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!

Working for Lufthansa back in 2002, Joachim (CEO & founder @ Jolocom) had the idea to develop a better system for companies to swap data internally and for people to share their data with companies. Back in 2002, the resistance to open networks and communication was strong. However, just a few years later, social media and blockchain changed the rules of the game, which led to the founding of Jolocom in 2014. (Read the whole story here


Photo by Lea GK

Ellie joined the Jolocom team in the fall last year. She’s part of the content team and is responsible for communications and online platforms maintenance. 

Volker is currently studying IT-Systems Engineering at HPI, working on his master thesis with Jolocom. He joined the software development team in March this year and has previously worked from betahaus for another startup company.

With two locations in the heart of the city, betahaus l Sofia is a home of some of the most successful Bulgarian startups and is one of the leading innovation hubs in Sofia. Their main space is located just two minutes on foot from Sofia University and the second one stands right at the central Slaveykov Sqaure and has a beautiful view over the city.

As all of our locations, its pet and bicycle friendly and offers the same comfy and relaxed atmosphere you've come to expect from betahaus. Identical to our space, betahaus | Sofia uses glass doors for its team rooms, to build transparency and inclusion.

betahaus | Sofia @ Shipka 6

betahaus | Sofia @ Shipka 6

betahaus | Sofia is spread across 1800 q.m. divided into 2 separate spaces. Shipka 6 is 1300qm and takes over the entire 3rd floor of the UBA – Union of the Bulgarian Artists. Slaveykov Square is placed on the roof top of another historical building in Sofia. There they have two balconies with 360 degrees view, a cafe/bar and a shared kitchen.

Membership plans start from 350,– BGN for Workspace and go up to 435,– BGN for Private Offices. Currently, the space has around 190 members and will soon implement also Club Memberships plan. Every member of the Club will have access to events, conference room and betahaus community.

betahaus | Sofia @ Slaveykov Square
betahaus | Sofia @ Slaveykov Square

Ellie: Currently we have around 5 active pilots and we effectively work B2B2C. So we build our application for businesses which have their own user bases.

Volker: One of our ongoing projects is a pilot with Telekom. With their team, and partners from Riddle & Code and Simple Mobility, we have created the Magenta Scooter — an innovation in e-mobility that allows users to ride share while using their decentralized digital IDs. That means users can rent the scooter with our app and our identity. The main advantage there is that you can store your drivers licence in your Jolocom SmartWallet and then share this license with the app of Telekom. This eliminates the long onboarding process of verifying your license. 

Ellie: Another example is our e-government collaboration with The City of Antwerp called Blockchain on the Move. Using the SmartWallet, municipal employees can issue and validate their own credentials and create eIDs for citizens – it’s a digital ID with which you can register at the university or go to a swimming pool, as two examples.

Photo by Lea GK


Want more? Check out betahaus | Hamburg and betahaus | Barcelona.

If you want to know more about how to travel and work from different coworking spaces with one membership, click here.

Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Ellie: I know that before joining betahaus Jolocom was in the Ethereum office – a collaborative blockchain space for companies also building on the same platform and the idea was always to stay within a coworking space. When they closed and we had to move, the next closest choice in terms of company culture was betahaus. 

Ellie: The people in the building and the spaces are just really cool. I personally don’t go to community events as much as i would like to but I still end up meeting a lot of people here. Mostly in the kitchen. One of my good friends is actually someone I met in betahaus. 

Volker: I once saw a friend of mine presenting at betabreakfast and I didn’t know that he would be here. It was so funny seeing him on the stage.

Photo by Lea GK

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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