75 languages, more than 1000 clients, over 100 meetings per month, 65,000 words translated every day, and over 3000 freelancers all over the world: these are all impressive numbers. But the most important thing to us at Presence is to be close to our customers. That is why we want to offer you a sneak peek behind the scenes!
Today we would like to introduce you to our colleagues from the translation department in Maastricht. Let’s meet Joyce, Kelly, Kenneth, and Teuntje!
Joyce Gerardu was born and raised in Maastricht, and a big fan of the Burgundian lifestyle! Her perfect evening would be: having tapas with some cocktails and afterwards going salsa dancing. On the weekends she loves to go on long walks with her dog. She is a huge animal lover and always tries to make new fur friends all over the world.
Kelly Roebroeks grew up in the Heuvelland area in South Limburg. Her biggest passions are photographing and dancing. I have been dancing in a jazz and show dance group for over 20 years now. Just like Joyce she loves animals! Kelly hopes that in about one year, her family will be extended with a Corgi and some chickens! You can wake her up any time for food! Preferably sushi, tapas or of course 'friet met sajs' (fries with Limburgian zuurvlees).
Next up is Kenneth Jaspers, the newest member to the team here in Maastricht. He has lived in Heerlen all his life. He is married and a soon-to-be dad of a baby boy. In a few weeks his internship at Presence will end, but he will return to the office in August as a full member of the team! So just like us, Kenneth is very excited for the future. He loves to meet up with family and friends and get together. He is a food-lover as well. Is this a trend? His favourite beverage is coffee, and Belgian beer comes in at a close second.
Last but not least, Teuntje Manders! The one at the company representing the province of Brabant, which can result in some interesting discussions about which dialect is ‘the best’. I have a great passion for languages and I love to connect with people through them. I’m also a part-time bass guitar and ukulele player, a part-time waitress at an amazing Italian restaurant and a full-time lover of quality time spent with family and friends.
We are missing someone ... . Tell us about Toby, our office dog!
Joyce: Toby is the cutest dog in the world! He is a mix between a chihuahua and a pinscher and is 7.5 years old. Within a few weeks, he is going to be a big brother to 2 kittens. Before COVID-19, Toby joined me on my bike in his own basket every day and was a big help in the office. But working from home isn’t too bad either. Oh and here’s a picture of Toby and his favourite toy:
Teuntje: I can confirm that Toby is adorable indeed.
Kelly: Fun fact: Last year, Toby has been employee of the month 12 times!
Great! Now we know the entire project management team of Maastricht!
Let's move on to the next question, we are curious what distinguishes you from the rest?
Joyce: My knowledge of topography is great! I can point out pretty much any country on the map.
Kelly: I loooooove the Eurovision Song Contest. We always watch with the entire family and analyse every song, outfit and most importantly; whether a wind machine is used or not ;-) Douze points for the Netherlands!
Teuntje: I know at least one card trick that will blow your mind.
Kenneth: Fond of information! If I don’t know something, I’ll Google it right away. I. Must. Know.
What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that people have about written translations?
Joyce: People often think that translating a text doesn’t take up that much time. We often have to explain that you’ll probably need as much time to translate a text as you need to write the text.
Kelly: Besides that, most people also think that speaking a second language is enough to be a translator and that the only thing translators need is a dictionary, ... . Unfortunately, they don’t realise that most there’s a 4-year study that teaches you how to work as a translator.
Kenneth: When we tell the outside world that we are project managers for written translations, we often get the question: 'So how many languages do you personally translate?'. You see, there is a lot of misconception in the work we do and what it is all about.
Teuntje: Indeed, whenever I tell people I’ve studied translation, they ask me: ‘Oh, so you speak every language in the world?’. I wish that was the case, but it is simply impossible. People often don’t realise how much time and effort it takes to really know a language.
Let's hope that today we have already been able to debunk some myths! One last, interesting, question to round up the interview: what is your favorite motivational quote and why?
Joyce: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” I always do my best to be as positive as possible, despite having faced some challenges in life. I always hope that this reflects on my work, but also on my colleagues.
Kelly: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that”, a quote by Pippi Longstocking. You never know if something will work out, just give it a try!
Kenneth: “A coffee a day keeps the doctor away”. Drinking coffee not only keeps the doctor away, but it keeps you happy too! It keeps me happy at least.
Teuntje: “Always keep smiling”. It is very important for me to have fun doing what I do and to always try to include humor into a situation.
I can only agree that these quotes are written for you! Thank you all for this pleasant chat!
Can't wait to see you all again soon in the Maastricht office!