MATI Member Spotlight: Meet Joseph Wojowski
Joseph Wojowski is a French- and Spanish-to-English linguist with an MA in French and Spanish linguistics. He has been a MATI member since 2013.
Where do you live and/or work?
I live in Chicago and work in Des Plaines. I can watch planes take off from O’Hare from my office.
What inspired you to get into your field?
I was inspired to get into languages by my own personal history. I was adopted from Korea as an infant and ever since I was a child, I longed to connect with the larger world; language and translation are the manifestation of that desire.
What continues to inspire you?
Technology. It’s an area that is always changing and always in need of clarification to others. I never feel stagnant when I’m testing a piece of software or building a computer.
What is your favorite thing about working in this field?
I love translation because it’s the living embodiment of a Roddenberry society. No one gets into translation for their own personal gain; a lot of people do it because, whether they realize it or not, they want to translate for the good of humanity. Sure, you can become successful and make money translating, but the profession as a whole is very altruistic.
Where do you see your field going in the future? What are the most urgent issues to be addressed?
I like to think that translation as an industry has a lot of great work ahead of it. This really is a great time to be a translator: communication is fast, the tools are powerful, and there’s plenty of work to do. The most urgent issue that needs to be addressed is Internet security—not just in translation, but around the world. It’s an ongoing process and people will always be looking for ways to break in to the most secure systems. Currently, the only way to be 100% safe is to be 100% offline. Information is in a perpetual state of being at risk and while translation data is not currently a high target, it’s only a matter of time before people become aware of the types of information we deal with.
Do you have any tips for those starting out in the field? For those who’ve been in the field?
For those starting out, get into the industry through project management and learn as much as you can as fast as you can. For those who’ve been in the field for a while, be a mentor to someone who’s just getting started, take on an apprentice during his or her breaks in college.