Meet our translators: Thays

By Acclaro
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Meet Thays, one of Acclaro’s experienced translators who’s also an editor, reviewer, transcreator and language lead. Needless to say, her days are full, so we’re thrilled she’s taken the time to share a peek into her professional and personal life. Let’s get to know her!

From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a flair for creativity

Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Thays is a triple threat when it comes to languages. She’s a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker who also has high levels of fluency in English and Spanish.

Couple her linguistic expertise with a love for television and movies, and it’s easy to imagine how she became intrigued by subtitles.

“I decided to teach myself how to create subtitles around 2007,” Thays said. “It started as a small project for personal use, and within six months, I was working professionally for some Brazilian cable TV channels, and quickly developed a flair for adapting jokes, lyrics and other creative tasks. In time, this led me to localization and transcreation, which is most of what I do today.”

Creativity and linguistics collide

Once Thays found localization, she quickly studied marketing and communications to sharpen her creative skillset.

“Nothing brings me more joy than finding the right words to express ideas, either my own or the voice of a brand. But that can only be successfully achieved with other skills outside of the linguistic scope — skills that help us understand how that content that we are translating was created, with what intent, and how to best adapt it. That’s where my desire to study Marketing came in,” Thays shared.

For Acclaro, she does this exceptionally well, translating creative content from English to Brazilian Portuguese using a transcreation approach. Thays particularly loves the birds-eye view of the localization program she gets as a language lead, where she can spot opportunities for improvement. From websites and software to documentation and subtitles, every project is an opportunity to make user-facing content more compelling.

“It’s especially important to understand sensitivities that can be involved in communication with the end-user,” Thays pointed out. “A term that might be perceived as offensive by a certain audience can quickly turn into a social media scandal, so our jobs as linguists need to include a deeper understanding of how the language is evolving.”

Tips and tricks of the trade

After 14 years of working in translation and localization, Thays has a few words of wisdom for budding translators:

  • Be curious about everything all the time. Understand the culture you’re in and the people you write for.
  • Read a lot. Every day. Especially content that wasn’t translated, but written in your native language. That’s the best way to broaden your vocabulary and creativity, and to write translations that sound natural in the target language.
  • Brush up on your writing skills as much as you can. “Every translation calls for a fluent style, be it a refrigerator manual that needs to be clear and concise or a heavy transcreation tagline for an advertising company.”

When the work day ends

In her off time, Thays is quite a DIY enthusiast.

“Apart from doing small home repairs during the pandemic,” Thays mentioned, “I also learned how to cut my own hair.”

Just like she taught herself subtitling at the beginning of her career, it doesn’t look like Thays is ready to stop learning new skills any time soon. We look forward to seeing what new skills she learns next.

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