First Blog Post – Hello Blogosphere!

San Francisco, 2014

As you may not know, my name is Karen Montaldi and I was born and raised in Brazil. I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a nomad. I was born in São Paulo, lived most of my life at another city called Franca, in a small beach town called Itanhaém, and in Lins. Eventually I moved back to São Paulo, and finally Chicago. Throughout this time I had been studying English for 5 years in an English school. 6 years ago I graduated with a degree in advanced English, and decided that I wanted to immerse myself into the American culture and further my studies. After living and studying English in Chicago for 7 months and coming back to Brazil, I decided that I wanted to go to college in Chicago for Audio Engineering/Sound Design, and here I still am 5 years later 🙂 

My career as a translator began in an unusual way; I have a degree in Audio Engineering as I’ve mentioned, but was offered a big translation project one day because the client needed a few interviews translated, and knew that I spoke Portuguese. I thought I might be getting, I don’t know, 10, 20 pages? Nope. The project was 340 pages of interviews and group discussions conducted in Mozambique, Africa. They touched on HIV prevention and socio-empowerment, and it was amazing work to be a part of. I was so excited and honored. However, I was also terrified! Prior to this, I had only done a few small translation projects, definitely nothing to this extent. I worked day and night on this project for 3 months straight; researching words, towns, and the history of a country I knew very little about. I loved every second of it. Work felt like what I did in my spare time, but full-time. I was hooked.

Working on this project was an eye opener because it showed me that I was not only following the wrong career path, but was also neglecting a skill that I had always been naturally good at. I’ve enjoyed learning languages since the age of 12. I’ve had many hobbies throughout my life, and most of them are sports oriented; soccer, handball, swimming, and most recently lifting and snowboarding in the winter. But if there is something that was always a constant year after year, was my love and interest for languages and other cultures. Today I’ve been a Portuguese to English and English to Portuguese Translator for a little over 5 years, specializing in the translation of scientific research (protocols, SOPs, one-on-one interviews, group discussions, etc.). I work with both Brazilian and Mozambican Portuguese.

Because I love the translation world so much, and follow many blogs religiously for both work and leisure, I decided it was maybe time to start my own. Living as a freelance translator is nothing short of interesting, and although this is a multi-billion dollar industry, not many people understand what being a “translator” really entails. With that in mind, I wanted to make a blog that would not only touch on important/relevant topics about translation, but that also addresses aspects of how it is to live and work as a freelance translator, both the perks and the downsides. 

This is by no means to say that I will be the only one writing here. I would love and welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions, and if anyone reading is interested in potentially guest blogging, don’t hesitate to contact me! 🙂

I look forward to all of the conversations we might have!


Check out the Portuguese version on my website:
Confira a versão em Português no meu site:

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