Meet Claire, one of Acclaro’s experienced translators who’s been with us since 2004.
Claire wears many hats in addition to translating English into German for website, software, marketing content, documentation and eLearning projects. Often, you’ll find her working as an editor, quality assurance specialist, language lead and testing or training translators on new translation tools. She took time to share with us about her life at work and beyond — let’s get to know her!
From Germany to New York (and adventures along the way)
Born, raised and educated in Germany, Claire developed a love of language and literature at an early age. She studied English, French and Spanish at school. In highschool, she participated in student exchange programs in England and France. During college, she studied in Barcelona and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with her eyes set on a career in translation.
“I had a bilingual classmate who introduced me to the idea of translation studies and inspired me to pursue it,” Claire said. “I liked the idea of immersing myself into different cultures, the hands-on focus on language and the very clear-cut job prospect as a translator compared to, let’s say, English literature, which seemed somewhat vague.”
After graduating from university in Germany with a master’s in applied linguistics and translation studies (English/Spanish to German), she moved to Colorado to work for a software company with a large in-house translation department. Eventually, she found her way to New York and never left. She fondly recalls her translation work on eLearning courses for Tiffany’s, and the mobile app of the self-guided tour of Lincoln Center (which brought the added bonus of being able to tour Lincoln Center herself prior to the translation work.)
“Translators often do not get to see first-hand what the content to be translated is about and have to do research,” Claire mentioned. “What I enjoy as a translator is that you always learn something new on every project.”
More than words
While Claire enjoys creative translations best from a subject matter point of view, her practical mind craves well-organized projects. She insists on starting with good terminology glossaries on the source side (which she often helps create), coupled with clear instructions, expectations and communication with the client and project team. She also has a knack for linguistic testing of translated software, as well as trying out new translation tools.
What makes a good translator?
Claire believes a translator should have a “good command of their native language as well as the second language, along with resourcefulness, subject matter expertise, and research and communication skills.” (All of which she’s proven to possess herself over the past 17 years, if we do say so ourselves!)
Germany is never far from home
With her native country still very close to heart, Claire often volunteers in the library at the German school where her two children take language classes.
“I also love reading to my kids in German … at least the younger one. The older one is more interested in watching anime and Japanese than German at the moment!” she joked.
When she’s not busy working, Claire is often reading, spending time outdoors or baking.