Meet Simon Zwiernak, Lingua French translator

Global Voices: Tell us about yourself—who exactly is Simon Zwierniak?

Simon Zwiernak: I am a 27-year-old journalist, in search of a job (laughs). Originally from Normandy (forever in my heart), I have been living in Brussels for the past seven years, and I am planning on moving to Warsaw for a few months, or years. This would give me an opportunity to add the language of my ancestors, as my name suggests, to my list of skills. Other than that, I am passionate about international news (conflicts, social movements, climate), technology, sport, and video games. I am also a photographer and am learning how to shoot videos, to reach my ultimate goal: making documentaries.

GV: When did you join GV and what motivated you to do so?

SZ: In 2018, I had just stopped my architectural studies and had started a BA in Communication. My goal: be a journalist at the end of my BA. Therefore, to keep a foothold in the media during my studies, I found Global Voices and started translating at my own pace.

GV: Tell us more about your experience as a translator for GV. What aspects of the role have made the strongest impression on you?

SZ:  Here's one moment that will definitely remain in my mind: when Laila Le Guen (let's spare a thought for her), our former French Lingua Manager, remained blocked several months in the Union of Myanmar following a coup d’état. Strange time. But it’s also a good indicator of what I feel about my experience with GV: it’s a window on the world. Both through its contributors and the topics we write about.

GV: As one of our translators of the month, any words of encouragement to offer our contributors?

SZ: Have fun! And if this is helpful to anyone, I tend to follow a pattern when I translate (actually, it’s the same thing for when I’m writing articles): I write everything in one go. The most important part of the job is the editing. I revise once for the syntax and the rhythm, a second time to delete as many occurrences of the word “that” as possible, a third time for grammar mistakes, and finally… one final review after a good night’s sleep!

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