Last month we greeted a new team member, Brigitta at the Commercial Department and today we are glad to welcome another new (well… returning) team member at our Editorial Department. Everyone, meet Karima!
Some of you might remember her from 9 years ago when she first joined First Edition. Karima has now returned once again to her role at our Editorial Team.
We’ve asked her to tell us a bit more about herself and what she has been up to in the last few years. (We are nosy like that!)
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up at First Edition for a second time?
I was born and raised in South London and as a child I spent every summer in Morocco, as that’s where my parents were born. Those experiences definitely instilled in me a fascination with languages and determination to learn and improve my Arabic, as back then there were no handy apps to help you muddle your way through a conversation or decipher the street signs. I have always thought of languages as the key to opening doors to these secret worlds and that’s what I was going to do, even if it meant making a fool of myself time and time again!
After completing my degree in Arabic and Politics, I worked for a leading international Arabic newspaper where I spent five years improving my Arabic and developing my translation skills on a daily basis (it was like studying for a degree all over again!). I moved to Cambridge and worked as a freelance translator and then joined First Edition translations for my first stint as editorial project coordinator. I left the job to have my first child and subsequently went on to have a few more children, build a house and run an Arabic/English/Arabic translation business! I am now looking forward to my second stint as editorial project coordinator and the exciting projects that will come my way.
You mentioned that you studied Arabic at university. Why did you choose to focus on languages?
As a young adult, it always bothered me that I couldn’t read or write Arabic properly even though I could speak the language quite well. As the written form of Arabic is so different to the spoken variations, I thought I’d seize the opportunity and study the language at university level. I studied Arabic and Politics as an undergraduate and I have a Masters in Theory and Practice of Translation from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).
This is not your first time working as a Project Manager at First Edition. What is it that drew you back to project management after your brief break?
I have always loved the range of projects we get at First Edition, which always keeps the job interesting. The books are of such a high-quality that it spurs you on to ensure that you are going to deliver the best quality translation and finished product working with the perfect translator/editor team. There’s nothing like that moment when you see the final product! My favourite First Edition project to date is the New York Metropolitan Museum Islamic Gallery guide in Arabic.
What would be your motto as a Project Manager?
The most important thing for me is to be able to take pride in the final product and be proud of signing it off as a ‘First Edition Translation’. I believe that a skilled and talented translator, the kind we rely on so much, is one who can strike the right balance between faithfulness and beauty rather than having to compromise one or the other. I don’t believe in the old saying that translations are either faithful but ugly or beautiful but unfaithful! I believe that language and translation allow us to give voice to perspectives and mindsets that usually go unheard. In today’s globalised world, this is more important than ever.
With such a great approach to languages and translation, we are happy to have her back at First Edition Translations. Welcome back, Karima!
Do you have any questions for her or our team? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.