Meet Ophélie Guenaud, Lingua French translator

Photo courtesy Ophélie Guenaud

Global Voices: Tell us about yourself—who exactly is Ophélie Guenaud?

Ophélie Guenaud: I'm a French-British translator, interpreter, and translation project manager. I've always loved languages. Before turning to the translation profession, I had planned to train as a pastry chef. However, I couldn’t imagine myself studying for a degree where languages weren’t involved. So, I chose to forget about baking (as a profession—I still love baking!) and devote myself to language studies. First, I did a B.A. in Foreign Applied Languages in English and Russian, and then I went on to do an M.A. in Translation and Interpreting, which I have just finished. I have always been fascinated by the translation profession, and I am thrilled to be finally making a living from my passion.

GV: When did you join Global Voices, and what motivated you to do so?

OG: I joined GV in September 2020. I had just finished my B.A. and had moved to the UK to spend more time with my family and be closer to the universities I wanted to apply to. I was looking for organisations or groups that were hiring volunteer translators, and that’s when I saw GV’s website. GV offered me a great opportunity to improve my translation skills and to learn more about my own linguistic and writing skills.

GV: Tell us more about your experience as a translator for GV. What motivates you to as a translator, and how do you select the posts you translate?

OG: The thing that motivates me to translate for GV is that we're free to choose the stories that interest us and that talk about topics we care about, and I also learn about what is happening in the world through these stories. The other aspect of GV that I like is the discussions with the copy editors, who tell us why some translation choices are better than others or point out mistakes. I am constantly learning, but always in a spirit of kindness, and that’s what I love.

GV: As our translator of the month for October, what made you translate more posts that month than previously? 

OG: I tend to translate more if I see posts that appeal to me, and this was the case this month. But I also wanted to spend more of my spare time translating, as I didn’t really use my language skills in my previous job. It’s kind of my way to escape and think about something else.

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