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CV Translator, Translation, BA and MA in Law, Member of UK National Register of Public Interpreters

Translator, Translation, BA and MA in Law, Member of UK National Register of Public Interpreters

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CV/Resume ID no.: 103580

Location (Residence): London, United Kingdom
Citizenship: United Kingdom
  Native: English United Kingdom
  Other: English United Kingdom
Education & Experience: Work Authorization & Relocation:
  Masters in LAW/Translations

Years of Experience: 11 years
Authorized to work in:
   European Union
Present Location:
   UK, London
   Anywhere (International)
Category Subcategory Ability Experience
Other Translator/Interpreter Basic 18 years
CV/Resume Details
1. Summary (Cover Letter) - CV/Resume Part 1 [Mandatory]

Supporting Statement

Prior to my translation and interpreting career, I have obtained degrees in Social Work, Law and Politics. This diverse educational background has enriched my understanding of communication in social and human relations. I learnt that translation and interpreting is more than a mechanical endeavour, and that it involves a deep conceptual understanding of cross-cultural ways of expressing what is being said textually or verbally.

At present I regularly work for the South Wales Police Authority and the Ministry of Justice in UK providing linguistic support to Somali speakers at police stations, courts, prisons and various others settings. In addition to interpreting, I also translate legal documents including witness statements, transcripts and letters.

I have also done translation jobs for Channel 5 TV in UK (including two documentaries about Somali Youths). During those documentaries, my main duties were translating transcripts, voice over work and proofreading other documents translated by other translators.

I also work for a US-based company called Transperfect through which I translated UN and other NGO’s manuals, correspondence and press releases. I recently translated a book entitled ‘Parliament and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century’. This book was designed for Somali members of parliament and it was commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI). The book was 226 pages and I managed to complete the actual translation within six weeks and it is due to be published in October 2009. Similarly, I translated a Registration and Election Guide for Somaliland voter registration process and it was published in October 2008. During the translations, I received positive feedback as well as critical comments from parliamentarians and other critics. I believe those critical comments had positive implications on my translation and I accommodated them accordingly with the consultation of IRI staff and the original publishers of the book/guide, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Despite the tense pressure to finish the book and dealing with constant feedbacks, I remained calm and developed professional relationships with both IRI staff and IPU officials, and I received an outstanding reference from the IRI.

As an experienced translator I am aware that a major source of difficulty for Somali translators is the fact that the Somali language has limited scientific terminology compared to other languages such as English. Therefore, it is sometimes challenging to find a suitable Somali terminology or phrases that can convey the same meaning, in particular when translating technical subjects. This can result not only poorly translated texts, but it can also be offensive to some people. For example, when some translators use ‘handicapped’ or ‘mad people’ while referring to people with disabilities or mental health difficulties. The other major contentious issue for Somali translations is negotiating between various Somali dialects. In fact, there is little agreement over the conventional Somali dialect and each region proudly considers theirs as “the correct Somali language”.
While been working in the translation industry for a considerable time, I learnt how best to accommodate for such regional linguistic differences. For instances, I developed gained skills to utilize other sources of assistance such as the internet and Trodos (Translation memory software which looks interesting—much better than Systran system I used before). Searching the internet or reading Somali books, for example, help me to accumulate new terminology as well as making sure that my translations are culturally and politically sensitive to the needs of the target audience. For major projects, I consult with other senior translators and Somali linguists. This was recently the case when I translated a book entitled ‘Wisdom of Mothers’ by the London Museum and I closely worked with Professor Orwin, a Somali Linguist, from the School of African and Oriental Studies in UK.

When translating and interpreting, I consider my role very carefully because my performance and omissions have possible implications for the clients and their image. Thus, I am willing and able to abide and assist implementing the United Nations Somalia Communication Strategy 2009/2010. In particular, the main objective of the strategy is to enhance the perception of the UN within Somalia as well as among the Somali Diaspora. This experience of being educated in UK and lived in different parts of Somalia enables me to understand the perceptions of different people within Somalia as well as those living abroad. Thus I offer a cross-cultural translation which is inline with UN policies and values e.g. neutrality, empowerment and human rights.

In addition to my translation and interpreting career which expands over ten years, I worked as a Social Worker and as a legal Advisor on social and immigration issues. In relation to the latter jobs, I worked with different government and voluntary agencies including solicitors where I used to advise asylum seekers on immigration, housing and welfare related issues. I also have five years experience as a qualified Social Worker with vulnerable adults and children. Both these career routes offered me a great opportunity to gain considerable skills and knowledge, including greater self-awareness, better understanding of others and being more confident and able to help others holistically. I also developed the skills of observing and assessing in an anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive way. I feel that this experience prepared me to become a professional interpreter and translator. The reason being that by learning relevant knowledge, legislation, guidelines, policies and skills, I am not only able to do my job with confidence, but I am also able to understand and adhere to work values and the codes of conduct of my profession both as a social worker as well as a translator and interpreter. This includes being impartial, keeping confidentiality in all aspects and not to advise or offer opinions when interpreting. In fact, it would be unethical for me to provide services other than interpreting from one language to another. However, in exceptional cases, if a cultural issue becomes a barrier to communication, I seek permission to explain what is being said or offer an opinion.
I am used to working unsocial hours, including being on-call during night if police officers/ magistrates need a Somali interpreter. I enjoy this kind of work because of its flexibility and choice. At the same time, I have an experience of interpreting under pressure such as involving in complex criminal cases and working with vulnerable clients/ children.
Although I do enjoy my present free-lance work and being in UK, but I feel that this post will offer me new challenges as well as offering me a new opportunity to learn new skills and gain more experience within a large reputable organization. I also that feel this post will enable me to give something back to my country Somalia.

2. Work Experience - CV/Resume Part 2 [Mandatory]

Employment and Professional Activities:
September 2003 – Present: English/Somali Translator and Interpreter, South Wales Police and Ministry of Justice in UK. I also receive assignments from independent language agencies including the Bigword, Language line and the US based company call Transperfect.

September 2003 – October 2008, Social Worker, London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Duties included: undertaking assessment and making individual care plans, monitoring and reviewing cases, investigating and managing complaints, providing advice to clients and families, negotiating with service providers and maintaining relevant database IT systems.

November 2000 – September 2003, Health Advocacy Project, Hackney Primary Care Trust, National Health Service in UK. Duties included: advocating for newly arrived Somali asylum seekers on health, housing and welfare benefits; interpreting and translating documents.

August 1996 – July 2000, Assistant Solicitor, Don Saman Solicitors, London. Duties included: advising client on immigration, benefits and housing; making applications to Legal Aid Board, drafting documents and letters, interviewing clients, and negotiating with relevant agencies.

September 1984 – July 1985, Somali Teacher at Da’ud High School, Somalia.

3. Education & Training - CV/Resume Part 3 [Mandatory]

Areas of
competence: Human Rights, Public Services, Law and Politics.

September 2007 – March 2008, Metropolitan Police Test in Translation and Interpreting. The Oral Test comprises: Consecutive Interpreting, Consecutive Interpreting of a Statement, Simultaneous Interpreting and Sight Translation. The Written Test comprises of: Translation into English of the Statement and a Technical Translation. It was conducted and assessed by the Chartered Institute of Linguists in London. All units passed with Pass and Distinction.
September 2007 – October 2008, Post Qualifying Advance in Social Work, Kingston University, London.

September 2001 – July 2003, Diploma in Social Work, Metropolitan University, London.

September 1996 – July 1998, Masters in International Law,
University of East London. UK. Passed with Merit.

September 1993 – July 1996, BA (Hon) in Law (major) and Third World Studies (minor), University of East London, UK. 2:2

September 1989 – July 1990, Russian Language, Moscow State University.

June1986 – July 1989, BA in Political Science, Somali National University, Mogadishu, Somalia.

1981 – 1984 1st July Secondary School, Hargaisa, Somalia.

4. Computer Skills - CV/Resume Part 4 [Mandatory]
IT Skills: Fully computer literate (both MS Windows and Linux Ubuntu), touch-typing, thorough knowledge of the internet, translation memory software and other office equipment.

Further Training:
Train the Trainers 09/ 2007 Tower Hamlets, London.
Legal interpreting workshop 10/2007 CARA, London
Conflict mediation 05/2003 Hackney PCT, London
Certificate in Counseling 07/1997 Newham College London
5. Other Skills - CV/Resume Part 5 [Optional]
6. Additional Information - CV/Resume Part 6 [Optional]


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Translator, Translation, BA and MA in Law, Member of UK National Register of Public Interpreters
CV/Resume ID no.: 103580

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