This series of posts was inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, which I’ve been reading for quite some time and thoroughly enjoy. It’s about time we discover how our colleagues work and get to know them a little better.
If you want to participate in this fun series, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you the Word template where you can fill in your answers and your bio (incl. your site/blog/social media links) and then send it back to us as an attachment along with your photo (optional but preferred). If you don’t like any of the questions, just delete them and add your own. You can read the previous interviews here.
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Desired location: Anywhere with water or a beach
Current work title: Freelance German to English translator
Languages you have studied or currently speak: Native (American) English, fluent in German, some knowledge of Russian
The project you’re most proud of: I once translated a 20 page FTP manual in a day because I was so familiar with the process and the terms. I also really enjoyed translating the dialog and commands for a point and click computer game called “Secret Files: Tunguska.”
Your current computer setup: ASUS computer with a widescreen, flatscreen monitor and ergonomic German keyboard
Do you own a smartphone? Yes
Favorite time of the day: Night time. I love it when everyone else is asleep and the world is quiet.
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): My Roku streaming Internet player.
Next conference/event you’re planning to attend: ATA 55 in Chicago. I had planned on sitting it out, but my newbie from ATA 54 convinced me to attend.
How many hours per day do you usually work: Depends. I have been known to work 12 hour days, but right now I am limiting myself to just a couple hours a day because I am trying to heal a bum knee (dancing until midnight at the ATA conference is fun, but one should condition oneself for it ahead of time).
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I am an introvert at heart, but no one believes me. I need ‘me time’ to regenerate my energy.
Are you an early-riser or a night-owl? Night owl. My clients know my office doesn’t open until 10 a.m.
What do you listen to while you work? Nothing. If I do listen to music it is usually classical or New Age music when I am proofreading.
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal 🙂
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: My Westie Lily is 9 and my cat Bailey is around 4 (Lily found her in the backyard when she was a starving 3 month old kitten, so we don’t know her exact age).
Next city/country you want to visit: Venice, Italy is at the top of my list.
Favorite vacation place: Depends on what I want from the vacation – Seabrooke Island in South Carolina for relaxation and Prague and other European locations for enjoyment.
Favorite book: I love reading mysteries and murder mysteries.
Favorite song: That’s like asking me to name my favorite pet. Maybe Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy. To rock out to probably Crazy by Seal.
What are you currently reading? The Labyrinth of Osiris by Paul Sussman
Jill R. Sommer is a full-time freelance German>English translator. She received her MA in German translation from Kent State University in 1995, after which she lived and worked as a freelance translator in Bonn, Germany for six years. She also lived in Salzburg, Austria for a year in 1989-1990 and is proud of her involvement helping take the Berlin Wall apart with pick axes and sledge hammers. She taught in the graduate translation program at Kent State University part-time for four years and was once a contract linguist for the FBI. Her blog, Musings from an Overworked Translator, features reflections on her life as a translator and the translation industry. She has attended and presented regularly at the ATA’s Annual Conference since 2002.