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Q. Wait, you’re Chinese and you translate French?
Yes! I was born in the U.S. and hold degrees in French and translation. Just as importantly, I’ve spent time living in French-speaking countries. It’s the best way to get to know not only the language but the cultures that influence it.
Q. What types of things do you translate?
I translate written documents from French into English. I’m not an interpreter because I don’t work with spoken French, and I follow best practices by translating only into my native language of English. If you need translation or interpretation into French (or another language), I can refer you to someone. Just ask.
Q. So you can translate any kind of document?
Well, just the French ones. And I specialize in the food industry and associated areas. The food-related translations I’ve done range from market research reports to cooking school manuals to industrial recipes for gourmet chocolate shops to a website for a specialty flour mill.
I also translate more general texts, including a lot of birth certificates, diplomas, and transcripts for individuals looking for certified translations.
Q. What are your qualifications?
I’m certified by the American Translators Association, hold a bachelor’s in French and a master’s in translation, and have been working in translation since 2006. On an unrelated note, I’m two courses shy of a math degree and love crunching numbers.
I specialize in the food industry not only because I worked in restaurants from the age of 3 (no, that’s not a typo) until my mid-20s, but also because I’m self-educated in a range of food industry topics, including food processing, food safety, agriculture, nutrition, and cooking.
Q. How much do you charge?
Personal documents (birth certificates, transcripts, diplomas, etc.) are a flat $75 per page and include a Certificate of Translation upon request at no additional cost.
Otherwise, it’s $0.30–$0.35 per word for documents in editable Word format and $50–$75 per hour for documents in other formats. My minimum charge is $50.
Q. Are you expensive?
If price is your only consideration, there are cheaper translators out there. But if you have a high-profile project and the translation will be read by lots of people, it’s more costly to cut corners on translation. Otherwise, you’re throwing away the money you’re spending on the rest of your project.
Q. How did you get into translation?
Serendipity. After graduating with a degree in French, I took a year off to work managing a restaurant and to decide what I wanted to do with my life. During that time, I met a graduate student of mathematics at Dartmouth College who discovered I had a background in both math and French and asked me to translate a 50-page research paper by an 18th-century Swiss mathematician. It was my first foray into translation as a career, and the very next year I began my master’s degree in translation.
Q. What happens once my translation starts?
First, I may ask you for background information on the document and project, any previous translations you have on hand, and what the purpose and desired impact of your translation are. These can all influence the final product.
After that, you won’t hear from me unless I have questions or until the translation is done. Of course, I’m around and available if you have questions or just want to check in.
Q: What if I want to make changes to the translation?
No problem. I’ll work with you to revise the translation until you’re happy with it.
This is a centralized calendar of upcoming food industry events taking place in Europe and North America. I maintain it as a courtesy to my clients and colleagues. I hope to see you at one soon, COVID willing!
Last updated: October 19, 2021