We have the great fortune this month to meet Mary Theodosiadou, a Greek translator and reviser specializing in European Union affairs.
NAME: Mary Theodosiadou
WORK LANGUAGES: Greek – English – French
PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND WORK: Athens, Greece
What kind of translation work do you do and what type of clients do you work with?
I specialize in the translation and revision of European Union documents (European Commission, European Parliament, EUROPA, EURES, EU-OSHA, CEDEFOP etc.). I did my traineeship at the Press Office of the Permanent Representation of Greece to the Council of Europe and since 2003 I have undertaken translation work for both individuals and translation agencies in Greece and abroad. My other areas of expertise and subject fields include Law, Economics, Business, Commerce, Advertising, Tourism and Travel, Sports and Information Technology.
For the past 8 years, I have been working in-house as a translator/reviser for a Greek translation agency.
Can you provide a brief description of a typical work day?
I don’t actually have to get up until 8am, but my cat, Zizou, makes sure that I’m awake at 7am at the latest -there’s no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast 😉
I really enjoy my morning time to myself. I read the news, I check my messages and go through my social media feeds, while listening to my favourite music. My typical work day at the office starts at 10am and finishes at around 6pm. My work there consists mostly of reviewing translated documents. I do most of my other translation work at home during weekends.
What aspects of your profession do you enjoy most?
Research. It allows me to expand my knowledge in so many areas, in both my source and target languages. Creativity. Translation is without a doubt a creative act. Diversity. It increases my understanding of other cultures, my understanding of the world.
Which aspects do you least enjoy?
The deadlines. I often have to work extended hours, evenings, weekends and holidays.
How long have you been working as a translator?
I have been working as a translator for 14 years.
Does this work fit with your initial studies? Did you in fact study to become a translator?
Yes, and yes. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in French Language and Literature (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece). I completed the fourth year of my Bachelor’s Degree as an Erasmus student in Paris (Université Paris 5 René Descartes), where I studied Applied Linguistics. I have a University Diploma in Translation (DU Traducteur – University of Strasbourg, France) and a Master’s Degree in Professional Translation (DESS Traduction Professionnelle – University of Strasbourg, France).
What is your career path? Why did you make the decision to work as a translator?
I had a great professor who encouraged me to go to France and study translation after finishing my undergraduate studies. She would always push me to do things that were out of my comfort zone. Both my parents were very supportive in whatever I wanted to do, so I decided to go for it. After 14 years of hard work and determination, I am working in my field of study and on the career path I’ve always wanted. The translation market is huge but it is also a highly competitive place. I consider myself lucky I got involved in the translation of EU documents because it opened a whole new world for me. Being specialised in this highly demanding sector and being recognised by my employers, my colleagues and others in the industry makes me feel appreciated as a professional and as a person.
English and Spanish > French translator
French and Spanish teacher (face-to-face/Skype)