With a mother who studied at the Lycée Français in London, a father with an in-depth knowledge of Latin and Ancient Greek and a grandmother who was an English and Speech & Drama teacher, language has always been a major part of my life. I grew up surrounded by books and with a real love of words. My passion for languages was encouraged by my A-level studies, when I was the only student in my year to take German. Going on to the University of Reading, I initially chose to study English with German as a subsidiary, but I enjoyed German so much that I changed over to German alone at the end of my first year.
The third year of my degree was a major influence on my decision to become a translator. Studying at the University of Trier, near Luxembourg, I was one of the few English students placed in a house with a German student, rather than in halls with the other non-native German speakers. Immersed in the language from day one, I was dreaming in German by the end of the year! My proximity to Luxembourg also gave me a chance to practice my French.
After studying a wide range of authors in native-level seminars in Trier, including my favourite German author, Thomas Mann, I returned for my final year at Reading, which included a course in technical translation. I enjoyed the class very much and decided to apply for an in-house translation position during my final examinations. To my delight, I gained a First Class degree and was offered the position of German-English translator at Surrey Translation Bureau (STB), starting in August 2001 (1 month after my graduation).
Over the 4 years I spent at STB, I developed my translation skills in many different areas, including small French and Dutch to English translations. Self-taught in TRADOS, I used the programme to translate German-English and to proofread US English-UK English. I encountered a vast range of texts for translation, varying from annual accounts to marriage certificates to a 200-page fishing catalogue, with my total wordcount nearing the 4-million mark.
The experience and contacts I gained over the 4 years encouraged me to go freelance at the end of 2005. Having purchased TRADOS and Wordfast, I am now highly experienced in CAT tool usage.
I got married in 2010 and my daughter Chloe was born in 2011. She now goes to nursery 5 mornings a week, so these are my core working hours (8.30-12.30, Mon-Fri), with evening and weekend work optional if necessary - please get in touch with your deadline requirements and I will do my best to accommodate them.