S2 EP12 Estelle Bailly

S2 EP12 – Ft. Estelle Bailly

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Episode Transcription

MELISA: Welcome, everyone, to a new episode of Open World. I’m here with Ale and Lari, and today we have the pleasure to interview Hi-Rez’s Localization Director, Estelle Bailly. We are extremely excited to have you with us today, Estelle. Thank you so much for joining us.

ESTELLE: Well, thank you for inviting me. I’m very excited too.

LARA: Yeah, this is extremely exciting. And I have the honor to ask you the first question. So here it goes. What inspired you to pursue a career in linguistics?

ESTELLE: Oh, I’ve always been interested in having an international career. I wanted to be a diplomat, actually, so… I thought that, you know, languages would open new horizons to me, so I studied German and then English. And after college, I thought about maybe studying international business, but I wasn’t too sure, so… and I was a good student. So I went to what is called in France Hypokhâgne. It’s a preparatory school. And basically, once you’ve done that, you can apply to very elite schools to have international careers or do politics, you know, fancy jobs. Well… it depends on what you want. So the program is in two years and I did… one month. So, yeah, it was my first fail. There were so many things to learn, to be honest. So many books to read, essays to write, lots of things. It was like being back to college, but… worse. And you’re 18 and you want to have your student life you’ve been hearing about, right? You want to go out with your friends and do stuff, still, do some studies but, you know… have a good balance. So, after a month, I decided to quit and I signed up at uni to study English and German because that was the only two courses that I really enjoyed during this preparatory school. So that’s how it all began, I think.

MELISA: Great that it was just one month. Your decision was pretty quick. I mean, a lot of people start a career and then you’re like after a year or two… “Actually, this is not for me.” But you, immediately… “No.”

ESTELLE: “Diplomats? That’s really cool!” And after one month you’re like… “These people are not for me.”

LARA: That’s so cool. Yeah, I wasted like a year doing a career I didn’t like, and it took me a year to figure it out. So, if you figured it out in a month, that’s incredible. Yeah.

MELISA: And sometimes you force yourself, like you want to like it. Okay, I already made the decision, like, I have to do this now. But, you know, you don’t, so… It’s always good to, you know…

ESTELLE: Yeah, exactly. Or maybe I was just too lazy to, you know, to stay more than a month. I really enjoyed it.

MELISA: There was something telling you you had to go a different way, so…

ESTELLE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Uni was better for me, I think.

ALEXIS: So, could you describe how was your journey in the world of video game localization from where it all began to where you are now?

ESTELLE: Oh, sure. So I was at uni, and I had to work to finance my student life.

ALEXIS: That’s always a good drive away. You know, I need money.

ESTELLE: Yes, I needed money. I did various jobs and then one day I saw this offer at uni, actually. It was to translate video games and it was in an agency not too far from where I studied, so I thought “Oh, that’s perfect.” And at that time I played video games quite a lot. And I have never thought… It was in 1999. Oh, the last century! Oh my God, I feel so old.

ALEXIS: Okay, wait. But do you remember what were you playing?

ESTELLE: Um… yes, it was more… more a girly game, but more like adventurous game. The 7th Guest, Grim Fandango. Remember Grim Fandango? Yeah, it’s the best one. Yeah, these kinds of games. I really liked it. The 7th Guest, and I think the second one was The 11th Hour. It was not that good. The 7th Guest was good, I remember that one. And then console games like The Mario thing and, you know…

ALEXIS: Sorry, I wanted to ask, but I love that you remember all the games that you were playing.

ESTELLE: Oh, yeah, yeah. Grim Fandango is still one of the best I’ve ever played. And that was… Yeah, last century, right? So anyway. Yeah. I didn’t know there was a job who could really need both my passions at that time, translation and video games. So, you didn’t know it existed, right? It was very… a while ago, I mean, a long time ago. Anyway… long story short, I applied, I got the job. A minimum wage, maximum working hours. You know, it was a true… How do we call that? Startup, you know.

ALEXIS: Putting your foot in the door.

ESTELLE: Oh, yeah. And you do everything yourself, right? But the team was lovely, very small. We would not outsource anything. And we were working almost nights and days, you know, seven days a week, for sure. On Friday nights you could go out, but then Saturday would be in the office. But I liked it. So it was a team of passionate people. And we all got along very well, so… When I think about it today, I think “Oh, that was a bit crazy.” But, um… actually I really enjoyed it at that time. And because we were doing everything ourselves, I learned so much. I really worked on all aspects of the localization pipeline. Well, obviously translation, but proofreading, project management, account management, I even did some assistance for our direction in the recording studio. Also recruitment, training of the new hires, going to conventions, and meeting with clients and team management throughout the end. So it was really hard work. I learned so much. I also discovered that I wasn’t that good after uni. You know, at the end of uni, you think that you know everything but actually, you know nothing. But it’s okay. You learn. And I had a mentor and good people who were passionate enough to teach me stuff, so I learned how to do it. And working at a localization agency, you adapt. You have to adapt so many… I mean, so much, because during the day you will work on six, eight different projects for as many different clients, jumping from one translation guide to another, one tool to another. And one day my boss told me: “Once you know how to handle the pressure and the work in a loc agency you can do anything… publisher, developer in localization because it will sound easy to you.” And I was like “Oh really? I want to try that. I want to go on the other side.”

ALEXIS: I want to see if you were right.

ESTELLE: Yeah, I want to work less. And so I tried to go to the other side to developer or publisher several times. I was looking for a job in France and there was not that many opportunities. And each time I got the same thing, you know, I ended up in the last two candidates and people said: “Oh yeah, you have some experience, but you don’t have experience as a publisher or developer. So we are going to pick the other candidate.” And you’re like… “Yeah, that’s why I applied to get this experience.”

ALEXIS: That’s what I’m trying to get.

MELISA: It’s a typical cycle. “You need the experience.” But I need to get in to get the experience.

ESTELLE: It’s like when you’re looking for an internship and you’re like… “Yeah, but you’re too new to know.” “Yes. That’s why I’m going to be an intern.” “Yeah, but, you know, you have no experience.” Yeah, it’s always the same thing, right? So, anyway, in parallel I became a mum and Paris is a lovely city, a very busy city. And it’s great. Just if you want to have a family life, especially with young kids, it’s not probably the best city you could live in. So, with my husband, we decided that maybe I could apply somewhere else. He’s self-employed, he just needs an internet connection. A good one, but, still… that’s convenient. So I started to apply to jobs in other cities and other countries, and that’s how I joined Hi-Rez in 2016. I didn’t know this company, actually, before applying to it, but the Free-to-play monetization model really interested me as well. So, anyway, I got the job once again and we all moved to Brighton in the UK with the kids who couldn’t speak a word of English at that time and that was quite an adventure, I have to say.

MELISA: How old were the kids then?

ESTELLE: They were six and eight. Yeah. In France, we start learning foreign languages very late. That’s why we are bad at foreign languages. But yeah. So, when we arrived here, a teacher said: “Well, you know, after three months, they’re going to pick a few words here and there. After six months, they’re going to start to understand. And after a year they’re talking.” And that’s exactly what happened. And now, you know, when I talk to their teacher and tell them that their native language is French, they say: “Oh, really?” They don’t know. While, when the teacher hears me, after 5 seconds: “You’re French, right?” I wonder how you guessed.

MELISA: It’s such a big change for everyone in the family, right?

ESTELLE: Yeah, but, I thought…

MELISA: It turned out good.

ESTELLE: Yeah, exactly. It was a great change.

MELISA: I love hearing your whole journey and through how you got to your current role. And now my next question is: What do you find most rewarding about your current role and why?

ESTELLE: Team management, definitely. I like being a team leader. I started in France. I had a great team in France as well, brilliant project managers. I was very lucky to have them. When I arrived at Hi-Rez, we developed the team, the localization team, and we had great people joining and learning with all of them. It was a multi… it was a multicultural team obviously, and that’s so interesting and I love being a team leader, taking care of people. I think… I’ve always known I like caring for people. But I think the older I grow, the more interested I am in human beings, you know, rather than projects. Sorry, no offense to Hi-Rez projects. I still like our projects. But I do love our people at Hi-Rez. And I think this really reflects my way of managing people. You know, if you ask me or if you talk to me about OKRs. Do you work with OKRs? Do you know what OKRs are? Well, if you don’t, you can Google it or just don’t Google it. It’s just like setting objectives and to each of your team members, you know, in a specific period of time and you need to achieve these and that and, and if you ask me to do this, I probably would run away because I’m more like on the human side… “Okay, tell me, what are you interested in? What kind of games do you want to work on? What kind of skills do you want to develop, to focus on?” You know, I try to keep that in mind when I sign a new project. It’s not always possible. I’m not saying: “Oh, I’m perfect.” I’m not perfect. So, definitely it’s not always possible to please everyone. But to me, if I can give a project manager a game they want to work on as a project, then I’m quite certain that they will do their very, very best to deliver an excellent job just because they would be motivated. You know, some people say “pressure makes diamonds.” I really don’t like that. I really prefer “motivation makes diamonds.” You know, that’s my motto, actually. And let’s say that when you’re motivated, I think half of the job is already done. Kind of.

MELISA: I love it. Motivation makes diamonds. I love it.

LARA: Yeah, it speaks wonders of you, honestly. You’re putting people first. I mean, nowadays, in this industry in particular, it speaks wonders, so.

ESTELLE: I try to do it. I’m not saying. Yeah.

LARA: But you are trying it at least. That’s something. Yeah.

ESTELLE: I think it is quite well, so, yeah.

LARA: Yeah. I have the next question. And how has your career evolved over the years and what lessons have you learned along the way?

ESTELLE: Oh, um… Well, as I mentioned earlier, I think I did all the roles I could possibly do, I believe, in the video game loc industry, not that I can’t learn anything anymore. But you know, from translation, proofreading, project management, recruitment, I even did some LQA at some point on casual games, and it was in my early years. But yeah, Team Leader and now Loc Director… Yeah, that’s pretty quick. I did a lot of things. There must be other things I can do. But the lessons I would say, a few lessons. Well, motivation. Motivation is key. Try to motivate your team. You know, that’s how they will want to stay in your company. Not necessarily stay in your team, but at least, you know, make them feel part of the they belong to a group, a team. I think that’s important. To focus on their motivation and on your own motivation as well. And obviously, communication, communication is key. Work-life, private life… communication is always key. I keep saying that to my kids. And communication is key. Not always when it’s bad, you know, to talk about the thing that went bad. If things go well, say it as well, you know, because, like, when you work with a vendor, you know, don’t be too shy, you know, and send them an email when you’re happy with them delivering the job with good reactivity, because they respected all instructions or because it went well. It’s not because you don’t have a bad comment to say that you shouldn’t communicate with them. So, yes, communicate. When you’re not happy, but also when you’re happy. It’s important. Communication is key.

MELISA: I think this is such a good point because I feel like feedback, a lot of times it’s like you just give feedback when something wrong is happening and so the other person might feel like… “Well, I’m doing everything wrong” But that just little positive feedback might give them that motivation. “Okay, I did a good job.”

ESTELLE: Yeah. And when you’re French, you know, French tends to focus on the negative. “Oh, you should have done better this, that.” And all this is not really good. “This is not really good.” It’s not really the positive education, even at school. So I think it’s really important that once in a while to send an email just to say thank you for your commitment, thank you for being there because, you know… you’re really part of our success as well. So it’s good to say that. And also send feedback when they didn’t think exactly what you were expecting as well, because otherwise they can’t know what they have to improve, obviously.

ALEXIS: And that’s something that you need to know how to do as well, right? To give that feedback the best way possible.

ESTELLE: Yes. Yes, exactly. Exactly. And also to accept the feedback. But yeah, definitely it’s super important. Communication. Be humble as well. Always. Don’t be afraid to be too vulnerable. I think, especially, when you are in the leadership team and Yeah. You can’t know everything. You can’t have the answer to every single question or you can’t solve every problem. You’re not perfect, so, yes, accept it. And try to just be humble and be open. You can learn from everyone any time. Well, overconfident people tend to make me feel very uncomfortable. That’s my impostor syndrome. So, yeah, humility is key. I prefer humility in human beings. Also don’t be an asshole. That’s one of our motto at Hi-Rez. Don’t be an asshole.

MELISA: I really like this message. Because usually it’s confidence that gets praised. Like you have to show yourself really confident, like you know everything. and, you know, being humble… is also really, really important. It shows really good things. For me, at least, you know, when I see a leader that is humble and it’s open to learn new things like you were saying, you’re like… “Oh, wow, okay.” You know, we connect a bit more, I think.

ESTELLE: Yes, exactly. Don’t be an asshole. Be nice with others. Assholes, they never win, in the end. Except in politics, but that’s another discussion. Yeah. And the last thing I would say it’s maybe this is just work. It’s important as well to remember that because especially when… If you are like me and tend to feel like an impostor and then you tend to push yourself to work as hard or as much as possible because you want to show to people that “Yes, I belong here, I deserve my promotion.” Or, you know, you want to prove something to others, then the burnout is never really too far from you. So learn to stop before it’s too late. I went through burnout as well in my early years in France, and that’s really not something you want to go through. It’s not nice. And it takes time to recover. So we’re not saving lives. We’re just doing video games, right? So it’s cool. It’s really cool, but just don’t forget it. It won’t change anything if you answer this email in half an hour. Just go for a walk. A short walk. Get a break. Yes. I mean, it’s just that you would be so much more productive. And yes, I don’t need to answer you email constantly. Because I was like… I would stay in front of my desk. Not going to the toilet or to go and get food. And, you know, just because I thought… “Oh, if I go back to my desk, there would be so many emails to answer. And you know, I need to answer right away because the clients need to know I’m on it. I’m on it.” You know, that was always my… “I’m on it,” you know? Yeah, actually yes, I’m on it, but I can be on it, like in half an hour and take care of yourself as well. It’s really important. And I think after COVID years, oh, I got to realize a bit more that it’s important, but it’s definitely the most important thing. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. You know? And yeah, yes. Because I’ve been working on my impostor syndrome recently, I try to be more gentle with myself and to accept that I’m not perfect. And some people have been in my team no more than I do, and actually it’s fine. Probably it’s because I was good enough to hire them. So I hired the right people probably. And I shouldn’t be afraid if they are better than me. Um. Yeah, I try to be more comfortable with my weaknesses as well. It takes time. I’m not going to lie, but, I’ve been there.

MELISA: That is such a good point. Being gentle with yourself. And you know how people say all the time there’s things like how we… we are so used to lifting other people up, and how a lot of things when something happens around a situation, we talk to ourselves like we would never talk to a friend, like we talk to ourselves and say… “Well, how is that possible?” We’re not being that compassionate with our own selves.

ESTELLE: Or we don’t have a lot of friends, right?

LARA: I mean, it’s so important because also I believe after COVID and remote working and everything, it was just harder to separate your personal life from work, you know? And for me personally, I have to constantly remind myself it’s just work. Like tomorrow is going to be okay If you send these like two hours later, no one’s going to die.

ESTELLE: Yes, my manager in Paris used to say that all the time. And I keep saying it because it’s true. No one will die. It’s just work. It’s just games. Even games are important.

LARA: Yeah, a hundred percent.

ESTELLE: But, yeah, no one will die, and that’s the most important thing.

ALEXIS: So, Estelle, with so many people experiencing impostor syndrome at some point, beginning or even when they get a high position. But you have presented some excellent talks about this subject, right? So, I don’t know how to phrase this question, but maybe it would be what strategies or techniques have you found effective that you’d like to share with us in fighting these feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt? I don’t know. You take it from whatever you want.

ESTELLE: Okay. First, allow me to… because of the terminology, because of my translation background. So it’s going to be a terminology minute.


ESTELLE: I know we all say “impostor syndrome.” I do say it all the time. In fact, the official historical term is “impostor phenomenon” or “impostor experience,” because it is an experience rather than… When we say “impostor syndrome,” it makes people feel that it’s a clinical diagnosis, which is not. So the right term should actually be “impostor phenomenon.” But, that’s the end of the parenthesis. “Impostor syndrome” is the term that is widespread. Indeed, just to confirm what you were just saying, it does affect 70 to 80% of the global population at one point in their lives. So if you do feel this way, you’re not alone. And I’m here.

ALEXIS: I have to say that I love that it’s a phenomenon, right? It sounds more interesting than something clinical that something is actually wrong with you.


ALEXIS: We should spread around that it’s “impostor phenomenon,” not “impostor syndrome.”

ESTELLE: Yeah. I’ll try to use phenomenon in the rest of the interview. Yeah, talking about some tips or strategies or things I’ve learned with my research and my training so far, the best one, or what I find is the best one, at least to me, is to consider myself as a work in progress person. Someone who is constantly learning things. And then it allows you to make mistakes. It allows you to accept that you’re not perfect because no one is. You are not perfect, sorry, team. I’m not perfect. And it allows you as well to accept that good enough is actually quite excellent. Sometimes, as an impostor, you just… “I’m not good enough.” But actually you are. And good enough is good because you can’t be perfect. So, considering myself as a work in progress person is actually one of the best advice I received. And I keep repeating it to myself very often when I don’t have the answer. And that it’s fine. I’m learning. I’m open to learn, you know. Yes, I keep learning every day from everyone, so that’s fine. Don’t be afraid, we mentioned that earlier as well, you know, to ask for feedback or to ask for help, wise people actually ask for help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and to be vulnerable as well, you know, especially as a leader, but not only as a leader. Yeah, asking for feedback is actually a good way to know where you are or where you think you are. And there might be a big difference, especially if you feel like an impostor. And be gentle with yourself because yes, believe it or not, you are entitled to make a mistake once in a while. So don’t be too hard with yourself. Self-compassion, I mentioned that in my talk. You know, if you’re good at being an impostor, you probably suck at self-compassion and you should consider self-compassion as a new friend, actually, because it can really help you to silence the negative self-talk or message that pops up in your mind each time the impostor syndrome, impostor phenomenon, is triggered. You know, well… “I’m not good enough.” “I don’t deserve my role.” “What am I doing here? I feel so stupid.” “They know better than me.” “They are better than me.” All these negative thoughts, they don’t define you. And, you know, self-compassion. Try to be more gentle with yourselves. And of course, talk about it. Normalize it. Break the silence. It sounds easy to say it like this, but in fact, when you’ve spent most of your life trying to hide that you feel like an impostor, trying to hide one of your biggest weaknesses, it’s not that easy to talk about it, but it’s really worth it. And also, consider the source, right? Try to contextualize the impostor phenomenon. Are you the only woman in this board meeting or the only person of color? Are you a student whose skills are constantly assessed? Exams, tests. Are you the first graduate in your family? Do you work in a creative field? In a highly competitive field, or in a field where everything changes so rapidly? You know, we talk about AI a lot at the moment, and I think you can quickly feel overwhelmed if you work in this field. So there are lots of societal and situational factors to take into consideration if you want to get a bigger picture of the impostor phenomenon.

MELISA: That’s such a great point that you just made. Like Ale said before, you know, the thing about “oh is there something wrong with me?” And a lot of times you can explain it, like you were saying, with the context as well. There’s a lot of things, you know, inequalities in the society and in the private sector, in companies and leadership roles, so a lot of times it makes sense that people feel that way because they’re not actually being represented. There’s no other people like them in the room. So it’s really hard not to feel that way.

ESTELLE: Yeah, exactly. It has a lot to do as well with diversity, inclusion, equity and yeah…

MELISA: And like you were saying, talking about it, you know, the phrase “fake it till you make it” and then people just feel like they’re faking all the time because they can’t really feel like they deserve what they’re doing, they know what they’re doing. And I was very shocked, also for everyone that’s listening, how we met Estelle. It was one of her talks at a conference, and I’d like to say it was one of the most popular talks in the conference. The room was full. Everyone was so interested in participating. And then, when you were asking people to raise their hands, everyone, in different parts of the talk, they were feeling represented. Everyone in the room. So you can tell how many people actually feel this way.

ESTELLE: And, you know, I’ve done these talks several times and each time I can’t help but being surprised, but in a positive way to see how actually people in the audience feel comfortable to open up about their own impostor experiences. You know, at the end I tried… Well, we didn’t have enough time in the talk when we met because it was limited, but I did another one with more questions at the end and I tried to do… I’m not a medical expert. So the Q&A at the end is more like an open discussion for people to share their experience if they want. And you know, rather than really… “Oh, what should I do when I feel like this?” And each time people really open up and talk about their experience in front of people they’ve never seen before, you know. And sometimes in front of their own colleagues as well, you know, who discover that “Oh, that’s how you feel,” you know. So that gives lot of discussion as well. It’s super interesting. It’s a topic I’m really passionate about and talk about it for…

MELISA: You’re very passionate as well.

ESTELLE: I’ve just completed a new training. It’s actually an impostor syndrome informed coach, so I can coach now. And it was delivered by the Impostor Syndrome Institute, who is actually co-founded by Dr. Valerie Young, and the conclusion of this training was actually the only way to stop feeling like an impostor is to stop thinking like an impostor. People who don’t experience impostor phenomenon, they just think differently when facing a challenge. They are not more intelligent or more capable or more competent than people with the impostor phenomenon are. It’s just that they think differently. I think it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

LARA: Yeah. I mean…

LARA: Yeah, I started, early in my life, doing some sort of switch. I still suffer impostor syndrome. I still have that monster in my bedroom. It’s still there.

ESTELLE: Oh, a monster? I call it my friend.

LARA: Yeah, it’s a monster. No, mine is a monster because it haunts me all the time. It could be a ghost, too. You just throw the Halloween theme there. They’re like…

MELISA: You have to turn it into a friendly monster.

LARA: Perfect Halloween costume: The impostor syndrome. Yeah. I mean, I started doing something about it. I am really hard with myself, you know? So every time I make a mistake, usually I will go like, extremely, super hard on me. But then I realize that if I don’t make that mistake, I’m not allowing myself to learn from that mistake. How else am I going to learn? So that’s something that like, I don’t know, interrupt in my mind one day and I was like… “Oh, well, it’s not that bad then,” but it’s so hard. So hard. I always try to remind myself it’s extremely hard.

ESTELLE: It is extremely hard, that’s for sure, but it’s worth trying to remember that because you’ve done this mistake that you are who you are today. Sorry, that sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true. And you learn so much from your mistakes. It’s just… you have to do mistakes. Otherwise, you would never really improve or change. It’s part of the experience, the whole life experience, I think. During the training, I forgot the name of the guy, but we talked about this TED talk about a guy who thought about… We were talking about the importance of failure and the way you could see how failure actually helps you grow up and help you grow. And this guy actually presents himself only with his failures. You know, rather than… I’m going to try that in my next talk. I think I noted that down. But I want to try. You know, when you do this talk or presentation, an introduction, and there you would say… “Oh, I’ve done this and I’ve worked there and I’ve worked on that many projects.” And so it’s a good…

MELISA: All your achievements.

ESTELLE: Yes. And then, when you see these TED talks is just like focusing on “No, I’m not the best.” “I failed this, I tried this and it didn’t work” or “I had this company. Well, you know, I had to close it down.” And that’s what I learned. And that’s another way of presenting yourself. But I think that’s so much better. That’s my opinion. But yeah, I really liked it. I was just like… “Yeah, actually, you know, people know about your achievement.” They could just go to your LinkedIn profile and they have your achievements. Because you sell yourself, right? If you send your CV to a recruiter, you might not just list your failures, obviously. But I really like the way of introducing yourself or presenting who you are to an audience and see how they react as well. So. Yeah, in doing other talks I would try to do it.

LARA: I love that. It’s so cool. So I have the final question for you, Estelle. Are you ready for it?

ESTELLE: Oh, yeah, sure.

LARA: What advice do you have for those aspiring to follow a similar path in the video game localization industry?

ESTELLE: Uh, that’s a tough one. You get the tough one at the end. So. Um, my background is translation. Right. So first I was a translator. So, if someone wants to be a translator right now or aspires to follow these kinds of paths, my gut feeling would be to pick another career path, maybe if you still can, or at least be prepared to evolve in your job as quickly as the technology or AI does. You need to work with the machine, not against it, right? Talking about it. Actually, last week I had a realization. Yes. It happens sometimes. Do you know Asterix? The comic books, Asterix and Obelix.


ESTELLE: Yeah, you know.

ALEXIS: The little guy and the big guy.

ESTELLE: Yes, I was in France, and so the new Asterix was out. I think in English it’s The White Iris. I bought it. I read it in French. And now I’m actually desperate to buy the English version. I need to order it. There are so, so many references, like cultural references, to the French culture. Songs, proverbs, obviously all the names of the characters are puns or references to French persons or culture. So honestly, it’s full of it. So reading it, I was like… “Oh, I hope translators had notes and contextual reference.” I’m sure that they had it for such an important release. But when reading it, obviously I thought with my translation mind. So I want to read it in English now because I want to see which miracles the translators have accomplished, to be honest. I think even for the English version, you would need a British English version, an American English version, an Australian English version to adapt this Asterix properly. I checked. I think there’s only one English version, which is sad, but I really want to see what they’ve done. My point is… my realization was actually Translators: yes, they have a future. Yeah, it’s good? I’m sure you’re relieved.

ALEXIS: That’s a great take away.

ESTELLE: But I mean, yes, because one of the most important aspects of translation is all the cultural and linguistic context of the texts, right? So, yes, AI has made amazing progress in natural language processing. I won’t deny that. I can’t deny it. But AI is still unable to get all the nuances of a culture or language, you know, like idioms, proverbs, puns, jokes. I mean, while AI can be useful in certain fields for language professionals, it cannot replace, I think, the expertise and the cultural awareness of a human translator, at least for now, right? So what I’m trying to say is that most probably my job… because it was a question. My job as it’s been over the past decades or as it’s still today, will keep changing, evolving as new technologies, AI progress are used. So probably for students today, it might be more useful to study linguistic engineering, maybe, if such a thing exists. Or if you’re not really into IT, to focus your studies on the cultural aspects of languages to become a cultural expert because we will keep needing that. And our chance in the video game industry, I think, is that the texts we translate are mainly creative and our human expertise adds a massive value to the final localized products. And, as I said earlier, you need to work with the machine, not against it. So you also need to know where your added value is. And as a video game translator, your added value is most definitely in the knowledge of all the linguistic nuances and the cultural references of your native language.

MELISA: Yeah. I think that’s a great advice, that you can adapt. And there’s a lot of changes happening in the industry, so… we’ll see what the future holds for us.

ESTELLE: I think there are a lot of uncertainties that we are trying to navigate, but it’s still uncertain at the moment.

MELISA: Absolutely, yes. Well, Estelle, thank you so much for joining us. This was a great episode. I’m sure everyone listening will agree. And all your advice is very valuable. So thank you so much.

ESTELLE: Thank you for inviting me. I had a great time. So, hopefully everyone had too.

LARA: I had a great time too, so I bet they have.

ALEXIS: Thank you so much.

LARA: Thank you so much, Estelle. It was amazing.

ESTELLE: Thank you.

ALEXIS: See you, everyone.


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