It’s time to get to know another member of the team here at Comunica. For today’s edition of the blog, we’re speaking to our in-house Dutch translator and project manager, Vera Wubs, who has been a member of the team since 2023.

Full name: Vera Wubs
Nationality: Dutch
Age: 26
Languages spoken: Dutch, English, Spanish.

Q: What led you to get into the translation business?

A: While pursuing my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to study Spanish for several years, and I realised then that I loved learning languages. Not only the linguistic aspects, but also how culture and social elements influence the development of a language and the way it’s spoken. Plus, I have always been intrigued by constructed or artificial languages, including both those created for fictional works and real-world languages such as Esperanto.

While still studying for my degree, I ended up working as an Assistant Project Manager at the translation department of my university and, soon after that, I went on to work as a Student Assistant Project Manager at a translation agency as well. These jobs taught me that I like the diversity inherent to the work of a project manager, but they also introduced me to the world of the translation business. Before this, I hadn’t ever thought about translation as a career option, especially as my degree was more focused on politics. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in translation studies, and it felt like the perfect fit for me.

Q: What brought you to Comunica Translations?

A:As a part of my master’s degree, we had to complete an internship with a translation agency. Initially, I planned to do this internship at the company I was already working for as this would be the most practical. But then my professor sent me some information about an internship position at Comunica for a Dutch translator. I didn’t think twice about it! For me, the idea of not only doing something I love, but doing it on the beautiful Costa del Sol, was an absolute dream come true. I am super grateful that I was offered a job after my internship, allowing me to stay on at Comunica.

Q: What does your role at COMUNICA involve?

A:I am both an In-house Dutch Translator and a Project Manager. This means that my days are divided between both tasks, with around three hours spent on project management and five hours spent translating. Thankfully, I have set hours for both of these roles so I don’t have to constantly switch between tasks. That would be difficult for even the most competent of multitaskers! This set-up also means that I get to work closely with my lovely co-workers and the other interns. As I’ve been here for almost six months at the time of writing, I’m also someone the newer interns can turn to for questions about CAT tools or specific jobs.

Q: Could you share one positive anecdote with us about your work?

A: Comunica is truly a wonderful workplace, with an incredibly open and friendly atmosphere. I felt completely at home from the very first moment I started my internship, and everyone in the team really makes an effort to get to know everyone and make you feel included. And I have to say, the fact we quite often have birthday get-togethers with a bit of cake and some coffee helps a lot, too!

Q: And what about one not so positive anecdote?

A: Luckily, I do not have any negative anecdotes (yet) as I’ve only been here a short period of time. When starting out as a translator, it can sometimes be difficult to manage your time effectively and to estimate how long jobs will take you, so what I will say is that my role can sometimes be a bit busier or more hectic than what I expected, but the others in the team are always there to lend a hand or to help rearrange the workload if possible. So, overall, fingers crossed that my experience will remain (mostly) free of negative anecdotes!

Q: What is the future of the translation industry?

A:At the moment, and given the current developments surrounding machine translation and AI, it’s hard to say. I think right now there is quite a large degree of division between those translators who are worried about where things are headed and their position in the industry, and those who feel confident that AI will never be able to replace humans, and who see it instead as something that can elevate our work.

Personally, I’m not decided yet. I’m very curious to see where these developments will take us, and even if humans don’t end up being pushed out completely, big changes seem inevitable. Post-editing and the use of MT is becoming increasingly popular, which can be great, but if you have bad luck and the MT output turns out to be of low quality, it can be quite a frustrating process. But, the translation industry is an ever-developing area and I think it’s important to keep an open mind and find ways to embrace AI in a way that works for you.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: Since moving here, I have been reading quite a lot. I read mostly in Dutch at the moment, to keep my language at a decent level (which is quite important if you’re translating into it). I’ve noticed that with all the English I’m speaking here, anglicisms can very easily slip their way into my translations. Besides that, I’m also working on improving my Spanish. I live very close to the beach, so you will often find me there when the weather is nice (which it almost always is here!). And as I’m still quite new to the area, I also like exploring and visiting new places and my list of spots to see is still very long.