Meet Florencia. This experienced translator took time out of her busy day to chat with us about her life at work and after hours. Let’s get to know her!
Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Florencia is a sworn translator who translates from English to Latin American Spanish. Focusing on legal translations, Florencia works on a range of different types of content, including website, software, marketing content and documentation.
An International at Heart
Though she’s a native “porteña,” or resident of Buenos Aires, Florencia is a true international at heart and lived in Spain for several years.
“My husband and I went to Cadiz to work at a family restaurant by the beach,” she told us. “After a few months, we decided to go to Madrid, because we missed living in a big city. In Madrid, we found our place.”
Florencia and her husband decided to move back to Buenos Aires when they were expecting their daughter, Olivia. While she is happy to be home, her experience living in another country was invaluable to her.
“Living abroad was a unique experience,” she said. “We made new friends, traveled and lived new experiences. Madrid is part of our lives and it always will be.”
From Sociologist to Sworn Translator
As a lover of languages and literature, Florencia always knew she wanted to work in a field related to both of these interests. She got her start in translation after first studying sociology. She decided to return to university to turn her passions into a career after the birth of her daughter.
“When I went back to university, I decided to study what I always wanted: something related to languages and literature,” Florencia noted. “So I started my studies in translation.”
In Argentina, translation is a degree that takes 4-5 years to complete. Those wanting to study translation can choose between studying technical, literary and scientific translation or legal (sworn) translation. Sworn translators like Florencia can translate official documents (like birth certificates and medical papers), and with their certified signature, the translated documents are deemed equally as valid as the original documents.
Florencia’s studies to become a sworn translator involved rigorous legal training. She has studied international, family, company and criminal law, among others. Florencia also studied common law (applicable in the U.S. and U.K.) and civil law (applicable in Argentina), since sworn translators need to be able to understand the different systems. Her extensive training gives her an understanding of important aspects of law, both in Argentina and internationally. In fact, Florencia can obtain a law degree and become an attorney after just one more year of studies.
For Florencia, her education as a Sworn translator gave her a greater appreciation of the role law plays in society.
“After a few years at the University,” she explained, “I learned to understand that law and legal systems are the basis of our societies. Also, as I had studied sociology, I understood that every society needs to be contained in a legal system that can assure everyone’s rights and responsibilities.”
What Makes a Good Translator?
Given her experience with and interest in translation, Florencia has a good idea about the qualities required for success in the role.
“I think a good translator is curious, creative and willing to learn a little bit about everything,” she remarked. “A diverse cultural background also helps, as does staying up to date with technology and software.”
After-hours Passion Projects
Florencia works from home and appreciates the flexible schedule that comes from working in translation. In her free time, she enjoys traveling (in non-pandemic times) and listening to music, especially rock music.
“I love music, and love going to live concerts,” she told us.
In fact, her interest in music goes beyond just listening to it — she used to be in a band of her own.
“When I was a teenager, I played the bass guitar in a punk rock band,” she said. “We were not good at all, but it was very fun.”
And though she loves loud music, she often turns to a much quieter pursuit: reading.
“I consider myself a bookworm. Literature is my true passion, and I think that we can all learn and open our minds just by enjoying a good book.”