Multilingual Connections works with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription and/or multimedia localization. Our linguists are also industry experts – some have spent years doing movie subtitling, others legal and law enforcement transcription, while others may specialize in marketing or educational translation, and more. For each new project, we assign a linguist based on native language, region, service and industry expertise.
We have a great team of linguists, but some stand out based on the exceptional quality of the work they do, their reliability and their general amazingness. The best of the best are recognized with our “Linguist of the Month” award. This month, we are excited to feature MLC’s July 2019 Linguist of the Month, Catherine. She has a background in medieval history and has done outstanding French to English translation and transcription work for Multilingual Connections.
Where are you from? Where do you live?
I was born and raised in the northwest of England (the rainy part), studied in Edinburgh (Scotland), and now live in the Eure-et-Loir département of France. It’s a quiet, agricultural area, but only 90 minutes from Paris and an hour from the Loire Valley chateaux.
Besides English, what languages do you speak and/or translate?
I work with most variants of French (you’d be surprised how many there are…). I also speak fluent toddler and know the word for duck-billed platypus in fifteen languages, which has proven to be a useful life skill.
Why and how did you become a translator?
Essentially by accident. Translating was something I’d thought about in the past, but the career counselor at my high school told me that since I hadn’t been raised bilingual, that wouldn’t be possible. (Note to any students reading this: that’s not true. AT ALL.) I studied history at university, spending my third year as an exchange student in Grenoble, France, at which point I met my French now-husband. I returned to France (Caen, this time) to complete my MSc in 2009, developing valuable research skills and improving my French along the way. Sometime after that, a friend sent me a message from a publishing company looking for translators to work on academic textbooks. They hired me for a trial project and apparently liked what they saw, which gave me the confidence to start looking for more clients.
What is something you love about translating?
I love language – the fact that a sentence is always more than the sum of its words, that you have to understand the culture behind the language to grasp the full meaning. The variety of projects I work on also means that I learn something new from every translation. Add in the benefits of freelance work in general (whenever, wherever…) and it’s pretty much my dream job!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have four kids aged 7 and under, with a fifth due in February – so they take up the vast majority of my time. I’m also, slowly but surely, working on replacing the terrifying 1970’s wallpaper in our house, which is extremely satisfying.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
“Can it wait till nap time?”
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Context, context, context. (Translators will relate!)
We thank Catherine for being such a great part of our team of linguists, and stay tuned for more behind the scenes updates from Multilingual Connections!