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What’s your name, your position & the name of your business?
My name is Sylvia Scheibe, I am the translator and sole proprietor at Scheibe Translations.
What services or products do you offer?
I offer translations from English and French into my mother tongue, German, and proofreading.
My main areas of expertise are computer hardware and software, automotive engineering (including agricultural and construction machinery), electrical equipment and domestic appliances, measurement and control systems, and consumer electronics.
But I also like translating knitting and crochet patterns and I am interested in environment protection, dancing, and parlour games.
What inspired you to found your business?
English and French have been my favourite subjects at school.
So, studying translation followed quite naturally.
I like working with foreign languages and thinking about the best way to transfer the meaning of a text into German.
The main reason why I started working as a freelance translator, honestly, was to be free to choose my place of residence.
But now I appreciate the quietness of my home office and the fact that it is easier here to concentrate on my work.
What do you do to keep your business sustainable?
In order to protect the environment, I am using green energy and I store my documents electronically – most of them don’t need to be printed anyway.
As a translator, I don’t need a lot of equipment, and I try to use what I have as long as possible.
I also try to keep a sustainable work-life balance.
I separate working hours and spare time, I keep myself healthy by eating well, exercising, meditating, and going for a walk as often as I can.
In terms of business sustainability, I am doing thorough research of the topics I translate, I am carefully proofreading my own translations and I am working at competitive rates.
Some of my satisfied clients have been working with me for more than 10 years.
What’s one of the most surprising things that happened on your journey?
An acquaintance once asked me to translate his children’s book into German.
I enjoyed this task a lot. It was a nice change from the technical translations I usually do.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a sustainable business?
I would give everyone who plans to start a business the advice to work in a similar permanent position for a few years.
I started working as a freelance translator right after my graduation and I felt quite unconfident – not about translating, which I had learned at university, but about the business part.
I gave up my freelance business after a few months when I found an interesting permanent position, and then started anew working freelance after I had gained some experience.
This time I felt much more confident.
If people haven’t tried your services or products yet, where would you recommend for them to start?
I have written an information sheet for clients not yet experienced in the translation process.
It contains tips about how to choose an appropriate translator, what to consider when planning a translation project, what kind of information the translator needs from you etc.
This will help you get the best result from your translator.
You can find the information sheet at the bottom of the FAQ section on my website.