By Eve Bodeux and Pascale Vancil
The CTA Mentoring Program provides newcomers to the profession an opportunity to interact with and learn from seasoned CTA translators or interpreters. In this article, mentor Eve Bodeux and mentee Pascale Vancil share their experience.
Eve Bodeux – Mentor
Last year, I participated in the CTA Mentoring Program for the first time. I was paired with translator and interpreter Pascale Vancil. Pascale works from English to French and I work from French to English. She has a strong language background and a translation degree, but wanted some assistance getting back into the swing of things in the world of freelance language professionals. Although we both speak French and this sometimes came into play as we discussed various linguistic and marketing issues, having similar language pairs is not necessarily required for a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship. Many business and language theory approaches apply to all languages.
I appreciated being paired with someone who was local (I am in Lafayette and Pascale is in Golden) so that we could establish a rapport in person, although we still used remote means of communicating such as phone and Skype. We alternated in-person meetings and remote ones for convenience. Pascale took the lead on setting the agenda for our discussions so that they were tailored to her specific needs at any given meeting. The topics we covered included client relations, marketing and technical issues, and I am sure there were others. She often notified me in advance of the topics she was hoping to discuss so that I could prepare in advance if needed.
As the mentor, in answering her questions or discussing certain topics with her, it was helpful to me to think about various linguistic or business issues that are always important, no matter at what stage you are in your career as a language professional. On the other hand, discussing various issues with her also made me realize how far I have come in the industry and value my own knowledge and experience. In addition, Pascale and I had an easy-going relationship that was very friendly and I feel that I have gained a new friend in the local translation community.
Serving as a mentor for CTA was such a positive experience that I have signed up to do it again for the new session. I encourage members who could serve as a mentor to seriously consider it and for those who would be a mentee, when the new session rolls around, think about submitting an application.
Pascale Vancil – Mentee
When the opportunity came to be paired with a seasoned translator via the CTA Mentoring Program, I immediately tried to get into this program. I was lucky enough to be accepted and to be paired with Eve Bodeux who was a fun and very animated mentor.
My background is a bit unusual as I earned a diploma as a translator (equivalent to a U.S. Master’s in Translation) back in the late eighties (University of Geneva in Switzerland). However, once out of college, I did not work purely in translation as I pursued opportunities in the private sector (plastic surgery sector and then financial industry). I also moved to the United States and stopped working for a number of years to raise a family.
Returning to work after raising a family
Five years ago, I started working again in the language industry as an interpreter. My goal however was to finally get back to translating but after all this time I had a lot of questions on the reality of actually being a translator and wondered how the job of a translator had evolved in the last twenty years. The CTA Mentoring program was a perfect opportunity for me.
Eve has a lot of experience and yet, she treated me like a colleague right away and made me feel like there was not anything I could not ask her. I got answers to my many questions during our in-person lunch sessions or our Skype sessions, but I also did not hesitate to ask her via email if I had more pressing matters in between our planned meetings. She guided me when I had some inquiries from potential clients so that I felt confident when sending quotes that I had covered everything even for bigger jobs.
Being part of the CTA mentoring program as a mentee was an amazing experience. It helped me feel connected and it boosted my confidence. Eve was a huge help throughout with her gentle suggestions. I am forever grateful for her to have made time for me all of last year so that I could lean on her many years of experience. Her sharing anecdotes of when she first started translating helped paint a clearer picture of the reality of the job and made me feel that I was on the right track. I also know I gained a friend which was an added bonus.
I would strongly encourage anyone who is thinking of being a mentee to submit an application. One day, I hope to pay it forward by being a mentor myself.
With 20 years of experience in the translation industry, Eve Lindemuth Bodeux is a certified French to English translator for direct and agency clients and an independent project manager for direct clients around the world. She frequently writes and presents on issues related to translation and the business of translation. She is one of the co-hosts of the podcast Speaking of Translation and is the author of the recent book “Maintaining Your Second Language,” targeted at translators, interpreters and other language professionals.
Pascale is a native from France and holds a Master’s degree in Translation (Diplôme de traducteur) from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She moved to the United States (Colorado) twenty years ago and has been working as an interpreter and as a translator for the last five years. She translates from English and Spanish into French. She is based in the southwest area of metro Denver.