|Snježana Merdžan Ćuić, Resources Manager|
Anyone can do it. What’s so difficult about it? You graduate from a ‘real’ faculty, and then, for starters, master a foreign language by going to the respective country during summer or in a student exchange programme and return (or stay there) as a multi-functional expert.
How many times have we heard such tips and recommendations, but what you read between the lines is how you are actually not being taken seriously, let alone professionally. Apologies to the rare exceptions who are either people that appreciate the knowledge of a foreign language while having in mind the old saying “The more languages you know, the more of a person you are”, or people who found themselves in a situation where they had to translate a text for someone else, out of need or obligation.
And it all begins with first a lesson: “This is a book. Is this is a book? Yes, this is a book.” And you’re doing great, you understand everything, it all seems simple and easy. Then you start to translate foreign lyrics and feel pride that you get it all and are able to communicate in a different language.
But what is communication? It is the transfer of a message – that can be done in a million different ways: using various signs, body language... If the recipient understands it, mission solved. However, what do you do when you need to be so accurate that even a comma can be the key element?
Now that is what I have almost always wanted to do, though I did imagine my future job somewhat differently from how I do it today. Still, the purpose has remained the same: to transfer a text written in one language to the recipient in another language as accurately as possible, keeping it in the spirit of the language and maintaining the style while of course conforming to the grammar and orthography rarely known by native speakers themselves. Time and advanced technology require new skills, which is why I have learned to use translation tools, a “must have” in this industry.
In any case, I wouldn’t trade my profession for any other since I don’t know if there is another one where you can encounter so many topics from various fields. It seems to me that nowadays there are more and more of people with this global knowledge who can be identified with the man from an anecdote retold a long time ago about an executive who threw a letter on his secretary’s desk saying: “Retype it in English.”