Sep 06, 2018

Translator Interview with Joshua Pachner

Our line of work brings us several opportunities to interact and learn more about different places, diverse cultures, interesting languages and much more!

We love interacting with our translators beyond the business world to understand what inspired them to pursue a career in translation. Our Translator Interview Series helps us do just that!

Today we are in discussion with Joshua Pachner, one of our expert translators currently based in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the interesting life of Joshua and find out what it takes to be a multilingual translator, animal lover, husband and father!

Translator Interview Infographic Joshua Pachner
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Hello Joshua! Thank you so much for being here today. To begin with, tell us your story, where does it all start?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    Hello, it is a pleasure to be a part of this initiative. I am a native Swede born in Stockholm and currently located in Prague, Czech Republic. I moved here in 1996 when I was only 19 years old. I fell in love with the city and simply stayed. I am now married and have two sons, one 9-year-old and the other who is just 5 months.


    Prague City


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    TBH:

    Congratulations on the newborn, what an exciting time! We can completely understand why you fell in love with the city – Prague is a wonderful place, so beautiful and full of life!


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How and why did you become a translator? Please tell us about your educational background and experience.

Answer

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    Joshua:

    Translator Interview Languages


    I started part-time translating at a professional level in 2007.  I already knew Swedish and English but also started Czech language School at the Charles University, during my first year in Prague. I feel I have always had an ‘ear’ for languages.


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    TBH:

    What were your first experiences in the city like? What did you do before you became a professional translator?


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    Joshua:

    During my initial years in Prague, I worked as a tour guide which involved a lot of interpretation from English to Swedish and Czech to Swedish during visits to different institutions, factories, police offices, and authorities. This led me on to the linguistic path where I am today, translating professionally full time, and being a Certified PRO in English to Swedish translator at Proz.com.


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What would you have done differently at the start of your career if you knew then, what you know now?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    If I could, I would have taken on more medical texts to get practice in that field in addition to my current fields of expertise.


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    TBH:

    If you wouldn’t have become a translator, is there any other profession you would have liked to have pursued?


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    Joshua:

    Yes, I would have loved to become a chef specializing in French cuisine!


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What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    When you cannot find an equivalent for a component in your language, translate the component by describing how it looks visually.


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    TBH:

    That’s interesting, can you give us an example?


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    Joshua:

    Let’s take the example of a part of the machinery, sometimes it is difficult to find the correct translation for certain technical terms. In that case, describing the way it looks visually will help the reader understand which part is being talked about. This is especially important for manuals.


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What has been the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    I’ve worked on many different projects. I always enjoy technical translation projects.


    Translator Interview Swedish Police


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    TBH:

    Wow! That sounds very interesting but also a little scary.


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    Joshua:

    It is very interesting, you learn so much about the human psyche. However, crimes involving violence and sexual encounters are very unpleasant to deal with.


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What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    My biggest challenge was the translation of my first manual for a CNC multi-tasking machine. I overcame it through my detailed research and study of previously translated reference material for similar machines.


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    TBH:

    It’s great to know that you put in so much effort to understand the technicalities of the documents that you work on. Since you’ve been a part of this industry for a while, who or what have been your greatest influences?


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    Joshua:

    I think in general, I appreciate manuals that are well written, yes even a technical manual can be well written!


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    TBH:

    How would you like to be remembered in this business?


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    Joshua:

    How do I want to be remembered? Well, as a person who always makes sure that quality comes first.


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What does a normal day in your life look like?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    I wake up and take my older son to school, then on my walk back from this school, I stop for takeaway coffee. When at home, I check my schedule and start with the most urgent work, first. This includes replying to job offers, sending quotes, my CV and other information. I also like to work at night, so sometimes I start working around 8:00 in the evening until early morning, especially in the summer when the days are very hot and the nights are cooler and more suited for translations.


    Translator Interview Languages


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How has being multilingual helped you?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    It helps a lot when interacting with the natives as you are treated totally differently. Even if you are not very good at the language, but you show that you are trying, native speakers, will try to help you and will be much more friendly.


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    TBH:

    Absolutely, language plays such a large role in culture and communication. So, do you try to inculcate your love for languages in your family as well?


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    Joshua:

    (Laughs) Yes, but I don’t need to! My wife is Italian, so my older son learns Italian from her and Czech in school. I only speak in Swedish with him so that he picks up that language as well. Growing up, I was exposed to German from my mother and Swedish from my father – so the answer to your question is, that we are a multilingual family by default!


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Tell us one thing about you that is unique to you.

Answer

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    Joshua:

    (Laughs) That would have to be my many, many pets. My wife and I love pets, and we have, what we like to call, our little zoo!


    Translator Interview Joshua pets


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    TBH:

    That’s amazing but also a little overwhelming!


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    Joshua:

    That’s what our summer house is for – only 40 minutes from the city and the perfect place to relax.


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Could you teach us some new phrases in your language?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    Yes, of course: Simma lungt (swim calm = take it easy) and Vpohode (Okay) in Czech.


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    TBH:

    Great, look out for our newly acquired Czech language skills in our upcoming posts!


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Could you please describe your journey with Translate By Humans? What has been the most rewarding part of working with us?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    I just started working with you, but I really appreciate your personal and professional approach.


    Translator Interview TBH


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    TBH:

    Well, thank you! Even though our translators work behind the scenes, they are our true heroes, and their rich experience and background are what helps us grow every single day.


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Before we conclude, what advice would you give to an aspiring translator? Any particular lessons that you have learned along the way?

Answer

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    Joshua:

    When you finish your translation, take some time off and then go back to proofread your translation, if possible, ideally you should proofread in the morning the day after you have finished your translation when your brain and eyes are fresh. It will do wonders for the outcome of the text!


    Translator Interview Joshua Advice


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    TBH:

    Well Joshua, Thank you so much for helping us get to know you just a little better. We hope you enjoyed interacting with our team.


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    Joshua:

    You’re very welcome, this was a nice change from my usual work, and I look forward to many years of collaboration with Translate By Humans!


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Ruju Patel

Ruju Patel

Ruju Patel leads the Content and Design Team at Translate By Humans. She has a background in Psychology and Business and former experience as an HR professional. She is a people's person and a pro at drafting contracts, policies, and articles. Her creative edge helps give life to all the written and graphic content produced by the company.

When she's not writing, you'll find her reading with her cats or combining her love for food and culture by traveling around the world!

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