Meet David Kalmar, the Translation Manager who Volunteers with Language, his Most Useful Skill

Hungarian Global Voices Lingua

David Kalmar

Global Voices interviews Hungarian Lingua Translation Manager, Dávid Kalmar, about his experience with GV and a lot more!

Global Voices: Tell us a bit about yourself, how you joined Global Voices and about the stages of your involvement within the community.

David Kalmar: Hi! I’m Dávid, a freelance translator/interpreter and GV editor from Hungary. In the past, I had tried many forms of volunteer work, and I found that the most useful skills I can offer to whichever cause are my language skills. I got to know GV through our editor Marietta Le, and I have been translating and editing articles ever since.

GV: Did your experience of translating and editing change your vision of the world during this time?

DK: It didn’t change my worldview as much as (hopefully) broaden it and help me learn about issues or local news that I otherwise would know nothing about. I don’t always agree with the articles that I work on, but I find it important to get to know multiple opinions on a subject.

GV: Could you also elaborate somewhat on how you manage your own time for all these tasks, including your day job? Any tips?

DK: I’m lucky in that I get to schedule my own days as a freelancer, so it’s just a question of allocating some time every week to work on GV. The other stuff I translate professionally is often very ‘dry’ and technical, so it’s always nice to change that up to something more interesting. It also helps that I can choose what to work on, so I always choose stories that are either related to some ongoing Hungarian public discussion, or seem interesting to me personally.

GV: Why do you think a man in the street should read GV in your language?

DK: I find that being able to read articles in multiple languages can really open one’s eye to the world, and I hope to transfer a bit of that experience to people who did not have the opportunity to study foreign languages enough to read in them. So, of course, people should read GV (and many other media) in every language they can, but I hope that my work helps include people who only speak Hungarian.

GV: What do you do when you're not translating? What do you do in your spare time? What are your dreams?

DK: I play music and ride my bicycle – my newest dream is to one day be able to compete in a long bike race, such as the Transcontinental Race (about 3500 km of riding with no support, with more than 300 km every day).

GV: How is your site of GV doing? Describe your work at your Lingua group and tell us about your plans and future hopes for the site?

DK: Right now, we are a small but dedicated group working on the Hungarian site – after some setbacks, we have regrouped and now we are aiming for 8-10 articles per month.

We work in cooperation with the NGO that supports us by promoting us among potential volunteers and sharing our content.

GV: You've been translating for GV for several years, what would you say to those just starting out?

DK: Just some practical advice (to you and to myself): watch out for anglicisms, it’s way too easy to fall into using them when, with a little thought, a much better and more authentic solution that means more to the reader can be found.

GV: Tell us about the city you live in, and how would you describe your country to a foreigner.

DK: Hungary. A post-socialist country that proves that if you control all the media, you can convince 3+ million people that every bad result of an incompetent decision is actually caused by some international conspiracy, turn respectable elderly people into a regrettable crowd that literally blares like sheep at any attempt at debate, and make them believe that the EU is just as bad as the Soviet Union once was, except for all the money we get. We also have cheap beer.

Thank you very much, Dávid, for this wonderful interview!

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