Aleksandra Chlon

Who are you? Please introduce yourself

I like to call myself a cultural mongrel. With a father in international politics, I moved from Poland to Finland to Belgium to Estonia to Scotland, where I’ve lived the longest and which I now consider home. I’m temporarily based in the south of France as my Scottish partner applied for a job in Monaco on a whim and then to our shock actually got it, so we’ve ended up in Menton close to the Italian border. Can’t complain! After almost three years, though, we’re hoping to move back to Scotland soon.

Do you translate, interpret, or both? What are your areas of specialism?

I translate only and work from French, Polish and Russian into English. My specialisms are medical translation and marketing translation, with the bulk of my projects ranging from hospital discharge summaries, laboratory reports and scientific articles to promotional materials, ad copy and product descriptions.

Why did you decide to get into translation or interpreting?

In a way, I think life shaped me into a translator. Having lived in many countries, I fell in love with language and languages from a young age and I can’t remember wanting to do anything else. My translator training began with an MA in Modern Languages at St Andrews (including a year abroad in Moscow and St Peterburg) followed by an MSc in Translation at Heriot-Watt in Scotland, and culminated in a translation traineeship at the European Parliament in Luxembourg. After that I worked as an in-house translator near Edinburgh for two and a half years, then took the freelance plunge in January 2018.

What’s your favourite type of project?

I really enjoy working on academic research articles because you always learn so much, though I think that’s true for most translation projects. I like the contrast between the factual, precise medical texts I translate and the creative marketing ones. I can genuinely say that I’m almost never bored and I feel extremely grateful to be in such a position.

What do you do outside of translation or interpreting?

I enjoy hillwalking and its Scottish variant, Munro bagging. I also love running and I’m lucky to live in a place with lots of scenic trails in the hills overlooking the sea. Living in Finland led me to ice-skating and skiing, though I now look back in horror at my skiing daredevil seven-year-old self. I also work with stained glass and have recently embarked on an adventure in scuba diving. On a more mundane note, I spend a lot of my time throwing a hair bobble for my needy cat to chase after!