The Unsung Heroes of Language Services

Translators and interpreters are the backbones of our entire organisation. They ensure that everyone has the right to accessible information, communication and support. They can facilitate change and have a massive positive impact on a campaign’s success. There’s so much that goes on behind-the-scenes in translations and interpreting but often the spotlight isn’t shone on the individuals making it all happen. That’s why we sat down with Silvia, one of our translators and interpreters, to hear more about her work.


How long have you worked as a translator and interpreter?

Since 2015 I’ve worked in language services. At the beginning it was mostly interpreting, now it’s 60% translations and 40% interpreting. I started working with Polaron in 2017, so have been part of their network of translators and interpreters for over five years.


What languages do you translate and interpret for?

My language pair is Italian and English. At the moment, my NAATI Certification in Translating is from English into Italian, but I will be seeking certification in the other direction in the near future. I look forward to adding this qualification to my skillset.


Why did you want to become a translator and interpreter?

My passion for languages, geography and foreign cultures dates back to my childhood. I studied foreign languages and literatures at high school and then I did the same at university. I wanted to study Translating and Interpreting instead but it wasn’t a viable option for me. Back then there were only two universities in Italy that taught Translating and Interpreting, and they both had very expensive tuition fees.

However, I eventually got to follow my passion. Ten years later, after I became a permanent resident in Australia, I won a scholarship to study Translating and Interpreting at RMIT University. Since graduating, I have been working full-time in the field and will hopefully continue to do so for a long time. I’ve also taught Italian interpreting at Monash University and worked in several other projects involving voice-overs, transcripts and research interviews.


What’s your favourite thing about your work?

In terms of Interpreting, I love the fact that it’s a challenging and demanding profession where no two days are ever the same. I like working with a diverse range of professionals from whom there is always something to learn. I love being able to empower non-English speakers to communicate for themselves by giving them an impartial and competent voice.

As far as translating is concerned, I enjoy the research aspect that is required. It’s important that we have an in-depth understanding of the many different topics covered in the texts we work on. I also cherish the autonomy and independence that this profession gives me, and the fact that I am my own boss.

It can get lonely at times and there are many challenges and layers of complexity to deal with —especially since Covid came into the picture— but I still enjoy working in this field after all these years.


What has been your experience working with Polaron?

Polaron is definitely one of my favourite agencies to work with. The staff are consistently professional and helpful, the rates are higher than most other Victorian agencies and deadlines are never too tight or unrealistic. The rare times I have encountered an issue, I was treated fairly and sympathetically and the issue was quickly resolved. I’m very glad to be part of Polaron’s team of translating and interpreting contractors.

If you have a translation project coming up or are in need of an experienced interpreter, contact our team of specialists by emailing us at translations@polaron.com.au or by calling us at 1300 88 55 61.

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