The tricky way to translation

Or how I became a translator

1. An urge

When I started high school, I had in mind to become a translator. I attended History classes in English which we called “European section”, gaining a very thorough knowledge in English. My path changed direction quite soon, but the skills remained.

2. A book

« The Lord of the Rings », by J.R.R. Tolkien, was the first book I read in English. I knew the French version by heart, but this was a complete rediscovery. I understood that a translation is an interpretation, and that it has to be the most accurate. Not to betray the author, one must convey the slightest laugh with just the right tone.

3. A discovery

At the time, in France, when someone spoke about Japanese animation, they would be referring to cartoons for children. Many of those series could only be found on the web, with subtitles made by fans, for the fans. I developed my skills by translating English subtitles, along with a team of volunteers trying to produce a quality fansub, in order to reveal these real gems of japanimation.

4. A job

English practice has to be an everyday process. As a bilingual guide at the Historial, Museum of the Great War in Péronne (80), I worked along with the many British people visiting the battlefields of the Somme. There, I expanded my practice, improved my vocabulary, my knowledge and I discovered a genuine interest for the First World War and its international players.

5. A meeting

In 2011, I met Peter Barton, a British historian, specialised in the First World War and particularly the battle of the Somme. A great project was in motion: the excavation of a former battlefield. The team was international, but mostly English-speaking. For people close to me, I started translating available information on the La Boisselle Study Group website and, one thing leading to another, I offered them my service. They agreed, they relied on me. They keep on doing it.