The people who use our boards.

304 interviews since 2018

Julie Laurent

Korean-to-French Translator

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

Hi! My name is Julie. I’m 25 years old, and I graduated from university in Korean Studies. I currently work as a freelance translator. I translate webtoons and web novels from Korean to French. I also happened to graduate from a baking school, and while I didn’t pursue this career for health reasons, I still bake and make pastries at home.

Outside of work, I read a lot in the three languages I can speak (English, Korean, and French), mostly young adult literature, manga, and comics. I like anime, and this year I want to start building my own mini Gundam. I already have a Gundam model kit, I just need the motivation to start it! Video games have also been a part of my life since I was a kid. I started with the Game Boy Advance and now use a Nintendo Switch and a PlayStation 4 to play mostly one-player games, from cozy games like Animal Crossing to visual novels like the Ace Attorney games. The latter one in particular since I started playing them in middle school, and I will forever be grateful for these, since I owe my English proficiency to the fifth game, Ace Attorney Investigations, not being translated into French. I remember spending my two months of summer vacation playing this game on my Nintendo DS with a very heavy English dictionary.

Last year, I started to learn crochet. My grandmother gave me many tips and old books, so I hope that I will be able to crochet more this year. I also have a huge collection of pins, which you can partly see in the pictures as they are on display on the wall behind my computer.

Julie Laurent's setup
Julie's setup is comfortable to work in—and easy on the eyes

What hardware do you use?

I currently use a laptop and an Android tablet when I work outside, which doesn’t happen a lot since I would rather work from home with my mechanical keyboard.

The computer is a Lenovo Yoga 7 14ITL5, which is tactile and can rotate at 180° so that I only use the screen (see pictures). I have an Intel Core™ i7 processor and Mesa Intel® Xe Graphics. It has 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM.

My tablet is a Samsung Tab S8. I bought it last year to replace my old Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8010. The old one is the 2012 model with 16GB of storage, and it still worked with a custom Android 9 OS, but they officially stopped providing updates after Android 4.5—which is a shame, considering what it can still do with a much more recent version. My Moonlander works without problem on both my computer and my current tablet.

Julie Laurent's setup, up close
Stress balls and artful everything: A webtoon translator's needs

There is also a projector on top of my office! I use it to watch movies and play video games on my Switch. It is the MiProjM05.

And what software?

My computer is on dual boot. It came with Windows pre-installed (now Windows 11) but I barely use it, mostly for the video games I play on the computer. When I bought this laptop, I told myself that I would give one last chance to Microsoft but ended up installing a Linux distro alongside it after a few months. I knew this was going to happen; that’s why I chose a computer with a lot of storage.

I changed OS a few times, but I currently use KDE neon 5.27 (an OS based on Ubuntu) with the KDE Plasma environment.

The very first computer I had was on Ubuntu 8 (Hardy Heron!), the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 910. I still have it. Technically it works—it’s on Lubuntu 18, the last LTS which supports 32-bit architecture—but there’s not much you can do with a computer with only 1GB of RAM. So yeah, I’ve been using Linux (mostly Ubuntu) for a long time, and I have a lot of interest in computers and keyboards. I didn’t learn to code, and my studies had nothing to do with computers, but I had to learn how to use a terminal and the basic commands to get around on my own at a young age.

Julie Laurent's laptop
A versatile laptop is key to Julie's plans

For work, I rely mostly on the LibreOffice suite and Okular. As a freelance translator, I am not paid by the hour, so I automated the most time-consuming tasks like creating and naming files, extracting folders, and converting images into PDFs, and sending simple confirmation emails, with scripts made with Kate. It allows me to focus entirely on my translations while not worrying about losing time on boring but necessary tasks.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

I use the keycaps provided with the Moonlander, except the ones for the thumbs. These are from two different sets from KBDfans: the 1950s set and the Crayon in milky white set. Both have an NP profile (no different rows, close to XDA) and I bought them a while ago, so I don’t know if they are still available. The main reason I have these is that there was a Hangul (the Korean alphabet) QWERTY version. I used them before I got the Moonlander since my older keyboard didn’t have backlights. However, I now use the backlights to indicate which layer I am using, so I absolutely want see-through keycaps.

Julie Laurent's keyboard
Julie's keyboard is all business, but still looks playful

I also changed the switches (I bought the Kailh Silver ones to try, but I ended hating them so much they didn’t last a full day on my keyboard). Instead, I got the Epomaker Flamingo switches (Linear Type with 35gf Initial Force) that I was using on my Numpad (Epomaker TH21). I like typing with them, and the sound is very pleasant to the ears. They’re transparent, so it’s perfect for the backlight—and they’re pink (very important too!).

For the layout, I started with the default one and went on to modifying it to fit my needs. I also use the Numpad layer, but I wanted to use it with my left hand, so I switched both sides. I have several layers dedicated to my work as a webtoon translator, mainly for SFX. I used macros to record the most common ones (about 50 per layer!) as well as shortcuts for typing in LibreOffice.

Also, for video games, I started playing the Sims 4 again recently on my computer, and I intend to make a layer just for that. It’s on my to-do list. Other than that, I just like to experiment a lot with my keyboard, so I also made a BÉPO layout (similar to Dvorak but for French), but it’s still at the beginning of the process. I only know how to type in French using AZERTY and QWERTY, and it feels like starting from 0 again, so I lack motivation at the moment.

Julie Laurent's keyboard, up close
It won't be long before Julie's tamed her workload with keyboard layers

What would be your dream setup?

An extra-large monitor would be convenient to open several windows at the same time while working instead of relying on my tablet for a second screen, and to watch movies in my leisure time. A gaming console like the ROG Ally, which runs on Windows, so I can finally completely remove it from my computer (only reason it’s still here is because I use it for a few video games, but I like playing with a controller more than a keyboard, so a different machine just for the video games I don’t play on my Switch would be perfect for me). An overall better computer I can use to have fun on Blender without it sounding like it’s going to die. And finally, an integrated DVD/Blu-ray player because I still use these, and I miss the time when integrated DVD players were a thing.

For the keyboard, my dream keycaps would be XDA or NP profile, see-through like the pudding keycaps, white for the letters and pink for the modifiers. I wouldn’t mind them being Korean QWERTY because I’m still slower when typing in Korean without seeing where each of the letters are. And since my imagination will never know something such as “enough keys,” I wouldn’t mind an extra square mini-keyboard, kind of like the Planck you used to make, in between my Moonlander halves.

I also dream of just being able to bring my whole setup everywhere, so I can work from any place with the same comfort from home, but I am probably asking too much since my scoliosis already finds my 14-inch laptop too heavy.

Julie Laurent at her desk
Thanks, Julie! May all your rose-colored dreams come true!

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