Korektor, editor, copywriter, dabér a rodilý mluvčí angličtiny
Na Malovance 161/2, 169 00 Praha, AFDirections
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Is this profession a tradition in your family?
No. It’s something I just fell into when I came to Prague initially.
Can you tell us more about your background and your main areas of expertise?
I have a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College in Dublin. I don’t have a specialty area as such. My brief is to put any translated texts I receive into English and make them fit for purpose in a native English context.
What were your beginnings?
If you mean in this profession, I have to thank an American guy called Thomas Tyre O’Hearn whom I contacted when I was looking for a proofreader to consult on a job I was doing. He told me he was moving back to the States and needed to offload some of his editing work and asked if I had a degree and would I like to try out a few texts. I said why not and then worked my way up from there.
What tools do you use on a daily basis related to your work (applications, planners, etc.)?
I work exclusively in Word format. I track all changes there so the client has a record of all the corrections I make. I keep myself organised with Notes on my Macbook.
Do you work from office, home, cafe?
A mixture. I sometimes work from home (which isn’t easy with 2 small kids) or go to my local café or the library if I really need some quality time.
How many hours per day do you work on average? What was your longest working day in history?
I aim to do a concentrated 6 hours a day. Easier said than done though. The longest I’ve ever done is something like 8 or 10 maybe. But I start to make mistakes when it gets into that territory. I focus on quality over quantity.
Do you promote your services (if so, how)?
I have a profile on navolne noze where people can contact me (https://navolnenoze.cz/prezentace/michael-fitzgerald)
What would be your advice if one thought about a career in the industry?
It’s not for everyone. You have to be really fastidious and be a perfectionist. Because any language mistakes are your responsibility. You need to have a good feel for your native language and stay true to the original author’s voice. If you’re a creative writer, editing language can give you insights into various styles. It can be a bit of a headwrecker at times. But the flexibility it gives you is a bonus. I get to spend a lot more time with my family than I would if I were trekking out to an office every day.
What's the best and worst thing about freelance translators?
I have a lot of respect for freelance translators and the effort they put in. My work depends on them to a large extent.
Where do you think your profession will be in the next 15 years in relation to technological change, artificial intelligence, etc.?
Pass! I have no idea. I’m a complete luddite when it comes to technology.
Are you a morning or a night person?
Are there any books that you would recommend?
Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders