French

My education in French has been rich in discovering the fundamental cultural phenomena of France, from politics and media to alcohol and tobacco use. The first linguistic immersion in France may well have been in the Alps, but it was a vital chance to draw knowledge from the local culture.
University brought a deeper study of the nuances of the French language and Francophone culture.

My education specific to France included studying the variation of the French language across the country, and examining the subtle differences in the French spoken in Brittany to that in the Basque Country, for instance.

I also looked at the historical changes in language policy in France, from the oppression to the renaissance of regional languages.

Another module analysed language change in French – how the language has evolved over the great many centuries since its emergence from Latin.

What’s this got to do with translation? French language documents can be written in different dialects or archaic styles. They may contain informal, colloquial language, which isn’t something that is taught as standard. My experience with the French language has equipped me with the skills to tackle a wider range of content that might otherwise be lost in translation.

Place du Capitole, Toulouse

Place du Capitole, Toulouse


The medieval fortress in Carcassonne

The medieval fortress in Carcassonne


Biarritz, French Basque Country

Biarritz, French Basque Country


Overlooking central Lyon

Overlooking central Lyon


At university, I organised a visit for Modern Languages students to linguistically-diverse Brussels, but a more substantial period of time in a French-speaking area came when I lived in Toulouse for a year and worked as an English language assistant in a secondary school in the suburb of Blagnac, home to Toulouse Airport and Airbus’s manufacturing site.
Toulouse presented an opportunity to discover the culturally-rich South West of France, where I researched and composed a project on the decline of the Occitan language in the city, whilst gaining invaluable linguistic experience and skills. La Ville Rose, as Toulouse is known, also served as a base to discover cities including Lyon, Paris, Geneva, Le Mans, Montpellier and Carcassonne.

What’s this got to do with translation? Only by living in a country where the language is spoken natively and travelling extensively to its diverse corners can one truly gain fluency and an understanding of what is meant, not just what is said or written, empowering me as your translator to read between the lines.

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