In this month’s Staff Spotlight, we meet one of our account linguists, Ida Berntzen.

1: Which languages can you speak?

Norwegian, English and a little Swedish.

2: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I remember wanting to be a photographer, a game designer, a writer and a language interpreter during my teens. During the 90s, however, I wanted to be a Spice Girl.

3: How did you end up working in the translation industry?

After my degree, I worked as a teacher before deciding to further my academic studies in the UK. I had been thinking about working as a translator for some time, so I applied for some part and full-time jobs, and now I’m here. I could have gone to Malta, as I was offered a position there too, but I really wanted to work for STP. Although Malta sounds nice and sunny, I really don’t mind the English summer rain.

4: What is your favourite part of your role?

The fact that my focus for translation and revision is Norwegian nynorsk (New Norwegian or New Norse, is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål). It is such a beautiful and underappreciated language. I feel that by translating into Norwegian nynorsk, I do something important because I kind of participate in protecting and promoting it.

5: If you could have another job for just one day, what would it be?

Book editor. It would be fun to be the first to read and publish some new up-and-coming author.

6: How are you finding life in the UK and what, if anything, do you miss from home?

I knew I would enjoy living in the UK, because during my studies I spent a semester in Scotland. I miss the common Norwegian style of winged clothes airers. They just make more sense to me. And they’re sturdy.

7: If you could wake up and be fluent in a new language, what would it be?

That is a hard question. It should be something cool and special, like Icelandic, but I would really like to be fluent in Spanish.

8: Machine translation. Friend or foe?

Its intention is to help people, and a foe wouldn’t do that, so I’m going to say friend.

9: Which three words describe your personality the most?

Curious, practical and proactive.

10: How do you unwind at the end of a long day?

I eat strawberry skyr with blueberries while watching NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation).

Icebreaker, Icebreaker September 2017, Staff spotlight