Nora Díaz

Nora Díaz holds a B.A. in English Language Teaching and Translation and is a full-time published EN-ES translator and translation team leader. Nora translates, edits or proofreads for clients located around the world on a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, legal, technical and general texts. Nora also leads a team of linguists, including translators, editors and proofreaders from Mexico, South America and Spain, who work together on large projects. Her interest in productivity has led to a constant exploration of technology to boost productivity, such as CAT, speech recognition and custom macros. On her blog, 'Nora Díaz on Translation, Teaching and Other Stuff', she shares what she has learned with translators from around the globe.

Jose Blanco

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"There is no other tool that I rely on more for my daily translation work than SDL Trados Studio. I made a decision years ago to learn how to use as many of its features as I could, and it has really paid off. Enhanced productivity, consistency and quality are all concepts that I associate with SDL Trados Studio."

Get to know Nora Díaz...

What languages do you translate between and where are you based?

I live in Northern Mexico and translate between English and Spanish.

What's your role and specialisms?

I’m a technical and scientific translator, editor and proofreader. I also serve as team leader for a group of translators when working together on large projects. My areas of specialization include healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, and agriculture.

Who are your customers and do you address any vertical markets?

While I work with some direct clients, most of my work comes from translation agencies from around the world.

How did you start your career?

While I was still in school, working towards my B.A. in English (for translation, interpreting and language teaching), I started doing translation work for local clients. Later on, I joined an online portal, created a profile and started getting jobs from translation agencies, some of which are still my clients, many years later.

Why did you decide to specialize in your area?

I’m also an interpreter, and both manufacturing and agriculture are very important activities where I live, so through interpreting I’ve had the opportunity to learn about many of the topics I translate today. Spending several weeks at a manufacturing facility interpreting for technicians being trained on how to maintain a machine, right on the shop floor, will do wonders to expand your technical vocabulary and understanding, and it just seemed natural to use that knowledge to do translation work in the same area.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy reading and learning about many different topics. I like researching a new subject and becoming familiar with it as I work through a translation project and I also like finding solutions to the little problems that come up all the time and figuring out how to be more efficient and productive.

What do you find most challenging in your job?

I’m a bit of a workaholic, so the most challenging part for me is to reject jobs to leave some time for my personal life.

What's your greatest achievement in your personal and professional life?

In my personal life, my children: I have a son and a daughter who are now in college and who are smart, goal-oriented, funny and all-around great kids. I’m incredibly proud of them and grateful that working as a translator allowed me to spend a lot of time with them when they were growing up. In my professional life, I have the privilege to share what I have learned with other translators as a trainer.

What's next in your career?

Recently I’ve become interested in exploring the possibility of translating books (not literary books, though), and doing more audiovisual translation. I also want to bring more training and development opportunities to translators and translation students in my area.

Why did you chose SDL Trados Studio?

When I started working with translation agencies, I felt that it was important to use the leading CAT tool in the industry, so I chose SDL Trados Studio.

What's your favorite feature in SDL Trados Studio?

I have many favorite features, but the main one is upLIFT: fragment matching and fuzzy match repair seem like magic sometimes!

How has technology helped your career?

It has helped me be more productive and consistent in my work. It has also opened the door to many interesting projects and opportunities. Clients like to be able to rely on a linguist who can handle the technical aspects of the translation workflow.

What advice would you give anyone looking to build a career in translation?

Don’t get discouraged. Set clear goals for yourself and talk to others about how to get there. Reach out to established colleagues for advice and help, network as much as you can. Become proficient at your tool of choice. Immerse yourself in the industry by attending conferences, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and participating in online communities. And, of course, never stop learning.