Translator Community Spotlight: Ya-Wen Hsieh

by Drew Evans
4 Minute Read

Here at Lilt, we’re focused on providing the highest quality translations possible, and that requires a large professional network of translators.

We've spent years building a community of experienced and quality translators, and we're excited to showcase the incredible individuals helping to lead the charge. Much like our Employee Spotlight series, we're sharing the backgrounds of the talented professionals in our community in our newest series, the Translator Spotlight Series. 

Employee_Translator Spotlight Cards

This week, we’re happy to introduce Ya-Wen Hsieh, a professional translator in Lilt's widespread translator network. We sat down with her to learn more about her background, how she got started in translation, and her favorite things to do outside of work.

What languages do you speak or have you studied?

Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified Chinese), English, French, and German.


How and why did you become a translator?

I love languages and linguistics. After receiving B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures, I pursued my master degree in Translation Studies, and I've been working as a translator ever since. It feels great to introduce new things to someone who doesn't speak a second language, and it's always nice to get to know something firsthand before everyone else does.


Do you like to listen to music while you work? If so, what kind?

Not really. I just need to give translation tasks my undivided attention; otherwise I wouldn't be able to get the job done well. I'd probably sing along if the music were played!


What led you to join Lilt's translator community?

I was recruited via LinkedIn and sent my application to Lilt. Not until then did I realize that I had been contacted by a PM before (but I was swamped with work the first time so couldn't make time to apply)! I consider myself fortunate to have had Lilt reach out to me again. After now working with Lilt, I regret that I wasn't able to start sooner. :-)


What does your day to day look like?

As a newbie mom, my life now centers around naps, milk, and of course, my newborn baby. What doesn't change is I check my email the first thing in the morning (even though I still do so during the rest of the day). After having my brunch, I start working. When the weather is nice, I take my baby to the park for a walk. Thanks to this little trouble maker, even though my work hours get shortened, I've become more disciplined and more efficient by making better use of my time when he's asleep!


What do you like to do outside of work? How do you maintain a good work/life balance?

To me, it's not always easy to maintain a good work/life balance, since as a translator, I sometimes get urgent tasks for which I may have to stay up in order to meet the deadline. I self-study acupressure, a kind of massage treatment, to deal with back and neck pain resulting from an overly sedentary lifestyle. And I try booking a holiday with my family once in a while and I can't wait to get back to traveling after the pandemic!


What's one fact or skill that you've learned recently?

I've learned many skills lately, like changing diapers, preparing baby food, learning new children's songs, and refreshing my memory of old ones.


Has the translation industry changed in the last 10 years? Do you think it will change in the next 10 years?

Yes, definitely. There are more MTPE jobs instead of translation jobs, but I've been seeing more transcreation jobs as well. As a translator, I think one thing important is to be adaptable and learn to work with AI/MT in this field.


What's the best career advice you've ever received?

Love what you do. If you don't know what you love doing, keep trying and exploring.


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Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts in both our Translator and Employee Spotlight posts! We'll continue to highlight people from across the company and our wonderful translator community.

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