HOME
workspace
event spacecalendarmagazineour storyJOIN NOW
Christoph Fahle
July 31, 2012

Member of the Week: Isabelle Totikaev

Isabelle Totikaev is a freelance translator. Mostly she translates from English and Spanish into French. Her main client is Amnesty International. Originally she is from Paris, but she has lived for more than a decade abroad. First in Canada, then in Spain and now in Berlin. Isabelle has been a member of betahaus since May.

How did you come to Berlin?

I came to Berlin for many reasons: because of the bad economic situation in Spain and my job allows me to work almost anywhere in the world, Berlin is a multicultural city – I like meeting people from all over the world and I have friends here, because Berlin is a green city where you can have a barbecue in many central parks and is a small city compared to Paris.

How did you discover betahaus? What made you decide to start work from betahaus and how has working at a co-working space affected your work?

I first heard about betahaus from my roommate and decided to pay a visit to it. Before coming to betahaus I either worked at home, which I really dislike, or in libraries, but there you depend on the opening hours and in Spain... the internet connexion in libraries is sometimes weak and in some libraries there is no connexion at all. So betahaus is a good point on this. Furthermore it has the material I need : a printer, a scanner, a silent room... and a kettle.

 

How does a day in the life of translator look like?

For the moment it’s quite simple for me because I work for very few clients. A major client and two occasional clients. So I receive the documents, I negotiate the delivery date and if necessary I discuss to determine the kind of work it is – translation, revision...

Sometimes I communicate with the client about mistakes in the document or to clarify things. So everything, including communication with the client is written. Not a single word is uttered. This is translation. Not interpretation. The interpreter only speaks. These activities are totally different. Regarding translation I’d like to stress that translating  is not just putting words into another language, otherwise google could do it. And google translations are often weird. Translating is rewriting a text in another language. People often think it’s easy and anybody can do it. This is why there are so many translations which don’t make sense. A good translator should have an excellent knowledge of at least two languages, writing skills, be creative and like doing research.Translating takes more time than blowing a candle.

Here are 2 examples to make it simple:

How do you translate in your mother tongue : “We’ll meet at the beginning of the afternoon”? Google will translate in the best case into French: “ Nous nous retrouvons en début d’après-midi”, German: Wir werden uns am Anfang von Nachmittag treffen, Spanish: “Nos encontramos a principios de la tarde”

But what is “the beginning of the afternoon”? In France it’s 1.00 or 2.00 pm – in Spain it’s 5.00 pm. The thing is that you have to adapt depending of the context.

Another example:Translating a quotation may take considerable amount of time – much more than it took to the writer who only copied and pasted :You have to find out whether there is already an official translation, If there are several which one to choose or decide to make a new one, If there isn’t then translate it..

What are some plans or ideas for your future work?

My plans. I would like to keep on using my language skills but not translating all day long,  translating part time would be enough, as I like communicating with people. Ideally I would like to get more clients, including in the media, film and tourism sectors...In this view I have started to make a web page with some a friend’s help but I am not a sales nor a PR person. So I enjoy more drawing on this website than writing pages. And I don’t work a lot on it. During my other part time, I’d love to run a bed and breakfast in a warm city!

isatranslator@gmail.com

Join Isabelle and other entrepreneurs at betahaus! Click here to see how to become a member!

In addition to the betahaus locations, we've formed a close relationship with some of the world's best coworking spaces. With your betahaus membership, you can work from any of our partner spaces for 1 day per month.

Coworking Spaces in Europe

Republikken // Copenhagen, Denmark // Vesterbrogade 26, 1620 København V, Denmark

Le Laptop // Paris, France // 6 Rue Arthur Rozier, 75019 Paris, France

Le Laptop - Coworking Paris

utopic_US // Madrid, Spain // Calle de la Colegiata, 9, 28012 Madrid, Spain

utopic_US - Coworking Madrid

Nest 71 // Saravejo, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Milana Preloga 12, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Nest 71 - Coworking Bosnia & Herzegovina

  

Toolbox // Milan, Italy // Via Agostino da Montefeltro, 2, 10134 Torino, Italy

Edspace // London, England // Block D, Hackney Community College, Falkirk St, London, UK

Bios // Athens, Greece // Pireos 84, Athina 104 35, Greece

 

CoWorx // Kristiansand, Norway // Markens Gate 8, 4611 Kristiansand, Norway

CRU – Loja / Cowork // Porto, Portugal // Rua do Rosário 211, 4050-524 Porto, Portugal

SPARK // Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Bleiburških žrtava, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina

StartUp Armenia Foundation // Yerevan, Armenia // 0019, 1 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan 0019, Armenia

Tøyen Startup Village // Oslo, Norway // Hagegata 23, 0653 Oslo, Norway

Tøyen Startup Village - Coworking Oslo

Smart Coworking // Prague, Czech Republic // Václavské nám. 806/62, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia

Smart Coworking - Coworking Prague

Lighthouse // Tel Aviv, Israel // HaHaroshet 14-16 Ra'anana, Tel Aviv, Isreal

Lighthouse - Coworking Tel Aviv

Coworking Spaces in North America

Fueled // New York City, USA // 11, 568 Broadway, FL 11, New York, NY 10012, United States **Maximum 3 Days

  

Capital Factory // Austin, USA // 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, United States

Público // Mexico City, Mexico // Puebla 403, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Coworking Spaces in South America

Area Tres // Buenos Aires, Argentina // El Salvador: El Salvador 5218, C1414BPV CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina // Soho: Malabia 1720, C1414DMJ CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Area Tres - Coworking Buenos Aires

 

HubBOG // Bogota, Colombia // Cl. 98 #18-71, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia

HubBOG - Coworking Bogota

Coworking Spaces in Asia

CIT // Taipei, Taiwan // 10452, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, 玉門街1號

CIT - Coworking Taipe

 

Of10 // Mumbai, India // Prudential, Ground Floor, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076, India

 

Kibar // Jakarta, Indonesia // Jl. Prof. Moh. Yamin No.1, RT.7/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10310, Indonesia

Midori.so // Tokyo, Japan // Midori.so Nakameguro: 3 Chome-3-11 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0042, Japan // Midori.so Nagatacho: 2 Chome-5 Hirakawachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 102-0093 // Midori.so2: 3 Chome-13 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan

Midori.so - Coworking Tokyo

Launchgarage Innovation Hub // Manila, Philippines // Level 2, Industria Mall, Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines

Coworking Spaces in Australia

Independent Studios // Melbourne, Australia // 39/40 Porter St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia

Coworking Spaces in Africa

Urban Station EGYPT // Cairo, Egypt // 2 Wadi El Nil Mohandeseen, Cairo, Egypt

Urban Station EGYPT - Coworking Cairo

Nairobi Garage // Nairobi, Kenya // Nairobi Garage, The Mirage, Chiromo Rd, Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi Garage - Coworking Nairobi

 

BONUS: Cowork & Relax at the Coliving Space, Coconat // Brandenburg, Germany // Klein Glien 25 14806 Bad Belzig, Germany // Get €10 off your stay

 

Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.



Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !

Newsletter

Thanks for signing up :)
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form