Scriptis Spotlight: Olivier Coulange

Scriptis Spotlight: Olivier Coulange

Smart localization combines the human love of language with the power of technology to deliver quality at scale. Meet Olivier Coulange, one of the stellar humans at the center of everything we do.

On May 25, 2022, Olivier marks his twelfth anniversary as a member of the Scriptis team. Thank you, Olivier! Your experience and skills are essential to providing top-notch French-language content for our clients.

Your Team bio reveals that you came to translation after initially pursuing other areas of interest. Can you tell me more about your studies in forestry and teaching?

At first, I studied forestry for two years. But after an internship, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do in the long term. So. I began focusing on a quite different subject: English. Soon, I realized that I enjoyed the translation projects most of all. However, at that time (around 2000) the translation market was not very accessible in France. Instead, the natural outcome of studying English was to become an English teacher or find another field. I started teaching English in 2000 in France. And I continued teaching here, in Quebec, for a few years after immigrating. But I think teaching needs to be a true calling, and it was definitely not mine.

Why did you decide to become a professional translator?

I enjoyed translating. I found the mental exercise of translating both challenging and satisfying. But it is only after spending time in Quebec that I realized it was actually possible for me to work in this field.

So, you are from France?

Yes, indeed.

Where in France?

I’m from southeastern Ardèche. A rural place, it’s the only region of the country which is not served by passenger trains, but it is a beautiful place, with a taste of Provence in it. Summers are very hot and dry there, and winters are windy. For the wine connoisseur, it is in the Southern Côte du Rhône region.

When and how did you come to Quebec?

While I was teaching in France, I saved up money for traveling. I came here to Quebec to visit a friend, then I kept on traveling in the US and Mexico for a few months. When I returned to Quebec, I met the person who was to become my wife, so here I stayed!

I understand you are an avid reader. What is your favorite novel that takes place in Quebec?

I think it is Mort-Terrain by Biz (a rapper also known as Sébastien Fréchette), a short novel that I found entertaining. It takes place in northern Quebec and is the kind of story you can easily imagine making into a movie.

Which do you enjoy more, translation or revision?

I like having opportunities to do both. The exercise is not the same and it is good to change perspective from time to time. Revision is sometimes more stressful, as it is one of the last steps before the delivery deadline. But it is also nice to open a dialog with a translator and discover their textual inventiveness and skills. It reminds me of what I liked about teaching: it is a particularly good way to also learn from others.

What types of texts do you work on in your job at Scriptis? 

In the team I am part of, we work mostly on administrative and technical texts. The range of subject matters is very wide. It can go from a company privacy policy to a rower user’s guide, to an online course about workplace safety. My job lets me learn about things that I would otherwise never have heard of.

What is your favorite season – spring, summer, winter, or fall, and why?

I think it is winter. I am getting used to the cold Canadian weather and I really enjoy playing in the snow, and cross-country skiing in the parks and the city. Nevertheless, I feel relieved when the days start to lengthen, and we can feel the warmth of the sun again.

Thank you, Olivier, for 12 years of service!