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Why I became a translator

Post by Marla Kennedy

Certified translator (OTTIAQ) and reviser at BG


I chose to pursue a career in translation first and foremost because of my love for and fascination with language as a means of human expression. I grew up in a multilingual environment and was always fascinated by the fact that it was difficult to establish perfect equivalencies for certain words because of underlying conceptual differences between language communities. This realization was something I had the opportunity to explore through sociology and sociolinguistic studies, which helped me understand the extent to which language shapes how we interpret the world around us.

Through language, we can paint pictures of breathtaking beauty entirely through words. We can express our emotions and bare our souls. We can explore abstract intellectual pursuits and concrete scientific realities. Simply put, language gives us the tools we need to describe what a butterfly looks like, how its beauty makes us feel, and what effect it may or may not have on weather systems according to chaos theory when it beats its graceful wings. These complexities, in all their splendor, are incredibly challenging to transpose from one language to another, and that challenge is both thrilling and immensely rewarding.

International Translation Day 2023
International Translation Day 2023

From a professional standpoint, my work involves little entomology and even less chaos theory. Most of the work I do is actually very practical and focuses on fields like natural resources, pharmacology, and law. These are all fields that I enjoy immensely because they are tangibly beneficial to society. I firmly believe that language rights are human rights and that my work as a translator contributes to helping people connect with each other and navigate the world around them. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with conveying meaningful messages to others, and one for which I am eternally grateful. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies.

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