When Filipe answered the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” a professional translator was never on his radar. That’s why he’s surprised and thrilled to have found his way into his career. Today, Filipe translates, edits and works on linguistic quality assurance as one of Acclaro’s experienced translators, translating from English and Spanish into Brazilian Portuguese. Filipe spent some time sharing his journey with us, let’s get to know him better!
Brazilian born and bred
Filipe is based in Belo Horizonte, which is located in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. He’s proud of his heritage and could never imagine living anywhere else — though when he was 17, he did try to convince his father to let him study abroad after completing an eight-year English course.
“I got the, ‘Sorry, no money’ answer from my father,” he laughs.
Instead, he opted to remain in his home country to attend law school. But, he also decided to continue with his English studies at the same time to make sure he practiced using the language.
“I thought I would probably use the English language in rare cases in my daily life, and I would easily forget in six months what I had spent eight years learning,” he says.
A fortuitous find
To keep his English skills sharp, Filipe enrolled in a weekly conversation class. One day, he spotted a flyer on the wall advertising a translation training course.
“I thought it might be an interesting way to stay in touch with English,” he recounts. “So, I replaced the conversation class with this new course, which happened to be hosted by a translation agency.”
After completing the translation course, the agency hired Filipe, first as an intern and later as a full-time employee. One year later, he launched his freelance translation career.
Along the way, he earned a bachelor’s degree in law and an associate’s degree in marketing. He’s also completed a graduate program in creative writing and is working toward a certification in global and digital marketing and localization.
Leading teams and transcreation
Filipe is passionate about copywriting and creates and translates content for websites, software, marketing materials and advertisements in the tech, gaming, marketing, tourism, retail and legal fields.
“I love leading teams of linguists to achieve the end client’s goals,” he shares. “Seeing my colleagues respond to my feedback and thrive is motivating. And it’s also rewarding to see the clients happy.”
When Filipe’s not collaborating with a team, he is most challenged by transcreation initiatives, where he needs to convey concepts and meaning.
“I love projects that challenge my creativity and allow me to use my life experience as a Brazilian to delight the audience,” he says.
What makes a good translator?
According to Filipe, successful translators are always working to expand their views of the world and enhance their cultural knowledge and empathy.
“Read books and magazines you wouldn’t normally read, listen to ‘garbage’ music, watch bad movies and always stimulate your curiosity,” he says. “Doing that allows you to read between the lines to create text that seems as if it was originally written in the native language.”
Finding work-life balance
Though he’s a freelancer, Filipe is very disciplined with his schedule and works full time. He’s gotten better about finding balance in his life after suffering a silent heart attack earlier this year.
“I had a quick recovery, but it made me reassess my priorities to achieve a better balance in various parts of life, including work,” he shares. “Now, I know what I want and deserve, and I have the strength to achieve these things, even if it means being out of my comfort zone for a while.”
To that end, he plans to continue meditating, studying literary theory and traveling. And, he will continue to work in a profession that he stumbled into by chance.
“Here I am, 16 years later, very happy in my career and with a strong feeling of accomplishment,” he says.