I translate primarily art-related documents from French to English GEORGES FOLMER / The Louvre / Prince Michael of Greece / James H D BrownPIERRETTE BLOCH Compagnie Thomas Duchatelet (contemporary dance) / Robert Houle / Sergio Vega / Claire Morgan / Sciences Politques Paris / The Sorbonne / Louise Bourgeois / Serge Lemoine  / Elfriede Jelinek / Agnès Poujol / E. Studler & Vincent M. / BERNARD DE VIENNE / CLAIRE BOUSTANI Maurice Denis / Campredon Art Centre L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue /  Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Étienne Métropole / R.V. Gindertael   / MUSÉE D’ORSAY /  DENIS GUERMONPREZ / HERVÉ JOUBEAUX / DOMITILLE D’ORGEVAL / Robert Florentin / Traducteo Delacroix ursula grüber translation agency / Lucio Fontana / Disneyland Paris / Jacques Henri Lartique / Elle / Victor Vasarely / Karsten Greve…

Translation from French to English

My backgroundContact Me

Click on any title to jump to a topic, or simply scroll down the page.

please move your mouse over the image to see the project title and click for more detail

How much does translation cost?…

each project is unique: numbers please

PRice range

In Euro cents per French word.

0.10 for a basic document or book-length project

0.18 = my most common rate

0.26 cents per word (in French) for an urgent or very complicated project

*

The majority of my translation projects are approximately 350 to 2500 words.

currency & taxes?

  • Payment is made by bank transfer in Euros.
  • My rates reflect the current market prices in Paris, where I live. Based on the translator’s union survey sft.fr.
  • The quoted rate includes all state fees in France.
  • I pay 23% of each invoice quarterly.
  • I am not required to charge VAT.
  • The number of words in the final document in English does not affect the rate.

How much does copy editing

or proofreading cost?

each project is unique: Numbers Please.

The Writing

All of the following factors determine the amount of time the job will take, and therefore the rate.

  1. Style, grammar, use of vocabulary.
  2. Are there issues of clarity…?
  3. Is the author available for discussion.

Rates

0.03 to 0.11 € per word

Price range

0.06 € per word is the most common rate

0.03 € per word if there are very few changes to be made

0.11 € per word? Yes. This is very rare. However, it is applicable if the original needs a great deal of work.

Nota bene

I cannot give a quote on something that has not been written. Each project is unique.

5 Client reviews

Please click on the orange + to read more. Click again to close.

For over a year Shena worked very conscientiously on this highly demanding project. The end result of her efforts is the English-language version of our book. (...) The Folmer Committee wishes to express its absolute satisfaction with her work.
We are pleased to comment on Shena Wilson’s excellent translation of a ‘Catalogue raisonné’ of painter Georges Folmer’s career (1895-1977) which was published in March 2015 – 320p. Publisher: Illustria-Librairie des Musées.

The book contains articles by several qualified museum curators, a Sorbonne emeritus professor, and other art historians. For over a year Shena worked very conscientiously on this highly demanding project. The end result of her efforts is the English-language version of our book. It is available in all of the FNAC bookstores in France, and in London and New-York at Waterhouse & Dodd, and in New York City via st @ luxgatewaycom  Toll-Free + 844-592-9998.

The Folmer Committee wishes to express its absolute satisfaction with her work.

Shena was able to infuse my English with exactitude and simplicity. (...) Therefore, I highly recommend her.
Throughout my career I have had to write various documents in English, even though English is not my first language. Such was the case with the article I asked Shena to correct. I am an historian, and the document entailed a comparative and detailed account of how certain types of crimes were reported, tried and punished in ancient Alexandria and the chora in Egypt.

Shena was able to infuse my English with exactitude and simplicity. The changes she made included comments and questions in the margin that helped me understand certain modifications, and even to identify minor issues in some sections. I was able to apply these, and improve my final draft.

Therefore, I highly recommend her.

Anne-Emannuelle Veïsse, Assistant Professor

Anthropology and History of the Ancient World

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Shena Wilson is indeed familiar with the art world, but more importantly she does not settle for approximations: her translated text is truly ready for publication.
English is everywhere. There is little doubt that Anglophones enjoy reading things in ‘Shakespeare’s language’ that are readable, smooth and idiomatic.

Shena Wilson is indeed familiar with the art world, but more importantly she does not settle for approximations: her translated text is truly ready for publication.

We have all read translations in our own languages that are very carelessly done, or perhaps inappropriate for their audience or reader. We sense a lack of coherence or style; we notice strange misinterpretations; or unsuitable vocabulary.

Shena asks pertinent questions, and she engineers her writing so that it is completely rid of unwanted residue.

This is not a simple act of transference from one language to another; it truly is a modern, forward-thinking, “re-write”. The words really mean something to the reader, so they feel compelled to read the entire piece! This is essential.

Pierre Vasarely, President, La Fondation Vasarely

I immediately saw a difference between the first copy edit, (...) Shena's comments were precious and precise: and the selection committee readily accepted my article for the magazine. (...) Working as would a fine jewellery maker, she even had all of it ready within the required timeframe!
I contacted Shena to have an article about Austrian literature re-read, or ‘copy edited’. It was written in English and the document had already been corrected once, so it was essentially a matter of ensuring that the words flowed well and it sounded more natural. I immediately saw a difference between the first copy edit, which had been done by a non-native speaker.

Shena’s comments were precious and precise: and the selection committee readily accepted my article for the magazine. Shena was even kind enough to call me to talk over specific sections and consider various versions with me. Working as would a fine jewellery maker, she even had all of it ready within the required timeframe!

S.N. – independant author & academic

As an anglophone myself, I feel I am in a good position to evaluate the quality of Shena's work. (...) What Shena wrote (in her English translation of my website) 'sounds' just right.
I contacted Shena to get my future website translated into English.

As an anglophone myself, I feel I am in a good position to evaluate the quality of Shena’s work. I find that one of her greatest assets is her ability to ensure that the finished translation does not remain “contaminated” by the French (this is not something I manage to do, which is why I called upon her skills).

What Shena wrote ‘sounds’ just right.  Also, before she started the job, she asked me about my context and audience, which helped her find the most appropriate expressions for the reader.

Margaret Dickason-Clar – Lactation Consultant IBCLC – Yvelines Allaitement

translation? what do you (really) do?

Generally speaking, translation means reading words in one language & re-writing them in another.

The final product must be precise, clear and highly readable for the native Anglophone.

  • Time? This means taking the time required to improve and refine any potentially distracting or foreign-sounding sentence structures or imprecise words: both of which are easily carried over from the original ‘source’ language into a new document. My language skills and professional background have provided me with everything I need to produce a readable and exact English-language document.
  • Topics? I have had the opportunity to work on everything from recipes to environmental engineering. However, I enjoy making good use of my personal and professional ties to the worlds of dance, theatre and literature, and I almost exclusively work on Arts-related projects.
  • My day? The majority of my workday is filled with translation work. Most of it is freelance, and I am usually in direct contact with the author, or client.

NB: I refer enquiries about projects that discuss medicine, law, engineering, and finance to colleagues who are specialists in these fields. They do the same: we share our knowledge and talents.

A good translator is:

Knowledgeable. Creative.

The translator’s ultimate goal is to offer the reader a clear and “echo-free” document. The message must be clear, the vocabulary and syntax natural.

  • proficient in both languages 100%
  • familiar with the subject matter 100%
  • a careful & skilled researcher 100%
  • knowledgable about the target culture & audience 100%
  • able to maintain tone & style 100%
Each language carries a culture, or perhaps several cultures, along with it. Language use is a window into how each of us perceives the world.

Message, style, tone and jargon seep invisibly into a good translation. The reader should never suspect that they are reading a translation.

Save time, save money

Best practice tips & suggestions when preparing a document

for translation or copy editing:

  • make sure you are submitting the final draft

Any and all changes or additions or deletions will indeed take additional time once the project has already begun.

Therefore, they will be added into the original quote, and charged for accordingly: a per word rate, as well as an hourly rate for numerous modifications.

  • when possible, the author should write in their mother tongue, or in another well-mastered language

If the author has great difficulty writing in English, the document can be very difficult to understand. It is better to have that document fully translated directly from the other language into English. This will be less costly, and more precise and satisfying.

  • submit only the essential portions for translation or copy editing

If you do not need it in English, do not include it with the materials.

Or, if you want to submit it for information purposes be sure to clearly highlight the sections that are not required for your project.

  • remember to submit your document in the simplest possible format: Word, or an equivalent

The quote for translation or copy editing does not include the extra hours required to do copy typing, data (re)-entry, or elaborate design work or formatting, etc... The minimum rate per hour for this type of ‘design work’ is 100€ in addition to the job quote.

Do you have a question?

Would you like a quote for your project?

I read my email messages frequently.  I will usually answer you on the same business day.  – Thank you –

Your quote

19 Frequently asked questions

Source language?

For me, the source language is French.

How much per word?

For a book-length or very large project the rate is lower. The price range for standard length translation  .12 to .25 Euros per source word. For more details click here. A page of 250 words can cost from 30€ to about 63€.

Target Language?

For me, the target languge is English.

Do you translate any subject?

No. My background is ‘Arts & Academia’. Most translators have a specialty. I have worked on a wide range of subjects, however I do not translate highly specialised medical or legal documents. My colleagues do. We exchange work, we share our talents.

Why ONLY French to English?

English is my maternal language. I always work towards English because I can revise every detail. This is how most translators work.

Why not charge 'per page'?

Because a page is not a reliable quantity. It is unfair to charge per page. There are anywhere from 200 to 500 or more words on a page depending on margins, spaces, and fonts. 

details, & changes...?

Once the translation has begun, any modifications to the original document will be invoiced in addition to the quoted rate.

Format / software?

 I work on documents in Word (in .docx or a similar software programme). Other formats are time consuming. My rate increases accordingly.

Speed?

I can translate 1500 to 3000 words per day. This depends entirely on the writing in the original document.

Deadline?

If we agree to work together, I will meet the deadline.

The rate for an urgent job increases accordingly.

What is Interpreting?

An interpreter works with spoken words, a translator works with written words. Simultaneous interpreting is when the interpreter translates seconds after the speaker, or at the same time. This is usually done in a booth.

Do you do interpreting?

Well… I have done some interpreting in the past. However, I really prefer to send this type of work to my colleagues.

What is 'copy editing'?

To copy edit means to correct syntax and spelling, and sometimes style for clarity. The copy editor’s job is to correct errors, and enhance overall message, but never to alter the content or the meaning.

Do you use Trados?

No. Trados is useful for certain types of translations. Most of my work is ‘poetic’ or abstract, so the same terms or ideas do not always apply identically. For my purposes, automated help can generate more work in the long run…

Do you work with agencies?

Yes. I work with agencies, but the majority of my work is freelance, which means I am in direct contact with the client/author. In France, I am considered a micro entreprise. I pay taxes and state fees via Urssaf using a quarterly revenue declaration system.

project size?

For a large project of 8,000 words or more, I request partial payment when we begin.

A payment schedule is included on the quote and the invoice.

Which type of English?

I am Canadian, and I habitually spell words just as I learned them in school in Anglophone Canada… In other words: I use British spelling.

Upon request, I can produce a document using British, American, or any other type of standard English-language spelling. It is your choice. It depends on who is most likely to read your document.

Where are you From?

I’m from the Canadian prairies: I lived in Toronto for many years. I also studied and lived in a few cities in France: Nogent-sur-Seine near Troyes; in a village near Toulon; in Marseilles…. And, thanks to luck and timely opportunities, I took part in some University of Toronto exchange programmes: first to study (Aix-en-Provence); then to teach (Nice), and then later on, to write (Paris). Currently, I live in Paris.

Automated translation?

Google translate? Folks love to ask me about Google translate, Linguee, Reverso etc. These are useful. They are improving. But they are a tools, not people. — In Paris, I see  daily examples of people who have used automated translators for their English-language signs, menus etc. Some of the results are cute or very funny (kinky even!); some are just incorrect; and most are simply okay for awkwardly worded information. That’s all.