Last week in our “Meet the Translator” series we introduced Kerryann to you who works with French, Spanish and Portuguese and whose love of languages took her straight on the path to translatorship. This week’s featured linguist is Tim, who also has an impressive number of languages under his belt, however, despite of his linguistic skills, he first started out in the world of finance.

Our Commercial Team has been working with him for quite a long time on all kinds of tricky documents. We like working with Tim because of his professionalism and reliability – and he is also a Harry Potter fan!


  1. What languages do you work with? 

I work into British English out of a good number of the Germanic and Slavic languages, from Flemish to Montenegrin with a lot in between. Some of the more remote corners of my knowledge include Dano-Norwegian (one of the historical varieties of Norwegian) and a little bit of Croatian dialect. My mother is French, and I do translate from French occasionally. I have some general and/or personal knowledge of certain other languages, and I once translated a Russian text with some Hebrew/Yiddish elements I was able to decode based on experience outside the scope of my usual work life.

  1. How long have you worked as a professional translator?

My first translation job was in November 2002 and concerned plastic extrusion. It took almost the whole weekend to translate maybe a thousand words. I’m not sure I’ve translated anything so difficult since then. My second job was for Eurotrash. I’m not sure I’ve translated anything so bizarre since then.

  1. How did you become a translator?

After graduating with an honours degree in Russian, Swedish, and Hindi, I trained as a chartered accountant and tax consultant in the City of London in the early 1990s, became the finance director of one of the dot coms, and worked as the acting chief financial officer of an insurance firm in Munich. I retrained as a translator in the early 2000s, as I felt that there were parts of my mind that were not being satisfactorily activated in my work life. I have not regretted the move.

  1. How long have you been working with First Edition?

Remarkably, 15 years!

  1. What are your areas of expertise?

My two main domains are finance/law and medical/pharmaceutical. Odd isolated areas of specialisation have arisen, in particular Slavic navigation, Germanic insurance, and French bank statements. I read the last four Harry Potter novels in Spanish, so I’m not bad on Iberian Wizarding World terminology, but there’s not a lot of call for that.

  1. What’s the best thing about being a translator?

Spending all day decoding foreign language texts. Getting to nap when I need to. Being able to spot a double space from 50 paces. But most of all: being helpful.

  1. What is your favourite First Edition project to date?

For some reason, I do enjoy texts on plant protection products—not an obviously exciting domain, but it’s good that there are people in the translation world (like me) who enjoy the jobs that other people dread.


We hope you liked Tim’s introduction. Is there anything else you’d like to know about him and our collaboration? Do you perhaps have a document for Tim to translate? Get in touch today by sending an email to or by calling 01223 356 733!