Chris Vanden Broek is a translator from Belgium. He has been translating for 30 years into Dutch, his native language. He has proficient understanding of French, English, and German and has experience in a wide array of subject matters. He is now a professional translator, but this is not his education background or his original professional choice but it worked very well for him. “I think translating is a wonderful job,” he told Marion Destoop, from Lionbridge Brussels, in this interview about how he started as a translator.
From the movies to localization
After studying cinema and working different jobs in the movie industry, Chris Vanden Broek became a director. He directed many different feature pictures, short and long films, and commercials. His work with communication media and the cinema industry enabled him to meet foreign people and to practice other languages he learned. He wrote many scripts for medical and industrial pictures and some of his films have won distinction awards in several countries.
At the end of the 1970’s, Chris received an offer to buy a translation agency in Belgium. Although not an ordinary way to start in translation, it made sense to him and he accepted the offer. Today, he works as a freelancer translating all types of documents and content, such as medical, technical, IT, and even video games. He also dubs movies, among them a Walt Disney feature film and several children’s series for television.
Chris did not use computer translation tools at the time he started in 1978, but he has adapted to the evolving technologies to assist translation and now uses several translation memories and other translation tools. He believes that, although these tools still need more upstream work, they are very important in today’s translation industry.
Chris considers translating his main activity nowadays, but he continues to work in the cinema industry as well as nurture an interest in photography. Between his different activities, he also manages to find the time to show his work in photography exhibitions.
He offers a tip to future translators
“At the beginning, do not underestimate the time it takes to translate.”