Freelance Life: Behind the Scenes V
An interview with translator & subtitler Chloe Stout
For the final instalment in our freelancer interview series, we chatted to translator and subtitler Chloe, of eponymous Chloe Stout Translations. Working from French and Italian into English, Chloe specialises in the marketing, e-commerce, and commercial fields, as well as a number of other industries. With experience living and working in France, Belgium, and Italy, Chloe's work is inspired by her deep-rooted love of foreign languages, which encouraged her to undertake a Master's Degree in Audiovisual Translation. And if that weren't challenging enough, she's also recently began learning Spanish!
Scroll down for Chloe's full interview, and to delve behind the scenes of her freelance life.
Hey, Chloe! Tell us a little bit about who you are.
Hello! My name is Chloe, I’m from Yorkshire and I’m a freelance translator and subtitler. I work from French and Italian into English, and specialise in audiovisual translation, marketing and e-commerce.
Where are you currently based, and what made you choose this location?
I’m currently based in Stirling in Scotland. I moved here earlier this year to start an in-house job after I finished a traineeship in Brussels in January. I love being surrounded by stunning scenery all year round, whilst still being based in a city. Walks in nature have been a saving grace this year!
What first inspired you to pursue a remote working lifestyle?
I always knew that I would end up as a freelance translator one day, but was always quite apprehensive of taking a big leap into the unknown. In May this year, I decided to just go for it and I haven’t looked back since! I’ve been very lucky to have had a lot of support from colleagues in the last six months which has really helped me build my confidence and come to the realisation that this was definitely the right decision.
What's your favourite part of your job?
So many things! One of the best things for me is the variety of the work that I get to do. I get to work on a lot of exciting projects in a lot of different areas, especially in audiovisual translation. I could be working on a comedy television series one day and then a documentary the next.
I also love the flexibility that freelancing gives me: I can choose the projects that I want, and I can set my own schedule according to what works best with any other plans I have on a particular day.
What's the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult part for me is knowing when to stop, and setting boundaries. It’s so important, but something that I’m still trying to get to grips with. I enjoy my job so much, but I have to accept that it’s unrealistic not to take days off now and again, and look after myself to avoid burning out.
What would your dream project be? Where do you envision your career taking you in the future?
I’m still pretty much at the beginning of my freelance career, so I’ve not given it a lot of thought, if I’m honest. One of the things that I would love to do is create a course of some kind for other freelancers or translators. I’m really interested in education and training, and CPD is such an important part of being a translator, so I’d love to contribute to that somehow. It’s still a very abstract idea at the moment, but watch this space in the next few years!
Do you prefer to base yourself in one place, or travel often?
At the moment, I only have experience of being based in one place, although I have tried to mix things up by working from different rooms in the house! I’m really looking forward to travelling being back on the cards, but separating work and leisure is important for me too.
Do you prefer to use a coworking space, or work from home? Why?
I’m hoping to find a local coworking space next year for one or two days a week. I sometimes find it difficult to spend all day by myself, so it would be great to be able to mix things up and meet new people that way.
What is the one app or programme that you couldn't live without?
This might seem strange, but Microsoft Excel! I literally have a spreadsheet for everything in my business and it helps me stay organised and on top of my to-do list and my finances. I could really get carried away with filters and formulas if I had the time.
Any words of advice for those looking to begin a freelancing career?
My advice would be to prepare well before you do it, and put the ground work in at the start, because in the beginning it can sometimes feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort for little reward - but once it starts paying off, you’ll be glad you did! I would also say that freelancing should be freeing, so don’t be afraid to say no sometimes, and do what’s best for you.