An Interview with TWB Translators: From teacher to translator

Thanks to my experience in the classroom, I was already very familiar with a lot of the vocabulary and the context of many translation tasks.

@Sybil18, translator for Translators without Borders (TWB)
Read the full blog post here :star:

This month, we are discovering how Sybil’s experience as a teacher makes her an invaluable humanitarian French to English translator. Since 2011, she has completed almost a hundred tasks for TWB, providing over 200,000 words to nonprofit organizations and the people they support. :heartbeat:

Sybil’s journey with TWB began seven years ago when the just-retired teacher found herself in search of a second career.

Without a doubt, working with TWB and obtaining a French and English Certificate in Translation Studies have been the two major influences shaping my freelance career.

Throughout her time as a TWB volunteer, Sybil has focused particularly on supporting communities in Africa, a continent which holds a personal interest for her. As a junior at college and a budding traveler, she spent a year abroad in Nigeria, and later served for the US Peace Corps in Francophone Cameroon. There she worked for two years as a teacher of English as a second language (ESL).

My first published work as a translator was through TWB, in collaboration with other linguists.

Thanks to her experience in humanitarian and development translation, Sybil has many poignant stories to tell. Take, for example, addressing the mental and physical health of people in Haiti immediately after the devastating earthquake in 2010. On another occasion, an in-depth assignment explained how women in an African country have to travel extraordinary distances, often by foot, for difficult operations, and why they are not always successful.

She also worked on guidelines for teaching English to Rohingya children who had recently arrived in Bangladesh. As a professional educator, she was able to collaborate with colleagues to produce lesson plans, syllabi, and curricula for English literature, ESL, and French language and literature classes. :school:

:question: You would like to know more about Sybil? Read the full blog post here.


Congratulations, @Sybil18 ! An extensive experience in humanitarian and development translation for TWB, with many poignant stories to tell:

Thanks @ambra for sharing this story.


Wow Cristina, thank you for being so active in our forum :blush: it is a pleasure for us to stay in touch with translators and share their stories!


Hi Cristina,
Thanks for your kind words.


Very nice and impressive story from Sybil. I have recently joined TWB and I find myself very enthusiastic with the support I can provide. I find your story Sybil very impressive and inspiring. Greetings from a fellow TWB addict :slight_smile:


We are happy that you enjoyed this story, Valerie :slight_smile:
@Sybil18, thanks again for taking part of this initiative!


Hi Manon,
I share your enthusiasm.:smile:


Dear all,
They can contact me those who need English both Burmese and English both Rohingya. That my experience and my own duty for translations. In the area of Bangladesh Rohingya refugees camp. But not suitable for me in online because i have problems with online, that’s why he/she must contact me via offline.
Thank you.
Sincerely Yours;
Faroque Sha

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Hello Faroque, thank you for your message. I edited your message to protect your privacy :slight_smile: We will keep in mind that you are not available for working online. Have you already met @Ei_Ei, our Burmese team lead?

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Dear Faroque,
I am Ei Ei, Myanmar Language team lead from TWB. Glad to meet you on line :smiley:. Thank you very much for your enthusiasm and coming forward to help with English-Myanmar translation, which we often are short of available translators. We would be very happy to inform you whenever we have a task available in this language pair.
Actually we have the tasks available right now with deadline tomorrow and please let us know if you have time to spare to participate :pray:.
Thank you in advance. I will contact you via your email as well. :slight_smile:

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A really inspiring history with filantrophic’s behavior.
Congratulations Sylvia, for voluntaries projects and carrer as a translator.
You are a really inspiring person :pray: