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Friday, 4 June 2010

French Friday (27)

Welcome to this week's French Friday !
This is the third and last part of a special series of interviews with my friend Laure. To read my introduction post, the first interview and to discover Laure's blogs, hop off to French Friday 25 !

The interview is divided in three French Fridays :
3. On Being an Interpreter (today)

Today you will learn more about being an interpreter ! Enjoy !

Welcome again Laure!

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a performing artist whose love of books have always been stronger than her love of the stage. I started reading when I was 5 and never stopped, right up to the point when I finally got paid for it. I’ve been working as a reader for Hachette Jeunesse (French side of Little Brown YA) for 6 years now, and just started as a translator for them last year. I still dance on the side, but it is more out of passion than need for income, which suits me just fine. As a child, I grew up in a castle, could control my dreams in my sleep and knew how to fly when the wind was just right. As an adult, I love words, am obsessed with truth, and make a mean chocolate cake.

On Being an Interpreter

What do you do as an interpreter?
Well, so far I’ve had only two gigs where I’ve translated questions and answers during interviews of the Beautiful Creatures authors and Graceling and Fire author. I can’t translate simultaneously, that’s a real skill and almost schizophrenic process, but I have a good memory and can remember whole answers to translate after.  

What do you like the most?
Interacting with people!!! As a reader and translator, I work mostly alone at home, and although I love my solitude, it can sometimes be alienating. When I interpret, I get to meet people and work with them… and of course meeting authors is a treat! The writing process fascinates me, and this gives me an insight into writers’ lives. I would definitely like to upgrade from translator to author if I ever feel like a story is worth telling from my point of view, and in the meantime I like interacting with people who write because they feel like family to me (my family being composed of a lot of writers!). I feel like I can really connect with people who love stories as much as I do, and writers are usually in this category..

What is the biggest difficulty?
Staying focused… and remembering everything. You’ve got to listen in a special state to be able to give it back afterwards. If you just listen as a spectator and get caught into what the person is saying, then you won’t be able to translate immediately after. And if you translate in your head while the person is speaking, you won’t remember anything she said when it’s your turn to speak. You have to listen to remember, and that takes a lot more concentration than we’re used to giving other people, so you have to put yourself in this state and stay in it. It’s like walking a tightrope.

Could you tell us about your recent encounter as an interpretor with Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia?
Margaret and Kami are great ! I was delighted to meet them, as I found Beautiful Creatures very well written and loved the whole “Southern settings” thing. And we had a lot of fun during the two days I translated for them. They were very supportive (it was my first job as an interpreter). They are funny, witty, and they love their fans, to whom they dedicate a lot of their time over the Internet. I was very impressed by their writing process (editing each other without consult) as it implies a real dedication to the story and writing, instead of to their egos as writers. In short, I couldn’t have dreamt of a better first experience.

Laure with Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Could you tell us about your recent encounter as an interpretor with Kristin Cashore?
It was great to meet her, as I loved Fire and find her characters in general complex and well defined. She’s very sweet and funny, and I think we both had fun during the interview. Unfortunately there was not much time to get to know each other better, but I really enjoyed hearing about her process, and she gave me the idea to use the voice recognition program of my computer to “type” what I write by hand (always was a problem for me to create on a computer!). I consider myself very lucky to get to meet all these great creators and see how everyone handles their writing differently!

Thank you Laure for answering my questions!
You guys, did you enjoy these interviews?!


  1. Who photographs this girl?
    I want to hire them ;)

  2. It's official - I want to trade lives with your friend Laure.

  3. I think I love French Fridays!!

  4. Thanks people! It was an honour being invited on Charlotte's Blog. I'm glad you enjoyed it... it is true that I have a very sweet life... :)

    Mucho love!

  5. That is so cool. This series was a great idea. The life of an interpreter - so fascinating, and dare I say exotic? Yes, I will. :)


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