Q: What languages do you translate?
A: I only translate from French into American English, never the other way around. Professional translators only translate into their native language. It is exceedingly rare for someone to be as fluent in a foreign language as in their native language, no matter how hard they study or how long they spend living in another country. Even people who can speak another language fluently usually cannot write as fluently as a native speaker.

I work with a sizeable network of trusted colleagues to provide other languages. If you need a translation for another language, contact me to discuss availability.

Q: How long does a translation take?
A: The turnaround time depends on a document’s length, how technical it is, and my availability. To give you an idea, I can usually deliver 3 full pages of single-spaced text in 1-2 business days. Feel free to e-mail me your document to get an exact turnaround time.

If you have a tight deadline to meet, let me know and I will work with you the best I can to meet your deadline while maintaining the quality of the translation.

Q: How much does a translation cost?
A: I charge by the hour, and the number of hours depends on a document’s length and how technical it is. Additional fees may apply for rush or weekend projects. If so, I will tell you before I begin translating.

Q: Do you use machine translation?
A: I never use machine translation. While it has grown quite sophisticated and can be useful to get a rough understanding of a document, machine translation is still unsuitable for most applications.

Q: I know somebody who speaks French. Why can’t I just have them translate my document?
A: Industry jargon is hard enough in one language—imagine learning it in two! Professional translators study terminology and keep abreast of their specialties. They work constantly to maintain and develop both their foreign language and their native language.

Translators must also be excellent writers, since they spend most of their day writing in their native language—and writing well in any language takes years of practice. Not every English-speaker is a good writer, just as not every bilingual is a good translator.