Tradutores e Intérpretes pelo Mundo – Dana Szabados

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Tradutores e Intérpretes pelo Mundo – Dana Szabados

Hoje, conversámos com Dana Szabados, sobre alguns aspetos da sua profissão, sobre a importância do associativismo e ainda sobre alguns conselhos para a nova geração de profissionais.

APTRAD: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you started out in this career, and what made you choose it.

Despite my love for languages, I never planned to become a translator, but it seems it was meant to be: after I graduated from the Faculty of Mechanics, at the beginning of the ‘90s, the Romanian companies were looking for engineer employees who spoke English in order to implement new foreign technologies. As I could not prove I knew the language, I took an exam to become a technical translator. After passing the exam, I started to work as a freelance translator, at first very shyly, then more confidently. Then, in 2018, after about two decades spent as a part-time freelance translator, I decided to quit my job as the Quality Manager of a large chemical plant in my hometown, Râmnicu Vâlcea, and become a full-time technical translator. This is one of the best decisions in my life if not the best one. The flexibility a freelancing career offers cannot be compared with any flexible program offered by any employer.

APTRAD: How would you describe a “normal” day in your working life?

There are no two identical days in my life, but I try to have a routine: wake up early, have my coffee and breakfast, then start working. In the morning, sometimes I go to the market, then resume work and have lunch and continue work. I do not have a fixed program, I blend my work and private activities in a way that allows me to keep the balance between my professional and personal lives. As my clients are scattered all over the globe, sometimes I accept projects while sipping the first coffee of the day. For me, work means translating, communicating with clients, sending offers, marketing, reading or posting on social media, volunteering.  

APTRAD: Are you a member of any professional association/organisation? If you are, what made you join it? If not, why haven’t you joined yet?

I used to be a member of the Romanian Translators’ Association and I never cancelled my membership, but unfortunately the association no longer exists.

Therefore, as I was looking for an association that resonated with my ideas and beliefs related to translations, in 2019 I became a member of the Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET), based in Spain, and I am so happy I did it. The association organises a variety of events, both online and in-person, and, every year, a conference. Through these events, I met a lot of wonderful and inspiring people.

In 2021, a good friend of mine, who is a great translator, advised me to become a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), based in the UK. In 2022, I had enough courage to apply for membership, and I proudly became a qualified member of ITI, MITI for the English into Romanian pair. The ITI conference takes place yearly and there are plenty of events on various topics all-round the year. In order to maintain their membership, members have to undergo 30 hours of CPD per year. This is the perfect way to keep you motivated to learn continuously.

Being a member of an association gives you a feeling of belonging, supports you in interacting with like-minded people, helps you grow, network and become better and gives you the opportunity to give something back to the translators’ community.

APTRAD: From your experience, what makes a “good” professional in this area?

I would define a good professional as a translator who uses their specialist knowledge to perform high-quality work and delivers it on time. A good professional is a person who communicates with their client and who learns continuously. A good professional is part of a network.

APTRAD: What do you like the most and what do you like the least about your work?

I love the flexibility my work allows me to have, the fact that I find out so many interesting things through my translations or the research I have to do and that I have the chance to meet the brilliant people in the translation industry.

What I like least about my work is that translators do not have the recognition they should have as specialised professionals. But this is not related to my work, it is more a flaw at the overall level.

APTRAD: What advice would you give someone who wants to become a translator and/or interpreter?

Specialise, learn continuously, network. If you want to become a freelancer, develop your business skills: a freelance translator is an entrepreneur. Congratulations for being brave and becoming your own CEO!

APTRAD: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

A freelancer has many of the jobs in the organisational chart of a company, as we are a one-person company. Given the business dynamics nowadays, in order to offer better and up-to-date services to our clients, we have to learn and deepen our knowledge and we have to network and exchange ideas. There is no better framework to do these than by being members of an association.

Thank you, Dana, for answering our questions!

To know more about Dana Szabados, you can follow her on Facebook [], Linkedin [] or twitter [].

Se quiser saber como se tornar um associado da APTRAD, consulte aqui [] ou acompanhe as nossas redes sociais em Facebook [], Linkedin [], no Twitter [] ou no Instagram [].


Dana has been a freelance translator for 25 years, she works mainly in the ESG, technical, lifestyle, beauty fields and she translates from English and French into Romanian. She learns German and she hopes to start translating in this pair soon. She is a mechanical engineer and holds various certifications in quality and environmental management. She is interested in food history, stoic philosophy, art and music, she is a keen concert-goer and a hiker. Baking is her favourite mental relaxation technique. She loves to attend translators’ gatherings and she organises periodically one in her hometown.