Claudia Grosdidier

Info

Translating since: 2004
Translates: English, French, Spanish and Italian into German
Fields of Specialisation: Environment, Sustainable Development, International Relations

Profile

Growing up as a German speaker in multilingual Switzerland, Claudia was quick to grasp the benefits of speaking other languages. While also drawn by medicine and environmental protection, she found her calling in translation and interpreting.

In her early career, Claudia dedicated her time to clients in human resources and in Christian organisations. Today, she has branched out to cover humanitarian and environmental issues. She finds purpose in seeing her clients overcome cultural and language barriers and making their voices heard.

Claudia’s sense of solidarity, vision and natural energy make her a valued colleague and partner. She firmly believes in the virtues of collaboration between colleagues, and sees Syllabes as the ideal forum to generate mutually beneficial synergies for clients and translators.

Claudia's interview

What are your working languages?

I mainly work from French and English into German. Occasionally, I also work from Spanish and Italian into German, but there is generally less demand from the type of clients I work with. In written translation, I always work into my mother tongue, which is German.

What do you like most about translating?

The variety of texts and topics I touch upon as part of my job. Even when you specialise in a field like the environment and development cooperation as I do, you learn something every day with translation – about new aspects of your speciality fields, about cultural differences, about how language is evolving over time. Translation is not repetitive at all; you acquire enormous general knowledge and never get bored.

What are the main reasons you joined Syllabes?

Looking at the changes in the language industry over the last decade or so, the necessity to join forces with other translators seemed obvious to me. With Cecile, we first worked on the fundamental principles of the structure we wanted to create, and then started contacting other colleagues to find out if they would be interested in joining us. For me, the core idea behind Syllabes is to future-proof our activity. Teaming up is highly enriching, allowing us to share responsibilities, ideas, and tasks, reflect together on how to best approach our professional activity and provide our clients with a service that is truly satisfactory both to us and to them.

You specialise in translations for the environment and sustainable development. Why?

I started out without a particular specialisation and was an “all-rounder” in translation for a long time. I’m interested in many different topics and have always found it rewarding to dive into new subjects and gain new insights. Over time, however, I realised that the environment, which has always been close to my heart, was a field that I’d like to explore further. I therefore started doing a specific training course and broadening my knowledge in that field. Having worked with several clients in development cooperation, sustainable development seemed a natural link between the two fields, and there is always something new to learn about!

Which word do you like/dislike translating most?

I can’t think of one particular word that really stands out, but there are certainly a few words I always find difficult to express in my target language German. Let me give you two examples from the environmental field. In English, some sources now speak of “global heating” instead of “global warming”, to emphasise the urgency of climate change. In German, however, there isn’t really any way to express this, we still talk about “Klimaerwärmung”, so how can we get this urgency across? Or take the term “carbon”, which is frequently used in English (and also in French): in German, we have to be more precise because German is a very precise language. We can’t really say “carbon market” or “carbon footprint”, we usually have to refer to the emissions market and the CO2-footprint (CO2-Fußabdruck / ökologischer Fußabdruck), depending on the context and our target audience.