Now You’re Speaking My Language: My story of transcribing and publishing the story of Katerina Šulková

We have recently published an article about Katerina Šulková, a young scientist from the Czech Republic who has worked across Europe in laboratories. Today, I will be talking about having a translator as apart of my process, and how I have had to translate things on my own, tying into the larger idea of me taking on multiple roles.

I think it is pretty safe to say that Katerina Šulková is a total bad-ass (please don’t kill me T. Margaret for swearing). To give some introduction of who she is and what her article is about, at only 18, Katerina Šulková has traveled across the Czech Republic and the greater European continent working on her passion for microbiology, biotechnology, and biochemistry. In total, Katerina has written two theses: one looking at the anti-oxidant and possible anti-cancerous properties of lemongrass and the other on biotechnology as a whole.

Unfortunately for me…I do not speak Czech…despite how much I want to. So for this, I scoured the internet for translating apps and services that would help me. And almost as expected, none of them worked for me either due to price point or due to lack of reliability. Lucky for me, Thomas Slama was willing to be my translator.


Getty Images

Now...the interview was not perfect. The interview took a little less time than I would have liked, and because of the translating, Katerina kept her answers brief and some of what she said, quite literally, got lost in translation. But, nevertheless, we kept going and whatever Thomas forgot to translate, I did through Word Reference’s English-Czech feature.

Now…I have been a bit worried about what we will do in the future. And I am also worried about how many hats I am beginning to wear. I was lucky enough to have a native speaker willing to do the work for me close by, but what if next time we are interviewing someone from Portugal and I have no one that speaks Portuguese? Will I always be pulled in so many different directions?


Simon, Joshua

But then I found exactly what I needed to hear, a list of 10 Things Every CEO Needs to Do to Become a Success by the amazing blogger Kristen Brown, and I found three pieces of advice that I need to hear:

  1. I need to be flexible. I am being pulled in a million directions now, but I know that once we begin to really make a profit, that is most definitely going to change.
  2. I need to set the right goals. Yes, I need to meet deadlines and yes, I need to get my blogs in, but I also need to set the goal that I want to have at least 4 more employees/volunteers by the end of next year.
  3. I need to be realistic. The Girl Narrative cannot be in every language right now and THAT IS OKAY because I know that it cannot be right now, but it will be soon.

Sabrina Schoenborn

CEO and Founder of The Girl Narrative

Work Citations:

Brown, Kristen. “10 Things Every CEO Needs to Do to Become a Success.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 12 Jan. 2015,

Schoenborn, Sabrina. “Katerina Šulková.” The Girl Narrative,

“Word Reference.” Word Reference,

Image Citations:

Getty Images. “How Translation Apps Iron out Embarrassing Gaffes.” BBC News, BBC, 25 Sept. 2018,

Simon, Joshua P. “Pulled in Multiple Directions.” Pulled in Multiple Directions,

3 thoughts on “Now You’re Speaking My Language: My story of transcribing and publishing the story of Katerina Šulková

  1. Dhillon

    its great to see how well you have adapted to all of the issues you’ve faced. I really liked the formatting of this article and bold segments in your writing

  2. ninayichenwei

    This complements your post on The Girl Narrative really well! I enjoyed reading this as a background story/a genuine reflection of your interviewing experience. It would be great if you could also share how you made this connection with Katerina and how has this interview impacted you. Keep up the great work!

  3. Yuchen Cao

    I really enjoyed learning about your interview process with this impressive young woman! I’m very impressed by her work in biology and related fields. Her story is definately inspirational and a great addition to your website! Stories like hers are worthwhile to be heard despite the difficulties in the process.


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