Like many others in this line of work, my love and appreciation for language started at an early age. As a child, I was an avid reader and the highlight of my days was going to the library with my mother. I would write short stories for my friends to read, and this inspired me to pursue a career working with words. My younger self assumed the only way to do this was to become a journalist. For some reason, they seemed to be the only people allowed to have fun with language and proofread stuff (something I delighted in doing for my friends and family). I was not yet aware of the exciting opportunities waiting on the horizon.
At school I thrived in my Afrikaans and English classes and I even studied isiXhosa as an extracurricular. The rules of language always made much more sense to me than those propagated by the maths department. So, it was a logical conclusion when I announced in matric that I would be pursuing a BA in Language and Culture at Stellenbosch University.
It is only with time, experience, and some wisdom that the field of translation and editing opened up to me. Having obtained my undergraduate degree (shoutout to the virtual class of 2020!), I am currently completing my BA Honours in Translation at the same institution. This course has given me insight into an industry that I am not only very passionate about, but also view as vital to a functioning society.
Language, and by extension how it is presented – be it through translation, editing, or any other linguistic process, bridges the gaps between communities and facilitates effective communication. Humans connect with one another through language, offer help and guidance through language, and consume media and reflect on art through language. It mediates our movement through the world as well as our interactions with our surroundings. The accessibility and availability of aid in this regard is thus particularly crucial.
For these reasons and more, it has been an honour to get to see the industry at work here at Folio – the importance of the work that they do cannot go unrecognised. By providing resources and aiding the communication process in its various forms, Folio highlights the necessity of such services, and it has been an invaluable experience to see these services in action.
The rewards and challenges (see: opportunities to learn!) of being a translator seem endless as every new task demands a unique set of skills. The insight I have gained from my short time with the wonderful and awe-inspiring people at Folio will be of immeasurable help in my life and career going forward!