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【#Hello WOVN - Aleksey】WOVNは私の夢と最終的な目標を叶えてくれた場です。




Hello, my name is Aleksey Vasil Bolyshkanov. I am 28 years old and on the Localize team at WOVN. I was born in Russia but grew up in the USA in California. I’m a big language nerd, love all things related to Japanese and Japan, and have a penchant for dad jokes. I also love Gundam, Gunpla models, and cosplay (I used to make Gundam costumes). Some of my other hobbies include playing lots of video games, snowboarding, reading, Dungeons&Dragons, and Warhammer (regular and 40k).


Mobile Suit Aleksey: The Origin


I was born in Russia near Moscow, but moved to California when I was three years old. I grew up speaking Russian and English. I started learning Japanese in high school over ten years ago and that’s when I fell in love with the Japanese language and culture. It was at this time that I decided that my future was with the Japanese language and not some other profession.


Over the next few years, I went to Japan over short homestays to Wakayama and had a blast. In college, I chose Japanese language as my major and studied abroad in Oita Prefecture at Oita University. I had the time of my life there, making friends from all over the world (lots of Chinese friends), writing a research paper about Bushido, and even learning a bit of Mandarin Chinese. 但是,我说中文说的太不好 T_T


Eventually, I graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Japanese language and came to Japan to work as an ALT (assistant language teacher) on the JET Program (government-sponsored English teacher program) in 2016.


JET Program


From 2016 to 2018, I worked as an ALT in Akita in the small town of Kakunodate. The town is famous for its preserved samurai houses and sakura trees lining the streets and riverbanks. I cherish every moment I spent there and still miss it like a second home. I miss the locals, the snow, and snowboarding most of all (and my favorite local bar). My time in Akita had a profound impact on myself as an individual, on my outlook on language, and general language skills. I learned culture, language, drink party culture, took the Japan Kanji Aptitude Test (super intense), and in general did a ton of other things.
Meanwhile, I was also doing lots of free translation jobs on the side for practice.


In 2018, I made the difficult decision to quit and move onto bigger and better things in the city.


My Previous Job

In 2018, I moved to Saitama City in Saitama and got a job as an HR/ALT support worker in an ALT dispatcher company.
This meant I was half an ALT and half an HR office worker. Most of the time, I was in the office, but there were periods when I was out substitute teaching all over the Kanto region, and occasionally in Kansai and Tohoku. I’ve taught at elementary and junior high schools in Tokyo, Saitama, Gunma, Yamanashi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Nara, and Fukushima. When I was in the office, I was creating teaching materials and eventually started doing more and more in-house translation (I requested to get all the translating assignments because I love to translate).
I really enjoyed this job because I got to travel, meet many people, and level up my office and translating skills.


My entry into WOVN and the translation industry

My dream and eventual goal was always to become a translator, and WOVN granted my dream.


I found out about WOVN through the mutual friend of a current WOVN employee. The mutual friend showed me information about a WOVN open house in January 2020. Since I lived and worked all the way in Saitama, I didn’t really feel like going that far. But I decided to take a chance, grabbed my resume, and went. And I’m very glad I did. WOVN’s mission really resonated with me and I was fascinated by the international atmosphere in the company.
Long story short, here I am doing the job of my dreams.


My job in WOVN

I am a newbie member of the Localize team.


I translate web pages and documents that need human translation from Japanese into English. I also translate from English to Japanese.
I also check other team members’ translations for improving the final quality.
A big element of translation/checking work is research. In order to do good quality translation, we must comprehend the text first and the underlying meaning and intent. To do this, we must research all of the terms and concepts that we don’t know (and there are a lot of these).


I mostly use our WOVN tool for directly translating web pages, but also translate by hand or use the CAT tool.


Recently, the Localize team has been in cahoots with the ES(Enterprise Success) team. And so I’ve been helping them with UIUX checks to make sure that WOVN is working correctly on our clients’ sites and that the translations are good quality.


As an extension of translating, I’ve also been helping out with interpreting during meetings and various Zoom events. It’s stressful but super fun! I’m not that good at it yet so bear with me~!


What I like about WOVN

There are quite a few things that left a good impression on me. But most of all, I love that I am able to live my dream with awesome coworkers. While I wasn’t able to meet most of the WOVN members because of COVID-19, meeting with the Localize team daily via Zoom is a great morale booster. We always have fun conversations during morning meetings and other occasions. Teranishi san ESPECIALLY livens up the scene! He is super funny and we have the same heart for dad jokes (or do we?).


As for the other teams, I always have fun stalking people’s conversations on Slack and interacting during social functions such as Potekai and the drink parties. I very much appreciate that the company actively promotes communication and interaction between WOVN teams and members, especially in these strange times. I look forward to interacting in person again (drinking, karaoke, gaming, do all the things!).


As a whole, WOVN is a great place to work. Relaxed atmosphere but still very structured. Readily adapts new ideas and technology in order to evolve. And management greatly cares for the health and safety of the employees and actively works to improve the quality of the work environment.


On a more personal level, I just love the work itself (translation, checking, interpreting). I’m a language nerd, and love studying and learning new things. Through work, I am able to do all these things. I am able to learn more Japanese, English (and Chinese?), and learn many interesting new things while researching. I am able to do what I love.
Plus, I get to see all the hilarious translations inherent to machine translation when doing checking work, lol.
The biggest drawback, though, is that time goes by too quickly during work, leaving me feeling that I barely accomplished anything. Well, as the adage goes, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.


Sieg Zeon(WOVN)!