#MeetTheMember: Annie Sapucaia, Certified Translator

Member news | June 03, 2020

In our latest #MeetTheMember feature, we chatted with Annie Sapucaia, Certified Translator (French to English and Portuguese to English ), specializing in legal, corporate and personal documents, and certified by the American Translators Association. 

Keep reading to hear how Annie's career in translation began as well as some of her key insights on the field...

FACC-NY : How did you get started in translation?   

I actually got into it by accident.  I had completed a Master’s in Sociology and was working in that field, when in 2009 the economy collapsed and I was forced to go in a different direction. I ended up moving to Brazil and working as a teacher for a while, where I met a friend who was transitioning into working as a translator.  We ended up going to a translation conference together, and I decided, since I had always enjoyed languages and writing, that this was something I could do.  I worked part-time as a translator for a while for a few clients, and started my full-time business, PluggedinTranslator, in 2013 when I returned to Canada (Montreal).   Since then, I’ve mainly specialized in legal, corporate and personal documents.

FACC-NY : Which translation job are you most proud of and why?   

That’s a tough one! I translated a couple of books a number of years ago, which was quite fulfilling.  I’d say my favorite translations are the ones where the source text is interesting to begin with; for example, translating documents from a proceeding that tells a story. Sometimes these are heartbreaking, like one case where a number of siblings were suing each other for access to the estate of their mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's.   Others are entertaining, like translating discovery documents in which the defendants hilariously incriminate themselves through emails written on what they apparently thought was a "private Hotmail account". 

FACC-NY : What tools do you use to help you translate/research?   

So many tools!  We have things called CAT tools in the business, which is software that essentially remembers what you have previously translated and creates a database to make things go quicker - this is particularly helpful when you work with documents that repeat themselves.  In addition, there are numerous dictionaries and online tools that are helpful  - IATE, Euro Lex, Termium and even Linguee to name a few.

FACC-NY : Do you think it is important to keep up to date with trends in the business?  

Absolutely! The world of translation is moving fast, and although I think the essentials of being a good translator (i.e. being a good writer in your native language and translating only into that language, having strong research skills, developing a solid base in your source language) never really change, the tools involved and the needs of clients change all the time.

FACC-NY : What is the importance of language in the world of business?  

It’s extremely important, especially as the world becomes increasingly globalized.  Not only does translation matter for official and legal purposes, but for businesses, having documents and materials written in your clients’ native language can make a world of difference.  As many people who speak more than one language can attest, you may be able to understand or even speak a foreign language, but nothing gets to your core like something written or said in your own language - the brain just processes it differently.    At the risk of using an overused Nelson Mandela quote that you might find on a mug: "if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

FACC-NY : Why did you join the FACC-NY?  

To network with businesses that have a connection to the French language, as I translate from French into English (as well as Portuguese into English).  I am based in Montreal but am certified by the American Translators Association (I used to live in Maryland).   If you require translation services or have any questions about working in the field, do let me know!  I look forward to meeting other members.

Interested in connecting with Annie? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.