Meet our member Sarah Bowtell!

Name: Sarah Bowtell
Services offered:
Translation
Language combination(s):
French/Arabic to English
Specialisms:
Travel and tourism, education
Location:
Witham, Essex
Website:
www.ztranslations.co.uk
Contact info:
sarah@ztranslations.co.uk

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.

Meet our member Roger Rayner!

Name: Roger Rayner
Services offered:
Translation & MTPE
Language combination(s):
German/French to English
Specialisms:
Music, Art, Architecture, Travel and Tourism, Culinary, Automotive
Location:
Norwich, East Anglia
Website: www.languistory.com
Contact info:
roger@languistory.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

As a translator involved for many years in the arts, especially music, and as a traveller, I now communicate through words instead of music in order to bring these subjects to a wider international readership. My specialist knowledge and language skills guarantee translations that endorse the authority of the original author. I also offer experience in automotive translation especially diesel engines and tracked vehicles; I further offer well developed skills in MTPE.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

Translation of documents, academic papers, biographies, film scripts, new products, including snow groomers…

My specialisms include music, architecture, art/literary, tourism and travel, culinary, automotive translation.

MTPE

What makes you stand out?

My lifelong experience of language use hopes to guarantee accuracy and punctuality along with the willingness to perform an extra service if I can. I aim to help with culturally adapted material especially in architecture, art, classical music and travel. My training in two completely different performance traditions alongside my knowledge and experience as a traveller maybe enables me to bring a particular insight into European cultures.

What do you like most about your job?

There’s a lot of pleasure in searching for exactly the right term to match the source, at the same time keeping the tone and register in mind. Even texts that might at first produce just a slight groan turn out far more interesting than at first glance; and there is so much to be learnt from pieces even on familiar subjects. It is good to be able to work at the moments when my concentration is at its best (early morning, to my own surprise) and to be alone!

What do you do when you’re not working?

Walking is my favourite way of leaving everything behind, and I love going to the theatre and concerts, especially events such as plays, opera and ballet where I don’t know enough to be too critical. Radio comedy has always been a great way to unwind, and I am addicted to Just a Minute – now wonderfully chaired by Sue Perkins, herself a brilliant player.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

Thetford Forest, where my parents took me as far back as I can remember. It made me love pine trees particularly, which are very much a feature of the Fichtelgebirge, the first place I visited in Germany.

Meet our member Alanah Reynor!

Name: Alanah Reynor
Service(s) offered:
Translation & Writing
Language combination(s):
Dutch, French & Spanish to English
Specialism(s):
Marketing & Business
Location:
Namur, Belgium
Website:
www.alanah-reynor.com         
Contact info:
alanah@alanah-reynor.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

Between my Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting and my Master’s degree in Conference Interpreting, I spent three years in France teaching English and learning about my students’ varied disciplines. Once I completed my postgraduate, however, I decided it was time to finally do what I love: languages.

I started my translation business in 2018 in France, before moving to Belgium shortly afterwards. I’ve found that marketing and business play best to my strengths, because there’s always an element of creativity; in marketing it’s obvious but, in business, the creative touch you can add to communications is often more subtle.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I love creating, so creative translation was definitely the way to go for me. I thrive when working on business and marketing texts that promote women’s health, sustainability, animal welfare and other topics that are important to me. A business should share its values and I help them speak from their heart.

I also offer writing services. My clients don’t always want the same content in each language, but prefer something fresh based on their notes, ideas or a combination of texts. Recently, I helped a client put together his business book through a blend of translation, writing and editing. 

What makes you stand out?

Thanks to my background (my mum is Belgian), I have in-depth knowledge of Belgium and its linguistic differences which can be very useful to my clients, many of whom are based in Belgium. This understanding helps me pick up on nuances and sensitivities and adapt the text for an English-speaking audience.

While my subject specialisations are fairly specific (although I like to test the waters of something new from time to time), I am flexible in my service offering. Whether translation, editing or writing, it often turns out that a mixture of services is what would suit my client best.

What do you like most about your job?

This is such a hard question, because there’s so much I love: the freedom to be creative, the variety of subjects, the relationships I have built with my clients, the community of translators around me, to name but a few. I have to admit though that accounting doesn’t make that list.

There’s also something immensely satisfying about hitting that send button after completing a complex project and, of course, receiving feedback. It’s not just feedback from the client that counts, but also from others who have read your work and enjoyed it.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I spend most of my time with my partner, our cocker spaniel and three rabbits. Being with them is my preferred way to unwind, although our rabbits (and the dog) have a naughty streak – many of my books feature nibble marks! I love reading. My favourite genre is historical fiction, but I also enjoy memoirs, non-fiction and romance on occasion.

At the weekend, you can often find me watering my houseplants, dabbling in some gardening or making granola. Throw in an afternoon of board games with friends and a long walk with our dog for a pretty perfect weekend.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

This question makes me feel nostalgic, seeing as I don’t live there anymore. I used to call North Norfolk home. A few places stand out: Cromer where my dad used to have a second-hand bookshop and I worked on the pier; Felbrigg Hall where I used to go with my family for a picnic and long walks; and Heydon, its tea room and florist, which has become a ritual for my mum and I whenever I visit. But I also just miss the coast: the sea air, the sound of the waves, the wind in your hair… true bliss.