Tell us about yourself, your background, and how you got into translation? Do you translate full time?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpretation from Al-Azhar University, and am currently attending an MBA program with a major specialization in banking and finance. I am a qualified translator with ten years of experience gained. In 2005, I started my career with the Forum Institute for Translation, then I moved to Mubasher, a subsidiary of Saudi NTG Group, as a junior translator, then I worked for a year at Reuters News Agency. Finally, I am currently working for Alexbank, a subsidiary of Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, for the 4 previous years as a Full-time Senior Legal and Financial Translator. This is beside my work as a free-lancer for many well-established translation firms.
Where have you lived?
I live in Cairo, Egypt.
What languages do you speak? How did you learn them?
My native language is Arabic, and I speak English and a little French. I have had English as a subject since preparatory school, and during the college term, translation form English into Arabic and vise versa was the major subject.
French was the second language throughout the college term.
What do you do as a translator at Qordoba? How did you first hear of Qordoba? When did you join our team?
I joined Qordoba about two years ago in 2012, and I translate materials related to banking, finance, business and law.
What has been your most challenging project?
With Qordoba, all projects are deemed challenges, as the leading company requires a special quality within very strict deadlines. This is success.
What’s your favorite thing about languages? What about it appeals to you?
Languages open up a whole new way of thinking, as I have to adopt a completely new mindset to understand the culture. The concept of the Arabic language includes both literary Arabic, and the many dialectal varieties stemming from the classical form that are spoken today. Languages give me the power to express interesting ideas with some ease, with some flexibility, and with some elegance.
Describe your office setup or workspace. What is the view like? What kind of scenery do you look at every day?
I have a proper office either in the Bank or my home. As a professional translator, I have to equip it with the main requirements I need. In the Bank, my office is adjunct to the CFO office, as I am the CFO’s legal translator.
What is your favorite snack to eat while you translate?
Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. (note from Qordoba… OH YEAH!!!!)
What advice do you have for other freelance linguists?
- Do not expect too much return from too little marketing effort. They should not be discouraged if they have applied to many translation companies and have received no work.
- Do the most effort you can to improve your level to join as much as well-established groups as you can.
- Never give up.