7 questions for GLD Leadership Council members: The Collaboration Pool Coordinator

Name: Heike Holthaus

LC position: Collaboration Pool Coordinator

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in a village in Germany’s Westerwald region. Our property bordered the forest, and one of my favorite pastimes was going for walks in the woods hunting for mushrooms. Growing up that way instilled a lifelong love for the outdoors and life in the country.

Where do you currently live?

Not surprisingly, after a few stints of living in the city, I now live in the beautiful countryside of NE Michigan, 5 minutes from the shores of Lake Huron.

How did you become a translator/interpreter?

It doesn’t seem that long ago, but over a decade has passed since I was invited to join a group of volunteers to translate subtitles for a video series from English into German. While working on these subtitles I realized how much I enjoyed translating and felt I had a talent for it. But it also became clear to me that I had a lot to learn about translation practices. At the time the only option for me was enrolling in an online course, which I completed in August 2012.

What are your areas of specialization?

During my first year as a freelance translator, I was sure I was going to specialize in marketing and/or medical. I had written my own marketing material for my previous businesses and was interested in the medical field. It felt like a natural extension.

Legal translation had been part of the course I had taken. I hated it and I was most definitely not going to do that. Until I got my first patent translation assignment. That changed everything – I was hooked.

Today, I specialize in patent and technical translation and also work in the legal field. In 2019, I started expanding into marketing translation and transcreation, and developed my new niche: translations for the cannabis industry.

What do you like about ATA?

I enjoy the camaraderie among colleagues and the mutual support with all things translation business and terminology. When brain fog settles in, help with tricky terminology, for example, is always only a mouse-click away. 

Tell us about your position on the GLD Leadership Council.

I am the coordinator for the German – English Translator Collaboration Pool. The Collaboration Pool is set up as a LinkedIn Group and is open to members of the GLD, UNIVERSITAS and our GerNet colleagues from the UK.

Anything else you would like to share? (hobbies, a funny story, ….)

The best trip or vacation I have ever been on would hands down be my very first trip to the US. Would you like to know what made it so special? It’s okay if you don’t. You can just stop reading here. Thank you for sticking with me all the way through.

Okay…if you really want to know: My husband proposed to me in a very nice restaurant in Sacramento, CA. The following weekend we got married in a cozy chapel in Reno, NV, and then we went for a week to Kauai, HI, on our honeymoon. Can’t beat that!