President of Afaf Translations LLC
It is such an honor and encouragement to be included in this special issue of MultiLingual and I consider this a highlight of my career. I am happy to say that in 2024, I will have been working with my company, Afaf Translations, for 20 years in this industry. I’ve learned a lot from the many colleagues I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my career — both from the perspective of an outsider while I was working as a research scientist, and within the language industry — from my team of translators to my family including my co-founder and husband Matthias Steiert. Many provided input regarding growth and gave assurance that we will reach rewarding results together. Through my in-person involvement with interpreting, translation, voice-over, and subtitling, I’ve had the opportunity to meet individuals of so many different nationalities. All those individuals provided exposure to so many different projects allowing me to experience enriching cross-cultural interactions and to learn more about other cultures and the many facets of communication.
Through her cross-cultural background, translation abilities, and active participation in the profession, Afaf’s meaningful contributions to the language industry are enabling understanding.
Resilient entrepreneur, capable and experienced in her work and client relationships.
Afaf provides a bridge to cultures and increases understanding. She doesn’t just provide translation and interpretation — she is empathetic to the policy issues being discussed and ensures that people on her team are too. So if we are discussing potential loss of affordable housing, the sentiment, the feeling in the room, and the words are all coming across.
Ever since I first came to the United States in my 20s, I dreamed of being an entrepreneur. I would not have been able to do so without input and mentoring from women’s business associations and the like, local business communities, and even other language companies. I found a very conducive atmosphere paving the way for me to grow and reach my dreams. Because working with languages affects every aspect of life, as language professionals we are in contact with individuals from all walks of life. Listening to others by attending many meetings, conferences, presentations, workshops, and webinars encouraged me to do the same — sharing my own professional and personal experiences. I enjoy presenting and, in this way, giving back to an industry that will always thrive and grow on human touch, intuition, and inspiration regardless of automation and artificial intelligence.
Even in our current days, balancing life, work, and family remains an art form that’s tricky to perfect. What helped me most in maintaining balance has always been giving to others. I feel strongly about encouraging and empowering others who are less fortunate. One way that I’ve done this is by starting an initiative to give back to children and especially girls in the rural areas of my home country. I set up a GoFundMe campaign, but more importantly, I am actively involved during my stays in Egypt. Those children need help and something to hope for in their future. Empowering girls and encouraging children’s education in rural areas provides satisfaction and meaningfulness. Through education, perhaps some of these children will find themselves interested in languages. Languages open the doors to the world.
Afaf Steiert founded Afaf Translations in 2004 and deeply influenced the medical terminology used for Arabic patents, using the best team for Arabic linguists to improve the image of Arabic translation in the scientific medical world regarding QC and consistency. Afaf has upheld her social responsibilities and engagement, all the while growing her company over the years and caring for children in need of education in rural areas in Egypt. She’s traveled and worked with Middle Eastern delegates contracting with the US Department of State, building bridges of communications through interpreting. She’s also hired several interns interested in the field of linguistics and volunteered with different language associations.
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