Guest interview with Emma

Emma is a final year student studying French and Marketing at the University of Strathclyde. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, languages, being adventurous with her cooking and loves to travel. 

So Emma, tell me a little bit about yourself and what made you want to study languages.
At school, I studied French, German and Italian, and I’ve always found them very interesting. I like going to countries and being able to speak with local people in their own language, and in other countries when travelling you can meet other people besides those that speak English. And I think it’s good, rather than the usual British stereotype of 'everyone speaks English' so it’s nice to be able to communicate in another language.

What was your impression of translation and interpreting before and how did it compare when you first started doing translations and interpreting?
My first impression was that it would be difficult but not quite as difficult as it is. It’s not just the words that you’re translating, it’s the meaning, and I think that’s quite difficult. And you can come across quite unfamiliar language, language you might not have studied like politics or specific terms, or colloquial language and that can be really difficult.

Do you find translating and interpreting similar or different from each other?
Quite different: I think interpreting is more of a skill with note taking, listening and translating at the same time whereas with translating, you can think about it and take your time over what you’re writing.

What’s the most difficult aspect of each?
For translating it’s the grammar, with agreements, verbs, tenses and things like that. With interpretation, it’s the vocab and you don’t have time to think about it, and then the speed that you have to interpret is difficult.
...  and what do you do when you don’t know the vocab?
Ask them to repeat it? To try and buy myself some time!

How do you think this experience will be beneficial for you in the future?
I think when meeting people, if you’re with someone who doesn’t speak English, you could translate what they’re saying to each other, which could be helpful. And it’s good for opening you up to more cultural things like literature or music, to be able to read books in more than one language, I think that’s quite good.

Thank you very much for talking to me about translation and interpreting and best of luck with the rest of your studies, your exams and everything that’s coming. Thanks Emma!

Why choose me

Professional linguist with 13 years' experience
Translator, teacher & interpreter since 2004
Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Member of the International Association of Professional Translators & Interpreters

Translation experience
Certified translation of official documents:
- birth/marriage/divorce certificates
- diplomas, transcripts & references
- legal/medical/insurance documents
Academic articles/literary essays
Business/marketing communications
CRM software

Interpreting experience
Court hearings
Medical and work-related
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010
Arts/cultural events
'Fixer' for French TV

Teaching experience
Language assistant at prestigious Fettes College
Teacher at 3 leading UK universities
Organised a T&I workshop

First degree in English Studies
MSc in Translation Studies
Professional Graduate Diploma In Secondary Education (French & Spanish)