Faces of Gengo: Gabriela
An English to Latin American Spanish Language Specialist (LS) since 2010, Gabriela started out as an interpreter before entering the world of translation. With a focus on IT and Software, she’s passionate about her craft and enjoys imparting advice to Gengo translators in her language pair.
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Occupation: Freelance translator
Gengo LS since: 2010
Language pair: English to Latin American Spanish
What languages do you speak? How do you maintain proficiency?
Spanish, English, Portuguese, and a little bit of Italian. I try to attend webinars, workshops or courses – online or in person – at least twice a year.
How did you become a translator?
I knew I wanted to be a translator when I was a teenager. I remember translating the books I used to learn English. In college, I took up a Bachelor’s degree in Conference Interpreting in English to Spanish. After that, I completed a Portuguese course and sat for an international certification as well as becoming a conference interpreter in the Portuguese–Spanish pair.
What have been your most enjoyable and challenging translation experiences?
I really love translating and I find my specialization, IT/Software, particularly enjoyable. However, I do remember having to translate an entire database of vehicle parts into English and Portuguese. This also included all road signages as it was a job for a road safety company. It was a long and challenging translation, but it turned out well in the end.
What’s your favorite thing about being a translator? How about being a LS?
Translating gives me the chance to access the latest information in my field of specialization and many related areas. Apart from keeping me informed, this makes daily translation tasks more interesting.
Being a LS has taught me that we should never take our native language for granted. We should keep our knowledge up to date as we would in any other language to have a positive impact in the way we approach our translation tasks. It has also turned the review field into an interesting area to work in, and it has helped me satisfy my passion for detail.
Based on your specific cultural expertise, what are the best books or movies you would recommend to others?
Besides the well-known authors, I’d recommend what I think would be an interesting read for anyone learning the Spanish variant spoken in Argentina and Uruguay. Uruguayan poet and novel writer Mario Benedetti has many poems that have been turned into songs, such as El sur también existe. Some of his novels have become movies, such as La tregua. And Argentinian writer Eduardo Sacheri, whose novel The Question in their Eyes, inspired the Oscar-award winning movie, The Secret in their Eyes.
What are your preferred translation tools?
I use SDL Trados Studio and MemSource as CATs. Also, glossary databases, such as ProZ, and terminology databases like the Interactive Terminology for Europe, have been very helpful. For dictionaries, I use Merriam Webster for English and Priberam for Portuguese. The Microsoft term base is an up to date and comprehensive resource for IT terms.
What’s your favorite productivity tool or service?
Time management is crucial when freelancing so I really appreciate time tracking tools, such as Toggl. Also, apps like Dropbox come in very handy.
What are your top tips for those translators who are just starting out?
Be professional, no matter what. Get all the training you can. Stay curious!
Do you have any specific translation advice to translators in your language pair/s?
Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there are so many translators in our language pair. Instead, try to see this as an advantage. Spanish is so multicultural and the options for specialization are so varied – I believe you can find your niche and make a difference.
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