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, email us at email@example.com for the Word template where you can fill in your answers & bio (incl. site/blog/social media) 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. Check out the previous interviews here.
Location: I live between London and Athens, but am now primarily based in the UK.
Desired location: London.
Current work title: Translator and founder of Jurtrans Translations
Languages you have studied or currently speak: Greek (fluent). I’ve also studied Spanish but am nowhere near able to translate. I’m also trying to learn some Turkish.
The project you’re most proud of: Too many to single out any individual project. I suppose the greatest satisfaction comes when clients report back they feel they’ve won an important case because of my translation work.
Your current computer setup: I prefer working from a laptop to give me maximum flexibility as I travel a lot and like to be able to just take the laptop and go.
Do you own a smartphone? Yes, an i-Phone 9 as I like to call it (I have both a 4 and a 5).
Favorite time of the day: Early afternoon, when I’m most productive.
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): I’m not really into gadgets. I have an i-Pad that just sort of sits there gathering dust.
Next conference/event you’re planning to attend: I’m going to the Transius Conference on Law, Translation and Culture in Geneva in June 2015, but I’m also thinking about going to the BP15 conference in Croatia in May this year. In the meantime I’m attending various workshops and seminars on legal translation.
How many hours per day do you usually work: On average 9-10 hours.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert I’d say, but extrovert with the right company
Are you an early-riser or a night-owl? Early riser. I can’t work on translations at night; my brain doesn’t function at night.
What do you listen to while you work? I normally need total silence to work on translation efficiently, but do like to listen to baroque instrumental music when I’m reviewing my translation work.
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal.
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: I’ve got a few 12-year old goldfish at my home in Athens. I call them the ‘Lakides’ (Lakis, Takis, Makis, Sakis, Akis and so on), though I’m no longer sure which one is which. I’ve also got goldfish in London. Having them opposite the desk is a great stress reliever.
Next city/country you want to visit: Rouen, Caen, Honfleur and other towns in Normandy.
Favorite vacation place: Not sure if I have a favourite place. Generally I just love to travel. Though I do have to say that Cornwall is pretty amazing.
Favorite book: I’d say my favourite work of literature is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. For non-fiction I’d have to say How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson.
Favorite song: You can’t always get what you want by the Rolling Stones.
What are you currently reading? I tend to have 6-7 different books on the go at the same time. I’m currently reading several books on maps and cartography (probably because of my interest in travel), several books on legal translation, legal writing style and terminology, primarily because I plan to write a book on legal translation myself, and several books on psychology. I’ve also just finished Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style which is quite enlightening.
John O’Shea is Greek-English translator specialised in legal and financial translation. He studied law and then went on to teach European, Environmental and Company law, as well as Law & Computers while doing an LLM and working towards a doctorate. After developing a successful translation business in Greece he moved back to the UK to engage in legal research and set up Jurtrans Translations which specialises in legal and financial translation in the Greek-English combination. For the last 9 years he has been teaching GR-EN legal translation skills at Glossologia in Athens. He loves art, travel and playing around with words. Check out his website.