Position Spotlight: Freelance Translators in Localization
We collaborate with a large pool of hard-working freelancers to bring accurate and engaging translations to our customers. And though we are headquartered in Berlin, our more than 350 dedicated freelance translators support our Localization team and are based all over the world. We talked to Dominique Tereza Braakman and Stina Ljungkvist about their experience working with us: the challenges, the rewards, and their personal travel recommendations.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Dominique Tereza Braakman: My name is Dominique, and because I grew up with a Dutch father and a Slovenian mother, languages have always been interesting to me. I was born and raised in the Netherlands, but eventually moved to Slovenia, where I now live with my boyfriend and my son.
Stina Ljungkvist: My name is Stina and I’m 26. I’m originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, but I’ve been living in Berlin for 1.5 years. I’m a musician, producer, DJ, and artist, and right now I’m studying Electronic Music Production at dBs Music Berlin.
How did you end up freelancing for GetYourGuide?
Dominique: I was tired of commuting and wanted to spend more time with my son, so I started looking for work I could do from home. Through LinkedIn, I came across GetYourGuide, and started translating from English to Dutch. Our cooperation was so positive, that after a year of working evenings on top of my day job, I decided to become a freelance translator full-time. I quit my job, founded my own company, and started working from home.
Stina: The Swedish Language Specialist was looking for freelancers, and at the time I was already working in translation. I love traveling and felt more passionate about translating texts related to it much more than to the topics with which I’d worked before. GetYourGuide was very personable and easy to communicate with right from the start. Suddenly I had a whole bunch of great freelancer colleagues who I could ask for advice, or work with.
Could you describe your typical workday, and what a freelance translator working with GetYourGuide does?
Dominique: First, I get up early to bring my son to kindergarten. Then, once I’m home, I eat breakfast, read the Dutch newspaper, and work for several hours. Sometimes I daydream a little while I translate and read through all of the pretty tours GetYourGuide offers. I end the day at 3pm, so I can spend time with my son and partner.
Stina: Since I combine my GetYourGuide work with full-time studies, I usually work the most when I have a smaller workload at university. When I have more time, I go to a cozy café and spend the day working there. It’s a perfect job if you’re often on the go, and only have a few hours here and there to spare. Since I travel a lot, that’s often the case for me. I translate full tour texts from scratch or edit old translations if the tour supplier has changed something in their product.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your work?
Dominique: The most challenging aspect is that you have to be disciplined. Since I work from home, there are many distractions. I have my own office and working hours, because I work best when I have peace. The most rewarding aspect for me is having more free time, and getting paid for as much as I am willing to work.
Stina: The most challenging aspect is when there is a translation gap, like a new word, invented by the tour supplier or specific enough to not exist in Swedish. It can then be hard to explain to customers what the tour is actually about. However, this is a fun challenge since it means I have to get creative and find a way to make it work. There’s often an element of research when translating a text. This is both challenging and rewarding since you pick up a lot of information about travel destinations around the world.
What do you do outside of work, and how do you fit it into your freelancing schedule?
Dominique: Living close to the forest, I like to go running a couple of times a week to clear my mind and do some stretching. Since my hours are flexible, I can schedule it any time I want. We also have a big garden, for which I dedicate time during the weekend. Besides my hobbies, I also volunteer at the local fire brigade.
Stina: Apart from my full-time studies, I also DJ during the weekends. This can be in Berlin, Sweden, or other parts of Europe. Hours spent at airports are not exactly
exciting, but they go by faster when I can use them to work a little before my flight.
What is your favorite travel destination and why? What destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Dominique: I made my favorite travel destination my home. Slovenia has a lot to offer: you can go hiking in the mountains, explore the cozy capital city Ljubljana, or swim in the sea. A destination I would like to visit is Portugal: I’ve always wanted to try surfing, and it seems like a beautiful country.
Stina: Tokyo. I went there for the first time a couple of years ago, and it was love at first sight. The food, the people, the architecture, and the vibe of the city are amazing, and so completely different from here. I’m trying to go back very soon. Other destinations on my list are Seoul, Capetown, and Belgrade.
Other articles from this series
Behind the Localization Team’s Session Around Mental Health and Well-Being
Challenges of Localizing our User Interface
What We Learned at our First UX Writing Meetup