March Linguist Spotlight
We at TLC have decided to take the time to introduce one of our linguists each month in our Linguist Spotlight. Our desire is to see fair trade practices become the norm in the translation industry and we believe highlighting the people involved in production will help educate and inspire others to value fair trade as we do.
Our March SPOTLIGHT falls on Diana Alsobrook!
Diana Alsobrook is from Romania and moved to the United States in her late teens. Of all her travels, Paris, France is her favorite place in the world (ideally somewhere along the banks of the Seine). She received her B.A. in Linguistics and French from the University of Georgia, Athens. One of her goals is to become a published author.
TLC was one of Diana’s very first clients as a freelance translator. About a week after she signed up for ProZ, she replied to an ad about translating diplomas and personal documents for TLC. She was chosen for the project, and a year and a half later Diana still believes, “TLC is my favorite agency to work with.”
Diana, what is your native language?
I consider myself equally “native” in both English and Romanian. Although I was born in Romania to Romanian-speaking parents, I was promptly enrolled in all sorts of English language programs from a very young age. When I moved to the US for college, everyone had trouble believing I was an international student! I now blend in equally in both countries.
As a translator, I work with Romanian and English most frequently, but also translate out of French.
What is something that many people don’t know about you?
When I was 19, I moved to the US for a boyfriend I had met online, and it actually worked out! We’ve been together for 11 years (though about half of that was long-distance), and happily married for almost 3 years. Our families get along perfectly, and we do our best to incorporate them in our life despite the distance.
Looking back on your work as a freelance translator, what is your favorite type of translation project or a favorite project you completed in the past?
I love all of my projects, because there is always something new for me to learn. However, there are a few that stand out. Last year, I worked with a direct client to translate old family documents from the early 1900s. These were notes and letters from a Romanian ancestor that had been passed down for generations, but no one in her family could read them. With each letter I translated, her ancestor’s story came together piece by piece. It included colorful characters from small Romanian villages at the turn of the century, not to mention a gripping plot. They all stayed with me long after completing the project and were enough to inspire this aspiring author!
There is also a special place in my heart for game translation. I am an avid gamer, and so getting to work with what I love is particularly rewarding. It also gives me a chance to hone my writing skills, because game translation is a very creative process. Developing character voices, translating puns – I have a lot of fun with it.
Keeping in mind you can answer this question in any language—What is your favorite word?
As a linguist, I have trouble picking just one word – it’s like picking a favorite child! But I will say that I love a lot of words for their surprising history.
For example, did you know that the word “silly” originally had very little to do with foolishness? Its Germanic roots point to an original meaning of happy, blissful or blessed. It is a cognate of “seely” and “seelie”, but, over time, it began to refer to innocence, then naive childishness and, eventually, ridiculousness.
Diana, you have worked with TLC for over a year. What do you like or not like about working with TLC?
I love everything about working with TLC! I have had a chance to interact with most of the team, and everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful. They are all hard working, have a clear respect for quality, and are excellent professionals. I am honored to be associated with such a team.
I also love the fact that Teneo is constantly working to stay up-to-date with technology and streamline the translation process. When I work with TLC, I spend very little time on non-translation tasks, and I am very grateful for that.
And we are grateful for you too Diana!
This month we want to thank Diana for her fantastic work. Diana is an absolute delight to work with. She is always prompt, pleasant and personable. Always eager to dive into new projects, every job she’s done for us comes back well-researched and exactly to our specifications. We are grateful to have her on our team.