Member Spotlight: Let’s Meet Abner Dmitruk

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Name
Abner Dmitruk

Where I live
Florianópolis, Brazil. I have always lived in the southern part of Brazil, alternating between São Paulo and other cities in the South, which is sort of my favorite part of the country.

What I do
Medical translation, mostly clinical trial documentation, from English into Brazilian Portuguese. I have also recently started translating from German and renewed my interest in literary translation.

Pride and joy
The millions of words I have processed (translated, edited, proofread, adapted, validated, etc.) over an eleven-year career as a language professional. Also, I’m proud of having started very young, fueled by a simple but sincere pleasure in handling language as if it were some modeling compound I couldn’t take my hands off. I’ve always felt a creative energy that has found an outlet in a variety of translation subjects: from early social media to 50 Cent’s autobiography, which I started translating when I was still 18 for publication by a major publishing house in Brazil.

Background
I took a diversity of undergraduate courses (Languages, Philosophy, History) without actually completing a full academic program, and my translation background consists mostly of hands-on experience. I do love to study, however, and have recently decided to go into English literature again. It is definitely not directly related to my work as a medical translator, but doing literary research and translation is a career path I would like to pursue in the future.

Why do I belong to the PLD?
Being a member of professional translation communities has brought me nothing but positive experiences, such as professional specialization, educational opportunities, networking, and some close friendships.

Major challenge(s) in my career
Specializing in medical translation was a challenge, since most of my educational background was in the humanities and arts, so it was a radical shift. I also find it hard now adapting to fast-changing technologies, especially when it comes to the current automation trends. I’m fairly confident that there will be work for talented professionals, but it will be different work. Will I like this new work? Will it feel as engaging as it does today? This is a constant challenge for me, to which I am responding day by day by developing new efficiencies. My position doesn’t feel as comfortable and safe as I’d like it to be, but I am sure that translation is just a small part of the large changes technology is constantly bringing to society.

On my nightstand
I rarely read just one thing at a time. I’m currently reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Roland Barthes’ interesting collection of essays on modern cultural phenomena, entitled Mythologies, and Petrarch’s poetry collection, Canzoniere. I’m also reading Seamus Heaney’s English translation of Beowulf, one of the oldest texts of English literature, an epic poem that was a major influence on Tolkien and is rendered surprisingly accessible yet powerful and poetic by Heaney’s modern verse.

Current project
I am working with documentation for two separate clinical trials on extremely rare genetic conditions. The research is intensive and I am reading things I know practically nothing about. It is demanding, but it feels good to be somehow a part of the effort.


TerezaBragaMembers are interviewed by Tereza Braga, former PLD Administrator and current member of the PLD Leadership Council. Tereza has dual citizenship and a freelance business based in Dallas. She specializes in corporate communications and is ATA-certified in both directions.

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