7 questions for GLD Leadership Council members: Consultant

Name: Ruth Boggs

LC position: Consultant

Where are you originally from?

Wächtersbach/Hesse, Germany

Where do you currently live?

Fairfax, Virginia

How did you become a translator/interpreter?

By chance. I never aspired to be a translator. I’m what is referred to as a “Quereinsteiger.” After 20 years of doing admin work in German government agencies, an overseas assignment landed me at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. When my five-years there were up, I did not want to return to Germany – mostly because my two sons, Americans by birth and by then in college, saw their future in the U.S. With no real work history in the US job market, and only ATA-certification to my credit in terms of qualifications, I cautiously explored the translation market and was hired by a premier D.C. law firm for a doc review job – not even knowing, at the time, what “doc review” even entailed. But I took to that kind of work like a fish to water, and it launched a satisfying and lucrative career.

What are your areas of specialization?

I somehow slid into patent- and legal translation and deposition interpreting and stuck with it. Twenty-five years ago, there was a high demand for translators who could provide a quick turnaround of legal documents, and I was able to fill that niche. Nowadays, with MT being widely used, it is highly doubtful that my career would have taken off in the same way. Fortunately, I’m semi-retired now and only serve a couple of preferred clients.

What do you like about ATA?

ATA-certification was crucial when I started out. I’d acquired the English language auto-didactically, and ATA-certification was my only real credential.  I like the continuing education opportunities and the networking. My first annual ATA Conference was SFO in 1997, only a couple of years after I started freelancing. I landed a steady part-time job there, which I kept for seven years, and met many colleagues that have since become good friends. The contacts I made there were so valuable that I have not missed an ATA-Conference since – that’s 25 in a row now 🙂 To anyone who thinks they can’t afford to go to the conference, I’m proof that you can’t afford NOT to go!

Tell us about your position on the GLD Leadership Council.

I’m a consultant now. I served as GLD Asst. Administrator from 1997 to 2002, and as GLD Administrator from 2016-2020. I think they keep me around for the institutional memory 🙂

Anything else you would like to share? (hobbies, interests, etc.)

I love writing, have published a few stories, and have been laboring off and on over a manuscript for more years than I care to admit. I attend Writer’s Conferences as enthusiastically as ATA Conferences. I also like to read, garden, swim, travel, and attend concerts.
Translation has certainly added spice to my life: In the late 90’s, when Willie Nelson launched his website, I became his “official” translator for their travel blog (since discontinued). Going on tour with Willie in Europe and the US, riding on his bus with him into Circus Krone in Munich, and hanging with Snoop Dogg backstage in Amsterdam, are just a few of the many thrills that resulted from a job I never aspired to: Translator 🙂