Panos Kiliorides

Interview with ITIA member

Panos Kiliorides

from Members' Corner in ITIA Bulletin 2023-01

Describe yourself professionally in a few lines.

Established, native Greek Freelance Translator (English>Greek, Greek>English) and professional member of the ITIA (Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association). I hold a master’s degree in Translation and have more than 25 years’ translation experience including working three years as an in-house medical/technical translator.

When and why did you decide on a career in translating/interpreting?

Back in 1995, after receiving a BA in English Language and Literature from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), I was living in London contemplating my future. I was not interested in teaching jobs, so I figured out that I should find a field where I could combine my love for both languages, English & Greek. I had always had a fascination with translation in general, so when I found out that the University of Westminster was offering the first ever MA in Bilingual Translation (English>Greek, Greek>English) course, I did not have any second thoughts. I submitted a written test and was really excited to be offered a place.

Name the most important thing you did that helped you launch your career.

Applying for a job as an in-house translator in Ireland and getting this job after a successful interview.

How important are training and qualifications for a career in translating/interpreting.

They are both very important in the sense that training offers hands-on experience which, in turn, can help you manage successfully all aspects of a translation project, while qualifications can help you establish yourself as a reputable, qualified professional translator and promote yourself in a competitive industry, providing you with a better chance of finding reliable clients and working for major translation companies.

How do you find clients?

By searching on the internet for major translation companies and submitting relevant translation tests. Also, being a professional member of the ITIA has helped me a lot over the years in this respect. Finally, referrals from translation clients.

Do you think it is necessary to specialise?

Yes, because there is a high demand for translators specialised in specific fields such as medical, technical or legal translation. Also, you can charge higher rates for specialised translation.

What is your favourite type of text/assignment?

Technical/medical translation.

What is the best/worst thing about being a translator/ interpreter?

In my opinion, the best thing is being able to set your own working time arrangements and not having to travel to work every day or work on a nine-to-five job for years. The worst thing can be a lack of face-to-face daily interaction since the translation process is a mainly a solitary activity.

Is it possible to have a good standard of living?

Provided that you are able to charge fair translation rates and have regular work for reliable long term clients, it is feasible to achieve a good standard of living.

What advice would you give someone thinking of embarking on a career as a translator/interpreter?

To be mentally prepared for long periods without regular work. In cases of rejections, never doubt yourself and always maintain your self confidence and belief in your own translation skills and abilities.