Getting your Words to Work for You

I’ve always been obsessed with language, especially words and how they can best fit together to express a clear point or achieve a certain effect.

I’ve worn a lot of professional hats during my adult life. I’ve worked as an English teacher, a journalist, a corporate English trainer, a counselor to new mothers, and even as an insurance underwriter. In every one of these roles, I’ve learnt how important clear and compelling communication is and what a difference it can make, not just in relationships, but also to an organization’s bottom line.

The persuasive power of the written word is something that I’ve experienced in my professional life and also in my private life. My letter to the immigration authorities explaining my family’s situation  speeded up my Canadian permanent residence application from the regular 24 months to 9 months. I saved tens of thousands of dollars by crafting a strong justification that exempted my eldest son from expensive international fees for college. And my written appeal enabled my two youngest sons to get the rarely granted permission to go to school in English in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec.

Seeing my writing have these results in my own life was the impetus for me to move from being a technical and legal translator into the field of marketing translation. It gave me the awareness and the confidence that I could also use my writing to generate results for other people too.

Growing up bilingual in a country that boasts eleven official languages gave me an appreciation for how learning other languages opens doorways to other cultures and whole new ways of thinking. I jumped at the chance to learn more languages as soon as I could, opting for a high school a 45-minute bus ride away because it offered Latin and studying German and Italian at university.

I’ve spent a decade each living in Germany (Bremen and Bavaria) and in Montreal, the largest French-speaking metropolis in North America, immersing myself in the cultures of these places and becoming intimately familiar with spoken and written German and French.

I’ve also lived in a number of English-speaking countries, which has imbued me with an awareness of the distinct cultural and linguistic differences between what non-native English speakers often perceive as monolithic language community. I can help you identify if you are targeting the right English-speaking market with your words.