Working languages:
Romanian to English
Russian to English
French to English

Peter Shortall
Legal / Business / Government

United Kingdom

Native in: English Native in English
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19 positive reviews
1 rating (5.00 avg. rating)
This person has written 1 article
This person is a top KudoZ point holder in Romanian to English
User message
Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. (Samuel Johnson)
Account type Freelance translator and/or interpreter, Identity Verified Verified member
Affiliations This person is not affiliated with any business or Blue Board record at ProZ.com.
Services Translation
Expertise
Specializes in:
Business/Commerce (general)Certificates, Diplomas, Licenses, CVs
Government / PoliticsInternational Org/Dev/Coop
Law: Contract(s)Law (general)
Linguistics

KudoZ activity (PRO) PRO-level points: 1882, Questions answered: 601, Questions asked: 32
Project History 1 projects entered    1 positive feedback from outsourcers

Portfolio Sample translations submitted: 6
Glossaries French Ice Skating Terms, Random Romanian Words, Romanian Architecture Glossary, Romanian Legal Glossary, Romanian Linguistics Terms, Romanian Locks/Furniture Terms, Romanian Office Supplies/Stationery Terms
Translation education Master's degree - University of Oxford
Experience Years of experience: 15. Registered at ProZ.com: Oct 2005. Became a member: Mar 2006.
ProZ.com Certified PRO certificate(s) N/A
Credentials Romanian to English (Institute of Translation and Interpreting, verified)
French to English (Chartered Institute of Linguists, verified)
Russian to English (Chartered Institute of Linguists, verified)
French to English (University of Birmingham, verified)
Russian to English (University of Birmingham, verified)


Memberships ITI, CIOL
Software Adobe Acrobat, memoQ, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word
Articles
CV/Resume CV available upon request
Events and training
Bio

Why hire me?

These are my strong points:

Clarity A translation is only useful if it can be understood. My translations are clear and read smoothly. I bear the reader in mind and make sure my translations are easy to understand and make sense. I extract the meaning from your text and reformulate it in meaningful, concise English.

Thoroughness and research One of the most difficult aspects of translation is dealing with terminology. My extensive experience gives me a broad knowledge of terminology in the fields I work in, and I enjoy (and am good at!) finding translations of specialised terms that crop up in a text. Take a look at my KudoZ 'Questions answered' above to see examples, I'll leave you to judge how helpful other translators find my suggestions! I also take the time to look up abbreviations and add footnotes where appropriate, e.g. for cultural or country-specific concepts that require explanation, and read through my work before delivery so I can see how it will look from a reader's point of view.

Style My polished writing style suits a variety of contexts. Need a legal translation that will make sense to a lawyer or judge? Thanks to my legal studies, my professional background and the translations I have provided for law firms over the years, I am familiar with the language that jurists use and incorporate appropriate legal terminology into my work. My experience of translating news articles enables me to write in an uncluttered journalistic style. Need a website or tourism translation? I can produce elegant copy with stylish phrasing. I have regularly translated text and press releases for the websites of a Romanian telecoms company, a French sea life centre, a luxury hotel in Paris, and several French tourism offices and museums.

Want to see what my work looks like? Click the "Portfolio" tab above to see some samples.


Education & accreditation

As the translation profession is unregulated in the UK, anyone can call themselves a translator and "have a go". But sadly, translation is far more difficult than it looks! It's not simply a matter of replacing one word with another. If it were that easy, anyone with a dictionary could do the job well. And yet not anyone can, as we can see from the many poorly written translations that litter the websites of foreign institutions and companies. This is because grammar, the way in which words are used and word order vary greatly from one language to the next. The reason why machines don't translate well is that they deal in logic, whereas human language is anything but logical!

So how can you be sure your translation will be done by someone who knows what they're doing and not a dilettante? In the end, the proof of the pudding is always in the eating, but there are certain things you should look for.

Always check out a translator's background and credentials. To be able to choose the rights words in a translation, a translator needs to understand two things: the way languages work, and the realities and ideas that they are used to express. I bring both forms of understanding to the work I do, as I entered the profession after gaining a thorough grounding in languages and several years of experience in both the immigration sector and the business world (see below for details). This is my educational background:


M.St. (Distinction) General Linguistics & Comparative Philology University of Oxford (Keble)

BA French & Russian (Class I) University of Birmingham

Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Civil Litigation) Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

IoL Diploma in Translation (French-English) Chartered Institute of Linguists

IoL Diploma in Translation (Russian-English) Chartered Institute of Linguists

ITI Qualified Membership Examination for Translators (Romanian-English) Institute of Translation and Interpreting

Member (MCIL) of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Member (MITI) of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting
Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

For my Master of Studies degree course, I read linguistic theory, translation theory, and Romanian linguistics (in which I achieved a mark of 90, the mark required for a Distinction being 70) under the exacting tutelage of Professor Martin Maiden, a pre-eminent British scholar of Romanian and Fellow of the British Academy. My BA degree included a module on Romanian language and short stories, but my studies of this fascinating language began much earlier, in my mid-teens, when I was intrigued by a copy of Dennis Deletant's "Teach Yourself Romanian" on the shelves at my local bookshop and bought it on a whim. Little did I know that the language would eventually become a big part of my career and one of my life's greatest passions!



Main working fields & interests

Legal - legislation, court judgments, family law cases, ECHR cases, civil litigation, criminal law, ICC arbitration, witness statements, legal/privacy notices, legal correspondence. I hold the Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Civil Litigation) awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and am currently studying for the Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice (Family Law unit already completed).                     

Business - terms and conditions, articles of association, contracts, contract notices, tender documentation, annual reports, audit reports, AGM minutes, press releases, corporate finance, acquisitions & mergers

Certificates and personal documents - birth, marriage and death certificates, criminal record disclosure certificates, educational and professional certificates, CVs, driving licences, passports, ID cards

Social services - social services assessments for councils in child repatriation cases

News/Journalism - current affairs and news, especially business, politics and legal news

International Development - UNESCO, GAVI, GFATM, HIV/AIDS/TB/malaria prevention, immunisation, literacy, famine early warning systems, decentralised cooperation

EU - agricultural nitrate pollution, agricultural payment systems, milk quotas, carbon emission allowance trading, pensions, rural development, film preservation, electricity markets, tender procedures, pressure equipment, vehicle pollution taxes, audit strategies, import licences, French Presidency, construction and demolition waste, fire safety, railway accidents, State aid, national accounts, European Parliament petitions/questions, draft technical regulations

Pharmaceutical - patient questionnaires (including linguistic validation) and clinical trial documentation

History, Archaeology and Culture - my previous work has included publicity materials for a French WW1 museum and several French tourism offices, including one for a ski resort in the French Alps. I am a keen fan of Time Team (Channel 4) and have an AS Level in Archaeology. My course focused on religion and ritual in prehistoric Europe (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age) and archaeological skills/methods.

Sport - figure skating (British Primary Champion in 1992, British Novice Champion in 1991 and a former judge at club level), football, tennis, athletics. I have translated by-laws and correspondence for international governing bodies such as the FIM (Motorcycling), FIBV (Volleyball) and ITF (Taekwondo).


About my work

These days, much of my work involves documents for law firms preparing cases for trial. Lawyers keep coming back for my services because they appreciate my ability to produce translations they can understand and rely on in a field where clarity and attention to detail are vital. My longest-standing client is a human rights NGO staffed by lawyers, for which I have translated Russian court judgments, prosecutors' decisions and other case documents over the past 15 years.

But I'm highly experienced in other fields too, such as government, international development and international institutions. To date, I have translated over half a million words for EU institutions. Other work has included applications for funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for French-speaking and Russian-speaking countries, social services assessments for council departments in child repatriation cases, and draft legislation and regulations in EU member states, as well as associated intergovernmental correspondence. This means that I am extremely well versed in writing formal English.

In the field of academia, one of my most prestigious projects to date was the translation of several papers written by Russian historians for an international cultural conference held in 2006 at Kymenlaakso Summer University, Finland, entitled "Research and Identity: Non-Russian Peoples in the Russian Empire".

For nine years, I regularly translated articles on a wide range of subjects for an international news website covering the Maghreb (north-west Africa) region. I was also a regular translator for another news website covering former Soviet states in central Asia.

I have also acted as a translation tutor for a student enrolled on Cardiff University's MA Translation Studies programme.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): I update and improve my knowledge and skills by undertaking regular CPD: watching CIOL and ITI webinars, reading news websites and listening to news podcasts every month to keep abreast of current affairs in France, Russia, Romania and Moldova, watching films, and improving my ability to speak and write my source languages.

CAT software: I work with MemoQ, which is interoperable with Trados and many other CAT tools.


Experience outside of translation

For three years, I worked in the immigration sector for the Refugee Council, where I initially interpreted before becoming a "Dispersal Clerk" (relocation coordinator) and then a Project Worker. As a Project Worker, I advised refugees and asylum seekers on their entitlements to housing and financial support and helped them to apply to the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), besides giving advice on access to healthcare, education and legal services and liaising on clients' behalf with social services departments, solicitors, immigration authorities, community organisations and accommodation providers. Through this work, I gained an understanding of the law as it applied to asylum seekers and refugees and the legal and judicial processes that they went through in their applications to the Home Office and appeals to the Immigration Appellate Authority and Immigration Appeal Tribunal. To advise them, I had to find out what their legal status was by investigating their cases, going through their legal and court paperwork, and liaising with law firms.

My first-hand business experience was gained when I trained and worked as a corporate finance researcher at a financial service company in Manchester, which involved maintaining a database of corporate finance deals (mergers, acquisitions, IPOs etc.) involving companies in eastern Europe and former Soviet republics using information taken from stock exchange websites and business news publications. I also worked as a customer assistant for a large UK retailer for five years, mostly in a petrol station where I was responsible for processing payments, administration, maintaining forecourt safety, handling tanker deliveries, taking tank readings, replenishing stock in the shop, and reporting incidents.


PLEASE NOTE: I don't provide references from clients as I treat my relationships with clients as confidential and I am an independent contractor, not a job applicant.

Translation of documents is the only service I offer, I don't offer editing/post-editing/revision/transcription/audio translation services and don't work with machine-translated material. Please also note that I don't participate in EU or other translation tender procedures.

Keywords: EU, business, legal, human rights, international development, UNESCO, ECHR, journalism, news, history, archaeology, sport, linguistics, ice skating