Union StUnion St

By Courtney

Zoya Street

What will you be doing at Union St?

I use Union St as a space to work on writing, community management and research for my projects in the games industry — I love the creative, focused atmosphere and I like seeing people milling about. I am Senior Curator for the games writing curation site Critical Distance, Editor-in-Chief of games history publication Memory Insufficient, and a Japanese-English translator, as well as a part-time PhD student at Lancaster University. I also do consulting work in games, primarily assisting with world-building and constructing fictional languages.

How did you get into this area of work?

I first started researching games in 2011, while studying History of Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum; my plan had originally been to study Japanese ceramics, but the idea of writing a paper on video games crossed my mind and I ended up on a different path altogether. I soon started working freelance for games publications and games developers as a writer, editor and translator (Japanese-English). I have been combining academic research with an embedded critical writing practice ever since.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The creative boundaries of games as a form are constantly being pushed in surprising ways. Often the most promising terrain is in the opposite direction to where everybody has been looking, and so incredible work can come out of left field. I love making sense of it all and grappling with the interpretive and creative challenges that a relatively young field brings.

What type of individuals / organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

As a writer, consultant and translator, I like to work with anybody who is creating media that connects audiences with other cultures, be that international connections, outreach with subcultures within the UK, or by immersing people in fictional worlds. I develop concepts, conduct historical research, construct languages and translate content, to help creatives to integrate their work with a cultural context.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

I’d like to work from an uplifting space and get to know interesting people who are working on positive things. There is always something exciting happening from Union St and it is great to be able to feel connected with that.

For more information about Zoya and her work, visit rupazero.com and follow @rupazero on Twitter.

By Sarah Sharp

Siân Thomas

Siân Thomas is a freelance translator working from Dutch and German into English. She also provides proof-reading and editing services to authors whose first language is not English. While studying at Sheffield University, she spent a year working abroad across Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, before returning to England to work as an in-house translator for various companies. 

The varied nature of Siân’s work gives her the chance to explore not only the intricacies and nuances of different languages, but also the culture and current affairs in different countries. 

As a newcomer to the freelance life, Union St offers her a place not only to work, but also a community of other self-employed professionals to connect with. 

She is happy to offer Union St members a 25% discount on translation rates, as well as half price language tuition for start-ups.

As a translator you never know what that day’s challenges will be, and you end up discovering and doing in-depth research on such a wide range of topics. I find it very rewarding to finish a project knowing so much more than I did before about a particular subject.

For details of translation and tuition services, catch Siân at Union St or follow her on Twitter – @konnektlanguage

Zoya Street
Siân Thomas