NAME: Zoya Katsoeva
PROFESSION: Translator
WORK LANGUAGES: English, Russian

What kind of translation work do you do and what type of clients do you work with?
I work as an independent translator focusing on audiovisual translation (I’ve already translated and edited hundreds of thousands of subtitles). I as well specialize at business and psychological translation and human resources. My clients are mostly translation agencies from around the globe: USA, UK, Spain, etc.
Zoya Katsoeva
Can you provide a brief description of a typical work day?
I work from home, so my translating activity can vary from day to day. Sometimes I get lots of short-term jobs from different clients, sometimes I work on a huge continuous project. Typically a particular assignment defines my day: I can start early in the morning and keep working till late at night, but normally I would love to have mornings for my family and myself, to focus on my job after noon, when it’s quiet and nothing distracts me from what I do. While working I take pauses to think over difficult parts of my current translation, choosing the best ways to express the ideas. During these breaks I reply to my clients’ emails and plan new projects, or just walk my dog.

What aspects of your profession do you enjoy most?
I love my profession; I love to be involved in this wonderful world of film translation. I really enjoy thinking that I help to deliver interesting and useful movies and texts to the Russian-speaking audience. The importance of this job is what inspires me to do my best to maintain the high quality of translations.
As a freelance translator I also do enjoy freedom: freedom to choose the clients and the projects to work with, freedom to plan my day and week.

Which aspects do you least enjoy?
Job of an independent contractor job doesn’t come with fixed wages and paid vacations, but this is the price of the freedom. At the end of the day the toughest thing that comes to mind about this job is choosing between the projects when all of them are so exciting!

How long have you been working as a translator?
I have worked as a translator from 2015. My first jobs were website articles, and then I moved to translating a psychological and philosophical book. Later on I received my first offer for subtitles translation, and it has become my main specialization.

Does this work fit with your initial studies? Did you in fact study to become a translator?
Initially I received a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and I worked with children with special needs for several years. In the linguistic field I have worked since 2009 – as a copywriter, editor, and a linguistic reviewer. In 2015 I started studying to become a translator: I’ve successfully passed the CAE, and then completed two translation courses. After that I had tons of practice, and consider my experience to be my main teacher. I’m also planning to pass ATA certification exam one day.

What is your career path? Why did you make the decision to work as a translator?
I loved languages from my early days; I admire English as a language that unites the world. I’m learning a second foreign language now, it’s also my passion. Languages and translation were always my hobby, until one day I realized that I didn’t have any reasons not to make it my job. And I began studying, gaining experience and working as a translator.

Is translation your sole professional work? If not, in what other fields are you involved?
I work as a translator, editor, QCer and linguistic reviewer, but the whole set is about translations. And I hope to continue working in this field.

For more information, feel free to explore Zoya’s website, her LinkedIn profile or her Twitter account.

Spanish and English > French translator
French and Spanish teacher (face-to-face/Skype)


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