by Daniela Costa
I started my career as an audiovisual translator almost by chance. I was fresh out of college and hadn’t planned to specialize in AVT. This field hadn’t crossed my mind until a good friend of mine told me that she had received an email from a new company that was looking for “translators to work on subtitles”.
No prior experience was required and training was provided; we only had to take a short translation test. I knew almost nothing about AVT, but I’d always liked movies, so I saw this as an opportunity. I was so eager for my career to take off that I was immediately on board. I passed the test, and 22 years later, here I am, still collaborating with that company–I’m one of their senior translators now–and with others that came along the way.
Little did I know, I would make a living out of this specialization and that I would obtain a master’s degree in audiovisual translation and localization many years later. It’s been a long bumpy road, to be honest. To be a successful audiovisual translator, you have to juggle ongoing training, technological advances, and changing workflows.
I started subtitling for DVDs with software installed on my PC, and now I’m working in the cloud, mostly for streaming services.
You also have to fight hard for better working conditions, and I’m proud that both AVT professionals and professional associations have raised our voices and shown the world how valuable our work is. We’ve come a long way, that’s for sure, and I think the best is yet to come
Being a subtitler is much more than a job for me. I’ve made good friends and met wonderful colleagues, for whom I couldn’t be more grateful. I took a leap of faith 22 years ago, and I encourage all fellow translators who are passionate about audiovisual content to do the same. You won’t regret it.