Becoming a Polish Translator

I was born with Samuel Johnson’s dictionary in hand and my very first words were: “Non verbum e verbo, sed sensum exprimere de sensu” … well that is not my story. I am Polish translator, I even have a diploma from the Chartered Institute of Linguists to prove it but there were times when information that one day I become translator would take me by surprise.
I have walked many ways of life and my path didn’t lead me directly to where I am now. I dreamed about becoming a surgeon, studied law and came to London to undertake an internship in a law office. Yet each of those various ways has contributed somehow to skills which I use these days when translating.
In primary and secondary schools I read books by bookshelves shaping my Polish, while at University I remained voracious reader but I read mainly in English what helped me to develop good understanding of English texts. Currently I am trying to repeat the process once again with German, however I am not read yet to translate from German.
Studying law taught me how to construe texts, detect potential meanings, imagine how my words may be interpreted by others and gave me great sensitivity to various shades of grey – pardon – meaning.
During my studies I spent five summers in the USA learning a lot about the culture, people and increasing my proficiency in living language.
I wrote my master thesis on comparison of consumer protection in distance transactions in English comparing EU and Polish regulations. It meant that for two years I had to continually switch between legal systems and languages what constituted a perfect introduction into the world of legal translation. Here I must also give some credit to a Master seminar conducted in English by two outstanding professors: Marian Kępiński and Stanisław Sołtysiński which constituted an amazing introduction to international law, transactions and to the language.
Finally life in the UK gave me an opportunity to perfect my language skills and gain deep insight into the local culture – both inaccessible to those who learn language from abroad.
So when in 2006 I decided to make a living as translator I was to a large degree ready. I always strive to learn as much as possible about subjects which interest me. Besides reading extensively on translation I have attended several courses at Westminster University. At first Introduction to Translation leading to a Certificate in Special Study (Translation), than lasting almost a year Diploma in Translation which prepares to the exam organized by the Chartered Institute of Linguists. Afterwards I have undertaken yearly MA course in Bilingual Translation. For better or worse it was a period of huge changes in my life. At the same time I was studying full time, developing growing client base, getting married and after a short while looking forward to becoming a father.
Something had to give way – being husband and father wasn’t negotiable and giving up on rapidly developing career seemed a bit risky hence despite completing vast majority of assignments and exams I gave up on my MA. Despite that I must admit that studying at Westminster most likely was the greatest impulse for professional development I had and without this year and the I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Changed during several following years were not so dramatic. Period from 2008 to 2012 was spent most of all on consolidation and gradual improvement. During that time the number of my sons increased to 2, I have translated and proofread several million words, perfected my skills regarding computer assisted translation but most of all gained invaluable experience. This period was crowned in 2012 when I gained Diploma in Translation issued by the the Chartered Institute of Linguists and became a qualified member of this prestigious organization.

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