Guten Tag! We interviewed Ebook:Decoded’s Petra S. to find out what she has to say.
Where do you live?
I live in beautiful Weserbergland, in a small town in the border triangle of north Rhine-Westfalia, Hesse and Lower Saxony. I live and work in an old historical building – the castle of Herstelle, where Charlemagne lived a long time ago.
What is your native language, and what language(s) do you translate into?
My mother tongue is German, and my working languages are English, French and Spanish. Due to my subject area I usually translate documents from English.
Why did you decide to become a translator?
I love languages and to play around with words. Translating is kind of like solving a tricky case or a riddle. It motivates me to tackle new topics. Translation work is – at least in my subject area – as varied and diversified as a profession can be.
How long have you been translating?
I graduated from the University of Saarland (Germany) in 1985 with a degree in linguistics. Afterwards I worked for a few years as an editorial assistant for a newspaper for doctors, where I did my first medical translations. I was fortunate to interpret an interview with the virologist and HIV discoverer Prof. Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
In those days, I translated my first book, a guidebook about asthma. After working for a newspaper for doctors, I worked two part-time jobs a day. I translated as a freelancer and worked at press agencies as well as for medical magazines.
In 1994 I started to work full-time as a freelancer.
Do you specialize in any particular field?
My main area is medicine, together with health and wellness. I translated numerous books in this field, including specialist books as well as popular scientific guidebooks. In the same field I also worked for medical agencies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. In recent years the field of fitness (for both body and soul) and life-management has grown increasingly. I am particularly interested in those areas and live my life according to many of their principles.
What tips would you give an author who wants to have his/her digital product translated?
In my opinion the most important thing is the country-specific adaptation for target readers.
What do you like to do to relax?
I love reading books! If there is no other option I will read late into the night. To make up for my sedentary occupation I do sports regularly. For a while I was quite involved in Wing Tsung and Escrima. Nowadays bodypump, weight training, and even a try at White Collar Boxing enrich my life.
One of my mainstays however is running. I usually run with my dog (now a Magyar Vizlar, and until last year an Irish Wolfhound), often with my husband, but also often alone, for 5 kilometers before starting work. If I have the time, I go even farther.
Herzlichen Dank, Petra!