Oxford-based English-French translation services you can trust

Qualified and experienced linguist Amandine Lepers-Thornton MSc, MCIL, IAPTI. All your translation needs covered.

Traduction anglais-français

Traduction certifiée, littérature, business, marketing, tourisme ...

Formerly based in Edinburgh

Expert in all things Scottish.

More than just words

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23/10/2017

Amend in Style Translations is 10

Each year in late September, International Translation Day is an important event for the translation community and the chance for professional translators to celebrate their work. I had something else to celebrate last month: the 10-year anniversary of my small business Amend in Style Translations, which I set up in September 2007.
These are some of the highlights of the last decade.

2007: Choosing a name
Soon after completing my Masters in Translation, I started thinking about names for my business. I wanted something with “Translations” in it to make the services I offered clear and considered names with “French” in them for the same reason. I came up with the idea of Amend in Style Translations as people often spelled my name wrong (Amendine instead of Amandine) and I thought “Amend in style” described what translation is about – amending and working on the style of a text to adapt it to another language.

2008: Registering with a professional body
My main reasons for joining a professional association were to:
- Access networking and training opportunities
- Improve my profile for clients
- Promote high standards in the industry
I’ve been a registered professional since 2008 and am actually a member of two bodies: the Chartered Institute of Linguists & the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters.

2009: Establishing myself as a recognised translator for certified translations
With my client base increasing, I regularly got asked for translations of official documents and decided to add certified translations to my services. After checking that I met the French Consulate’s requirements, I applied to the Consulate to become a recognised translator. The process involved an interview, a check of my credentials and a specimen of my signature for legalisation before being included on their list.

2010: Teaching Translation & Interpreting
At the end of my teacher training in 2010, I realised secondary schools weren’t for me. I’d already taught at the University of Leeds so I sent out a few CVs and was offered a post to teach translation & interpreting at the University of Strathclyde, where I taught for 2 academic years. I enjoyed sharing my passion for languages, and all the rewards and challenges of being a professional translator and interpreter, with students. I even received a Teaching Excellence Award in my last year at Strathclyde. But admittedly, the commute between Edinburgh and Glasgow during the tram works wasn’t always fun!

2012: Starting a regular collaboration with a corporate client
The phone rings. “Bonjour Amandine (in French). We’re a software company based in Newcastle and we’ve used a translation agency but we’re not impressed by the translation. We want to work with a proper professional translator. I’ve had a look at your website and your profile is ideal.” It started with a trial translation and a series of short projects. 5 years later, I’ve translated hundreds of projects for that client - from emails, product descriptions, website and training material to success stories and conference agendas - and now work for 6 people in the company. It’s a great collaboration and they often tell me that they appreciate having a reliable translator who knows their field and terminology and turns around projects quickly.
More about corporate translation.

2013: Working in the Highlands for French TV
One of the biggest highlights in my career has to be taking a French production team to the Scottish Highlands on the hunt for the Loch Ness monster, visiting castles and exploring places, staying in plush (read ‘ghostly’) hotels, having a wee dram and travelling around the most scenic part of Scotland with them. But it wasn’t all fun and games and my role involved working round the clock with filming going on until 3 in the morning, running around fixing problems, maintaining diplomatic Franco-Scottish relationships and keeping the film shoot on schedule!

2014: Moving to Oxford
Moving to Oxford was a great decision and it didn’t take me too long to adapt. The move has also had a positive impact on my business as there’s more demand for language work in the South. There’s been a gradual shift in the type of work I do, with less teaching and more diverse translation work. I’ve worked on academic and cultural projects and had the opportunity to get involved with French events at the University of Oxford. This year, I also started volunteering for the Museum of Oxford.

2016: Interpreting for an international record label in London
Living so close to London has opened up new opportunities and, at the beginning of 2016, I did my first interpreting job in the music industry, a business meeting in a record label’s swish Kensington office. It was an exciting experience and regular trips to London (and easy access to France) have now become part of my professional life. Last week, I attended the London Language Show to meet with professionals from the translation and teaching industry. I was interviewed in French by Le Café du FLE - watch the video here.
More about my experience as professional interpreter.








To celebrate 10 successful years, I treated myself to an annual pass at Oxford’s Botanical garden, a great place for finding inspiration and creativity.

Here’s to the next decade!

25/07/2017

5 things to have translated to reach French customers

1. Website and blog
This could look like stating the obvious but if you already have a well-established online presence and are only targeting English-speaking customers, you're missing out. Don't just assume that English is a global language and French speakers with a basic understanding of English will be able to browse your website. Studies have repeatedly shown that customers are more likely to buy from companies who communicate with them in their own language. A high percentage of the projects I translate for regular clients are aimed at communicating with prospects through websites pages, blog posts etc. 

2. Newsletters
You've already localised the contents of your website and opened up to the French market. You've attracted French customers, with some signing up to your newsletter via the link on your website. But if your newsletter is in English, you're back to square one. There's not much point spending a lot of time creating quality copy for your newsletter if you don't make it accessible for foreign readers. The process of translating highly creative content and adapting it to a target language and culture is called "transcreation".

3. Social media contents
French people love their smartphones and tablets and spend on average 1-2 hours a day on social media, with Facebook coming top. Your competitors are already doing it and great brands go beyond having a presence on social media: they adapt their message for it to be catchy in the target language. And judging by the number of likes and followers that the companies who do it well get, this technique clearly works. Translators who specialise in digital marketing will be able to advise you on the best approach for French social media.

4. Infographics
You might think images speak louder than words, so why have an infographic translated? Surely readers can look at the pictures and symbols and figure it out? Chances are they won't even try. The copy that accompanies an infographic often contains essential information, which means your French website visitors will definitely appreciate having the information in their own language. Also, given the small number of words, infographics aren't that expensive to have translated. Why not make the most of them by making them accessible in multiple languages?

5. Feedback forms and online questionaires
Now that localisation is part of your marketing strategy and you've reached out an international base of clients and prospects, you'll probably want to know what your French customers like and want. Using customer feedback successfully is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need. Like infographics, a one-page online survey won't cost the earth and could have a big impact.

I have experience of translating all of these marketing tools and would be happy to help and advise if you're considering increasing your reach with French-language material. Just drop me a line.

03/04/2017

Brexit


Now that Article 50's been triggered, Brexit has become a reality that will affect everybody who lives in Britain, and even more so European residents in the UK and Brits with European spouses.

Are you British and married to a French citizen?
If you've been married to a French citizen for at least 4 years, you may be eligible to apply for French citizenship by marriage.
You'll find information about the process on the page of the French Consulate in London:
https://uk.ambafrance.org/Vous-souhaitez-acquerir-la-nationalite-francaise

You'll need certified translations of the English documents you'll be submitting - eg birth and marriage certificates, ACRO Subject Access Request - and you might find this section of my website useful.

I'm very happy to answer your questions about certified translations for French citizenship.


Vous êtes Français et résidez en Grande-Bretagne depuis plus de 5 ans ?
Si vous espérez garantir vos droits après la sortie de la Grande-Bretagne de l'UE, la demande d'un certificat de résidence permanente (PR) auprès du Home Office (ministère de l'intérieur britannique) est une démarche à considérer.
Vous pouvez faire votre demande sur la page suivante :
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-residence-card/permanent-residence-card

Si certaines pièces de votre dossier (lettre de mutuelle, acte de mariage, justificatifs de domicile etc) sont en français, vous aurez besoin d'une traduction certifiée. Quand vous aurez reçu votre carte de résident permanent, vous pourrez demander la nationalité britannique :
https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply

Si vous avez des questions sur les traductions certifiées pour l'acquisition de la nationalité britannique ou pour la demande de carte de résidence permanente, n'hésitez pas à me contacter.

27/02/2017

Bien préparer ses études en Grande-Bretagne

J'ai la chance de vivre à Oxford, une ville britannique renommée pour la beauté de son architecture mais surtout pour sa prestigieuse université composée de 38 collèges.


Avec plus de 150 universités, des universités traditionnelles aux campus universitaires modernes, la Grande-Bretagne a la cote auprès des étudiants étrangers, qui sont souvent attirés par la richesse de sa culture, la souplesse de son système éducatif et ses paysages verdoyants.

Petit tour d'horizon si l'aventure vous tente et que vous souhaitez poursuivre vos études en Grande-Bretagne :
- Undergraduate/Postgraduate : le diplôme undergraduate, d'une durée de 3 à 4 ans, permet d'obtenir un Bachelor's Degree (BA pour Bachelor of Arts ou BSc pour Bachelor of Science), ce qui correspond à la Licence française. Le diplôme postgraduate se prépare en 1 à 2 ans ; il s'agit généralement d'un Master (MA pour Master of Arts ou MSc pour Master of Science). Il est ensuite possible de poursuivre un doctorat ou PhD, généralement en 3 ans après le Master.
- Choix d'université : vous pouvez opter pour une université dans une ville qui vous plaît ou faire votre choix en fonction des cursus proposés par l'établissement, à savoir qu'en Grande-Bretagne, certaines universités sont réputées pour les études scientifiques, de langue / de droit etc
- Différences culturelles : le nombre d'heures de cours est nettement moins important en Grande-Bretagne qu'en France, surtout en première année. Les universités proposent généralement des clubs et activités diverses, ce qui donne l'occasion de rencontrer d'autres étudiants, car souvent les étudiants britanniques étudient loin de leur région et ne rentrent chez eux que pour les vacances et week-ends de 3 ou 4 jours.
- Coût de la vie : si la plupart des campus sont dynamiques et modernes, certains avec d'excellents services et aménagements, une salle de sport etc, cela a un coût. En effet, les frais d'inscription peuvent atteindre 9 000 livres sterling par an, auxquels s'ajouteront des frais annuels (loyer, courses, factures, transport ...) avoisinant les 10 à 15 000 livres par an. En Écosse, les frais d'inscription pour les études undergraduate sont gratuits pour les étudiants européens. Les études postgraduate varient d'une université à une autre mais coûtent généralement plus que les études undergraduate. C'est un élément à prendre en compte au moment de faire son choix, sachant que les loyers à Londres, dans le sud de l'Angleterre et dans les grandes villes risquent d'être bien plus élevés qu'au nord du pays et en Écosse ou au Pays de Galles.
- Démarches administratives : la première étape consiste à aller sur le site de l'université qui vous tente pour vous renseigner sur les démarches d'inscription. Dans tous les cas, vous aurez besoin de traductions certifiées de vos diplômes français. Il n'est normalement pas nécessaire de se déplacer pour déposer un dossier, la plupart des universités ayant un système d'"online applications", mais si vous en avez la possibilité, ce n'est pas une mauvaise idée de visiter l'université de votre choix pour mieux préparer votre installation et séjour.

Quel que soit le parcours vers lequel vous vous orientez, c'est une aventure très enrichissante à plein de niveaux et qui améliorera vos perspectives de carrière, comme le montre cet article :
Les diplômés ayant passé du temps à l’étranger trouvent plus vite un emploi

Why choose me

Professional linguist with 13 years' experience
Translator, teacher & interpreter since 2004
Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Member of the International Association of Professional Translators & Interpreters

Translation experience
Certified translation of official documents:
- birth/marriage/divorce certificates
- diplomas, transcripts & references
- legal/medical/insurance documents
Academic articles/literary essays
Business/marketing communications
CRM software

Interpreting experience
Court hearings
Medical and work-related
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010
Arts/cultural events
'Fixer' for French TV

Teaching experience
Language assistant at prestigious Fettes College
Teacher at 3 leading UK universities
Organised a T&I workshop

Qualifications
First degree in English Studies
MSc in Translation Studies
Professional Graduate Diploma In Secondary Education (French & Spanish)