Meet Our Professional Human Translators Series: Interview 2, Fatma

The Language I/O Meet Our Translators series attempts to showcase the great minds behind our outstanding professional human translations. Professional human translation is a component of Language I/O’s business model that separates it from competitors who use crowdsourcing rather than professional translators, to provide human translations. Today we speak with Fatma, a Turkish translator who works from Turkey.

If you’ve ever dipped a toe in localization, you understand what a tricky business translation can be. When one of our favorite translators, Fatma, started her translation career, she often struggled to get through sample translation tests. 

“I was so ambitious starting out that every time someone gave me feedback on one of my samples, I would teach myself something new,” Fatma said. “As I continued to train myself beyond my official English training, my confidence grew. Each one of those failures was a step toward my improvement.” 

Fatma grew up in a small village in Turkey, but started learning English when she was in elementary school. Her exam scores landed her a place at Marmar University, one of the largest University’s in Istanbul. 

“It was a bit scary for me in the beginning,” she said. “Can you imagine going to such a big city from a village if you’d never visited another city before? But I loved being a student in Istanbul. I met wonderful people there and as soon as I finished my studies, I went to St. Petersburg, Russia to teach English.”

Fatma taught in Russia for five years. She then returned to Turkey, married and had two children. She started actively working as a translator in 2016. 

“I love translating,” Fatma said. “It’s a different way of being an author. It allows one to express ideas and beliefs and share them with others. Language is a door into another culture. When I started using foreign languages, especially having grown up in a small village, it opened me up to new people.” 

But as with every job, there’s a downside to being a translator.

“There are a lot of tourists in Istanbul so many of our signs are translated into English,” Fatma said. “But when I’m walking around the city or on the subway, I’m often ashamed by the translations. I’ve even noticed road signs that are incorrect. It’s a capitol city and tourists rely on those signs. As a translator, the incorrect translations are embarrassing.” 

Eventually, Fatma would like to become a translator for the European Human Rights Court. Currently, she works with all Language I/O clients on their Turkish translations. 

To read part one of this series, click here.