Fond of statistics? Since January 2008, when I started keeping records, I have translated 747,554 words from French to English, 174,282 words from Spanish to English and 42,324 words from English into French. I have also proofread or edited 468,850 words in English from translations made by other people from texts whose source language was either French, Spanish, German or Italian. Moreover, 390,012 of these words were donated to charity organizations. In addition, I have edited books and articles written in English by English natives, adding a further 493,138 words to my count.
Speakers of English, French and Spanish are found around the world, and they each have their local accents. There are variations of spelling among English used in North America and Europe. There are variations of punctuation among English, French and Spanish.
Perhaps due to a general misunderstanding about all these variations of accents, many translation agencies ask me “What kind of English do you translate into? Is it UK English, is it USA English, or is it Canadian English?” My answer? “Well, what do you need? Who is your audience? I can localize the target text for the type of English your audience needs.” Then they ask me if I translate French from France, or French Canadian, or “Belgian” French, or “Swiss” French? Here again I answer “All of those, plus I have experience with “African” French, “Indian Ocean” French, “Caribbean” French...whatever you need. I make it my business to learn variants of language” “OK, so Spanish from Spain or Latin American Spanish?” “I will give you a similar answer: I have experience in a number of country-specific Spanish variations.”
The only accent that has me stumped - I admit - is Swiss German. I studied German for six years full time and I still can't understand Swiss German, even though I worked in Southern Germany right near the Swiss border for a few months (and consequently got use to the Swabian accent). However, I am told Germans themselves can't understand Swiss German either, so that makes me feel a little better!
How is it that I can understand all these types of English, French and Spanish? Well, the simple answer is because I have lived, studied or travelled in all of these places. When I travel, when I work, when I study, I meet local people, I ask questions, I listen. If you would like to know just where I have travelled, you can find a list of countries on this page
To give you an illustration of which English-, French- and Spanish-speaking countries my past clients have come from, I have compiled a list. Perhaps this will give you an idea of my versatility:
I have translated and/or interpreted from French or Spanish into English and from English into French or Spanish for English-speaking clients in or from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA;
I have also translated and/or interpreted from French to English and from English into French for French-speaking clients in or from Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, France, French Polynesia, Gabon, Haiti, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia, Switzerland and Tunisia.
Furthermore, I have translated and/or interpreted from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish for Spanish-speaking clients in or from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela, in addition to clients from Portugal and Brazil when Spanish was used as the common language.