by Erikah Swift

With more than 4 million words translated, Amanda N. Williams is a connection between international businesses.

Williams, a 2004 graduate of the University of West Georgia, is an entrepreneurial linguist and the founder and CEO of Mirror Image Translations LLC.

Amanda Williams' studio portrait

While running her own business, Williams’ chosen career field allows her to be versatile. She currently serves as the assistant administrator of the American Translators Association’s Literary Division and has earned two achievement awards for her six years of service on the board of directors of the Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators (AAIT).

“I wear so many hats,” Williams said. “I’m a translator, national conference speaker, a salesperson, a social media manager and an accounts receivable representative. The list goes on and on.”

As a thought leader in the industry, Williams has made appearances on translation podcasts and interviews and has had several articles published in AAIT newsletters, the American Translators Association’s French Language Division’s newsletter, À Propos, as well as the American Translators Association’s magazine, The Chronicle.

Her profession, translation and interpretation, is one of the fastest growing job markets in the world. The U.S. is the largest importer and the second largest exporter in the global economy, and communicating with other countries is key.

“When we exchange goods and services with countries in all corners of the globe, we communicate with those countries — in other languages,” Williams said. “Our government communicates with other governments in their languages as well.”

Williams described how translators are writers. UWG not only advanced her French and Spanish language skills, but her English skills as well. Translators have to be savvy and outshine machine translation (MT) every day.

“I particularly appreciate the intensive writing curriculum UWG offered when I was a student,” Williams said. “The wonderful faculty and curriculum at UWG certainly created a formidable MT foe in me.”

Two valuable lessons Williams learned as a UWG student were to embrace and celebrate diversity and pay attention to detail. Upon her graduation, she was able to apply these lessons in her career field by working with international companies.

“I had the opportunity to translate trachoma control guides and AIDS prevention programs countries in West Africa,” Williams said.

Williams hopes to motivate current foreign language majors by emphasizing the value of communication on a global scale and reminding students to persevere throughout their academic careers.

“If your friends and family are telling you a foreign language degree is useless, plug in your ears and know in your heart that they’re flat out wrong,” Williams said. “Figure out which route you want to take and go for it.”

Williams will be a panelist at UWG Advising Center’s Major Things on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 3-5 p.m. in Room 108.1 of the Campus Center Ballroom. She and other panel members will share their experiences studying and working abroad.

Posted on October 5, 2018