
An interview with Sonia - the diary of a Spanish linguist

We work with multiple linguists, all with their own areas of specialisation. This week we’ve been talking with Sonia, who often produces one-step translations (or ‘direct translations’) for Knockhundred. Here’s an abridged transcript of our interview.

The Interview:

Interviewer: So, Sonia, tell me a bit about yourself? What do you do?

Sonia: Well, as you know, I work on lots of different projects, so it really depends. Spanish translation, interpreting those kinds of things really.

Interviewer: OK, so let’s start from the beginning. How did you get into working with languages?

Sonia: Well, I’m Spanish and I did an English degree, then I did a Masters in Translation and kept studying. Eventually I got to the point where I was only working on Spanish language projects.

Interviewer: OK, so you work in Spanish and in English right?

Sonia: Yes, but I am Spanish, so when I translate documents (like birth certificates or presentations for example), it is always from English into Spanish. If I am interpreting, then it can be either into Spanish, or into English, when we are talking. But when I am working from videos or audio, then I am often working into English! It’s a bit confusing I guess!

Interviewer: So how does that work?

Sonia: Well, if I am working on a documentary film, then sometimes there might be an interview or something, where the Spanish person speaks quickly, or in a dialect. I may be better at being able to understand exactly what someone is saying, because I am a native speaker.

Interviewer: OK. I see. So it might be different if someone is working from Spanish audio?

Sonia: Yes, basically, because sometimes I can pick up more of what is said. Then my transcript is checked by a native English speaker.

Interviewer: Got it. So you said you work on documentaries. What do you call that, when you are transcribing the Spanish into English?

Sonia: There are a few industry terms, ‘direct translation’ or ‘one-step translation’, those are the most well-known, I think.

Interviewer: And what kind of audio/video files do you work on?

Sonia: Oh, all sorts. It can be anything really. Documentaries, like I said, recordings of telephone calls, police recordings – all those kinds of things.

Interviewer: Wow. So it’s pretty varied then. Are there any assignments that you particularly like or dislike?

Sonia: Well, I like the variety, generally. The good thing about the audiovisual jobs is that I can work from home, whereas with interpreting jobs, I get to travel around Kent quite a bit. I just like to keep busy.

Interviewer: I won’t take up any more of your time. Thanks for talking to us today and have a good afternoon.

Sonia: Great, and you too.

Should you require our help with direct translation from audio or video to English do not hesitate to get in touch with us and our team will do their best to help you.


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