PLD MEMBER PROFILE
Name: Susana Bernardo
Where you live: Coimbra, Portugal
What you’re doing these days: I am actually doing several different things at the moment. I am doing my PhD in Translation Studies – I am writing my thesis, to be more accurate. But I am also teaching and organizing events at the university and still doing my translation and revision projects for long-time customers. I guess I am really multitasking!
Something you’re proud of: I’m proud of having the energy and enthusiasm for making this shift in my career after being a full-time translator for 20 years.
A bit of your background: I earned my degree in Modern Languages and Literatures English|German from the University of Coimbra (1989-1994) and spent a year studying in Germany, which was an excellent opportunity to travel the world and broaden my horizons. I then completed a Graduate Degree in Translation English|German<>Portuguese (1994-1998) while freelancing on my first translation projects. I soon got an offer to work as an in-house translator for XLS – Xerox Language Services, did my internship in the UK, and specialized in technical and marketing automotive documentation by taking several intensive courses in automotive training centers – both in Portugal and in the UK. I worked in translation, localization, proofreading, editing, terminology management, and QA. That work inspired me to go back to the university and take a master’s degree course in Translation Studies.
After spending four years as an in-house team member, I became a freelancer, expanded my client portfolio, and embraced a new translation field: healthcare! Since then, I’ve been translating healthcare documents for the Portuguese-speaking community that immigrated to Massachusetts. And this has always been such an intriguing challenge for me that it is the subject of my research project.
In fact, Healthcare and Human Rights have always been fields of interest for me. I was a volunteer translator for an NGO called Saúde em Português for some years and became a member of another Portuguese NGO – Akto – Direitos Humanos e Democracia. I earned a graduate degree in Humanitarian Communication to learn more and feel prepared to participate in the CSW 61st Commission on the Status of Women in the United Nations Headquarters, NYC, March 2017, as one of the Representatives for the Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights. That was a highly impactful moment for me!
I can tell you that my passion for languages and communication started when I was still very young and has always guided my steps both in my career and life-long learning.
How long have you been with ATA? And PLD member?
I have been with ATA since 2013 and joined PLD a few years ago.
What did the ATA and/or PLD membership bring to you?
Joining the ATA was one of my best decisions! I initially joined because I wanted to become a member of a professional association. If this makes sense for any recognized and established profession, it makes double sense if you are a translator. I considered several options, but the ATA was the most appealing. The association seemed very dynamic, open-minded, and progressive, and my new clients were mainly US-based. The ATA and PLD brought me recognition, visibility, new clients, and an opportunity to be in ongoing contact with a different business reality. They showed me the perception of the global translation industry!
Current project (or last fascinating project/job): I am involved in several projects at the same time, as I said, but my major project is my PhD on the translation of healthcare documentation – in dialog with the actual healthcare translation projects I am doing for the Portuguese-speaking community in MA. It’s a linguistically hybrid population mainly from Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde. I’ve been part of a multicultural translation team for the past 15 years.
A major challenge(s) in your career: Satisfying my infinite curiosity for many things without losing focus on my priorities.
Do you have a hobby? Walking, to relax and connect body and mind. Reading, of course. And writing, to organize my thoughts and put myself in perspective.
What is your favorite book in Portuguese literature? One of my favorite books in Portuguese literature is and will always be Os Maias, by Eça de Queirós. But Memorial do Convento and Todos os Nomes, by Saramago, are also in my top list. And I am a fan of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s poems and Pessoa’s lyric.
Currently on your reading list: My readings at the moment are focused on my PhD, so from Montalt to Izabel Souza, my list is ambitious and very much research-oriented these days.
Thank you, Susana. We really appreciate the opportunity to learn a little more about you. My pleasure! Thank you!