Meet our member Frances Clarke!

Name: Frances Clarke
Services offered:
Language combination(s):
German to English
Finance (financial reporting, corporate communications, investor relations and sustainability reporting) and sport (primarily football)
Saffron Walden, Essex
Contact info:

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

After studying German and Italian at university, I worked as an investment bank and hedge fund analyst for several years. Although I loved the work, I soon realised I wanted to make better use of my languages, so I left the City behind to retrain as a German to English financial translator. More than a decade later, I’m still so glad I took the plunge.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

The majority of my work is financial translation from German into English, which usually means translating company accounts and corporate communications for specific companies as well as market reports and economic forecasts for research firms and government departments.

To add some variety to my professional life, I also specialise in sports translation, particularly football. In November and December last year, I worked on my third World Cup, translating match reports and player interviews for fans around the world to enjoy. I love the beautiful game, so being personally involved in a major tournament gives me a real buzz!

What makes you stand out?

My real-world experience in investment banking and asset management informs each and every one of my translation decisions. Whenever I’m trying to find the right words for an annual report or press release, I think back to my time as an analyst and remember how important it was to be able to find accurate, clear and concise information quickly and easily – not least because I was usually working around the clock to meet tight deadlines.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the puzzle of translating: the quest to find precisely the right way of reproducing the meaning, intent and even the style and tone of the original text. It involves so much more than just leafing through dictionaries to pick out the correct words; it also means immersing yourself in the subject at hand, putting yourself in the author’s shoes to work out precisely why they chose the particular words they did, and thinking about who will read the text at the end of it all.

What do you do when you’re not working?

As translation involves sitting at a desk for hours at a time, I spend much of my free time chasing a ball around on either a football pitch, a tennis court or a netball court. Like many of us in wordy professions, I’m also an avid reader – and right now I seem to have a particular obsession with anything involving anatomy, forensics or medical memoirs! Last but not least, I find playing the piano an amazing way to unwind, and I’m also a keen singer.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

Although I was born and raised in South Essex, I’ve only discovered East Anglia slowly over time. It revealed some of its secrets when my husband and I moved to beautiful Saffron Walden in the far north-west corner of Essex seven years ago, and more still when my parents relocated to Norfolk last year.

There’s so much to love about the region – cities, coastline and countryside – but I think we’re so lucky to have Norwich and Cambridge close by. They’re both utterly charming, steeped in history and each have their own distinctive character. Southwold also deserves a special mention.