Interview Series: 4. Jaquelina Guardamagna – Translator in London
My April guest is Jaquelina Guardamagna. She is a Latin American Spanish translator and Spanish interpreter. She runs Translator in London, she recently was elected Member of Council to CIOL and she is a mum of two! I met Jaquelina last year during the Threlford Lecture organised by the Chartered Institute of Linguists at the historic Stationers’ Hall, near St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London. She carries tonnes of energy and positivity which you can feel as soon as you sit next to her. She makes an impression as a professional and as a supportive colleague. So here we are, a year later, chatting about our profession, what energises us, our targets for the future and David Crystal.
1. So Jaquelina, tell me, what is it like running Translator in London?
It's like being on a roller coaster: there are ups and downs. It is exciting, but at times, I feel like screaming. The adrenaline is always flowing, keeping me motivated. I am enjoying the journey and as I move forward I get more and more confident in dealing with new experiences. The idea is to keep moving (doing and learning), because if the journey gets boring, I might take a different path.
2. So what’s a typical day like, if there is such thing, at Translator in London?
There is no such thing as a typical day for Translator in London and that is what I love about my job. One day I may be working on certified translations, the next one, I may be interpreting in a business meeting in central London, the following day I may be dealing with social media platforms or writing a new presentation, or I may be watching a documentary and doing the subtitles. I also have meetings as I serve as a member of The Linguist editorial board and help with the Executive Committee activities of APARU, the Association of Argentine Professionals in the UK.
3. You sound tremendously busy! Where do you get your energy from?
The energy is triggered by my passion for doing what I love. I feel that when I am translating and interpreting I am investing time in myself and that generates lots of energy! Besides, I would not be able to do this without the support of my husband, my family and friends. There is always a helping hand that allows me to do my work when my kids are around or when I have lots of other tasks to look at.
4. Is this energy the reason why you chose translation as your profession?
I chose translation because by translating (or interpreting) I am constantly learning something new. I would not be able to do a repetitive job, even when I have mastered all the areas and tasks listed on my contract because I am interested in feeding my brain. Translation allows me to use languages to learn something different on a daily basis. In addition, I love languages and culture. With translation, I have the opportunity to empathise with people who do not speak the same language and to help them communicate effectively.
5. And when you are not translating, what do you do?
I like exercising, networking, reading and writing. I am actively fulfilling my interests through my profession. However, I would love to spend more time swimming or in contact with nature.
6. I know a lot of translators like travelling. Are there any places on your bucket list?
Although I travelled as a backpacker around Europe, there are so many places which I would love to visit that the list could be endless. In my native Argentina, I’d like to go to Patagonia, Perito Moreno Glacier and Valle de la Luna. Then, a holiday in the Caribbean or the Seychelles Islands would be ideal. Within the UK, there are amazing places as well. I would like to visit the Lake District next.
7. If you go to Patagonia, I will be very jealous! Do you have any plans or targets you want to achieve in the near future?
One of my resolutions was to become a Member of the Council of the CIOL, and thanks to the support of many colleagues, I was elected in March. I would also like to continue my studies of German and, ideally, I would like to meet David Crystal in person. If you know of any events where I could see him, please let me know!
Well, many congratulations on becoming a Member of CIOL Council. I actually have a book signed by David Crystal. I believe he's often in Oxford where he gives lectures. Next time, he's around I will let you know! We can go meet him together and then enjoy a cuppa in one of the many lovely Oxford coffee shops!
Thank you Vasiliki! I would love to try some Greek coffee and catch up with you soon. Attending a lecture by David Crystal in the inspiring city of Oxford would be a plus! :)
Jaquelina Guardamagna, (BA in English-Spanish Translation and BA in English Teaching from the University of Cordoba) is a Chartered Linguist and Professional Translator from Argentina based in London since 2004. Jaquelina works on certified and legal translations, translations for the Diplomatic field, Media and Businesses, and consecutive interpreting assignments in and around the city of London. As a speaker, she mentors other freelancers and colleagues. She's been running Translator in London since 2008 and is a mum of two. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.