Name: David Stockings
Services offered: Translation, editing, copywriting
Language combination(s): Translation: German and French to English, Editing and copywriting: English
Specialisms: Finance (particularly CSR), sustainability, environmental science
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Contact info: email@example.com
Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?
Before becoming a translator, I was working in the charity sector and training as an accountant, and I completed the ACCA’s Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business. When I first started as a translator after completing my MA in Specialised Translation, I mainly worked on financial reporting and other mandatory disclosure documentation. I always found the way companies of all sizes think about and present their non-financial impact and targets fascinating, so over time I have slowly focused in on the areas of corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing, sustainability and environmental science.
What services do you provide and in what areas?
I provide translation of written documents from French and German to English, primarily in the fields mentioned above. I also offer editing of English texts, particularly (but not exclusively) for academics and researchers writing in English as a second language. I also recently started offering copywriting services in English for projects or initiatives relating to environmental impact, corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing, the circular economy and biomimicry.
When not translating, I teach French and German to English translation on Master’s courses at three London-based universities. I also make a podcast for new and prospective translators called Source2Target.
What makes you stand out?
Beyond all the normal attributes you need to make it as a freelancer, I think what makes me stand out is my curiosity and commitment to really understanding whatever I am working on. I love getting below the surface into the detail of the processes and mechanisms involved, be they scientific, regulatory, societal, etc. I love coming across an idea or an approach to a problem that I have never heard of or would never think of, particularly if it challenges something that is generally taken for granted. That genuine interest really drives me to really ‘get it right’ for my clients.
What do you like most about your job?
Carrying on from the previous question, I love that I get to work on material that my clients are so passionate and enthusiastic about. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I am helping in some way to advance ideas and practices that will make the world a better place, and particularly a more sustainable place. And I love the variety, too! There is practically no part of our lives that is not affected by questions of sustainability, so I get to work on texts looking at issues that span every part of our global supply chains and economy.
What do you do when you’re not working?
The curiosity I mentioned extends into every area of my life, and I have a lot of hobbies that would probably be classed as ‘crafts’. For me though, they are united by the core principle of understanding how everyday things actually work. For example, I spin wool, knit and weave, and I have previously learned about bookbinding and stained glass window-making. The hobby that takes up most of time, though, is my allotment, where I grow a fair share of my family’s food. I spend a lot of time thinking about how food is produced and how it could be done more sustainably.
What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?
My allotment, of course! But really, I love most of the Essex countryside, which is hugely underrated in my opinion. One of my favourite places to visit is Hyde Hall, not least because of their fascinating international vegetable garden. I was born and raised in Essex, so I have many happy memories of the county’s coast as well, like Frinton beach. The town of Maldon is also special to me, as it’s where I (theoretically, at least) learned to sail, though you wouldn’t necessarily want to get into any boat I was helming these days!