I am a native French speaker who grew up in a home where the walls were lined with books in both French and English. I read dictionaries on rainy days and grew up understanding that my French-speaking friends watched different television programs, listened to different music, and understood life in different ways than my English-speaking ones.
Even from a young age, I was good at finding the right way to say the same thing to people from both cultures in order to be heard. I understood it wasn’t just about saying the right words. It was about conveying the right message.
As a professional translator, that knowledge is still the driving force behind the work I do for my clients. Without that cultural understanding, otherwise accurate translations can fall flat for a new audience. Something doesn’t quite sound right. Some essential piece of information – the voice, the tone, the sincerity, the powerful call to action – simply isn’t getting through.
Translation can be accurate without being effective.
In my work, I strive for both.