To watch the interview on YouTube, click here.
Cveta Kundtz, known to most as Cece, is a Macedonian linguist in the Washington, DC metro area. She currently works primarily as a language instructor in Arlington, VA, but also accepts interpreting and translation requests that fit around her teaching schedule. Cece began her career as an interpreter and translator for the military in and around Kosovo.
In our interview, Cece shares her ideas on specializing in a rare language, rather than in a particular subject matter. She stresses flexibility and curiosity as essential characteristics for translators hoping to build their career around a less commonly requested language pair—something she knows from experience!
Other highlights from our conversation:
- Military language work involves a variety of different specialty terminology groups.
- Sometimes you just have to learn as you go—but you have to balance that with knowing your own limits.
- People who work with rare languages can—and maybe should—“specialize in generalizing.”
- On being asked to interpret Russian (a language she didn’t know) in Kosovo: “[They] did not have anyone else. So, I went along with them. I was still better than no one at all. We just tried together to get the message across.”
Feel free to share your thoughts below! Cece and I are standing by to answer other questions you might have.
Would you like to share your experience choosing a specialty in translation? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!