Differences in Business Culture – UK vs. France

Even though we’re only about 21 miles apart at the shortest point of the English Channel, France can sometimes feel like a world apart from the UK. Stereotyping both parties is almost too easy – The French think that the British drop everything to drink tea at 5 pm, while the Brits think that the French drop everything to go on strike…well, whenever they please!  Continue reading

Why you should get your business documents professionally translated

Professional translation of business documents

Working with businesses in translation is great, because you get to build up a personal relationship and sometimes even see the direct result of your work. However, when someone who is unfamiliar with foreign languages needs the services of a translator, more time is required to explain the process and ensure that they know what to expect.

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Can some “untranslatable” words be translated after all?

Lego

If you love languages like me, then you love coming across articles featuring “untranslatable words” or “foreign words that you’ll wish we had in English.” The bone of contention among translators and other linguists is that words like these are, of course, not actually untranslatable – you just may not be able to do a neat 1:1 substitution. You might need a few extra sentences to explain it, or perhaps you might leave it untranslated.

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French False Friends: 10 words to look out for as a tourist in France

Photo of Eiffel Tower statues. Copyright Edward Borlase

Photo credit: Edward Borlase

Ahh, false friends: the bane of any languages student’s life – as well as being rather annoying for translators and travellers alike. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of a language, you come across a word that looks exactly like an English word. Brilliant, you think – and then, you find out later, that it wasn’t at all the word that you thought it was.

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An introduction to theatre captioning

Photo of Theatre Script. Copyright Natalie Soper 2015

Captioning, and in particular theatre captioning, is not necessarily directly related to translation – it tends to be used to provide access to audience members who are hard of hearing. Captioning is different to video subtitling and opera surtitles (which often do have an element of translation), as captions give extra information, such as indicating who is speaking as well as sound effects, in order to give the best experience to the viewer who may not be able to hear these aspects otherwise.

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5 things that freelancers should know about agencies (from someone who’s worked in both)


It’s the ultimate dream to be your own boss, but with it comes great responsibility: not only are you managing and motivating yourself, but you have to seek your own income, do your own taxes, not forgetting to put money aside for retirement….and on top of that, any sick leave or holiday that you take all adds up to time where you’re not earning.

It should come to no surprise, then, that if a freelancer in any profession feels like their time is being wasted, they may get a little….shirty.

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My route to becoming a freelance translator

(What do you mean, you don’t remember asking for my life story?)

Colca Canyon, Peru. © Natalie Soper, 2015

My name is Natalie, and I am a freelance translator.

It still feels weird to say to people “I’m a freelancer” “I work from home” or “I own my own business” – but I am slowly getting used to this relatively new path in my life. Maybe one day I’ll be able to swagger into a room and flick business cards at people, one-handed, like a magician, but I’m not quite there yet (and sadly, I haven’t found any marketing training that teaches business-card-tricks).

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