Why do you translate? Replies from #iapti2013

Why do you translate? Replies from #iapti2013

You may already know that I use the same thread at all conferences where I present. I ask: Why do you translate? and collect paper or digital replies, like I did in Madrid or in Porto. This time I took it further and retyped all paper replies from the First IAPTI International Conference. Read through them to discover this sheer energy that keeps us all going. Maybe you’ll even add your bit in a comment?

Aurora, Argentina
Because it’s my mission in life.

Maria, Greece
Because I love the challenge of looking for the perfect equivalent.

Alexander, UK
Because it is the closest thing to real magic I know of, turning one thing into something different entirely – and that is fun.

Hülya, UK
I love the buzz I get from completing a project successfully.

Christine, Luxembourg
Because I am addicted to languages and cannot imagine doing anything else.

David, UK
I translate for the love of words and the fascination with the people.

Chani, Germany
I am translating because I am a citizen of the world.

Natalia, Ukraine
Because it is always exciting, new, inspiring. I never get bored, meet new people. I have to develop, learn and do research and because I love both translation and interpreting.

Monica, Portugal
For passion. I love to play with words and doing connection of a language not my native into my own language in order to allow information from a foreign language to reach readers who would not have access to that info just because they are unable to speak another language beyond their own.

Because I love language and communication – because language is my passion – language and languages

Suzi, UK
I love words. I love languages and how they fit together. I love the fact that I am able to help people communicate with each other. With effective communication we can solve so many of the world’s problems!

Barbara, Brasil
Words are simply my life.

To give those who rarely have a voice a voice or at least a good chance to be heard.

Federica, Italy
Helping people to get the message through.

Filippo, NL
Because if not, I’ll miss it like heaven (and I couldn’t be a IAPTI member).

Ilenia, UK
Because I want to be the voice that makes communication possible.

Oliver, Italy
I translate as a beautiful art of creating a message that can inform and inspire across cultures.

Because I love language and the power it has to communicate.

Because it’s fun, I get to read informative content first, I love language… and I love being independent AND it pays well!

Anonymous, England
I translate to help people understand each other.

Risa, Japan
I love it. I feel happy that someone can read a certain text because of my work.

Paola, Italy
Help people, creating connections.

Paula, Argentina
It’s a way of channelling my creativity & my passion for language.

Flora, Ireland
I translate because I love the variety and freedom it allows.

Malgorzata, Germany
Because I learn something new everyday; Because I love Arabic and sincerely want to further the understanding between Europe and the Middle East.

Elisabetta, Italy
A passion for English, for its sound, for learning new things every day, for discovering new realms.

Irene, Argentina
I translate because it feels like working magic.

Victoria, Argentina
I translate because I want to help people achieve their goals, and I know I can make it happen by getting their message right in another language. And because translating is the job I ca do for more than 8 hours a day and still be really happy. I <3 translation.

Amparo, Spain
I translate because I know I am giving a voice to someone who was silent to so many. I love what I do. I am so lucky!

Maria, Romania
I translate because this is the best way I can use my two great loves: my love for languages, words & my love for mankind, for people.

Jen, UK
I translate because it feeds my hunger for knowledge. I get to learn something new with every translation, which is an amazing thing.

To bring people together & help make the world a better place.

For the pleasure of sharing ideas from other people and places, and for the pleasure of wrangling with the language itself.

Alice, UK
For the pleasure of sharing ideas from other people and places, and for the pleasure of wrangling with the language itself.

Jimene, Mexico
I translate to spread the word about the causes I believe can change the world.

Catherine, UK
The satisfaction of conveying communication which help, enrich, entertain people to bring cultures/nations/people together.

Florencia, Argentina
I translate because I love helping people to communicate and express themselves. I love being their voice!

Sarah, UK
Because I can make a difference to people’s lives by allowing them to communicate with each other.

Esil, Iceland
I find translating challenging and stimulating

María, Spaniard in UK
I translate because I love it and I can’t help it.

Nikki, UK
I translate because it’s an intellectual challenge very day.

Lira, Colombia
Because I love helping people to understand and to communicate.

I’m from China. I want to translate because China is developing really fast and it needs to connect to the rest of the world to do that.

I translate because I love to be part of a bigger picture: understanding.

Liliana, Romania
I believe that there are important messages that the whole world is entitled to know about. I love foreign languages and getting the messages across to people who depend on them.

Anonymous, Peru
We live in a communication world and I feel this passion to communicate ideas from one language into another.

Carla, Peru
I translate because of this imperative drive within to tear down the barriers of the language and cultures and help people come to that final stage when their faces bright up with a huge smile and say “I understand!”

Federico, Italy
I free the world from misunderstandings. I let cultures and markets flow and interact. I make the world a better place to live in and I make a living out of it.

Csaba, Hungary
I have an insatiable drive to deliver linguistically correct and idiomatic texts. Call me a perfectionist, but my clients appreciate this.

Because I love language and words.

Sandra, UK
Because there is nothing that makes me happier. Playing with language and also permitting communication between sets of people that otherwise would be at a loss.

Gerardo, Argentina
Because I love the challenge of looking for the perfect equivalent.

Dorota, Poland
To help people communicate across the cultures. Because I love languages.

Anonymous, Germany
A challenging and rewarding profession that allows me to make a living doing what I enjoy.

Maya, Greece
I have got this passion and way with words to make the world a better place through communication.

Karlotta, Iceland
I love solving translation problems and I’m passionate about working with language issues.

Because it gives me freedom to do what I want, and when I want.

Joanna, Polska
It gets me closer to creation.

I enjoy understanding other cultures, other people and facilitating communication between cultures and people.

Because I like it. Pure & simple.

Sian, UK
I like the analytical challenge of bridging two cultures.

Carol, UK
Because I love the challenge of looking for the perfect equivalent.

Ana, Spain
I translate because I think it is important to facilitate communication among people around the world.

Melisande, Brazil
I translate because since I was very young I felt it was the only thing I would like to do in my life. I cannot think of doing anything else. I love languages, culture and diversity, and this profession gives it to me.

Claudia, Brazil
Because I love reading, writing and solving problems.

Mercedes, Spain
I love learning, and learn, not just one, but many things every day.

Jamie, Netherlands
I love the mental process and challenge of crafting words that communicate the concepts, ideas and information formulated in one language into another language… without leaving the reader with the sense or suspicion that my words have been translated.

Lenka, Czech Republic
I translate because I love the job. I just enjoy dealing with words and see the transformation from the original text into something completely different.

Julia, Austria
Because 3 hours of translating feel like half an hour.

Anonymous, Puerto Rico (USA)
Because I love it, am good at it. I have fun. I always learn something new. And the good money is a great added bonus!

Marion, Austria/UK
Because of my passion for words.

Carlo, USA
Out of love. For language. People. Communication. Different cultures.

Nataliya, Bulgaria
I translate because I do love my job. It was my job that helped me get up when I had my worst days in my life.

Simona, UK
I enjoy helping people to communicate and create understanding not just of words but also of cultures.

Liu, China
The passion will never die.

Cristiana, Brazil
I translate because helping two people communicate with each other in a way it would not be possible without my help is one of the best things in the world.

Constanze, Germany
I translate because I love to identify the vision of the author behind the text and adopt it to the reader’s linguistic & social background in the most effective way possible.

Tatiane, Brazil
I translate because I love communication and I am very proud to make it happens in my language pair: English – Brazilian Portuguese.

Gabriela, UK, Romania, Colombia
Because I love facilitating communication between people. If we understand each other bettwe, the world becomes a better place.

Anonymous, USA
Because it fulfils a human need: to communicate.

Maria, Brazil
I translate to help people communicate, express themselves in/to the world.

Claudia, Argentina
For the love of words and the passion of linking worlds.

I translate to help save lives.

Because it comes naturally.Because it defines me.

Anonymous, Argentina
I translate because it’s my mission in life.

Anonymous, USA
Because it’s the only thing I know how to do properly.

Carla, Scotland
For the sense of satisfaction at finishing a translation and making the meaning clear.

Anonymous, Scotland
For the sense of satisfaction I get when the meaning clicks into place in a tricky sentence and all the components come together like a Rubik’s cube.

Silvia, Romania
I translate because it gives me the feeling of being useful, of doing something meaningful, somehow making my mark on the world, and I love it.

He, China, UK
For my love of languages, help to spread understanding between peoples. And the joy and pain of living elsewhere.


  1. Pablo Siredey , on Oct 22, 2013 at 16:09 Reply

    I would add:

    “I translate/localize so people can communicate across the world not in one single homogenous language, but each on a defining aspect of their culture and identity: their language”.

    Best regards.


  2. Amaury Lainé , on Nov 6, 2013 at 09:24 Reply

    I translate because creating bridges between languages and cultures gives me the feeling that I can make a difference for someone in the wold

  3. mehmet emin uyar , on Nov 6, 2013 at 20:49 Reply

    well, it is the closest life form in my imagines, i mean the real freedom out of the system. “freelance translator”

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Jan 3, 2015 at 20:58 Reply

      Well, being a freelancer does give us certain freedoms 🙂

  4. Chris, Germany , on Dec 20, 2013 at 00:04 Reply

    I translate because it’s a way to make a living.
    A better way than a lot of things I tried before.
    It doesn’t define me.
    I m not on a mission.
    I don’t want to save the world.
    I just happen to be good at it.
    Come on, y’all, get own to earth.

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Jan 3, 2015 at 21:02 Reply

      It’s a valid reason, too. However, I have to say I don’t think you can do something for a long time and not let it define you even a little bit. Do you ever think you would translate a given slogan better? Maybe you randomly think of translations to what you see? Those are the signs the profession does have its influence 🙂

  5. Anastasia, Greece , on Dec 15, 2014 at 23:42 Reply

    To me translation is magic! I am truly in love with what I do. If I don’t translate, I am not complete. This is who I am. This is why I am good at it. I love it and it loves me back! 😉

    • Anastasia, Greece , on Dec 15, 2014 at 23:44 Reply

      I meant “trully”, of course! Thank you, my keyboard for all these happy moments… time to change you! 🙂

      • Anastasia, Greece , on Dec 15, 2014 at 23:50 Reply

        Translation loves me, but my keyboard hates me after all these clicks and taps!!! Dear keyboard, please tell the world that it is TRULY and not something else! Thank you for your cooperation! 😉

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:43 Reply

      Thank you!

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