On Socially Responsible Translation, Style And More – Monica Pasin From Favella Translations

•      Was this content helpful?

Was this content helpful?

Did you know you can be socially responsible as a translator? I never thought of it… until I spoke with Monica Pasin, the Head translator at Favella Translations in Singapore. As a specialist in fashion and luxury translations, she’ll think twice before accepting any job for the fast fashion industry.

Why is translation style so important? What are the challenges of working as a medical interpreter in the UK? Is teaching a good idea if you don’t want to translate full-time? Find out in this episode and learn about:

  • Your social responsibility as a translator
  • 3 types of interpreting techniques
  • Life of a translation student at Università degli studi di Trieste
  • How to handle terminology disputes with your clients
  • Can you adapt to any translation style
  • What to do when your clients don’t pay
  • How to organize your day as a translator
  • PMs are… party poopers?!

This is episode 25 of my social interaction practice, also known as The Localization Podcast 🙂 #localization​ and #translation​ insight delivered to you by the power of voice, this time with Monica Pasin.


Andrej Zito 

Welcome to the podcast. Monica.

Monica Pasin 

Thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. How are you doing? How are you doing during this crisis?

Monica Pasin 

Oh, it’s okay. So far.

Andrej Zito 

Where exactly are you located?

Monica Pasin 

I am located in Singapore,

Andrej Zito 

Singapore.

Monica Pasin 

We just we are in this whole COVID-19 mess as well. But I would say we are heading it better than other places. I’m trying to leave. And my family back home has been on a lockdown for a few weeks. And

Andrej Zito 

yeah, yeah, yeah.

Monica Pasin 

So for us, I kind of soft lockdown has just started. So I think we are still quite sane. So now let’s see how it goes.

Andrej Zito 

Has anything changed for you? Because usually translators, they’re used to working from home? Has it impacted your life or work somehow?

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, so something has changed. I had some I’m an interpreter as well, besides being a translator, and obviously you need to be most of the time you need to be physically present at the meeting or the conference. And I had a few jobs canceled because of the COVID-19. What about what about translation jobs? Luckily, I’m still able to do most of my work from home. And that hasn’t changed much. For me. In terms of volume. I recently acquired a new client and it’s in finance. So I’m I’m, I’m thinking probably finance is not like as translation work is probably not going to be as badly affected as other sectors like manufacturing one. One of my main specialization is fashion and luxury.

Andrej Zito 

I saw it on your profile. Yeah,

Monica Pasin 

those are not essential. And the production has stopped in a lot of countries. So I am specializing in this new field. I’ve been specializing for a few months now. And I like it so far. Finance is good.

Andrej Zito 

So I’m curious, like how did you find this client? And since you said like it like you’re still kind of like learning all the financial industry in the terms? How does the learning process look like?

Monica Pasin 

Um, so it’s quite funny because I actually started learning for my own. My own interest, I mean, my own personal knowledge, I thought it would be wise to get a bit more finance savvy. Being an adult.

Andrej Zito 

Welcome to the real world tip.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, exactly. And so I had started listening to podcasts about finance already, and reading some blogs and articles. And and then I was how did I meet this client? Um, you must know that in the past few months, I’ve been contacting like a lot of new clients, both in terms of translation agencies, communication agencies, as well marketing agencies, and direct lines. But it’s, it’s obviously you, you contact a lot of them, you send out a lot of emails, and then some of them take super long to answer. And so in the case of this client, I remember contacting them in October last year, and they got back to me about a month ago. It can take a while. But since then, they’ve been sending me quite a lot of work.

Andrej Zito 

Did you Did you have to do like some tests? Which I think it’s a standard in our industry? or How did they evaluate you?

Monica Pasin 

Yes. And in fact, when I contacted them, I was I was offering my transcription services, because at the time, they were looking for translators, for their clients, marketing material. And although it was a finance client, the texts were not supposed to be that technical, because the nature of the text is more about on the marketing side. And so I did this test, marketing test, which was quite tough, quite challenging, but I enjoyed it. And and I passed it. No problem. And then they also told me, you know, we also, we might also have technical jobs, for you in finance. So we’d like to take these other tests, which is a technical one. And yes, I tried. I wasn’t super expert, but I think one important quality in our job is to be flexible, and to be learned to serve to be ready to learn, and to be probably also a bit brave sometimes,

Andrej Zito 

Yes, yes, yes.Sometimes you have to take the the leap of faith, right? And just say yes to something like even if you’re not certain, like if you’re ready for it.

Monica Pasin 

And actually, I would say one of the most important qualities is to be able to draw the line between the I’m not there yet. But I know I can be there soon if I prepare. So I will say yes, or no, this is totally out of my league out of my fields of specialization. So I’m sorry, I’m not the right professional for you.

Andrej Zito 

Have you? Have you ever done that? Did you say no to something?

Monica Pasin 

Oh, yes, all the time. Because sometimes, clients are very confused. They are not sure. What’s what simultaneous interpreting is what consecutive interpreting is. And they’re two very different services. I do consecutive, I don’t do simultaneous. And it happened to me various times that I was actually hired for a job, which the client said was going to be consecutive. And then it turned out to be simultaneous. And I mean, it was sorry to decline, but it’s simply not a service that I offer. And even if sometimes clients say, Oh, that’s fine, I heard you’re good. So why don’t you just give it a try? We know that there are it’s a totally different skill set involved.

Andrej Zito 

Okay. Okay. I don’t know anything about interpreting. So can you explain to me what is the difference?

Monica Pasin 

Of course, so starting from the basics interpreting is that we can call it oral translation. So translation of speeches, or any way or our content. And there are, I would say, to make it simple. There are three main kinds. There are simultaneous interpreting, and it’s the one that usually happens in a booth. So the interpreter is in the booth, using a headset, which is connected to the microphone of the speaker on stage. So when the booth, you look at the speaker, you listen to their speech, and at the same time, or rather with a few seconds of delay, you interpret what they’re saying, in a different language. Okay. So this is simultaneous interpreting,

Andrej Zito 

That’s what we usually see when the word leaders meet, right. And they have the headsets, right?

Monica Pasin 

Yes. For politicians, another popular popular method of interpreting technique of interpreting is consecutive, which is, which involves note taking. So there’s a speaker, he or she speaks for a few minutes, it could be for five, six minutes, sometimes longer than that. So since the portion of speech is too long to remember everything perfectly, you have to take notes as an interpreter. So note taking is very important in consecutive, when the speaker has finished that portion of the speech, they will pause, hopefully. And if the interpreters turn to read back the notes, and at the same time, pronounced the speech after the speech in the other language, and it’s the second kind. And then the third main type of interpreting is liaison interpreting or dialogue interpreting. And it’s the one that’s mainly used for business meetings, business negotiations. So that Where the portion of speech that you interpret every time is the shortest. The speaker maybe offers two or three sentences, something that’s easy for the interpreter to recollect and to interpret immediately after they stop speaking. So yeah, it’s good to be two, three sentences, and then the interpreters turn, and then two, three months, and it’s it’s much faster than

Andrej Zito 

I thought it actually the third type was simultaneous as well. because technically, it’s like, like you said, like a short timeframe, but it’s different one, right? So which one are you like, most familiar with?

Monica Pasin 

I’m very experienced in dialog interpreting, so the third type, because when I was in the, in the UK, I worked for a year as a medical interpreter. And that was the kind of interpreting that was required. So yeah, interpreting between patients and, and medical personnel. Oh, sorry. But I also offer consecutive interpreting. So at conferences, events, there are quite a lot of, well, there were quite a lot of events here is important. Yes, so I happen to go to quite a lot of conferences and meetings, international meetings as an interpreter.

Andrej Zito 

So consecutive, is the one where you take notes, right? Does it How does it work? Like, how does the event look like? Like, there’s like some main person, let’s say some CEO, he says something super nice and super smart, then you take notes, and then you interpret it? To which audience like do you have like a separate audience that understands Italian or art or like other languages that do the same thing at the same time to different audiences?

Monica Pasin 

Here in Singapore, the typical Singaporean English speaking country, so the main, probably the most frequent setting would be that the audience is English speaking. And then there are one or more Italian speaking guests. So I if these guests get interviewed, that say, I would be interpreting the questions from English to Italian, and then obviously interpreting their longer answers from Italians, English. So it goes both ways.

Andrej Zito 

Okay. We took a little detour, because I wanted to talk about your interpreting like a little bit later, because that’s not how you start it. So we also talk about financial translations, which is something new to you, but you said like your main passion, or like how you started was luxury, and fashion, right?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, that’s my main focus,

Andrej Zito 

Main focus. How did you Let’s start with the early stages, like how did you even end up in the industry? I know that you from your profile that you studied translation? Yeah. So how did you end up studying translation? Did you have any interest in learning language when you were in high school?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, so that that was my that was the main factor really. I’ve always loved languages. And we in Italy, we study English compulsorily. So from start studying it in primary school, obviously, a very basic level as kids, and then we progress is compulsory until the end of high school, basically. And I have always loved it. I love English, I love Italian, my mother tongue. And during high school, I also had the chance to study Latin, and ancient Greek. So although we were obviously we’re not studying them with the purpose of speaking them, because they, as we call them, they’re dead languages. We were studying them more for the cultural aspect to study ancient civilization. That was the kind of high school that I went to. But still, those were my favorite subjects, especially Latin, and I loved the logical component of it. So we would be given these, this accepts these these texts from ancient. It was either poetry or most most of the time prose from these ancient writers or philosophers. And we had to sort of translate it into Italian. And I am not sure if you’ve ever studied Latin, but you need a lot of logic in Latin you need to understand not just the meaning of each word, but also he eats its role in the sentence. It’s a bit like solving a puzzle, really. So that really intrigued me, it’s probably still, if I think about it, yes, my favorite subject so far. And I guess that ignite the spark. And after that, I’ve just, yeah, I knew I wanted to work with languages. I immediately if you, when you finish high school, and you want to work with languages, usually you have two main choices. One is, you can go and study modern languages. And cultures. Yeah.

Andrej Zito 

What does it mean modern languages.

Monica Pasin 

So it says study of language from a bit more of a linguistic and cultural point of view. So it’s basically languages to become language teachers most of the time, or to do research in university. The other part is, translation, translation and interpreting, and that’s the one I eventually picked. Because I was still studying languages, but I was using them in a practical context. So I had a chance to really use, like, put my language knowledge to good use, and yeah, test my skills as well, every day.

Andrej Zito 

But since you’re Italian, what was like the main focus of those studies? Was it English? Or was it like deepening the knowledge of Italian? Or did you learn other languages? I think you also know Russian or and French and French. Yeah,

Monica Pasin 

Exactly. Yes. So um, is this the school I attended? is a school for translators, specifically, as part of the University of Bristol in northern Italy. It’s quite a prestigious school with quite high standards. So there’s this entrance test, which can be taken in three languages, at least when I took it, it was in three languages, either English or French, or German. Now, I had only studied English after that moment. So that was my choice. And after entering with English, which then became my first foreign language, I had to pick two more foreign languages. So from the first year, I was studying three foreign languages, plus Italian, because we always had Italian classes, Italian language, Italian literature. So yes, it is challenging three, three languages at the same time.

Andrej Zito 

I know nothing about the world of translators, good, actually not like how they’re educated. So how did like your day look like as a student of translation studies? Like, did you have like a lot of theory, or is it mostly like practice translating,

Monica Pasin 

So it was with my course mates, we used to joke about this so much, because we would look at the the, our friends in other faculties, and they were totally living the university life, you know, the university student life, they were having a couple of hours of class per day, and then they were going out for lunch together, and then they were going home. And after a while, they would start studying, I don’t know, they all look so relaxed, and then they would go for aperitivo to have a drink in the evening. And we were literally spending 40 hours a week in class. Last, we had homework. So it was basically like being in school, but with a lot more hours in class. And with the homework. So, um, my day was very boring.

Andrej Zito 

It was pretty busy, right? But what was the homework about?

Monica Pasin 

Sorry?

Andrej Zito 

What was the homework about?

Monica Pasin 

A lot of translation. So we would do, we would have very practical classes, the professor would bring this text or this webpage in class, and we would, we would do a sort of collective translation, exchanging ideas, finding the best solution and learning the various translation techniques. And then we would either be asked to finish the translation at home or we will be given a new text to translate at home. And then we would like we were divided in groups, and each group was supposed to revise the translation of another group. So there was a lot of practical work to be done, and I love that aspect.

Andrej Zito 

I like that. And I don’t want my next Question two sound offensive? So I don’t know how long time ago this was. But I’m wondering like, what kind of cad tools were they teaching you at that time? Were there CAT tools? or How were you doing the translations?

Monica Pasin 

We had, we were not using CAT tools in class. So we were using the good old method of dictionary on one side, and then pen and paper. By using computers, we were using computers, but not capsules at the time, not most of the time. And then, during two years, we had two modules on CAT tools. But I think at the time, we only tried using WordPress. And maybe another one. Maybe it was an mq, I think a free resource. Yeah. So I was lucky, in a way, because I had my first experience with castles in university. And I know that for a lot of people, going to other universities taking other courses. It’s not the same, they don’t really get to try them in class. So that helped. For the future.

Andrej Zito 

How was how was your first job as a translator compared to your university studies? Like, did you learn a lot during your education? Or did you think like, there was something missing from like, the real world of actually translating for money?

Monica Pasin 

It was weird, because I felt like I was already working when I was-

Andrej Zito 

You were just not paid for aid, right?

Monica Pasin 

So but in the end, that was it. Because I mean, when I when I, when I finished university, I graduated, I did both my bachelor’s and my master’s there. And when I finished my master’s, I was like, stop giving me money for this, please, literally be working for free for five years. And the transition was quite smooth. Speaking of, you know, processes, lifestyle, and so on, because nothing much changed for me when I started freelancing. I was doing the same things that I was getting paid.

Andrej Zito 

I maybe missed this on your LinkedIn profile. But did you start first working as a freelancer? Or were you employed with some translation agency?

Monica Pasin 

I was. So first I did quite a few translation jobs, small jobs. But still, I mean, I started working and freelancing during University. And after graduation, I decided to move to the UK where I had done my Erasmus exchange during my master’s, so I moved back there. And I was like, Okay, so now, I eventually wanted to freelance. So I just wanted to work as a freelance translator and continue doing what I was doing, because I loved it. But I was also practical. And I was thinking, you know, I have to pay the bills, pay the rent, and so on. And so I thought, I better find myself. normal job first. So when some kind of Employment First and put some money on the side, that didn’t work very well. No, I was I was doing some kind of a bit of a student job still, because I was fundraising. And I didn’t want to do it. I felt useful. But at the same time, I didn’t want that as a career. I thought, okay, I’ll do it for a while. Maybe I’ll do it for a few months. After a couple of months. I was like, I really couldn’t do it anymore. I exploded. And I said, Yeah, I every minute that I wasn’t translating, felt like a wasted minute. Though, I had some kind of epiphany. And I thought, this is not me, I am not supposed to be here. I should like rush back home and start my freelance. And that’s what I did. And I guess sometimes this kind of impulsive decisions are the best because you receive a sort of call from deep inside. And you just follow it, and you find the strength to solve any problems that arise after that.

Andrej Zito 

But I think that before you started, like your money cup passing.com I think you also like from your profile. You had like an episode in Russia.

Monica Pasin 

That was actually part of my studies. It was quite interesting, dude. I did a lot of exchanges during my studies. I was always abroad. So during my Master’s, I spent four months in St. Petersburg in Russia. Because I had the chance to participate in a work and study mixed program in Russia, as he said. And it was really interesting. I was taking a class brushing class in the morning, and then working as an Italian teaching assistant in the afternoon in a local school. And it was good. It was good. I mean, I think it’s the perfect lifestyle, like learning half of the day. And working Yeah. I really enjoyed my time there. And St. Petersburg is amazing.

Andrej Zito 

What did that experience of teaching Italian give you?

Monica Pasin 

Um, I had already taught classes before, but more in the form of tuition. So I had already taught Latin and English when I was in university, and I was tutoring high school students or younger, younger students. And I knew that I loved it. But I guess the experience in Russia was fun and interesting, because I got to work in a more formal class setting. So instead of one to one tuition, now I was teaching a class of 14 years old. 14 years old, Russian kids.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I can imagine

Monica Pasin 

It is interesting, it involved a lot of creativity, you’re working with a younger crowd. So you can’t be too formal. But you also can’t be too friendly. Because you still want to be the teacher, you don’t want to just be their friends, and there was chatting without minding you at one point. And so you have to keep them involved and engaged all the time and come up with creative explanations, or with I also had a younger class. So there we had more like games and songs involved. It was really fulfilling and really fun.

Andrej Zito 

Did you ever consider that like to be like your main passion? And you’re like your main job?

Monica Pasin 

No, no, but that’s, I love doing it. But it’s really, really energy consuming. People don’t realize that you really suck up a lot of your energy. And a bit of an introvert well, so you know what they say for introverts. They recharge their batteries by being with themselves, like on their own for a while. And for me after a few hours of classes in a row, completely drained. So that’s, that’s where the balance comes in handy between translation, teaching, trying to teach private classes here in Singapore, private Italian classes. So bit of teaching a bit of translation and interpreting. That’s To me, that’s the perfect balance.

Andrej Zito 

So you already mentioned being an interpreter for NHS, medical in UK, right? There’s the National Health Services, if I’m not mistaken, was that was it your first job doing interpretation?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, it was. It was. So as I was saying, When I arrived, I had this short full time job as a as a fundraiser, which didn’t work out, it was not what I wanted to do. So then I just took the leap, and jumped into freelancing, started sending a lot of other applications around with language companies, translation companies, and eventually, two companies responded that were looking for medical interpreters for the NHS. It’s a big sector in the UK. And I think it’s because of the way the health service is structured. They have a lot of always had a lot of immigrants. And some of them arrived in the UK without being able to speak English to a good standard. So when it comes to medical visits, things that are a bit more delicate, I guess they they want to make sure that the patient and the doctor understand each other completely. So it’s their policy to assign an interpreter to the patient who requires it. It’s it’s an automatic move, the moment the patient registers. And he’s a foreigner, he’s been asked, Do you want an interpreter and for which language, so it’s, it’s a good sector to work at as an interpreter, because it’s the national system itself, which employs the interpreters. And there can be a lot of work.

Andrej Zito 

How does it work? Do they have like a database of interpreters? And they just call the first one available? Or do you also have like a specialization like only for certain cases, they can call you because you understand maybe the medical conditions that the people might be talking about?

Monica Pasin 

That’s a good question. So um, mainly what we do is, what are the national service does is it uses translation agencies, because it’s a it’s a huge system. It’s a huge apparatus throughout the country. So obviously, it could be hard for them to manage the interpreters directly. They use agencies, and these agencies hire the interpreters on a freelance basis. Now, there will be a lot to be said about this. But I don’t want to be too. too harsh here.

Andrej Zito 

Oh, you can be we would appreciate it.

Monica Pasin 

No, well, I will just say that there have been a lot of issues over the past few years. And this is ongoing for the way that this all interpreting hiring process was conducted. In the ideal world, you would hire professional interpreters who specialized in medicine in health care. And you would give them all the information they need before each appointment. So let’s say I am required to go and assess the patient for I visit. Okay. So at the ophthalmologists, for example. Good. So I am giving this kind of information, I will go and revise my terminology on the eye and all the related conditions, for example, that would be ideal, but that’s not always the case. Also, ideally, I would be screened, tested before we hired. But a lot of times this didn’t happen so many, many times when I went to, to an appointment with a patient, the patient would complain about the previous interpreter and telling me you know, I’m so glad that they finally sent like a real interpreter, someone who’s that was so bad. I thought that would be given but apparently not. And yeah, so um, they would say Finally, a real interpreter Finally, someone who actually speaks Italian. And you know, who clearly have a knowledge of terminology. And that was so bad that there were a few scandals throughout the years in the UK because of this, because a lot of companies would just mess hire sons and daughters of immigrants who could, yes, speak two languages. But maybe the second language wasn’t even that strong. And they had no formal training as interpreters. No terminology. So that’s, that’s the big issue. And that’s also the reason why I stopped working as a medical interpreter for the NHS at one point, it was mainly a problem I had with the agency, and I couldn’t see my professional skills recognized. Also from a monetary point of view. I mean, it’s a it’s a specialized job, and you have to pay what it’s worth. So it is really interesting, nonetheless, I mean, it’s a challenging job.

Andrej Zito 

But how do you start with, like, your first patients? Like you were probably not used to doing the simultaneous interpretation, right?

Monica Pasin 

Oh, there wasn’t simultaneous interpretation. That was dialogue interpretation. Yes. So a few sentences and then you interpret Yes. Um, I, I have training. I had had training in this. So during my master’s, we had this course specifically on medical interpreting, and community interpreting which can involve working with immigrants, as well. It’s it so I felt confident because I already had the experience, although in class, but as I said, it was so practical that things didn’t change much because what changed was There were some extra challenges during the job that I wasn’t totally prepared for. But one of our qualities, as I said, is flexibility is being able to learn fast pick up things fast. So you just adapt to it. Remember one of the, one of the most challenging jobs, I had probably not the first one, but along the way, was interpreting between this English speaking doctor and the Italian speaking patient, where the English speaking doctor was not from England. He was from India, and he had a very strong accent, very strong. And the Italian speaking patients was not from Italy. He was from Africa. And she, she hadn’t migrated to Italy, about a decade before. She has spent a few years in Italy, she had learned Italian to some extent, then a couple of years before she had moved to the UK, you know, there are these migration waves. It’s in a cyclical with a cyclical pattern. So she had migrated to the UK, and she had started learning English, but her English was not there yet. And she could barely remember her Italian. So I was literally interpreting between these doctors doctor with a super strong Indian accent. And this patient who was struggling to find the words in Italian, and with quite a strong accent, African accent as well. So tiring, I think it was an one hour job, but it felt like six hours. I was drained after that.

Andrej Zito 

So that was one of the challenge. But I can imagine like, a challenge could be just dealing with the people themselves, even if they can speak the language, like especially like in the medical setting, like if they’re like bad news, or they’re like, not happy with the doctors, how do you remember a situation like that?

Monica Pasin 

Um, I didn’t have any case where the patient was not happy with the doctors, that there were situations where maybe the patient was not completely at ease. So in a few cases, I had, I used to work with African immigrants a lot, because of these reasons. Because they, they, they would migrate in the UK, and they would be assigned an interpreter for one of the languages they they could speak. And unfortunately, their mother tongue, some African language was not available most of the time. There are a lot of dialects in Africa. So when their mother tongue was not available, they would resort to the next available language. And in many cases, it was Italian. So the, the language was a barrier for them already. And sometimes their culture or their their religion was different from the host countries as well. So let’s say I had a lot of cases where there were female, Muslim patients, who were not really at ease, being visited by a male doctor, for example. And it’s something that is good to know, I mean, to know how to manage the situation. The cultural factor is really important. So in a way, as interpreters, we are cultural mediators, as well, we are there to ease the cultural exchange of cultural communication.

Andrej Zito 

Was it part of your education?

Monica Pasin 

Indirectly.

Andrej Zito 

Indirectly.

Monica Pasin 

Indirectly, yes. When you study languages, it’s impossible not to come across and and to actually delve into different cultures. So you learn to appreciate different cultures, different points of view you pick up on the difference is very easily and you usually remember them quite well. So if I met someone from now, I live in Singapore. So the culture here is completely different. And I had so much to learn. And now I realized that when I travel around the world, and I meet Singaporean people abroad, or even just Chinese people abroad, I understand so much more of the way they behave, the way they communicate. Yeah, so I didn’t have a specific class on cultures in university, but studying the literature studying, studying the language itself and traveling going on exchange. That definitely helps.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I just I just remembered, like when I first moved to Spain, I like the way some of the people speak, you know, like you want to Tila right. It’s like, it’s like not super polite. It’s like, like when you hear it for the first time, it’s just like, in your face you want Tina.

Monica Pasin 

I know, I know, they are super direct. And something really interesting. And I guess it relates to Chinese culture in general, is that people are really, really money minded. It’s really normal to talk about money, talk about salary, talk about the price of things, how much your house costs. and stuff like that, which is not necessarily the case for Europe, or Western culture. So these, this is the kind of cultural gaps that sometimes you have to feel as an interpreter,

Andrej Zito 

That I know that you also worked in France for data words, for a while. And this job was not translation. Right? It was project management.

Monica Pasin 

It was mixed. When I finished my stint as NHS medical interpreter in the UK. I felt like I was missing something. And that something was trying working with a translation agency from the inside.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, because you still have bad it was right in UK.

Monica Pasin 

No, but seriously, I, that was the kind of experience that I was missing. I wanted to try it, contact of mine, my LinkedIn contact and published this work offer. She was already working for this French company, French translation agency in Paris. And she said they were looking for an intern to work in project management, management and Italian translation. And I thought, Yes, why not? So I backed up, and I moved to Paris. And I worked there for six months.

Andrej Zito 

How did you like project management as a translator?

Monica Pasin 

I didn’t really like. You know up to today, it’s something I’m happy to do. If it’s for my own projects. And if I can see the if I can oversee the project from start to end. So to me, it’s more of a means to an end, where the end is having fun translation. I wouldn’t be able to work as a pure project management manager. Because I would just be thinking constantly, why am I not translating?

Andrej Zito 

Is it just that you really, really have translation as like your main passion? Or is it something that you just simply didn’t like about project management, or you find it boring?

Monica Pasin 

I think it does both things. In I was lucky that I wasn’t working as a pure project manager, I was primarily translating. So probably 60 or 70% of my work there was doing these more translations that were too small to be outsourced to the to the freelance translators. So I was doing them in house. And I was also revising the translations of the freelancers. And I really loved that part of the job. But then when I was doing that job, I would get interrupted all the time by these incoming emails from other project managers with new projects to be dispatched to the outside, freelancers, so the external freelancers because the those translations were maybe too big to be dealt with in house. So there were a lot of interruptions. My team was a very collaborative team. So they were interacting with each other a lot. And they were great, because I mean, they could still work at the same time, great multitasking. But to me, since I was used to working at home, in like in silence, or with my own music in my own zone, you know, being able to concentrate 100% that was really challenging. Finding finding the focus was really challenging. So I think it was still a great experience because otherwise struggled at the beginning. I got to a point where I could, I could probably do project management. It could be a process project manager, it was it was good if you didn’t require much effort. And that was crucial for my my following career. I think.

Andrej Zito 

Yes, yes, because like, technically, if you think about it, every translator is also a project manager for their own work.

Monica Pasin 

It’s true. It’s true, I just had never thought about it before, I had already been doing project management. But without focusing on it too much. When I was in house, I had to learn a new system. Learn how to work on the translation agencies platform, and so on. So a lot more skills were involved.

Andrej Zito 

You also mentioned that you were doing reviewing and that you liked it. Which is quite contrary to my experience of so with Fruzsina who was the first guest, some people don’t like doing reviews. First of all, they say that working as a reviewer, or as a proofreader is paid less started with that, and maybe it’s not so creative, because you just can like try to spot the issues, versus like having like a blends blank slate, and then you create a translation from scratch. So how was your experience with reviewing?

Monica Pasin 

So I guess you might come easier to some people? And probably the each, each of each person’s personality plays a role, because there are some of us who are a bit more perfectionist, some of us who like love correcting other people? No, I’m not. No, but um, yeah, so I guess if you like the job, that’s, that’s the most important thing. And, and it’s something I like I just some, it’s just something that I feel inclined to doing. So it’s not, it doesn’t feel as a chore. To me. It’s something I like I like, I like to be able to enter into someone else’s writing style, for example. There’s a very fine line between correcting mistakes, and changing someone’s style. And you must be careful with that you don’t want to over revise, you don’t want to correct too much, you’re just supposed to correct the essentials. The problem is, if you are translating, technical manual, it’s easy to spot the mistakes. But if you are translating, press release, and the style is very editorial, and the client pays a great deal of attention to style writing style. You must know what the guy expects, and you are supposed to change the text accordingly. So at that point, it’s not just about grammar mistakes, but it’s also about getting the style, right, and you can find yourself changing a lot more. So that’s I would say that’s the main challenge with with revising, and editing. It depends on the kind of text that you’re working with.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about the style. Yeah, because I know that like some clients don’t even have a style guide. And maybe even if they do, let’s say like, if they say like, the style of our marketing is informal, then like the interpretation of two people could be still different, right?

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, totally, totally. And usually only when you start translating, you start to see the problems. A lot of questions pop up immediately. For example, English is easy from this point of view. Because if you are addressing one person, you say you, if you’re addressing a group of people, you say you and if you are talking to your friend, or if you want to address someone in a more formal way, so an elderly person is still you, right? Whereas in Italian, we have different forms. The verb is different, the verb ending is different, the pronoun use is different. And it’s a choice that usually you have to make right at the start because you want to keep your coffee consistent. So it goes from that to building a glossary. Because once again, you want to be consistent if you define your service in a certain way. You want to keep calling it that way in the future as well because you don’t want to confuse your clients. So even if there are synonyms for the same service, you you don’t want to confuse them you want to keep always, you know, consistent with the first choice you made.

Andrej Zito 

What is your experience creating a glossary? Is it something that translators do? like picking the terms for the glossary? Or is it something that the customer does, or maybe the localization company does this as part of their process?

Monica Pasin 

It depends on the customer, I would say some of them are a bit more translation savvy. So they know that it’s good to have a guide style, sorry. Yes, a set of guidelines for style, and also a glossary. Whereas some of them have no clue. So typically, if they work with an agency, and I am the, the freelancer for the agency, it will be the agency that proposed proposes building a glossary to the client. So the agency was the client and says, you know, it would be good to start building this, we can offer this service to you. Sometimes the agency would then come to me and say, Hi, we have this batch of texts, we would like to build a glossary, can you help us do that, they give you a budget in terms of time, usually, and your Freelancer builds this glossary for them. When you work with direct clients, it’s a good idea to propose this to the client. And to sort of help them build this term base, which they can eventually use in all their translations.

Andrej Zito 

I haven’t done this in a while. But so let’s say that a translation company comes to you and asks you to build a glossary for a new client. How would you do that? Like, are there automated tools? Which kind of like extract the terms? Or do you just select the terms while you are translating?

Monica Pasin 

Once again, it depends on the company, because the translation agency, because some of them might have different processes and the maybe using different platforms or different tools, in my experience I’ve been using travels a lot as a CAD tool. And it can be connected to another tool by STL. Which helps you extract the terms from the translation that you’re working on.

Andrej Zito 

Is it multi term?

Monica Pasin 

Sorry?

Andrej Zito 

Is it multi term?

Monica Pasin 

It’s multi term. Yes. So you can extract the terms, it’s in a very quick and intuitive way. And you can build a glossary at the same time.

Andrej Zito 

Do you usually work with the client on finalizing the glossary? Because usually, in my experience, it’s the client, or like their stakeholders? Who approved the glossary?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, it depends on the client. I’m afraid that in translation, most the answers to your or your questions will be it depends. I give you an example. When I’m working with, with an agency, a big agency, and they have a big client and client on their side, most likely this client will have different branches or different outlets in many countries, including one in Italy. So they will have people Italian speakers in charge of checking the texts, making sure that everything is consistent with their style requirements and so on. So in that case, yes, the client will definitely have a say. And they will make requests. As for the glossary. On the other hand, I work with quite a few clients who are only raised abroad, they don’t have any knowledge of Italian whatsoever. So they just blindly trust me to take care of their Italian materials, which I really appreciate. And so yes, in that case, the clients don’t really have a saying or they don’t really have special requests. As for the gossipy, it is my duty to go and ask them if they have a preference. Between two choices, let’s say when there’s a choice, I like to go and ask them if they have a preference. So for example, as I mentioned before, in Italian, when you address when you prepare your marketing materials, you have a choice you can address one person, for example, so you can say you imagining to speak with only one person and make it a bit more direct, a bit more engaging. Or you can keep it slightly more detached, but still talk to a group of people. And in that case, you don’t use to use voice. So that’s one of the first choices you need to make and that’s one of the first things You should go and ask your clients if they have a preference about.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, we have the same in Slovakia. I think. I think it’s also the same in German. Do you know German?

Monica Pasin  

I don’t speak German, unfortunately. I think that that is the same from

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. My question about this was like, when you are dealing with clients, I would assume that in your experience, you have come across the fact where you had like disagreement with your client, on certain terminology. So how do you handle this? And did you ever end up in a situation where you really thought it like the client is wrong about their decision? And how did you handle that situation?

Monica Pasin 

Uh, yes, it happened to me a couple of times. So it had been quite a long time ago, actually. So I don’t recollect the details. But I remember that in one case, I, I usually I just explain my my position. So I simply write down the reasons why I made that choice of terminology. For example, I can show them that that expression, that particular Italian expression, is used by Italian speakers. And there are many cases of usage of this expression online, for example. And it’s I think it’s important as a translator, especially a freelance translator to be able to explain your choices. Because many times, it’s mainly about how can I say, reassure the client, that there is a reason behind your choice, although it might not be the most intuitive one, maybe the word you propose? doesn’t really look like the word they had in mind. So if let’s say I have a French client, and they speak a little bit of Italian, and I propose a certain choice, which they are not familiar with, maybe they start to question my choice, because they say, Oh, I thought this word meant this in Italian, not this other thing. So there are cases where you really have to keep calm and calm, you calmly explain your choices. And most of the time, things just did just get solved like this, with no consequences.

Andrej Zito 

I know in like my experience with one client that I cannot name. You mentioned before these people that like work in the let’s say, Italian Office of like a big corporation, global corporation. So these people usually review the translations like in the at the final stage, or the whole process. And I know like, in my experience, like many times they the changes that they give back to us they contain like typos or mistakes. So they’re like, incorrect. It’s not about like the style or like a different word choices, but they’re just wrong. So

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, yeah.

Andrej Zito 

But I’m wondering also, like, how do you handle the situation where the client or either the end client or the translation company doesn’t have a budget for a glossary? Do you think it’s still a good decision for you to make your own glossary? do you do that?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, yes. So that’s a good question. And I would say depends on the kind of texts. For some clients, I mainly translate editorial materials. And since it’s not very technical, it’s quite unlikely for the same expression or the same words to be repeated a lot throughout the text. So I would say in that case, consistency of vocabulary is not the main focus. And I want to find myself typing the same thing over and over and over again. So it doesn’t really make sense for me to click Create a glossary. Now, in that case, in that case, sometimes I do create a file, but it’s more a collection of expressions that I think will be useful for me in the future. So, how I solved some linguistic puzzles, for example, there are some expressions, some words that are a bit difficult to translate from especially from English to Italian, and one of these is enjoy, which is literally everywhere in marketing. And you you have to translate it very differently in Italian, depending on the situation.

Andrej Zito 

Can you give an example?

Monica Pasin 

An example Oh my god,

Andrej Zito 

Like, when does when does India have different meanings? Or is it just in Italian or English is the same? Because Can you give me an example?

Monica Pasin 

Okay, so, enjoy, if you want to give a very basic, literal translation in Italian, it can be translated as go there, see, okay? Which basically means to, to experience pleasure out of something. The problem with this verb is that, in some cases, it’s better not to use it because it can have a sexual connotation. So you can’t, you can’t just use it anywhere and everywhere. You have to make a choice. Also, sometimes, if you translate something to literally, it can sound a bit odd or a bit retarded in Italian. rephrase. So you need to rephrase. So yeah, that’s, that’s the case with editorial translations. So probably glossary is not really needed sometimes. With technical translations, yes, I’ll definitely build the glossary at the same time as I translate. Because even if the client doesn’t require it, I know that that glossary is going to make me faster. For the next jobs. There’s an auto suggests function. In travelers, when you create your glossary, you have term days. So especially if it’s a longer phrase, it really saves up time for you, when you stop typing the phrase, the auto suggest just completes the sentence for you. That’s, that’s really useful. So I would recommend creating, creating glossaries anywhere, especially when, you know, once the glossary is created, it’s it’s a precious tool that you have, and that you can actually sell to the client at one point, if they say, you know what I was thinking of creating this glossary. And at that point, you know, you basically already done the work. If the client is never going to ask for it, you, you still have something that you can use every day in your in the following translations to be faster. If they do ask for it, you have this precious thing in your hands, which is already done, and you can sell it to them. For the value that it’s worth,

Andrej Zito 

I would be still interested in talking about the style. This is something that I didn’t ask Fruzsina. But I had this thought like after the interviews that I had recently, it’s about style. So usually, like with the style, like when people write it, they’re targeting like a certain audience. Does it mean that like you, as a translator have the power to adapt to each style? Or do you think you are better suited at translating certain things in a certain style? Because it kind of like reflects how you live your life? If it makes sense.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, I understand what you mean. Using the right style is really important. And I think you can do a good job as a translator only if you feel comfortable writing that kind of style. Sometimes I’m more picky about the style. Some others are maybe a bit less structured. So don’t don’t care so much about it. But I would say if you’re the kind of translator who likes dealing with different kinds of topics, and, and styles and registers. And also, if you are comfortable as a writer, because this is really important. If you’re comfortable as a writer, then it’s good to vary your work and sort of like then your twist your style every time you translate for a new client. Yeah, otherwise, I mean, if someone is not comfortable with translating academic texts, for example, if you are not comfortable using that more formal style,

then don’t do it. Don’t do it, you’re not going to enjoy the work to bang your head on the wall after the first few lines.

Andrej Zito 

The reason why I brought up this question is that I was thinking that for example, when you have because I’m into games a little bit. So when you have like a marketing material, which is really aimed towards let’s see teenagers or young, cool kids, and then you have like a seasoned translator who is let’s say In their 40s or 50s, you know,

Monica Pasin 

Oh, you’re being so polite.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I’m surprised by myself. Um, but yeah, like, like, like, do you think like people like, that have like a totally different life? would be a good fit for such a translation? Or is this the case where you think they should read or say, No, like, this is not a style that I speak, and I cannot adapt this text into my language?

Monica Pasin 

I don’t think it’s a fixed rule. I think it boils down to the individual experience of the translator. Because if you think about it, there are a lot of older translators who specialize in children’s books. And obviously, in that case, they have to master the language of the children. So I think it depends, depends on what you choose, what you choose to specialize in. That’s just the main factor. I think, if you feel comfortable with a certain kind of language, if you like reading that kind of material and studying that kind of material, then you should be able to do a good job. It’s reading is really important. Reading books, blogs, articles, anything, if when you read, you absorb the style. To me, it works. It’s really important.

Andrej Zito 

So from what I understand from what you’re saying is that basically, you can learn and adapt to any style, as long as you kind of like keep absorbing it and consuming it right.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, I mean, I can’t very surely say any style. Because I haven’t tried any style yet. But, yes, I can say I like and I am comfortable switching between styles.

Andrej Zito 

So what is the style that you would say no to? Or what is the style or like the content that would be boring for you?

Monica Pasin 

Legal language. And I am almost married to a lawyer. Maybe that’s why I don’t know. I try to avoid legal language. No, I honestly, I never had a chance to study legal translation and therefore work in legal translation. So I can’t really speak about it. I don’t know much about it. I prefer the more creative work. The more creative side.

Andrej Zito 

Okay. Yeah, we can talk about a little bit later. So yeah, so let’s go back to Monica, passing that calm. Oh. So it was this your first kind of like a real business on your own. When you got back to Italy.

Monica Pasin 

It was the business which accompany me throughout my freelancing years. So after finishing my Masters, when I moved to the UK, and I started freelancing, I started using this business name I didn’t incorporate. So I was I was simply freelancing as a sole trader, under my my name, and this became my business name. Afterwards, I moved to I moved to France for those six months. So I was employed, and I was interning at this translation company. After which I moved back to Italy. And I lived in Italy for the following two years, if I’m not wrong, yes. And I kept freelancing. So after finishing my internship at this translation company, I kept working for them, but as a freelance translator, so I was purely translating and revising at that point as their external collaborator. And yes, so I kept operating under under that name. I registered for VAT in Italy. In you can do that in Italy as a professional you don’t need to incorporate not necessarily and in fact, incorporating is quite expensive in Italy. So most professionals just just just choose this path where they they are issued a VAT number, and they just trade under the names. So that’s what I did. And I kept freelancing for Yes, two and a half years. After which I decided to move to Singapore. Because that’s where my head my heart led me.

Andrej Zito 

So how, how during this old time were you looking for new clothes?

Monica Pasin 

I must be honest, I wasn’t looking at this thing, because after doing my internship with this French company, they had a lot of work for me when I started freelancing for them, so was probably maybe, I don’t know, maybe 90% of my work was coming from them, which meant I didn’t really need to look very hard for other clients. And that was good, because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time and energy looking. But at the same time, it turned out to be risky, very risky game. So I did look for more clients. But I didn’t expand my client pool so much that it would was like that it was feeling maybe 50% of my time and might work. It’s still like that my side pool of clients was still covering maybe 10 15% of, of my of my workload. So in that sense, yes, I had a lot of work. It was mainly coming from one client. And the other clients, I found some of them I almost found by mistake.

Andrej Zito 

How do you find clients by mistake?

Monica Pasin 

No, some of them were, I was recommended to them as I was referred to me. So word of mouth is really important. One of them I was when I was doing research for one of my translations, luxury translations. I bumped into their website, they are a luxury brand as well. And I realized that the Italian version of the website had a lot of issues, translation issues. So I thought I would try why not I tried contacting them and explaining what those issues were. And first, obviously, they were asking a lot of questions, because you have this unknown person coming to you and telling you everything about your problem. They like, what do you want from me. But after I explained, I spent some time and some energy explaining things to them and trying to come up with a solution that could be a good fits for them. And and they agreed to let me take care of the full revision of the website. And they also sort of hired me as a freelance translator in charge of all the Italian translators translations from that moment on. So that was a very fulfilling experience, because it was in a way it was my first real direct client. And I’m still working with them. It’s a very good working relationship.

Andrej Zito 

Yes. And in the beginning, you mentioned that luxury and fashion. I like your main targets your main passion,

Monica Pasin 

Yes, because when I was working in France, this translation company was working primarily with fashion and luxury brands. So fine watchmaking, jewelry, beauty products, high end beauty products, fashion, apparel, shoes, glasses, sunglasses, anything like that luxury, and that comes to your mind. So I inevitably ended up specializing in this field. And I love working with this kind of content, because it’s usually well curated. So it’s high quality content, you don’t have to cringe every time you read a new line because there’s a mistake in there, or it’s very poorly phrased and that obviously complicates your work as a translator if the source text is badly written. So, I love that kind of content. And I decided to keep that my my main focus my main area, especially with time I started shifting my focus a little bit. So I started becoming more picky with my clients. I am I like fashion, but at the same time I am environment conscious. So I am against fast fashion, for example. And a lot of fashion brands nowadays, at least so far, have been doing fast fashion.

Andrej Zito 

What does it mean fast fashion?

Monica Pasin 

fast fashion means that the garments are produced at a very low price, paying the the worker very little saving a lot on safety, the safety of the worker the infrastructures and so on and fast fashion Basically aims at producing huge quantities, and usually in third world countries, because that’s obviously cheaper. And then mass selling these garments at a very low price. So they don’t they don’t care about what quality and safety, also the safety of the materials as well like toxic, non toxic, they don’t really pay attention to that. And it’s a very unsustainable system under many aspects. So there are alternatives out there. At first, they can seem expensive. So if you look for more conscious brands who produce, for example, they use sustainable fibers, natural fibers, organic cotton, and so on. And they pay their workers a fair wage, those garments are going to cost more, but at the same time, they are going to be more more durable. So you know that you can wear those for a much longer time, they’re not going to disintegrate after two weeks. And this is the kind of fashion and the kind of luxury that I am focusing on right now. So my my main, my main focus now is to reach out to these companies who do this kind of work, and to help them spread the word with the Italian speaking audience as well.

Andrej Zito 

So does it mean that right now you’re kind of like pursuing the the business of these companies?

Monica Pasin 

I am trying to reach out to these companies more and more to offer my translation services to them, rather than to the traditional luxury brands? Or, in any case, I’m trying to favor the companies who have some kinds of sustainable practices in place, because I would I want to promote those kind of values with my own work. Yeah.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, that makes sense. But does it mean that you’re shifting more towards working with end clients? Or do you have a control in picking Like, who do you translate for when you work with translation agencies?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, so I, I am trying to shift more towards end clients. At the same time, I’m always open to working with agencies, because I understand that for many, many clients in, in some specific industries, it’s unlikely that they will go and work with a freelancer directly. Maybe because they they are present in many different countries. So they need their material translated in I don’t know, 12 or 15 languages at a single time. And a freelancer can’t do that, you obviously need an agency for that. So if I want to translate a certain kind of, of texts, certain kind of materials, then it will, it’s going to be through an agency. Also, agencies are supposed to provide you with a more stable and sometimes a much higher volume of work, hopefully. So I think it’s always a good idea to have both agencies and direct clients in your in your client pool.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. So two questions. I’m trying to pick the first one. So let’s talk about anticlines. I know that for ouji, you know, she was my first guest here. I’ve known her for quite a long time. She said that she doesn’t work like working with clients. Because usually, just like you said, in some cases, some of the clients like they don’t know anything about translation. So they, they, their awareness and standards are quite low. So what is your experience working with and clients? Do you also feel like sometimes you have to play the role of like an educator to tell them more about industry and what are like the expectations of them as a client?

Monica Pasin 

I guess I’ve been quite lucky so far. Because even the end clients that I’ve been working with, have some sort of marketing office. So they have marketing professionals working for them. And usually, these professionals have to really,

Andrej Zito 

Do you mean Italian office or just global marketing office?

Monica Pasin 

Ah global marketing? Yes. So usually, this these professionals working in marketing, have some kind of clue on how translation works, or what the process looks like. So I didn’t have to do a lot of clients educating. I was lucky that because I know sometimes it’s really tough. But I still occasionally have to educate the client and still I have to explain my, my instance sometimes my, my choices, it’s just part of the job. If you don’t like doing that probably working with that client is going to be a pain.

Andrej Zito 

And then the second question which I had, you said, like why the end clients might prefer working more with translation agencies because they can cover more languages. So my question to you was, did you ever had such a request from your clients? to maybe if he could help translate more languages, so that he could kind of like build a team around you? And at the same time, did you have did you end up in a situation where the demand for like, Italian translations would be so high that you had to like collaborate with other freelancers? Or do you only stick to like yourself? And that’s it.

Monica Pasin 

So as for the first part of the question, yes, I did receive a couple of times, I did receive requests from clients who needed translation in more than one languages. So in that case, I was, I was happy to take care of the Italian translation myself. Nana was also happy to involve colleague working with a different language, and having them take care of that second language. I in this case, I like managing the project. Because Because as I said, it’s something that interests me that it involves me 360 degrees, right. It’s something that I managed from start to end. So I think it’s more fulfilling that way, rather than receiving an email and dispatching the email, and you’re not really seeing what happens in between. So I am happy to do this kind of project management on a smaller scale and on a specific project. And that’s why it’s a service I actually offer. I’m not happy to arrange this, I have a network of colleagues from other countries working with different languages. So it’s definitely something I’m happy to do. And as for the second part of your question, yes, I happen to have times when work was just too much. And I had to resort to a colleague, working in Italian with Italian as well, and give them part of this work. The tricky thing is, you must be very careful with what your client is expecting. Because especially if you translate marketing materials, if you do transcreation, things that involve a lot of creativity and where your style really comes out. If you really get to express yourself in a way, then the moment you give the job to someone else, it might be very different from what your your first, your first, the first jobs were the ones that you did. So you must be careful with that. And I think it’s also important to be clear with the end client. So when that happened to me, I notified the end client that I would be involving a colleague of mine, I had already worked with her in the past. So it was someone that I trusted, and and everything went well, actually, I knew that her style was similar to mine. And I still tried to have a look at whenever possible, let me have a look at her translations, after she completed them, just to check with if she wanted to uniform some some phrases or some parts to the style that I was usually following for the client. So I think as long as you clarify things with the client, and that they’re happy with you involving someone else, it’s perfectly fine. Obviously, if you are if you signed an NDA non disclosure agreement, you must take you must take that into account as well. You might simply not be able to share the source text with anyone else. In that case, you can’t do it, you must do it yourself.

Andrej Zito 

So if your experience was quite positive, in this case, did you ever think about making this like a standard like actually building like Italian translation company, not just being a freelancer?

Monica Pasin 

it is a possibility and in fact, I am kind of shifting towards this. So that’s why I’m now that I am working here in Singapore and not simply freelancing. I’m working from This small company, which I co founded, and the focus, the main focus is on Italian language. But in fact, sometimes I receive requests for other languages as well. And now I’m at a stage where I still, I still often just refer a colleague for the job if I think that they are the best person to, to work on it. But yes, I guess eventually, I’ll be happy to build a small team that I can often resort to. And yes, it would be probably fun, too smart to manage small projects and do multilingual work. I don’t want to end up being a pure project manager, though, I tell you, I’ll tell you how. I feel want to translate.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I know. I know. But I feel like I think like the opportunities that when you run the small team, like, and you’re like the boss, you always have the right to say like what you want to work on. Right? That’s what like many people, like, for example, like maybe like, even in fashion, you know, they started as designers, and then they have to run the business. But you can always like dedicate like some some of your time to actually doing the creative work that you like.

Monica Pasin 

It’s true, it’s true, I guess it’s about finding the right balance between the creative work that you like, and people’s work, managing others managing the the work sheduled workflow, managing the finance, as well, which is an important part of the business. And it can be a source of stress. So everything that revolves around the business, when you’re managing it actually draws your energy away, potentially draws your energy away from what you enjoy doing the most. So I guess, especially at the beginning, in the first phase of the business, when you’re not massively hiring people for every possible task, and you’re doing most of the work yourself, it can be very stressful. And there’s a lot to learn on the go. Yes. Well, you are you are a startup fund founder. Right. So I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, but but I enjoyed it. So I enjoyed doing everything, because I like having that 360 overview of everything was happening. I’m a little bit of a control freak. So let’s, let’s talk about the clients and their dark sites. So what what are your experiences with clients that kinda like pissed you off? Or did you like ever say goodbye to a client?

Monica Pasin 

Um, let me think I didn’t interrupt a relationship halfway through? I wouldn’t say so. But I did, voluntarily stopped promoting my services with certain clients after I had a not so good experience working with them. So yeah, no effect. No, sorry. Now that I think about it, yes, I had a problem with the non paying client, a very big one, I’m actually still solving it. And in that case, I clearly decided to interrupt the the working relationship. So I still, I kept receiving emails from their project managers asked me to do jobs for them. But I had to decline every time and I had to explain why. Because I wanted everybody to know what was going on. I think it’s important for the people inside the company, to know what if there are outstanding issues of this kind, if the company is not paying their freelancers, ie their debts and so on. I really think the people working inside the company should know. So project managers should know what’s going on. And I know that I wasn’t my case, not was not the only one for that company. I spoke to other freelancers, they had the same issue. And a few of the project managers that I was in touch, left the company at about that time. And I know they left because they realize that something was not right. So in that case, when the client stops paying, or when the delay becomes too big. In my view, it’s just best to leave. Even if the client promises to pay soon. Or even if they say you know it’s a temporary thing, it’s a temporary problem. To me, it’s a matter of respect of your freelancers. At least you should speak to them. Clearly and tell them you know, we are undergoing this critical time, but we will do our best to pay you on this date, you really need to be clear with your finances. And this particular company has done none of those. So I was really puzzled for a bit, I was waiting for the payment in good faith and following up, but it didn’t work out. So now I am going to resort to the small claims court. For example, here in Singapore, there are ways that you can try to be heard.

Andrej Zito 

How long are your invoices overdue?

With this particular client? About nine months?

Andrej Zito 

Oh, my gosh,

Monica Pasin 

Yeah. So I’ve been following up for the past like, seven months. It’s never ending, but hopefully it will come to an end.

Andrej Zito 

It’s not just about the money. It’s like chasing the money that they owe you. It’s like that also, like it takes time. Do you want to share who that it is?

Monica Pasin 

At this stage? Maybe I would prefer not to. I have a feeling this will be over soon anyway. So that I mean, it is not a secret. I have already posted reviews on this company. And I’ve been trying to raise awareness among translators, because I think we do have the power to uncover some inconvenient truths about some of the companies that we work with, and they don’t treat us fairly, we should let the world know that these companies are behaving.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, that’s actually a very good point. So where exactly do you share this feedback? Is it just prose? Or are there other places where other translators can see this?

Monica Pasin 

The first place with the pros, simply because it’s a translation platform. I know most translators out there. So it’s probably the most convenient place for me to start for me to spread the news, if I want to let as many translators know about this better, so they don’t incur the same, same issue, that’s probably the best place. But it’s true that when you share things on pros, only translators will see your reviews, any external companies who might want to get involved with the non payer, if they are not in translation, they will not use pros, they will never see your use. So I personally think it’s very important for us freelancers, to go and write reviews on other platforms as well. The first of which should be Google. So we really have the power to leave Google rating. Even though many people say Google ratings are near piloted, you can get people to leave a fake rating, and that you’re never going to find out. Yes, I understand that. But if I leave a bad rating for a company, who currently has five stars, it’s still going to show it’s still going to break that fake record, or that partial partial record partial view that they have less important, because if they keep collecting, collecting Google reviews only from their own clients, for example, own they keep happy with a nice lunch with the account manager, you know, there are ways to keep your clients happy. But it doesn’t mean that everything is working smoothly and families.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I know. Yeah. We were talking about this during our intro call. And I was very, very explicit about it. So that’s what I think is happening with partially landbridge. Because like, when I was working there, like inside, it’s like, it’s like rotten hell. But like the the clients are still buying the services from them. Right. And like, landbridge.

Monica Pasin 

Exactly, because they only see one side or one flip of the coin.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I was actually thinking like, like, like, how to make the end clients more interested in like, actually looking into the black box, because for many of them is just a black box. They just pay money and receive translations. And let’s say their customers are happy. But do they actually care? Like how the translations get produced? And like how the people are treated? Probably no, but they should be right?

Monica Pasin 

Maybe some of them do. Maybe some of them don’t? Yeah, I think it depends on the end client. Some of them just want to have their problem solved, which is understandable because they have a lot to think about. And they don’t want language to be the hundreds problem that they have to solve today. So they just want to delegate the language work to someone else, when needed.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, because many of the clients think of translations as just like some small expense that they try to minimize, right? They don’t see the the benefits and the impact that the translation brings in. But that’s another thing. So we we talked about reasons why you would say no to a client or why you stopped working with someone, it was financial, financial reasons?

Monica Pasin 

Well, that’s, that’s the most important one, I would say. Because

Andrej Zito 

What about like the actual work? Like when you get work, like from a project manager? Is there something that really annoys you?

Monica Pasin 

Um, yes, I think clear communication is important. So it can be annoying when you receive a request, and there’s no deadline, for example, or it’s, it’s not very clear what they expect you to do. So then there’s a lot of back and forth with you asking questions. And if the project manager don’t, doesn’t speak English, well, for example, which by the way, happened with these non paying companies had issues on multiple fronts. So if the project manager is not able to express things, clearly, that’s going to waste your time, you’re going to have to ask questions. Collect informations, it’s, it’s Yeah, it’s not practical. So that’s an important factor.

Andrej Zito 

When we talk about the whole relationship between you as a freelancer and your client as the localization company. Yeah. In your experience, like, when did you feel that the translation company actually cares about you? Or did like, really wants to actively build the relationship with you? So it wasn’t just like sending the jobs and paying you? Which is okay, let’s say that’s the basics. That’s what should be the minimum. But when did you have the feeling like they went a bit above the the standards to make you feel like you’re part of the team.

Monica Pasin 

Um, I guess something that helps is when you it’s a two way thing when you try to build rapport with your project manager. So when the conversation goes beyond a Hi, I have this translation for you. Can you do it for Tuesday? Let’s let me know. Thank you. Bye. When he goes beyond that, when it starts going a bit more towards them? Hi, how are you doing? I know, it’s a tough time. But I hope you’re holding on in there hope your family’s fine. You know, sometimes it doesn’t take much, you just need to ask people how they’re doing. And it starts from there. Because I think it’s important because it helps you remember that there is not a computer on the other side, there’s another person, they are human, they have their own problems. And they’re just trying most of the time and just trying to do their best on the workplace every day. So I think that helps humanizing the whole process. Especially when you only you’re only in touch with the project manager through your emails, you know, a little bit of a human touch. And, yes, that’s that’s one thing. And then when you see that the project manager on the other side is taking concrete steps to make your life easier. So when they’re being clear with in their requests, when they are, instead of telling you do something, when they are asking you, you could do something, if you would be able to do something. Those kind of things. The, the the most the thing that I appreciated the most, were actually when the project manager on the other side was completely clear from the start. So for example, they will tell me, we have this project. Unfortunately, the client gave us a smaller budget this time, so we won’t be able to pay your usual rate, for example. And if it’s a revision, for example, they would say instead of two hours, you only have one hour this time. And they would say we know it’s not enough for the usual standards that we ask of you. But please try to do your best with what you have. So in a way, they show that they understand your the kind of work that you do. I’m not sure if your question was a bit more on the technical side.

Andrej Zito 

No, actually, quite the opposite. I’m trying to I’m trying to think like how to phrase the question. But to me, like even like communication is just like part of the job. And I mentioned I mentioned to you so this is a good thing. I mentioned to you like when we had our first call, what morava did like back in the days, you know, they flew in, like their main transition vendors, they organize this event, get a hotel, spend a time chat with us have drinks and things like that. Yeah, so that’s what I’m thinking like, what would like in your experience, if you had such an experience? Or like, even node? And like, what would make the relationships that have more, because let’s say you have five different clients, and all of them are asking you nicely, they’re asking you, how are you doing? You know, everything’s clear. So the work is going on, it’s going smoothly, and nobody like stresses you out. But what would like one of these companies have to do extra to make you feel like you like them actually better than you had before?

Monica Pasin 

I guess nowadays. It’s a bit utopian. to expect something like the kind of gathering that you experienced back then. Simply because there are probably companies have fewer resources, or they are willing to invest less in this kind of relationships with their external vendors. So unfortunately, I never experienced something that good, hopefully, one day, but I don’t know, let me think

Andrej Zito 

What, uh, what about like a virtual gathering so that you don’t have to fly anywhere, so that the company doesn’t have to put that much money? But have you like interacted with someone like, let’s say, like, I’m a localization company, and I have like, several money cars, like in my pool. So at some time, do I want to get all my money cars together, and maybe exchange like some information, so that you feel like you’re part of something bigger?

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, I think that would be great. Maybe many companies, maybe many translation agencies don’t do it, because they don’t want to freelancers to come in touch with each other and communicate too much. I guess that’s an option. If you think about it. This even on the rates point of view, I’m sure there’s no standard rate, every Freelancer probably signs up with a different rate. For with an agency, they are different conditions to a certain extent. So I can imagine that the moment you put your freelancers in touch with each other, one potential risk is that they talk to each other too much. And they start realizing that one is paid more than the other one. And so on, I guess, I guess that’s the way I see it, it’s probably one potential risk. But it did happen to me that I got to get in touch with a lot of translators who are working with the same agency. And it was really beneficial to me, the funny thing is, we didn’t really get to talk about rates. So it wasn’t a It wasn’t an actual problem for the agency. And yeah, I guess these agencies did it right. from, from my experience, because when they went through the different phases of the translation process, right, there’s the translation phase, and then there’s the revision phase. And they want to have two different people, obviously, taking care of those two phases, instead of sending out the first document for the first phase to the translator, then having it returned, and then sending it out to the reviser, they would just speed up the process, and they would send it to the translator and copy the revisor in the email. So it would be a three, three persons email exchange, basically. And, and then the translator would have to finish the translation and just send it directly to the reviser. I think it’s a proof of trust on this side of the agency. Because obviously, you’re putting your freelancers in contact and you let them deal with that, you know, we deal with the project themselves before you receive the final product. But I think it was enriching at the same. At the same time. When you get to interact with the person who took care of the other face. It’s much quicker to solve any doubts. Yes. You know, if you have any questions, you don’t have to go through the the project manager. So it’s, I guess, if I start to do more project management, that’s probably the kind of strategy that I would adopt. I tried to make it a bit more collaborative.

Andrej Zito 

And that’s what I was also thinking like, how do you discuss like when you have some questions like you like there’s maybe like a new term That hasn’t been translating for Italian, or like you really want to like balance your suggestions or translations with someone else, like, where do you go in these cases?

Monica Pasin 

Where I go to research on the term,

Andrej Zito 

It’s more like like when you want to, like hear what other people think about your suggestions or your proposals,

Monica Pasin 

Okay. Sometimes translation forums, sometimes translation groups on Facebook, that can be a good idea, because you have a wide audience. So you can just voice out your ideas, give a couple of options, maybe a couple of alternatives and see what people are more inclined towards what sounds more natural to them. Yeah, that’s a good way. Or sometimes just talking to the like, Just now I was talking about this twofold relationship, the translator and the reviser. Working together on a project, right, talking to the other party, can be really helpful, because maybe even just for the fact that they might have worked on a similar project before. So they might have encountered that kind of issue before. And maybe they solved it in a creative way, and they can help you.

Andrej Zito 

You also mentioned some revision jobs that might take like one or two hours. So I would like your opinion on small jobs versus large shops. I know this is something that we were discussing. I think with last law, like large projects used to be like a standard long time ago. Now everything is like more agile, you know, you get these small pieces. So how do you as a translator feel about small versus large jobs?

Monica Pasin 

I think it depends on the agency, or on the end client, if it’s a client who only sends me small jobs, and maybe they send me, I don’t know, a half an hour jobs every time. So it takes more time to create the folder, and transfer the documents and set up my travels project and so on, if that doesn’t make much sense. So I will try to limit this more jobs as much as possible, if it’s from clients who only send a kind of job. So I would try not to work with clients too much. Unless they have maybe longer deadlines. So you, you managed to accumulate some small jobs and incorporate them in a single project, it makes more sense, you can sort of treat them in batches. And it makes more sense. But unfortunately, with small jobs, the truth is, most of the time, the deadline is very short. So then there’s no time to do that. If the client usually sends me bigger jobs, and then there’s the odd small job, I will just do it for the sake of the relationship because it makes sense.

Andrej Zito 

In the early part of the interview, you mentioned that you’re more of an introvert and you like you like to focus. So I would like to talk about the practical side of being a freelancer working from home. So how do you how do you start your day? And how do you reach that zone? How do you get into the zone?

Monica Pasin 

For me, it’s always been quite easy to get into the zone. So I don’t I guess I don’t need a particular routine. Probably the most important factor is having breakfast. I can’t do without breakfast. So breakfast is the moment of the day when I really wake up it’s not when I open my eyes and I get out of the bed I can’t say I’m really up at that point. No Yeah.

Andrej Zito 

What do you what do you eat for breakfast?

Monica Pasin 

Um, I like to vary my breakfast but most of the time it’s a bowl of cereals and not quite healthy. Or you can be bread and jam

Andrej Zito 

I think I was just reading that like the cereals like the usual ones like the the colorful ones that we used to eat as children that those are actually not healthy.

Monica Pasin 

Oh, those are totally unhealthy. No, no, no, no, I’m talking about like the ones with no sugar. Only like raisins and nuts, you know, like the Swiss muesli kind. That one. That’s the one I like.

Andrej Zito 

So that’s your energy for to get started, right.

Monica Pasin 

That’s my energy which lasts for about three hours and then I need to have like small, smaller meals. I’d like six meals.

Andrej Zito 

But like, I’m wondering like, you finish your breakfast and you come to your computer where you are now, what do you do first, like dude started with emails? Do you start translating? Like, how do you plan like, what you’re going to do today.

Monica Pasin 

Um, I like to plan on the evening before. Usually when I wake up, I already have a rough idea of what my day is going to be like, if I have translation work to do, I prefer to do that in the morning, especially if it’s a creative one, I prefer my mind to refresh when I get down to it. If it’s more on the admin side, I’m happy to do it like after lunch when my energy is a bit lower concentration is a bit lower. So I guess it’s about finding the right time of the day for the different tasks that you need to do. Sometimes you get these big urgent projects, so there’s not much planning to be done. It’s just about getting down to work and keep working until you’re finished. But I try not to accumulate too many of those, because I think they can be a bit detrimental on your health on the long run. If you need to take breaks, take the eyes away from your computer.

Andrej Zito 

How exactly do you plan for the next day? Like do you have a like a to do list?

Monica Pasin 

I like to use these online excel sheet where I list down the projects that I did the requests that I receive. And I have a column for the expected duration. There is one for the volume. So the number of words or number of hours budgeted, there is one for the expected duration. And usually after filling those two, I go to my calendar, Google Calendar. And I updated accordingly. So if I expect that a translation will take two hours, I will just block out two hours on the following day or today that I allocated. Yeah, I think transferring it onto the calendar really helps you understand visually how busy you are. And if you can fit in any more projects for that day.

Andrej Zito 

Have you ever tried using to do lists? Or does the calendar work better for you?

Monica Pasin 

I’ve tried to use to do lists, but I find that I am bad at updating them. So they don’t really,

Andrej Zito 

Really? that’s like the most satisfying thing for me is just to complete it, and then it goes away from the list. And then when at the end of the day, the list is empty. I feel so good.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, this probably is probably my flaw here. It’s probably my problem that I forget very quickly, what I have already completed and more focused on what’s still left to do. So I seriously forget to tick those boxes that it doesn’t give me much fulfillment to keep a to do list, it just doesn’t really work. For me, I like to make one at the start of the day. Because I like to see things written down on paper and to try and understand how to prioritize what to do first. But once I decided the order, I don’t really check the list too much. Because at that point, it’s in my calendar.

Andrej Zito 

So allow me to understand this. So you first put things that you need to do on your paper, then you prioritize them. And then based on the priority, put them on the calendar, and then you just go

Monica Pasin 

Yes, I like I like to do that. Because I feel that I can be more creative on paper. I can delete draw lines, draw stuff. And then once I have a clearer idea of what to do, then I transfer it on my planner, my my calendar,

Andrej Zito 

How do you handle your energy levels?

Monica Pasin 

My energy levels. I try to work as much as possible in the morning, because that’s probably when I’m the freshest. And then yeah, as I said, I tried to do more more energy intensive and creativity intensive tasks in the morning. And then I probably do lighter, lighter things later in the afternoon. Orin and I never work after dinner.

Andrej Zito 

Oh, that’s your rule.

Monica Pasin 

Yes, I’d rather wake up early in the morning. But sleep earlier in the evening.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, I would I would be interested in is this everyone? They usually don’t like the word failures. So like what were the points in Your life where at the time you felt like it was a failure. But now maybe looking back at it, it was no big deal.

Monica Pasin 

I’m probably failure is the kind of feeling that I had. When I was going through my first job, the my fundraising job. When I, I felt really uncomfortable, I felt sad, it wasn’t really, I didn’t really feel fulfilled. I wasn’t in my zone. So I probably felt like I was failing. And that’s when my the Epiphany came that I was, I was actually in the wrong place, supposed to be doing that. And that’s what gave me the strength to completely dropped, drag and drop my job and go on into something new and start freelancing. So I guess that was a positive failure. Overall.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. Episode, if you had that epiphany for your life. How do you? Sorry?

Monica Pasin 

No, this is I was just reflecting I think since then, I haven’t really had a feeling of failure. I would I wouldn’t say so. some ups and downs. But I think those are just just physiological. Right?

Andrej Zito 

So how do you view machine translation? Is it the success to you? Is it the threat?

Monica Pasin 

I’m trying to learn more about it, when I’m not learning how to use it? Like I’m not using it daily. But whenever I come across an article, I tried to read a bit about it. So I’m more curious about it rather than worried. I think there’s no point being worried because it fits the right solution, it will just, we will just adopt it at one point, it’s the most reasonable and sensible thing to do. Whereas if it’s not the right solution, and if there are better solutions out there, we will find them and we will adopt those instead. I don’t think we can help it. We are already in it.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah. But it’s interesting that you said that you don’t use it on a daily basis, is it because like your content is mostly creative?

Monica Pasin 

Mostly creative. So machine translation wouldn’t really help.

Andrej Zito 

Were there any experiments to start using MT for your type of content?

Monica Pasin 

I didn’t experiment much. I was once contacted by this agency, which I’m not really working with right now. And they asked me to do this translation. It was actually a post editing job. So they first ran the content through their machine translation engine. And then they sent it to me, and they asked me to edit it accordingly to make it sound natural. And to make it correct. The problem was that, to me, they underestimated the amount of problems that the text head. So the budget that he gave me was not proportionate to the amount of work that I had to do. And I did point that out. At first I accepted the job because they, they reassured me that they had gone through many phases of internal research with their own translators, and that they had all come down to the agreement that it was a good budget for the job. But then when I started working on it, it really didn’t make sense to continue. So I had to email the agency and say, I’m sorry, but to to produce a reasonable quality, I need more budget, I need more time. Or I’m not the right person for this job. And that was it. And I, I know I am quite a fast translator because I can get in the zone easily. I am I have a certain level of experience and knowledge. So I was quite sure it was not a problem with me with my speed. And yeah, so I guess that was not very successful. experience with machine translation for me. But that’s the thing. You use machine translation. You must set your mouth express your expectations very clearly. If you just want something understandable. You should say it, if you want something well written, you should say it and it’s a totally different level of work.

Andrej Zito 

What else are you curious about other than machine translation?

Monica Pasin 

Um,

Andrej Zito 

Doesn’t have to be related to our industry, whatever like in your life.

Monica Pasin 

There is something relating to our industry, which I am also curious about. And that’s neuro. Neural learning. Yes, exactly. But once again, I’m not an expert at all, I just started reading about it. So you probably know, much more than me.

Andrej Zito 

A little bit a little bit.

Monica Pasin 

Do you want to delight us? Or shall we leave this to the next time?

Andrej Zito 

We’re running out of time. The only thing that I did this, because like, I think I was sharing this already. Because like, I hear machine learning and deep learning, like from all sources. So I wanted to really like learn a little bit more. So I bought a course on Udemy, about machine learning. And I think I just started the first part. So yeah, I stick with that. But yeah. What do you think is wrong with our industry?

Monica Pasin 

Well, it’s hard for clients to understand when translation company is reliable, and when it’s not. And there are a lot of pseudo translation companies out there. Or it’s very easy to improvise translation companies in our sector. So I guess that’s probably one big problem. And the other, the flip side of the coin is that as a translator, sometimes it’s not so easy to find reliable clients, agency clients. So it might take a while. And you might need a bit of experience before you can identify reliable clients. So I guess this is Yeah, this is probably the biggest issue right now.

Andrej Zito 

I agree with the first point, because we were already talking about this earlier. But I’m wondering like, what do you think like the end clients should do about it? So they know that they’re using actually the good translation companies?

Monica Pasin 

I guess, doing as much research as they can on the company. So not just visit their website once? And it Yeah, it looks professional. It seems like these guys are doing it. Right.

Andrej Zito 

They have nice pictures. They’re smiling. They’re wearing suits.

Monica Pasin 

They treated me to nice land, so they must be good guy. Not necessarily. Yeah. So there are websites where you can hear the views of other people working for the company as well. And so for example, there’s one I think it’s called Glassdoor. That’s where you can go and read the reviews of the employees or the external collaborators of the company. I think it’s important, especially if you have some kind of ethical values that you want to apply to the the providers that you work with.

Andrej Zito 

What are your plans for the future? What are you excited about in 2020?

Monica Pasin 

Well, the

Andrej Zito 

Given the current situation, yeah.

Monica Pasin 

I was waiting for that. And I am trying not to make too many plans. No, the thing is, so much has changed in my life in the past few years. I moved around quite a lot. It’s it’s hard for me to make plans now. But I would say I will try to build my business. And to probably deepen my knowledge, well, that will never end. I mean, I will keep learning and keep specializing as much as possible. That’s the key. And also, I will try to stay curious about the developments in both the economy and our industry. And I will try to widen my client base. Because when this kind of crisis happened, things can really flipped in a second. And you need to be protected. You need to try to spread your eggs as much as possible.

Andrej Zito 

The favorite questions? What is your favorite CAT tool?

Monica Pasin 

Oh, well, I’ve tried a few but I’ve mainly been using Kratos. So I would say it’s my favorite one

Andrej Zito 

Favorite software in general?

Monica Pasin 

What do you mean?

Andrej Zito 

Like, for example, Google Calendar, or like anything outside of translation tools?

Monica Pasin 

Maybe the calendar is the most essential for my

Andrej Zito 

Is it also your favorites? Or is it just the central? What is like favorite? Like, you really like to use it?

Monica Pasin 

I will go for a combo of my calendar and my spreadsheet. My Google Sheet.

Andrej Zito 

Very very practical.

Monica Pasin 

That’s the best. Why what’s yours? I’m curious now.

Andrej Zito 

Hmm, that’s a good question. I think I would say probably toggle. That’s, that’s where I track my time. So I track like, every minute how we spend it. So that then at the end of the week, I can like revise, like, where I spend my time and how I’m spending my time and my life. Pretty much.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, yeah. I’ve been doing that for a long time.

Andrej Zito 

Oh, you too. Oh, awesome. Awesome.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, see my dashboard.

Andrej Zito 

And then my counterpart to your combo would be to do list because like I said, I prefer to do lists. Rather than calendars. So to do list, I use it a lot these days. Good. Okay. Our favorite, favorite word in Italian?

Monica Pasin 

Favorite word in Italian? Impossible. No, it’s impossible. I have too many. Like once in a while I rediscover a word. It just pops into my mind with no specific reason. Reason. Reason. So, yeah, I don’t know. I just love my language. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about our words and their meanings. Maybe I’m a bit weird. Maybe I’m just a translator. I don’t think I’m the only one doing this. I like to think

Andrej Zito 

Maybe you’re just a weird translator. Nobody, it’s good that you have like, you’re passionate. It’s kind of like something that you think about like all day, I think this like very important Actually, I bought about is like recently, I think many people like just are stuck. Like, like, they think of all the work like only from nine to five. Ya know? And like, once they’re gone, they’re just like, Okay, finally you’re free. You know, but like, if you actually do like what you really love, I think it’s like, like, you cannot stop thinking about it sometimes.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, it’s a huge element of luck. Really.

Andrej Zito 

Do you think it’s about luck?

Monica Pasin 

No, sorry. What I mean is if you manage to work in something you love, that you can consider yourself really lucky. Because not everybody gets to do it. I don’t mean that. It’s just a matter of luck. Not at all. I throw hard work. going out there and insisting with clients, with agencies and so on promoting your services, things don’t happen overnight. It takes time and energy. What is your favorite TV show? Oh, that’s another difficult one. I prefer reading rather than watching TV. I’ve only started using Netflix last month.

Andrej Zito 

Because of COVID. Right?

Monica Pasin 

Well, yes and no, no more because my my fiance wanted to watch the series. And I thought Yes, why not? Let’s watch it together. So.

Andrej Zito 

So what was the series?

Monica Pasin 

Um, oh, so we are watching the new season of money heist.

Andrej Zito 

Yeah, my friend was just telling me that they were binge watching money heist, like the whole weekend. So they didn’t do anything. Just watch.

Monica Pasin 

Yeah, so it’s a bit like a drug. I mean, great. hooks, the moment you finish one episode, you won’t just have to, like jump to the next one.

Andrej Zito 

Do you do you watch it in Spanish?

Monica Pasin 

Yes, with subtitles

Andrej Zito 

Else for your fiance, right?

Monica Pasin 

Well, for me as I don’t speak Spanish. Being being Italian, I can understand maybe 70% of what they say especially when they speak fast. It’s not easy to understand. But yeah, I do understand part of it. And usually during the series when there’s some other non recurring expression. So they often say hour hour, which means now Right. And then I would have my fiance’s repeating it without really knowing what it is repeats the sounds and it’s really funny to me because I can understand what they mean, whereas he can’t.

Andrej Zito 

Does he have the English accent?

Monica Pasin 

Of course, he’s very similar. But one thing one interesting thing about people in Singapore especially the younger generation is that I noticed they can switch. They can code switch very easily. So, when they speak among themselves or among, in a group where they feel will understand they use English, so they use the local dialect. Whereas when they are approached by someone from the outside, so some expect someone who was clearly not from here, they would totally switch and adopt a different pronunciation and different accent. It’s, it’s interesting for a linguist to hear.

Andrej Zito 

So you like reading books? Who is your favorite fiction character?

Monica Pasin 

I don’t have one. I like variety. So I really don’t have one. Lately, I’ve been trying to read more Italian authors. And I like contemporary authors as well. So yeah, I was really passionate about Elena Ferranti. It was a big literary case, recent one a couple of years ago, I think. And she’s published a few books. But nobody really knows who she or he is. Because apparently, the name that she uses is just a pseudonym. So it’s a mystery. And she, she writes this very interesting very, how can you say very engaging stories, which are set in Naples, a few decades ago. So it’s a really, really interesting insight into the Neapolitan society at the time. Very good. And the way she characterizes her characters. Really, really good. She really dislikes everything. So that was a good one.

Andrej Zito 

Is there anything I should have asked you? But I didn’t?

Monica Pasin 

Uh no

Andrej Zito 

I think it was pretty exhaustive, right? This might be my most the longest interview that I ever did it.

Monica Pasin 

I’m so sorry.

Andrej Zito 

No, don’t apologize. quite quite the opposite. Because I didn’t even realize that it’s like more than two hours right now.

Monica Pasin 

Hopefully, the listeners know, I mean, I had fun. And I, it’s, it’s funny, I don’t get to speak about these things very often. My problem is that I hang around with lawyers too much. And they just talk about laws. So they rarely ask about my job, I don’t really get to talk about my job much. So this was a very good opportunity. And there’s so much to say.

Andrej Zito 

So final words from yourself. And I have one extra question. Maybe you can put it as your final words. What is the what is the advice that you would give to new translators or people who are thinking of starting a career as a translator?

Monica Pasin 

My main advice would be, be curious. And the open to new opportunities, and be brave and go find those opportunities, because they want us to fall from the sky into your lap is not that easy. And be ready to learn. Just keep learning for your whole life. And I don’t think this only applies to translators, I guess. Nowadays, with things evolving. It’s simply the future for most jobs. You have to keep learning You can’t expect to be working on the same task for the rest of your life. Yeah, I guess that’s the main thing and also for translators travel as much as possible. Learn about after COVID learn about new cultures as much as possible. You don’t even have to physically travel. I mean, you can read blogs, read books, watch movies, watch documentaries, really, anything that can help you acquire more knowledge and deeper knowledge about other cultures. That’s that’s really important.

Andrej Zito 

Awesome. Thank you very much, Monica. This is a pleasure.

Monica Pasin 

Welcome. My pleasure.

Andrej Zito 

Thank you and talk to you next time.

Yes, thank you so much. Bye bye bye.

We’re always creating new localization content

Make sure you don’t miss anything. Join 1,114 other professionals on our mailing list and be the first to get our upcoming newsletter. 

If you enjoyed that, you’ll love these…

Why hello there!

Enjoy 10% off

on your first course when you join our mailing list.

* All information collected will be used in accordance with our privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.