Podcasts are a relatively new addition to the world of online information, yet their popularity is already astoundingly high, with Edison Research estimating that 51% of the US population alone listened to at least one podcast in 2019. Whilst our webinars have always retained a high level of popularity, the prospect of offering podcasts as a source of information, industry news and even as a means of telling the stories of our friends within the translation industry was an exciting one.
With our fledgling podcast, we were looking to do just that; share the inspirational story of a prominent figure (or figures) in the localization industry and in such a format that our customers could listen to it anywhere - without the constraint of being tied to their desk.
Twin Translations founders, identical twins Judy and Dagmar Jenner have been involved in the localization landscape for more than 20 years, and run a boutique translation and interpretation business from Las Vegas, Nevada and Vienna, Austria. With such a wealth of experience and knowledge between them, we knew the twins could provide a plethora of useful advice for newcomers interested in a career in translation, and we were delighted when they graciously accepted our invitation to be part of our very first podcast!
Judy and Dagmar were born in Austria and grew up in a trilingual household in Mexico City. When I ask how they came up with the notion of running their own translation business, Judy laughs and responds, “We were on a bus together when we were in middle school, and I said, you know, we speak all these languages, we should have a consulting firm together! A few degrees, detours and much personal growth later and here we are! I guess some childhood dreams do come true.”
The twins go on to share what they believe newcomers to the translation industry should know and understand before they embark on either starting their own translation business or offering their services as an in-house translator. “I think it’s really important for newcomers to know that not everything is perfect” Judy says thoughtfully. “Everybody makes mistakes. We’ve learned a lot of things the hard way, and the reality is that failure and mistakes are part of the journey to success.”
“And don’t believe the people who tell you that they succeed in everything” Dagmar adds, ”My biggest professional achievement was taking the accreditation test for conference interpreting at the European Union and passing it on my first try, but then I also took the test for the United Nations and I failed that. I’m currently preparing to take it for a second time, so wish me luck!”
Throughout the podcast, I’m struck by how humble and grounded the twins are, and it’s heart-warming to hear how they really want to unify translators as a collective group and champion them as being stronger together rather than as competing entities. “Newcomers need to keep in mind that you should keep good relationships with your peers” Judy advises, “because these are the people who are going to recommend you when they are busy, or when a client needs a language pair that they don’t have, or as a booth partner when they are interpreting.”
When asked the million dollar question – are there any real secrets to success? The response is a surprising one, with Judy stipulating “As trite as it may seem, there ARE a few secrets to success. It turns out there are a few people out there who know what these secrets to success are, but they prefer not to share them…” She pauses and laughs reflectively. “But we DO share them, because we believe that we are all stronger if we work together and do a good job…”
To hear the twins tried and tested recipe for success, click the button below.