The Rosetta Foundation helps connect language volunteers with non-profit organisations that work with under-served communities. The goal is to relieve poverty, support healthcare, and develop education by providing equal access to information in local languages. Stephanny Benítez Márquez is a Mexican translator and researcher, who volunteers with the organisation to give back to society. She enjoys translating tasks related to human rights and the environment, allowing her to connect people worldwide and help others. Read our interview with Stephanny below and see how one volunteer can make a difference!
Hi Stephanny! Let’s start with you telling our readers a little about yourself.
I’m from Puebla City in Mexico but grew up in a small town called San Martin Texmelucan. This is where I spent most of my life, surrounded by family. A few years ago, I decided to move to Dublin, Ireland to continue with my studies and to work as a researcher. Currently, I volunteer to translate primarily from English into Spanish, but occasionally I translate from French as the source language when possible.
How did you find out about The Rosetta Foundation and why did you become involved?
I had wanted to be a volunteer for a long time. Although I had little free time due to work and college commitments, I still felt the need to do something meaningful. I had applied for quite a few roles with different non-profit organisations but was rejected by most of them. I decided not to give up, and fortunately while talking to a friend of mine, he recommended a website: Dublin City Volunteer Centre. I immediately applied. Finally, in June 2015, I started to volunteer for The Rosetta Foundation.
The idea of connecting people from all over the world to help others initially motivated me to sign up. Another reason was the ability to provide access to information through language, so that people around the world can understand their options for better opportunities. I also like that all of this work is done without the expectation of getting something in return.
What gets you most excited about a translation?
It’s the idea of learning and connecting people through words: the ones who wrote the paper and those who are going to read it. There is always something new every time you translate a task, and, of course, there is the challenge of the translation itself.
Which aspects of your translation work have been the most memorable or provide the greatest satisfaction?
The greatest satisfaction is when I imagine someone reading or benefiting from the document. I hope that we may have changed a person’s life in a positive way through my contributions. Most of the tasks that I translate for The Rosetta Foundation are related to human rights or the environment. I remember translating a task for ‘Capicitar International’ about the effects of violence, the impact that political displacement has on refugees, and how traumatised these people can be from the experience. It is amazing to see the compassion that people show, and how hard they try to help others no matter the circumstances.
Another project was ‘Tree by Tree’ for ‘Plant for the Planet,’ which was about children around the world trying to save our planet from the devastating effects of global warming. These children plant as many trees as possible, which is extremely touching. Personally, I love nature, and I’m highly concerned about global warming and its devastating effects on people. I identify with those children because that’s what I want and try to do whenever possible. I believe that respecting nature is the only way to reverse the effects of global warming. I truly enjoy translating these types of documents, because I learn quite a lot from them, and, at the same time, they help me to stay humble.
You have translated over 90,000 words for The Rosetta Foundation which is a great achievement. What keeps you motivated as a volunteer?
The answer is simple: I like helping others and love seeing people happy. If I can make someone else’s life easier by using a language, I will. My belief in the power of information and sharing of our skills to overcome some of the current issues is also motivating. A small or big contribution will always make a difference. The reason I translate is because I want to give back some of what society has given to me. I want to help others, so I try to make time for this work. At the same time, it also helps me to be involved in the topics that I care about, even if indirectly.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not translating?
I enjoy being with family and friends as they are one of the main pillars in my life. I love animals and also enjoy outdoor activities – being around nature is important to keep me grounded. When people ask me how I find the time to translate, I always think that if I have time to be on social media or to watch a movie, surely I have the time to translate a small task.
Thank you Stephanny. To sign up as volunteer with The Rosetta Foundation click here.