This series of posts was inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, which I’ve been reading for quite some time and thoroughly enjoy. It’s about time we discover how our colleagues work and get to know them a little better.
If you want to participate in this fun series, send us an email at email@example.com so we can send you the Word template where you can fill in your answers and your bio (incl. your site/blog/social media links) and then send it back to us as an attachment along with your photo (optional but preferred). If you don’t like any of the questions, just delete them and add your own. You can read the previous interviews here.
Location: Milngavie outside Glasgow, Scotland
Desired location: I dream of an apartment in Paris or Barcelona but, in reality, Milngavie is a great place to live. It’s right on the edge of the countryside (it’s the start of the West Highland Way) but 20 minutes by train to Glasgow. I think the ‘problem’ with being a linguist is that you want to live in several places at the one time.
Current work title: Owner of Alison Hughes Creative Translation Services
Desired work title: I’m working on that one
Languages you have studied or currently speak: Currently work from French to English. I graduated with an MA in French and German from Glasgow University and spent 9 months as a language assistant in Germany but decided to concentrate on French a few years back as I had lived there for three years. I learned Spanish in-house when I worked at United Distillers plc (now Diageo plc) and learned a little Norwegian when I lived in London.
The project you’re most proud of: I translated a rap poem for a Belgian magazine. It’s not the most high-profile job I’ve worked on but it was certainly the greatest challenge.
Your current computer setup: Brand new computer with Windows 7 and old computer with WP for back-up. Wordfast Pro and SDL Trados Studio 2011.
Do you own a smartphone? Yes, an iPhone 4
Favorite time of the day: Depends on the day and what’s happening/time of year/day of week. Love early summer mornings before anyone else is up, summer evenings in the garden with a glass of rosé, winter evenings in the lounge with a glass of red and my Sunday morning visit to the local car boot sale.
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): My iPad. I hadn’t considered an iPad until my elder son won one and sold it to me and now I’m hooked.
How many hours per day do you usually work: I try to keep it to 7 or 8
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I’m told I’m difficult to pigeonhole (you probably guessed this from my answers). I’d describe myself as a chatty introvert.
Are you an early-riser or a night-owl? I used to go to bed early and be a good riser but I seem to be becoming a night-owl these days.
What do you listen to while you work? Nothing at all. I need complete silence.
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal 🙂
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: Two sons, Iain who will be 21 on 21st October and Matt who’s 16.
Next city/country you want to visit: I’m a European at heart. This year I finally made it to Berlin, a city I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. Until now Paris has been my annual destination but one of my two friends living there has just moved back to Scotland and the second one is planning to move to the Atlantic coast so I may be spreading my wings a little. I have a friend in La Rochelle and another in Brittany so it looks like I might be discovering different parts of France over the next few years.
Favorite vacation place: Paris, although Berlin and Barcelona are close seconds.
Favorite book: I had a long good look at my bookshelves and have decided the most memorable recently was “Helena Rubinstein : La femme qui inventa la beauté” [The Woman who invented Beauty] by Michèle Fitoussi.
Favorite song: I’m not really a big music fan but love anything by Caro Emerald.
What are you currently reading? I always have several books/audiobooks on the go. At the moment it’s “Comment j’ai appris à lire”[How I learned to Read] by Agnès Desarthe (she’s a translator as well as an author) and “In my Shoes”: a Memoir by Tamara Mellon, the entrepreneur behind Jimmy Choo. I’m about to start a crime novel – Blue Monday by the husband and wife duo Nikki French – for my local bookgroup.
Alison Hughes is a French-to-English translator specialising in creative texts. She has an MA in French and German from Glasgow University and has 23 years’ translation experience, including 15 years freelance. She is a full member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting and coordinator of the institute’s Media, Arts and Tourism Network. Alison is an avid reader, lover of the arts and self-confessed foodie. Check out her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.