This month, I invite you to get to know Anthony Teixeira, a French translator based in Japan.
NAME: Anthony Teixeira
PROFESSION: Freelance English and Japanese to French Translator
WORK LANGUAGES: French, English, Japanese
PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND WORK: Yoshino, Japan
What kind of translation work do you do and what type of clients do you work with?
Most of the work I do is related to IT/Software (my university major) and video games (a long-time interest). It goes from the very technical (documentation for developers) to the very casual (marketing collaterals for games). I work with both agencies and end clients, most of whom are software developers or device manufacturers.
Can you provide a brief description of your typical work day?
My day is split between work and family time. I’ll generally have four shifts of 1 to 2 hours each:
1. Early morning (7-8 am) : I check/reply e-mails, check social networks/industry news and prepare projects for the rest of the day
2. & 3. Morning/Early afternoon (9:30-11:30 am, 2-4 pm) is when I feel the most productive/inspired and do the bulk of the translation work
After that I’ll have a rather long break to spend time with my kids, have dinner, shower, etc.
4. Evening (8-10 pm): Depending on the day/degree of business, I may communicate with clients based on a different timezone, work on admin/marketing tasks or just keep translating
What aspects of your profession do you enjoy most?
Freedom! As a freelance translator, I am in control of my schedule. I can take a day off or holidays whenever I want/need. Abusive clients? I can drop them anytime. Boring projects? I don’t have to accept them. It’s sunny and warm outside? I’m ready to go!
It’s not that simple when you’re starting out, but as you get more established you can start being picky, and it makes a huge difference in terms of job satisfaction. I now mostly work on projects I find interesting with clients I appreciate.
Which aspects do you least enjoy?
As a freelancer, you must wear many hats. You’re a translator, a business owner, a marketer, and so on. I like some aspects of those side tasks, some less. I outsource most of my accounting, but admin tasks (invoicing, sending reminders, etc.) are still pretty boring.
Otherwise, there’s always the odd client that will annoy you with unreasonable requests, late payments, ridiculous amounts of paperwork… but it’s the kind of things people have do deal with in most industries, and all in all, these are really minor inconveniences.
How long have you been working as a translator?
8 years, 2 part-time as a side thing, and 6 as a full-time freelancer.
Did you in fact study to become a translator? If not, what did you study originally?
I’ve always had an interest in languages, but I am orginally an IT guy. I knew the languages and my specializations, but I learned what it takes to be a translator on the field.
What is your career path? Why did you make the decision to work as a translator?
I moved to Japan right after graduating from university with a degree in IT/computer science. There, I started working as a web developer for a game localization agency. Regularly, when they had more translation jobs than they could handle, they would send me texts to translate into French. That’s how I learned the ropes and realized that I liked that side job more than the one I was hired for.
I left after about 2 years and half and started working as a freelance translator from there. I experimented around a bit for a year or so, and then things really took off when I started focusing on my current specializations, IT/software and video games. Things have been pretty stable for the past 5 years, my business gradually growing on the way.
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