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Siniša Smiljanić - Mission Specialist

The job of a Mission Specialist is to make sure that a “mission” is successfully completed. He approaches each new task responsibly, carefully addressing all possible setbacks even before deployment. His dedication to details in everyday life shows in his work too, as nothing passes under his acute radar. Having learned seven languages in his life, he heavily draws on his rich linguistic experience, using every opportunity to add more to it.  

Tell us about your background and what attracted you to this industry.

I’ve always been passionate about learning new languages. Not just because I enjoy challenges, but also because of all the opportunities multilingualism affords. This passion led me to pursue a Master’s degree in English and Croatian, and I am currently in the process of obtaining a PhD in foreign language education. While I am interested in all language-related matters, there is something about translation that I am particularly attracted to. I believe this attraction was born when my 10-year-old self started to spontaneously “get” the meanings of words and expressions in English- and Italian-dubbed cartoons and “translate” them into Croatian. The rest is history.

Could you describe a day in the life of a mission specialist?

A typical day in the life of a Mission Specialist consists of a relatively simple routine, but no day is the same. After attending to new and urgent emails, my attention turns to coffee. Once I’m all fueled up, I can start translating, proofreading, communicating with clients and translators, and dealing with issues – both linguistic and technical – until the next fuel stop :D Also, a lot of typing is involved.

What makes your job awesome?

Communication Officer’s coffee is certainly near the top of the list :D, but great teamwork is what I particularly like about this job. I believe this to be the bedrock of successful project management. Apart from that, I have the opportunity to learn a lot not only about translation, but language in general. Just when I start to think that I know all there is to know about this job, another new challenge is waiting round the corner.

What is your worst work-related nightmare?

Accidentally irretrievably deleting a huge translation :D

Do you have any superpowers?

I don’t know if they count as superpowers, but multitasking and paying attention to details are two of the most important abilities I’m developing in this job.

If you could change one thing in the translation space today, what would it be?

People who believe that translating is as simple as copying a piece of text from one place to another, but just in another language. Unfortunately, it is partly due to such attitude that a translator’s work is often depreciated, bound by unrealistic deadlines, and unduly criticized.

What is your ideal day off?

Being somewhere in nature with a good book.


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