I have been a translator for the past forty years, in combination with administrative roles until the year 2000 when I became a professional freelance translator. I translate solely from French into English; I do speak some Spanish but not to professional level.
I have always been fascinated by how things work and so it will come as no surprise that my penchant is for technical translations. In my early translating days I worked for a company in the South of France which was an agent for a wide range of marine equipment. This set me on my path to translating specifications and user manuals for the equipment we imported and although I have moved on largely from the marine industry into more general engineering applications, I still translate huge numbers of this type of document.
Professional freelance translator
A spell working for the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) in London in the 1990s opened my eyes to many environmental issues, including sustainable development, the global food chain and access to water for all. My husband and I moved to France in 2000, when I became a freelance translator. We lived in France for several years and here I gradually expanded my specialist subjects to include energy, firstly nuclear and more recently renewable, climate change, biodiversity and waste management. Agriculture and horticulture are two more subjects dear to my heart and having been asked specifically by one client to invest in the necessary resources and learning, I have also become proficient in watchmaking translations.
I work for several agencies in France and Belgium and some direct clients, including Hypred in France, IFFD (Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable) in Quebec City and the World Cocoa Foundation in Ghana. I have been translating the Guides to the Negotiations for the UN Climate Change conferences since 2010, and more recently the conferences on Biodiversity and Desertification. I also translated the final report of the Urban Parks Study on behalf of the Irish Mid-West Regional Authority (part of the EU-funded Park Atlantic project) in 2012.
Although I live in Ireland, I was born and brought up in England. I left school in 1968 and crossed the Atlantic to attend McGill University in Montreal. I graduated from McGill with a BA in 1971 and returned to England where I studied business French and interpreting at what is now Oxford Brookes University. I was clearly not cut out to be an interpreter and so when I moved to France in 1972 I focused on translation.
In 1999, I decided to “go back to school” and study for a Diploma in Translation. I attended evening courses at City University in London and achieved my Diploma awarded by the Chartered Institute of Linguists with Merit in the Technical Paper. I have subsequently become a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists in the UK (MCIL). Following my move to Ireland in 2008, I sat the exam for the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association, successfully achieving professional membership in 2010 (MITIA).
Of course I have systems to assist me in error avoidance. Details of which may be found here.