This month our interviewed translator is Aurora Humarán, she is sworn translator, English into Spanish. Aurora is a freelance translator located in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Aurora graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a BA in translation in 1982. She is the director of Just is Spanish, Corresponding Member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language. and one of the founding members of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI) and its current president. She has specialized in legal, financial, banking, and marketing translation. In recent years, one of my dreams has come true with the translation of literary works.
Tell us about your professional history
“Translation is my husband”, but I’ve had lovers: teaching and marketing. I love the three professions, but a husband is a husband, so that is what I chose to do as a freelancer. I’m a big Beatles fan, and while at Secondary School, I used to translate their songs. I decided I’d be a translator the day I realized “Is there anybody going to listen to my story?” (Girl, Lennon-McCartney) meant something other than the immediate future.
How long have you been a sworn translator?
I’ve been a translator for 37 years, and even though, for many years, I had full-time jobs (teacher, secretary, media assistant), parallel to those jobs I worked as a translator. I have specialized in legal, financial, banking, and marketing translation. In 2005, I received my degree as a certified proofreader from Fundación Litterae-Fundéu.
Have you noticed a major evolution since you started your business?
The main evolution I observe (and enjoy) is technology. Even though I am not tech savvy by default, I soon realized that there was a lot to profit from, so I soon jumped aboard the train, and now enjoy working faster and in a better way thanks to the many resources we have.
The second element, globalization, is a double-edged sword
- On the one hand, it allows freelancers to find great clients via the Internet, to exchange views with colleagues from all over the world (with myriad benefits), to make sure we have continuous training to improve our skills, etc.
- On the negative side, some agencies (unfortunately, the big powerful ones), have used it to their own advantage, by seeking out cheap labor and thus lowering professional fees and cornering our profession from several different angles.
In your opinion which are the three main qualities for a translator?
- Languages. We need to master both source and target language (and keep learning both and/or stay in contact with native speakers, literature, movies),
- General culture.
Could you give pieces of advice to newbies or those who are retraining to become a translator?
Contact senior translators and interpreters. In general, they (we) don’t bite. J Seriously speaking, I wholeheartedly believe in mentoring. I’ve helped junior colleagues (formally and informally) through these years, and have received help and advice from people with more seniority than I have. I like the community that we all make up.
Participate in online communities and join associations.
Invest in the profession. Invest money and time. It takes time (a lot of time), but it pays.
How to contact Aurora:
- My emails: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurorahumaran/
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