Personality of the week: Julia Praslova : Linguist / Translator
This week we feature a language specialist with experience working in translation, proofreading and adminiastration. Fluent in English, Russian and Ukranian Julia has always been able to maximise her skills in a work enviornment and has had a vast array of work experience using her language skills.
How did you get into translation/ interpreting and proofreading , where did you learn your skills?
From a young age I was always interested in languages and was brought elementary English language books to read. This interest followed on throughout my school years, culminating in gaining a BA degree in English in Ukraine. Since then I have constantly worked either as a translator, interpreter or proofreader.
What do you think are the most important skills you need to do a job well?
I would say the skills should involve a high degree of experience in working in your mother tongue and chosen foreign language, attention to details, accuracy and the ability to work under pressure; knowledge of culture and traditions of the foreign country whose language one practices as well as mentality of its people.
What are the key challenges?
One of them is to combine accuracy and speed. Another is constant development and improvement of one’s skills.
Why did you decide to come to London and how does the London job market differ from the Ukraine?
I moved to UK because I got married. When I arrived I found the whole system of recruitment is completely different in the UK from what I was used to. While there is plenty of work for me in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, the London market is much more aggressive and without validated qualifications or recognised work experience job opportunities are dramatically reduced.
What advice would you give someone who was looking to start a career in translation, proofreading?
The best way for somebody from outside of the EU looking for a language career is for a start to work as a language volunteer within their community. If that is not possible because you are not located near your diaspora working as a freelancer is another option which is more profitable andwill provide you with references and an opportunity to develop your skills. Whatever your situation, gaining additional qualifications will aid in your pursuit for employment.
What advice would you give someone who is considering moving to London for work?
I would advise them to find a job first or at least make several attempts. One should have a clear understanding of the job market and recruitment system here. This way you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.
What is the highlight of your career to date?
I am still to achieve this goal. Currently I’m working on broadening my opportunities and gaining new skills and have enrolled on a Business and Administration and Community Interpreting courses.
Do you have any career regrets and if so what would they be ?
I have no regrets since I don’t see myself as a career person. I’m sure though there’s a place for me in the future job market and I will find a role that will provide me with a daily challenge and ultimately job satisfaction.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt in your career so far ?
Constant improvement is a key to success. And failure is not an option…..
What do you do in your spare time, when you aren’t working?
I privately teach Russian and English (as a foreign language) and extending my work based experience through volunteering at my local Adult Education College.