Language Open Translation Project

Meet Dimitra Papageorgiou, TED volunteer translator

Posted by: Jenny Zurawell

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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Dimitra Papageorgiou and I was born in Athens, Greece. I have a 14-year-old daughter, Amphitrite, named after an ancient sea nymph. When my daughter was 2 years old, I got divorced, so I raised her on my own. A year ago I moved to Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.

Since I was very young, I’ve been into arts and culture. I used to spend endless hours drawing and creating crafts. It was a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings, and it’s become a useful and creative pastime for my daughter and me. I studied photography and scientific photography, and later on I became fascinated with digital image manipulation, which is what I do now.

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What drew you to TED?

I saw Brian Cox’s talk on the Large Hadron Collider and I was infatuated with his presentation, which was simple to understand, yet inspiring and informative. Most importantly, I could see his passion for particle physics on his face, and it was contagious. A lot of interesting talks have followed that broadened my way of thinking and at the same time entertained both me and my family.

Why do you translate?

I began translating so I could share TED’s wonderful talks with my young daughter and my family. It’s ended up being one of my favorite hobbies and has unraveled a whole new world of knowledge to me. I’ve encountered great people like Theodora Apostolopoulou — together we translated the first TEDTalks into Greek, and in the process, we became friends.

I am also a member of a Greek online community, where I now share the talks that fellow Greek translators and I have completed. We have interesting and long-lasting debates and conversations about each talk. TED give us a new excitement everyday, as we discover breakthrough technologies and admirable thinkers.

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What are you favorite talks? Why?

One of the talks that affected me deeply was Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight. I enjoyed both of VS Ramachandran’s talks — the neurons that shaped civilization and on your mind — as well as Barry Schwartz’s, Isabel Allende’s, Elisabeth Gilbert’s, Helen Fisher’s … I suppose the list is endless.