Meet Zbyněk Táborský – Zbyněk is a Czech translator for English and French, and a Translator without Borders.
Hi, Zbynek! Tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve been working as a freelance translator since 2010. I work from English and French into Czech, my native language. During my bachelor studies of Applied Philology I worked on a huge parallel corpus of acquis communautaire, a set of legislative texts of the European Union that was further examined in my bachelor thesis. This, a brief insight into the daily routine of a translation agency during my internship, and further studies of European Law have led me to starting my freelance career. Since its beginning, quite expectedly, I have been specializing in EU matters, politics and business and legal texts in general. During this time, I further narrowed my core specialization to competition law and industrial and intellectual property. So, quite a light-year from Translators without Borders (TWB), in fact. In 2011, I started operating my business under the brand name ZTranslations, firstly just on my own. Today, ZTranslations forms a group of some of the best Czech translators providing top-notch, high-end services from English, French, German and Dutch. This year we also kicked off a new project with my partner Tanya Quintieri, called Czech Your Business, combining translation and marketing services for entities entering the Czech market.
What made you volunteer for Translators without Borders?
I wanted to vest my skills and abilities to some good cause, and I have found Translators without Borders to be a great opportunity to do so. As the TWB assignments are generally totally different from everything I do on a daily basis, I sometimes really enjoy taking on a different topic. And the fact that it can help someone in need is a great added value, isn’t it?
Any particularly memorable TWB project?
I remember a project involving a translation of a lease agreement and house rules for a homeless person. With a little bit of my help, that person was able to get a new home, a base to start anew, a great life from there. That gave me a feeling of gratitude.
And any particularly memorable TWB anecdote?
Well, you will surely agree that translating texts about hepatitis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, suicide or Ebola is not any particular fun. But a funny thing is that shortly after translating an article about haemorrhoids, I started to take an interest in the concept of working while standing, which I’ve done since then. I often encourage and inspire people to do the same, because long-term sitting is indeed a silent killer, the haemorrhoids being just one result. A headache hitting me while working on an article about migraine was also great fun!
What challenges, if any, are you facing or did you face as a Translator without Borders?
This comes directly from the source text I am currently working on –“time is of the essence”. I think we all know this issue very well and it is no different when it comes to TWB assignments. The challenge of squeezing pro bono work between many other jobs is a tough one and sometimes the assignment simply has to be postponed.
What do you enjoy doing to take a break from translation?
When not sitting or standing in my office, I really like to be outdoors in the fresh air, mountain biking, running, hiking, preferably anywhere where you can reach a summit or a place with some really nice view. I can also enjoy some good reading, fine music and delicious food.