Medio Azadi is a part time Persian to English translator based in Pakistan. Even with a very busy schedule, he spent time talking about the translation business candidly. Here’s our interview:
Q: 1)Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you become a translator? What services do you offer?
A: I’ve always been very much interested in learning about the world, which is why I was so focused on languages, especially English.
Then the more adventurous part of this would be to translate into a foreign language than from it into my native language.
After finishing college where I studied English translation, I did my military service in a government department where I also did translation.
This was a great experience but then there was the professional experience, which began after military service, when I started working in the various translation agencies in the capital city.
There, there was a high demand for Persian to English rather than English to Persian translators, which was further encouraging for me.
Q: 2)What makes you different from your competitors?
A: Other than the fact that I often translate into rather than from English, which is an advantage for me, my pronunciation in English compared to other speaker of Persian is considerably more native-like, which arose out of my interest in speaking and phonetics. A further advantage is the amount of attention I pay to details.
Q: 3)In your view what makes a good translator?
A: A good translator should be well-read in both but specially in the target language as well as being much experienced.
Q: 4)What do you do on a regular basis to attract clients as a Persian to English translator?
A: I’m a student of M.A in Linguistics now and not a very active translator, yet I get regular work from clients who’ve already known me for the high quality of my work.
Q: 5)What are the challenges or difficulties you face in your business and how do you overcome them?
A: Competition is a challenge but the real challenge is to convince some customers that translations can vary greatly in terms of quality and a good translation can be obtained only by paying a good price and allowing sufficient time.
Q: 6)What’s your advice to other freelancers who feel compelled to undersell themselves just to get enough work?
A: Never compromise quality for quantity, because, once you are known as a low-quality translator, you’ll have fewer job requests from clients and subsequently your income will suffer.
Q: 7)Where do you see yourself in a year in terms of your English Persian translation business?
A: Perhaps by then I’ll have translated 2 more books and collected more data for my dictionaries.