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: Rochester, Kent (England). Rochester is a historic old town on the River Medway, only 30 miles from London but also very close to the countryside and the North Downs Way.
Desired location: I’m happy here, but would love to live by the sea, somewhere rugged like Cornwall or South Wales.
Current work title: Freelance translator, French and Spanish to English, commercial, marketing and legal
Desired work title: Well, in a parallel life I would be a famous folk musician (I play violin), nature writer/photographer or historian, but I’m actually quite addicted to translation. I’m something of a workaholic…
Languages you have studied or currently speak: I translate from French and Spanish (predominantly French). I have also studied German, Italian and Portuguese, and I spent two years in Japan after leaving university, but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the little Japanese I learnt!
The project you’re most proud of: The text I translated for my MITI exam in 2011, for which I won the ITI John Hayes Prize for Excellence in Translation.
Your current computer setup: Windows 7 on a laptop PC with extra monitor and keyboard. Various CAT tools. Is that enough? I leave all the computer stuff to my husband, who just happens to be a Network Engineer.
Do you own a smartphone? I have a Blackberry, which is not the best phone these days, but the e-mail service is wonderful, and that’s important to me as I’m often out and about in the daytime.
Favorite time of the day: When I get home after taking my children to school and have that first coffee!
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): Not really into gadgets. Probably my walking boots or my bike…
Next conference/event you’re planning to attend: No plans at present. I attend several events every year, usually ITI ones, so I will be looking at the calendar soon.
How many hours per day do you usually work: Usually about 5 hours while my children are at school, and often 2 or 3 more at various times of the day.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Chatty introvert, which seems to be a common answer here!
Are you an early-riser or a night-owl? 100% night owl. It’s often the best time to work, as the rest of the family is in bed, and there are no phone calls or other distractions. I don’t work every night though!
What do you listen to while you work? I always have music on quietly in the background, unless I’m working on something very difficult. I have a wide variety of music loaded to my PC which I can shuffle. I love this!
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal.
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: I have 3 children, Elsa (nearly 12) and boy/girl twins, Frankie and Naomi (nearly 8). Life is very busy!
Next city/country you want to visit: Well, it would be lovely to go to Italy next summer. But it’s more likely to be Devon or Cornwall (in a tent!).
Favorite vacation place: Western Algarve, on the rugged coastline between Lagos and Sagres.
Favorite book: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.
Favorite song: Impossible to choose. These days I’m listening a lot to Jim Moray, an innovative folk musician who mixes genres. Gram Parsons was a wonderful artist too. I love all kinds of music, especially folk, country, R&B, jazz, and classical.
What are you currently reading? Waterlog by (the late) Roger Deakin, a fascinating account of his journey around the British Isles, swimming in the wild. It combines three of my favourite things – nature, history and swimming!
Lydia Smith is a French/Spanish to English translator of commercial, marketing and legal texts. She has been working in the translation business since 1997 and as a freelance translator since 2001. She has an MA in Technical and Specialised Translation (Distinction) from the University of Westminster. A full member of the ITI and CIOL, she was awarded the ITI John Hayes Prize for Excellence in Translation in 2012, for her MITI exam paper. See www.linguistico.co.uk for more details. Lydia is a keen musician and plays piano and violin. She also loves walking, swimming, cycling, camping, wildlife and anything else to do with the outdoors. Possibly this is because she spends a lot of time sitting in her office translating!
‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ is one of my favourite books too.