So, graduation! A Translator? And then, what? Scheherezade’s story!

I have always wanted to live through words, even as a child, when I devoured book after book, reading under the blanket, in secret, so my parents wouldn’t complain.

At six I started taking English classes and then it all began. For me, translating sentences from one language to another was like a game and reading English texts was like cracking a code. In fact, at that time I also used to take swimming lessons, and when I had to choose one thing or another (there was no money for so many extra classes) it was clear: I wanted to continue my English lessons. Mind you, I was never very good at sports anyway.

As a teenager I loved BritPop, I spent hours listening to music and translating the lyrics of Blur, Oasis and the likes and soon it all became clear: translation was my passion. When I had to decide on a career I did not hesitate and chose Translation and Interpreting. Months before finishing I sent résumés to several translation agencies and started translating from the very word go, though I also started teaching English to have a regular salary.

As I wanted to specialize in something I was really passionate about, I did postgraduate studies in Literary Translation the year after I finished the degree. I met several excellent teachers there and received first-hand tips to forge my future. A teacher recommended me to a major publisher in Spain and began translating for them. Meanwhile, I sent résumés to other publishers, with more or less success.

After years of working with the same customers, I decided to try my hand at Audiovisual Translation and I started subtitling movies. I enjoyed the experience so much that in 2010 I did a master’s degree in Audiovisual Translation and I fell in love with dubbing, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing and audio description for the blind and visually impaired.

Throughout these years of practice I have learned that you should not stop learning or let yourself be overcome by difficulties. Look for jobs, find new customers, specialize and be bold! Don’t let people discourage you! You can live in a comfort zone, but you have to be willing to be courageous when it counts.  Not many people know, for instance, that the origin of the microblog Pin up translator (http://pinuptranslator.tumblr.com) came from trying to come up with something original when sending out cover letters and résumés to publishers.

Although things are going well and every day I have more translation work (I have even set up a small translation agency with two other translators), I still teach, hoping I can fly away one day and devote body and soul to what I like best: translating.

Scheherezade Suria, a literary translator, and language enthusiast from a very early age, she took a degree in Translation and Interpretation (Pompeu Fabra University, 2000-2004), followed by a postgraduate course in Literary Translation (IDEC-Pompeu Fabra University, 2004-2005) along with a master’s degree in Audiovisual Translation (Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2010-2011). Her extensive experience thus far has been centred on permanent collaborations with a series of different agencies and publishers. She has a broad-based knowledge of specialised literary and audiovisual translation from English into Spanish and Catalan. In the eight years that she has been working as a translator she has translated over twenty books, covering a wide range of subjects (romantic fiction, children’s books, essays) and has also subtitled dozens of films, such as Madagascar, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda or Puss in Boots. She also took part in the dubbing work for the series The Good Guys as well as working on audio description for blind people. In love with her work, and immensely passionate about the different branches of translation, Scheherezade also has her own blog, En la luna de Babel (http://enlalunadebabel.com), where she shows off her versatility, accompanied by an insatiable curiosity with regard to the many and varying aspects of language and its translation.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Very interesting story. I want to say that in many aspects of your life is the same as minhe. I´m a post graduated in Hiher Education Teaching and i´m a teacher of audiovisual translation. Like you do, my intention is to havr a master degree in Audiovisul translation. Do you have any tip?
    Take a look at my blog. There i talk about subtitling , english language leaarning and dubling.

    1. Marco,

      Thank you very much for your comment! I do not do audiovisual translation, but I will let Scheherezade know! Thanks again for your comment!

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