Before outsourcing any text, I imagine you’ll want to know who I am. That is why I’m introducing myself to you on this page.
Rob Laumen – nice to meet you!
Architecture or languages
As a child, I always dreamt about becoming an architect. I thought that would be cool – designing buildings that combine aesthetics with practical functionality. Unfortunately, in secondary school it turned out that the subjects I needed to become an architect were not my forte. Mathematics and physics proved to be a stumbling block, as was technical drawing. On the other hand, I did have a talent for languages… That made it easy for me to choose that direction for the future.
After completing secondary school, I went to study in Maastricht. I graduated from the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting – a faculty of the Zuyd University of Applied Sciences – in 1997. After that, I went to study at the law faculty of Maastricht University to deepen the knowledge I had gained in the translator training programme as part of my main subject: legal translation. After passing my first-year exams, I decided to take the plunge and start working as a freelance translator.
Translating into your native language is considered vitally important in the translation industry. This is based on the assumption that native speakers are best at expressing those subtle nuances and differences in style between cultures. That’s why I only translate from English into Dutch – my mother tongue – and collaborate with colleagues for other language pairs.
To produce a text that is ready to be published, translators need not only good translation and writing skills in their native language but also well-developed research skills that help them find relevant information about the topic of their source text.
If you don’t master these skills, you’re bound to produce inadequate translations that are poorly worded, inaccurate or even plain wrong. That’s why I hone these essential skills on a daily basis, for example by reading, researching, studying, practicing, asking for feedback and discussing things with colleagues. And that’s what keeps my work both challenging and fun.
Fields of expertise
As a translator, you need broad knowledge as well as natural curiosity about what’s going on in the world around you. I have experience with a variety of subjects, including:
software, apps, hardware, websites, e-commerce, documentation, knowledge-base articles, etc.
Correspondence, contracts, general terms and conditions, privacy notices, etc.
Operating instructions, installation instructions, maintenance instructions, safety instructions, etc.
B2B, B2C, presentations, codes of conduct, internal communication, etc.
Product marketing, market research, surveys, etc.
- Environment, environmental engineering and sustainability
Environmental impact assessments, sustainable energy generation, etc.
Racquet sports and ball sports, with a special interest in tennis and paddle tennis
- Tourism and leisure industry
Descriptions of hotels, accommodations, tourist spots, etc.
In practice, I focus mainly on IT and legal, but it’s the variety of different subjects that lets me still enjoy my work.