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Interview Series: 7. Catherine Barteau – CBarteau Translations

July has been a little bit crazy for me, but I have literally just managed to squeeze this blog post in during the very last few hours of July 2017! There was no way I was going to leave you without a translator for July! So here it goes!!! My July guest is Catherine Barteau. She runs CBarteau Translations translating into French, organises the Oxford-Reading translators group events with Amandine Lepers-Thornton and she is a Depeche Mode fan! I am super thankful to Catherine for accepting to do this interview at the very last minute.


1. So Catherine, tell me, what is it like running CBarteau Translations?

I have started out as a freelancer eight years ago, and it has been an exciting and scary experience. I do enjoy the freedom I have: I might not be travelling the whole world, but I get to organise my weeks as I wish.

2. What’s a typical day like, if there is such thing, at CBarteau Translations?

I am usually at my desk by 7am, 8am at the latest. I use that quiet time, before emails start arriving, to check the tasks of the day and double-check deadlines, and then translate away. On some weeks, I have mostly small projects (a day's worth of work or less), so I have quite a varied day; and on others, I work on large projects spanning over a few days or even weeks (but still deliver a few smaller translations, so that I don't get bored with the larger project).

3. And why translation? How did you decide that this is what you want to do?

The defining moment happened when I was 13. My English teacher gave us a text about the history of a famous soft drink to translate. It was the first time I ever did that exercise and I enjoyed it so much. I also remember translating Depeche Mode's songs; my brothers and I were listening to them a lot, and I wanted to understand what they were singing about. For me, translation is also an amazing way to learn something new every day.

4. Yes, we certainly do learn something new every day as translators!

Do you do anything else in addition to translation?

With Amandine from Amend In Style Translations, we organise informal get-togethers in the Reading-Oxford area. There are four events a year: two in Oxford and two in Reading. It's a cool way to meet colleagues: we share about work and life in general.

5. Yes! I know about 'Oxford-Reading translators'! That's where you and I met a couple of years ago! I am very much looking forward to our picnic in a few weeks' time btw!

Do you have any hobbies or any particular interests?

Reading, photography, walking, trying my hand at crafts like knitting, etc., and like most of us, travelling and discovering new places (either in the U.K. or elsewhere in the world). Meeting with friends is also very important as being a freelancer can be quite isolating.

6. Yes, you are right, it can be.

You've mentioned travelling...any places on your bucket list?

I have always wanted to visit Greece and Japan. Those two are my top destinations, but there are so many more countries and cultures to discover. Hopefully, next year, I'll go to Greece.

7. Yay! And I can help you with your Greece trip! ;)

And do you have any objectives or plans for the future and in general?

Keep improving my French writing skills (I am actually looking for a good writing/copywriting course if anyone knows one, let me know!) ;). I want to keep working on and strengthening my 3rd language (German), and get back to exercising! I have a few more targets, but I think keeping the list short is the best way to actually achieve them. :-)

Haha! You are quite right on that one! I am actually looking for a copywriting course myself. Maybe we can go together!?


Catherine Barteau is an English into French translator who specialises in tourism/corporate/IT translation, and apps/software localisation. She runs CBarteau Translations and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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