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: Cambridge, UK
Desired location: Cambridge, UK
Current work title: English-to-French Translator and Personal Performance Coach
Desired work title: English-to-French Translator and Personal/Business Coach for Translators and Language Service Providers (I’m currently topping up my diploma in Personal Performance Coaching with a diploma in Small Business Coaching). I will have to rethink my title though, as it’s far too long.
Languages you have studied or currently speak: My mother tongue is French and I studied English, German and Italian at university. I used to be fluent in the last two, but they’re now very rusty I’m afraid.
The project you’re most proud of: As a translator, a course on the latest developments in mobile technology that will be used to train French-speaking policy makers around the world. As a coach, my up-coming webinar series entitled The Future-Proof Translator (I’m putting everything I’ve got into it).
Your current computer setup: One desktop with a large screen and one laptop.
Do you own a smartphone? Yes, and I find it very useful to check emails and files on the go.
Favorite time of the day: The evening.
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): I use my earphones every day during my lunchbreaks, and while I do the washing-up, to listen to audiobooks. After a whole day translating, I was too tired in the evenings to read books. Audiobooks from Audible changed my life (they are on my smartphone though, so I’m cheating a little bit here).
Next conference/event you’re planning to attend: I’ve been invited to give a talk at the Norwegian annual conference (Translatørdagen) in Oslo at the end of October. It will be my first visit in Norway. I’m very excited about it.
How many hours per day do you usually work: Hard to say. When I worked solely as a translator, I worked pretty much every day for about 8 hours, except weekends. Now that I’ve become a coach, I seem to be working all the time, even in my sleep (!), but it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a passion.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I’m an “ambivert”. I often come across as an extrovert, but I actually need plenty of time alone. I do a lot of thinking on my own, and then I talk a lot about it.
Are you an early-riser or a night-owl? Hmm… I think I’m neither. I find it hard to translate in the morning. So that’s when I coach, write and take care of other tasks. Then I focus on translating in the afternoon and late afternoon.
What do you listen to while you work? Nothing. It would distract me too much. As soon as I hear music, my mind wanders off. It’s good for visualising my goals, but not so good for actual work.
Bonus question for localizers
Tell us a bit about your localization values: That’s a good question. I have done quite a lot of software localisation – i.e. the translation side of it, but I can’t say it was by choice. I “fell into it”. Having said that, I’m glad I did, because being in touch with the IT world means that I could keep an eye on the changes that have started to take place in our industry. But to answer your question, I would say that my localisation values are quality, consistency and conciseness.
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal.
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: I don’t have any pets, and I haven’t had the pleasure of starting my own family, but I do have a 20-month-old niece/god-daughter whom I love to bits. Her name is Sarah.
Next city/country you want to visit: After Oslo, Miami (to attend the ATA conference of course).
Favorite vacation place: Japan and Nepal.
Favorite book: Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela.
Favorite song: It changes all the time. Right now, I have A-Ha’s Take On Me in my head.
What are you currently reading? Leading Change, An Action Plan From The World’s Foremost Expert On Business Leadership, by John P Kotter. And yes, I have the audiobook version.
Christelle Maignan (@Coach4Tran) has a Master’s Degree in European Language and Intercultural Studies, and a post-graduate diploma in translation. She has been working as an English-to-French translator for over 15 years, freelancing since 2004, and she specialises in Psychometrics, Employee Training Programmes, Website/Software Localisation and IT. Christelle is also a trained and qualified Personal Performance Coach and the founder of Coaching For Translators. She helps translators and interpreters reach their goals faster and more efficiently via her blog, online private sessions and her webinar series entitled The Future-Proof Translator. She is a member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) and of the International Coach Federation (ICF).