New Arrival: Kate Harvey

As 2016 rolls firmly on, it's time to introduce another new arrival to our team with whom you may not yet be familiar. Kate Harvey joined us in October 2015 as Project Support Assistant, and has supported the DWL Project Management team in diverse ways ever since. From aligning translation memories to performing visual checks on Product Information, Kate's first year has been varied, and our team has already benefited from her focused work ethic and unflappable nature.

As is now customary, we thought we would ask some searching and personal questions and find out what makes Kate tick.

DWL: Where do you call home, Kate?

I grew up on a Devonshire Dairy farm, amongst a big family, and even more cows and fields, so I think that will always be home for me. However, I also enjoyed living in Birmingham, sunny Spain and not-so-sunny Portugal as part of my 4 year degree at the University of Birmingham. Since joining the DWL team in October 2015 I have lived in London and I am currently relishing exploring all that the city has to offer.

DWL: Which languages do you speak?

I am a native English speaker and also speak Spanish and Portuguese thanks to my four-year Hispanic Studies degree. Spanish is my particular strength having spent some time prior to my Erasmus year working as an au pair in Spain. I hugely enjoyed living in Valencia, Spain and then Coimbra, Portugal during my year studying abroad and found these the most valuable experiences for language learning. My appreciation for the distinct cultures of the two countries (and climates!) has inspired my ambition to pursue a career in languages.

DWL: When did you perform your first ever translation and can you remember what it was about?

I performed my first translation project from Spanish to English in final year at University, through a module entitled Translation Theory and Practice. Our task was to pick a passage of 1000 words, which had to be as bizarre and as complex as possible, and translate it alongside an analytical commentary to justify our translation decisions. I really enjoyed the project, and chose a section from crime fiction author Eduardo Mendoza’s  ‘El laberinto de las aceitunas’ (really quite a strange yet enjoyable read, if anyone is considering). It was certainly challenging translating analogies and irony which relied upon their cultural roots for comic effect. However, it gave me a great insight into the many challenges involved in creating a quality translation and in the end I was glad to have chosen such a difficult, niche passage to translate.

DWL: How easy/difficult was it to find work after University?

After thoroughly enjoying my languages degree, especially the modules in translation, I was sure I wanted to learn more about the translation industry. Through my research I found a concentration of translation companies in London and was excited by the prospect of moving to the 'Big Smoke'. My attention was initially drawn to DWL due to their specific focus on the interesting field of medical translation, along with their promise of a highly professional yet personable service. After a couple of months of searching and submitting applications, I was thrilled to be offered a translation aptitude test by DWL. I was travelling through Europe at the time, but thankfully the shaky Wi-Fi at an internet cafe in the South of France pulled through and I was offered a 3 month internship. The DWL team made me feel very welcome and having gladly accepted a permanent contract after my internship, I am enjoying the increasing responsibility and learning curve of the transition from learning translation theory, to managing translation projects in practice.

DWL: What’s your favourite pastime?

I enjoy keeping active, and I’m a big fan of the beach and the outdoors. I’m also a lover of music, and frequently go to concerts and gigs. So in a nutshell, a run along the coast whilst listening to some good music is probably one of my favourite things to do.

DWL: Did you make a new year’s resolution for 2016, and have you managed to keep it?

I´m not one for making huge life-altering changes at New Year, and I am certainly not going to be giving up chocolate any time soon, but I have made a conscious effort to get into healthy, interesting cooking. Inspired by the innumerable food markets of my new hometown, I have produced some good and some not-so-good experimental dishes. Highlights have included sweet potato brownies, courgette and chocolate cake and, most recently, coconut, cashew and date energy bars which powered my sister and I through the Bath Half Marathon.

DWL: Who is your hero?

Although perhaps lesser known than Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, Granny Harvey is without a doubt my most influential heroine. She’s nearly 84, walks absolutely miles over rolling hills every day (never without her hyperactive Jack Russell by her side, as none of her friends can keep up), is the bubbliest person I know, and is not on one bit of medication! She truly inspires me to appreciate the vitality of life.

Thank you, Kate!