Frequently Asked Questions

  • Expertise: a professional translator has a limited number of specialist areas, which allow him or her to gain the in-depth knowledge needed by clients. He or she follows developments in these fields, knows the relevant terminology, reads trade publications and attends professional events (exhibitions, conferences, courses etc.).
  • Qualifications: a professional translator has a significant level of training (usually a master’s degree) and undertakes regular professional development in order to maintain his or her high standard of work.
  • Support and advice: a professional translator understands his or her clients’ requirements and concerns and will support them in achieving their aims. He or she will identify potential problems related to intercultural communication and suggest solutions adapted to their clients’ needs.

 

Like many colleagues, I am often asked to translate into English or Spanish. However, in accordance with a number of professional codes of ethics, I only translate into my native French.

Why? Because my mother tongue is the only language that I know completely: I understand its subtleties, I feel its nuances and I have exceptional knowledge of its grammar and spelling. The value of a native speaker is especially clear in cases requiring more creative skills. A translator will only be able to find the perfect turn of phrase, idiomatic expression or appropriate pun in his or her native language. It’s what makes the difference between a perfectly adequate translation and something that grabs your readers’ attention and makes a real impact.

Unfortunately not. I translate exclusively from English and Spanish to French, and I do not offer interpreting services. However, I can recommend several excellent translators and interpreters who could help.

In addition, you will find a wealth of useful information in the two following guides: