Rob is a fairly quiet and unassuming guy. You wouldn’t guess that he works daily on German translations for some of the world’s most famous luxury car manufacturers – from press releases to technical content. He’s so good at what he does, I’ve heard it said that he could probably watch a tennis match on the TV while translating, and still create word-perfect content. Though there is no big screen TV with tennis for our translators, Rob has certainly enjoyed a rewarding career at EVS Translations.
After joining EVS Translations UK in 2009 as a trainee translator, he worked his way through many different kinds of projects for some very high-profile clients. The early days were challenging. When I first started, I discovered that translating for a living was very different from doing it at university. I was thrust into a world of CAT tools and subject matter that I knew nothing about at the time, and I was confronted pretty early on with jobs as long as 20,000 words that called for extensive research and some serious time management. Unlike university, it wasn’t just endless 300-word translations about recycling and Angela Merkel that didn’t need to be handed in for two hours.
Then, in 2011, Rob found himself with the opportunity to move to the USA office. At the time, the Atlanta office was new, and the team was finding its feet. Rob describes the experience of landing in the USA, ready to support his US teammates:
For a while there were just three of us – two translators and a project manager – until Florian Schwieger, who is now our head of global sales, joined us as a project manager. Things started to progress quite quickly after that – we moved to a bigger and much nicer office and started to grow to the extent that the team had quadrupled in size by the time I moved back to the UK three years later. It was a great experience, despite the heat, and I’d love to go back and visit.
Thankfully for team UK, we got Rob back at EVS Translations UK in 2014. Since then, he has continued to translate with pure precision and skill…
I tend to concentrate mainly on technical translations (mostly automotive with forays into construction, energy, IT and so on), but with a healthy amount of marketing and sometimes other topics thrown in. My favourite client is a museum devoted to crime and justice in the Middle Ages, which just goes to show that it’s not all instruction manuals and dry corporate PowerPoint presentations.
…and now mentors junior translators on the graduate scheme.
This involves introducing trainees to the world of translation memories, terminology management and tight deadlines. We try to give plenty of constructive feedback and hold regular review meetings so that both we and the trainees know how they’re getting on so far. My advice to trainees would probably be to be prepared for translation as a profession being nothing like translation at university, as well as to be aware that you’re guaranteed to make mistakes (I certainly made plenty when I started, and I’m sure I still make more than I’d like) and that’s perfectly OK as long as you learn from them.
Looking back on the past nine years, Rob comments:
I can’t believe it’s been that long! It’s certainly been interesting, especially given the time spent in two different places (plus a couple of visits to head office in Germany for good measure). I’ve learned a lot in that time, and I hope I’m doing a reasonable job of passing on some of the benefit of that experience to our newer translators.
Thank you to Rob for sparing time in his busy schedule to speak with us about careers at EVS Translations. If you are interested in joining EVS Translations, please see our website here for the latest international in-house opportunities.