Meet our member Sarah Bowtell!

Name: Sarah Bowtell
Services offered:
Language combination(s):
French/Arabic to English
Travel and tourism, education
Witham, Essex
Contact info:

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

I graduated with a degree in French and Arabic in 2014, which included a fantastic year abroad in Jordan. I then spent a year as an English language assistant in the wonderful Champagne-Ardennes region of France. Job opportunities led me to the luxury travel industry followed by the education sector where I did a lot of work with international students. I decided languages had been on the fringes of my career for too long and I wanted to return to using them in my main work, so in 2021 I completed my MA Translation Studies. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed using the skills I’ve developed over the last eight years in my translation work.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I offer translation services from French and Arabic into English with a focus on content in the fields of travel and tourism as well as education. I’m particularly interested in marketing texts like website content, blogs and social media posts. I’m also currently building my knowledge in the field of finance. As a self-professed maths geek, it’s always been something I’m interested in and I’m hoping to be able to take on some finance translation work soon.

What makes you stand out?

I think I’m just really friendly! I always try to connect with the people I work with, whether that’s clients, project managers or other colleagues and I love to hear people’s life stories. As well as being personable though, I’m reliable, realistic and client focused. I see translations as a joint venture, where the client is trusting me with their content and it’s my responsibility (and joy!) to bring that content to the English-speaking audience in a culturally sensitive way.

What do you like most about your job?

I’m still fairly new to calling myself a translator but so far I love the supportiveness of other translators (especially the ITI East Anglia network!). I also really enjoy getting to learn new things all the time, whether that’s through terminology research or meeting people from all walks of life.

What do you do when you’re not working?

With a baby and a dog, there is always plenty to do outside work. I love going for a long walk as a family followed by coffee or lunch. I’m also a member of Essex Bootcamp, an exercise class where we train in all weathers so it’s really fun to try and get out and train as much as possible even on dark winter nights. When I can, I also try to fit in a spot of ballroom dancing as it’s a great way to relax and learn a new skill. 

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

For me, it has to be Maldon. I must have walked around Promenade Park hundreds of times (and run it a few times now too since starting the park run) but the view across the Blackwater Estuary looking up to St Mary’s Church and across to the Thames barges never ceases to delight me. The high street also has a great collection of cafés, tea rooms and independent shops like Maldon Books.