Like lots of teenagers, my future seemed unclear when I was in high school. Yet, since grade three I have developed a passion for writing. It all started with my grade three teacher complementing me on my creative writing. Since then I have always enjoyed working with languages. I enjoy the playfulness and unpredictability of language. In high school I wrote a lot of short stories. I participated in a few writing competitions and even won one of them. As a journalist for my high school newspaper I gained more experience in writing and editing. Because of my love for languages I knew I would do a BA in language and culture, but apart from that I was still uncertain about a lot of things. I wondered about what career I would follow, how I would be able to incorporate languages in a job, and whether I would be able to earn enough money. Still, I went to Stellenbosch and started my journey in languages, waiting on the Lord to lead me in the right direction.
When we started a module in translation and editing in my second year, I thought it would be a few boring months. Little did I know that translation and editing are anything but boring! We learned about the different approaches to translation, the different roles a translator must play and what to look out for when translating. This was unexpectedly exciting to me and I wanted to know more. When I learned that our university offers an honours degree in translation, I knew what I wanted to do.
Now that my first semester of honours in translation is done, I am well on my way to becoming a professional translator. Yet, the last few months were tough. A translator’s job is filled with obstacles and we have learnt many different approaches we can use to overcome them. Although I am already half-way through my studies I know that I still have a lot to learn. To me one of the most important skills a translator must have is learning from experts’ criticism. Trying to stay positive while a lecturer or another student criticises your translation is difficult but very rewarding, since this helps you to grow and develop.
I am very honoured to study at Stellenbosch University, because our lecturers are experts in the field of translation and editing. They also provide us with some of the best resources for translators and editors. I am really looking forward to the EST Congress 2019 which will be held in September at my very own university. The fact that our lecturers made this possible shows me how privileged I am to study here.
Even though my studies may be finished at the end of this year, I know that I will continue to grow as a translator and editor. I hope to work with texts that include lots of graphics, like advertisements, posters or pamphlets. The reason for this is that I enjoy incorporating my love for art and design in my job as a translator or an editor. Aside from this I would also need to learn what the working environment of a translator is like. This is why I decided to do an internship at Folio. I hope that this experience will help me to grow as a translator and teach me about the other responsibilities in a corporate environment.