Camila Neslin, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and a decade-long resident of Signal Mountain, is making use of her bilingual skills through her new business, Two Box Translation.
Neslin's father is Venezuelan and her mother is American, and she grew up attending a bilingual school in Venezuela before moving to Chattanooga with her mother in the '90s. Neslin earned a business degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and got a corporate job, but quit three years ago to stay home with her three children. She has been doing translation work for the past 15 years, both in the corporate environment and as a freelancer, and found she was busy enough with freelance work to form her own company.
"It became a passion for me, and I started digging more and more into it," she said.
Neslin does both English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translations, with her experience ranging in everything from branding and marketing to manufacturing, education, political and legal work.
"There's no limit to what I can translate," she said.
Neslin said one thing that sets her apart as a translator is that she is equally strong in both languages.
"Translation is not just about words," she added, explaining that her knowledge of Latin American culture and that of the United States gives her the ability to assist clients not only in translating words but interpreting cultural context. "You might have to tweak something in order to better connect to that audience."
For example, when working for Unum selling long-term care insurance, her Spanish translations would emphasize home care options — as sending an aging family member to a health care facility is uncommon in Latin American culture — over the amenities offered in long-term care facilities that Americans are more interested in.
However, there are certain instances when the translation needs to be exact, such as medical and legal documents, and in those cases she stays very faithful to the document, she said.
As Neslin grows the business, she plans to market herself locally, and within six months to a year she wants to begin marketing the business nationwide and then internationally, eventually hiring more translators full time.
She currently has three local Spanish-to-English translators who work part time, and also has access to a network of professional translators in a variety of languages, she added.
Neslin can be reached at 708-2411 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website, twoboxtranslation.com, includes a request for quote option.