A Gengo translator in multiple language pairs, Facundo joined our roster of esteemed Wordsmiths last year. Since he started working on our platform five years ago, he has been enjoying the flexibility and the content variety Gengo offers. Discover his must-have translation tools and his favorite quote from the patron saint of translators.
Occupation: Full-time professional translator
Gengo translator since: 2012
Language pairs: English-Spanish, Latin American-English, French-English and Japanese-English
What languages do you speak?
Spanish and English and, to a lesser extent, Japanese, French and Mandarin.
If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why?
Arabic, because it’s one of the world’s five most spoken languages and I’d love to communicate with the people of different cultures that speak it.
Do you have experience living in other countries? If so, where?
I have lived in Taiwan and also stayed for short periods of time in other countries like the UK.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy being a translator and why?
9/10. Using my linguistic skills to help people communicate is very fulfilling and I am more productive as a freelancer than doing a 9-to-5 job.
How has translating for Gengo impacted your life?
After seeing the new types of texts that need to be translated, it’s helped me think about my profession in a different way. Due to its flexibility, working for Gengo also allows me to move around the world and organize my own schedule. I absolutely love Gengo for this!
When you were growing up, what did you aspire to become?
An animator, a basketball player and a writer—I haven’t given up on this last one.
What quote do you live by?
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is your best.” It’s been attributed to American professional basketball player Tim Duncan but it’s actually by Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translators!
Name three of your favorite translation / language-learning tools.
Google Translator Toolkit is a good way to handle Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. For Japanese, I use the hover-over dictionary, Rikaikun. Finally, Ankidroid is a useful flashcard app for learning new words.
Recommend three of your favorite language-related books/films.
My top pick is 1984 by George Orwell. While a bit extreme, I like that the book illustrates how language can be used to shape thought. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll is also one of my favorites. This classic title is a playful exploration of language that touches on topics like power in communication. Lastly, The Translator’s Invisibility by Lawrence Venuti. I studied translation at university and this book made a lasting impression. It shows how many different decisions translators can make even though we don’t get credit for them.
What are the three things you enjoy most about Gengo?
1. Technology: Such as built-in glossaries and translation memory.
2. Community: This ties in with technology in the translator-developer section, team projects using Memsource.
3. Content: I mainly translate online content, which is something I think we’ll be seeing increasingly more of in the future.
What advice would you give to new or aspiring translators?
Focus on the purpose that the target text will serve.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
The sooner you start making mistakes and learning from them, the better.
Want to become a Gengo translator?