An Interview with Malaysian Translator, Dianne

Dianne Dayanna is Lexcode’s Malaysian translator for 6 years now. Like Khalid (Lexcode’s Arabic translator), she also specializes in translating government files, legal contracts and forms, and marketing materials from English to Malaysian and vice versa.

Let’s get to know more about Dianne in this quick chat.

Why did you choose to learn the English Language?

My parents are avid readers so I fell in love with books at an early age. They encouraged me to write in both languages, Malay and English. My primary school English teachers were also very excellent, I’m sure each and every alumni remember them. They were the reason why we grew up to be very confident to converse in English.

How did you get started with your translation career? Is this a part-time or full-time job?

To tell you the truth, I was probably ‘programmed’ to be an accountant since birth, just like my mom. But it took me 17 years to realize that I actually do not have the talent. 🙂

I started freelancing the year before my graduation. But I became a full-time translator in 2013. I registered my own translation company last year and moved to a small office a month later. And just last week, I welcomed my first full-time staff on board.

How did you land your first translation job?

During my final semester in university, a lecturer asked me to translate my own article to be published. I don’t remember the first paid job though. Back then nobody told me that this is a possible career path.

Please share a memorable translation story

I used to do subtitles for an Indonesian TV channel. There was this comedian who was really good with ‘pick-up’ lines. Because I didn’t want to laugh alone, I took my time to re-type everything on my phone and send it to my friends. They loved it!

What’s the best and worst part of your job?

The best part is of course the ability to manage my own time. I can work from any part of the world (with good internet connection). I also enjoy the tranquility. The worst part is having to chase (some of) my clients for payments! It drives me crazy.

When not translating, what do you do?

I am always working! My new year’s resolution was to travel and, Praise be to God, I managed to travel solo to Perth, Australia in February and joined my husband during his work trip to Istanbul, Turkey in May. Hopefully I can bring my kids and my parents somewhere before the year ends.

What’s your advice for people starting their career in translation?

Keep studying. Language evolves. So some of the rules you learned in school may no longer be relevant. The dictionary is your best friend. Select your area of expertise. It will open new doors and provide bigger opportunities. Read! Make it a habit. Be up-to-date with technologies. Learn about the software and tools that can make your life (and your clients’) easier.