The travelling interpreter

Hero Curve Element
The travelling interpreter

One of our regular French interpreters spoke with us this week, to tell us all about his life as a video link interpreter. Jean-Christophe leads a fascinating life that many of us would envy!

INTERVIEWER: So Jean-Christophe, perhaps you can tell us about your work on a typical day?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well, to be honest, there’s no such thing for me. I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day, it’s different every day!

INTERVIEWER: Really? Perhaps you could tell us a little more about it?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well, after graduating I studied to qualify as a French interpreter. I also spent some years working as a translator for a pretty big company. So I managed to get quite a lot of experience in both interpreting and translation, which was great really…

INTERVIEWER: And what kind of things were you working on?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well, for the translations, I was working for a big blue chip company as an in-house French translator. It was often marketing related, with some financial stuff. I learned a lot and it was really helpful for me. The interpreting, well that varied a lot. I worked for a council here in the UK and also for some different agencies.

INTERVIEWER: And then what happened?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well I realised that I could be a bit more flexible, that I didn’t have to base myself just in London, or in Paris, or anywhere else.

INTERVIEWER: Can you explain a little more for us?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well, once when I was visiting my parents in France, I was asked to work on an interpreting assignment. I told the client that I would be travelling that weekend, so I couldn’t help. Then I mentioned that I could interpret on Skype instead (as there was no Zoom then). The client said that that would be fine and we fixed a time and date and it all went well. I’ve never looked back.

INTERVIEWER: And was it the same for text translations?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well yes. I had to make sure my laptop was all up-to-date with software and I always have a spare external hard drive, but that’s about all I need now.

INTERVIEWER: Wow! So where have you been?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Well, I spent some time living with friends in Spain. I also went to Holland for a month to stay with someone from the company I used to work with. I’m seriously thinking about moving there now.

INTERVIEWER: So do you think you will keep travelling and working remotely, or will you settle down?

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE: Maybe in about twenty years or so. Not before that!

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