Meet GTE Localize’s Translator Team – Thai Ngo
A seasoned 10-year-experienced English to Vietnamese translator and editor, Thai Ngo has joined GTE Localize’s talented translator team for over 3 years. Besides being a passionate linguist, she is an aerobic lover and a passionate animal activist in Vietnam. Let’s find out more about her journey to become a translator and her daily life as a translator. She also provides some valuable advice for aspiring translators.
Good morning Ms Thai! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Hi! My name is Ngô Thị Minh Thái. I am a home-based English to Vietnamese editor at GTE Localize. My specialized field is Medical.
How long have you been an English to Vietnamese linguist?
My journey as a linguist started over 9 years ago. And I have been an editor at GTE Localize for over 3 years now.
How did you get into this field?
Well. It’s actually my major at university.
Can you share with our readers the things that you love most about being a linguist?
(Smile) The things I love about being an editor? Let’s see… There are two things that come up in my head right now. First, being an editor, I can work flexibly from anywhere. Right now, I am working from home. I can save a great deal of time from commuting to work. And you know how terrible the traffic in Hanoi is during the rush hours. So I consider myself very lucky to be able to work from home with my cats. Second, I have a chance to work with a lot of international clients from whom I learn new things about different cultures every day.
“Working with my cats around.”
And what about things that you dislike the most?
Nothing, to be honest.
If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? And why?
Chinese and Spanish. The reason is simple. They are commonly used so I don’t have to worry too much when travelling to foreign countries.
Now, if you had a chance, what advice would you give your younger self when starting out in this industry?
Interesting question. I guess I would say something like go watch more movies and spend more time on extracurricular activities. (Laugh)
Can you share with us your favourite word or phrase in your native language?
I love the word “Tử cung” (Uterus). In Vietnamese, it means “Cung điện của hài nhi” (Palace of children).
How long do you work a day? Do you work on the weekends?
8 or more hours. Due to the high workload, I often work on the weekends.
Do you also do freelancing jobs? If yes, which platforms do you use to get new jobs?
Yes, I am also a freelance editor. For English to Vietnamese translation projects, I always visit mywork.com, 24h.com, LinkedIn, and Facebook groups for job search.
Have you ever been scammed? For example, your clients disappear once they receive the translations.
YES. I think every freelance translator experiences this at some point in their career, mostly when they just enter this field. My tip is to always search for the client’s information carefully and ask for contracts before working with them. Never work without a contract!
Before earning a job, translators are always asked to do a test. Do you have any tips or tricks to perform well on these tests?
For me, there is no trick. Just put all my efforts into the tests and spend more time checking and reviewing the translations.
CAT Tools are indispensable to translators nowadays. Which CAT tools do you use? Which ones are your favourite? Why?
I can use a lot of CAT tools: Trados, Memoq, Wordfast, Smartling, and Memsource. But Trados is definitely my favourite because it is user-friendly.
If you work with a lot of clients and projects, how do you keep track of all the invoices and payments? Do you use any tools?
I use Excel to keep track of everything.
I am sure all translators have experienced late payments. How do you deal with it? Has your method been a success?
Well. I will chat directly with the clients. It works most of the time. But as you see I have been scammed before. So I cannot say it 100% works 😊
When working as a freelance linguist, who should pay for the transfer fees? You or your client?
Clients should pay this fee.
What is a day of being a work-from-home translator like?
I get up between 4 am to 8 am, depending on my workload and deadlines.
7 am – 8 am: I feed cats and dogs, clean their cages.
8:30 am: I start my work by checking emails and dealing with my daily tasks from GTE Localize.
“I like sipping tea while working”
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm: I have lunch and feed my dogs and cats. I’m too busy to cook, so I have my food delivered or my mom or my sister cook for me sometimes.
1:30 pm – 6 pm: After getting a short nap, I continue working.
6:00 – 8:00: I have dinner and spend some time for myself. Depending on the workload, I might have to work at night until 12:00 am.
“Chilling with my cats after work”
What do you usually do when you have spare time?
Sometimes, I do aerobics at weekends if I am not too busy. Whenever I have free time, I read books, sing or work as an animal activist. Currently, I am running a campaign against the Dog Meat Torture Trade in Vietnam. I am trying to reach out to the Vietnamese government to ban the consumption of dogs and cats in Vietnam. If you are interested in animal protection, you can join my campaign by signing this petition.
Thank you for your inspiring stories and tips! We wish you all the best with your work!
If you want to become a part of GTE Localize’s translator team, join us here.