From our lips to your ears

From our lips to your ears is a project aiming at sharing interpreters’ stories about their work in a new book. Exciting! Interpreters can submit a story until December 3, 2007. You can also check out the From our lips to your ears blog.

By | 2016-10-18T15:49:45+00:00 July 25th, 2007|Freelance Translation|6 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. xl July 25, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    (If this is too far off-topic or not of interest, please feel free to delete.)
    My interest is in the sound of language. Since you are fluent in both French and English, I am interested in any observations you might have about that. For example:
    1. Supose there are two native German speakers. One speaks French to you and the other speaks English. Does the German accent sound the same or different in both languages?
    2. Supose there is a native French person speaking English and a native English person speaking French to you. Are both accents detectable?

  2. Victor Dewsbery July 26, 2007 at 8:34 am

    To xl:
    The simple answer to your questions is “It depends”.
    Second language speakers vary in their accents when speaking the foreign language. Some stand out like a sore thumb, others are hardly noticed.
    I am a native English speaker, but when I speak German, native Germans generally don’t notice. But that does not prove anything or give any basis for any generalisations.
    The phenomenon you are asking about lies more within the learning capacity of the individual – to what extent is the learner able to “unlearn” his/her own native phonetic habits and assimilate a different set of sounds, tongue habits etc.?
    Reminds me of a university lecturer several decades ago who taught Biblical Hebrew, but spoke it with a Cockney accent that you could detect even if you knew not a word of Hebrew.

  3. céline July 26, 2007 at 9:34 am

    1. My mind is spinning. Can’t work that one out. Wait. I think it will sound similar, because both will probably be peppering their speech with the same "German" sounds.
    2. Yes, most of the time.

  4. xl July 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Victor & Céline,
    Thank you both for your kind responses!

  5. Enigmatic Mermaid July 28, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Hi there
    I agree with Céline on both counts regarding accents.
    Now going back to the post ~From our lips to your years~, the only thing I don’t get is…ok, we submit our stories and basically contribute 80-90% of the book’s content. In return the editor gives us credit and a big thank you for the stories but also pockets 100% of the book’s profits?

  6. Nataly Kelly July 29, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    This project is an effort to help improve the perception of interpreters in society and show how and why their work is important. All costs involved with marketing, promoting and publishing the book are being paid out of a single individual’s own pocket. This is in addition to countless hours of unpaid time incurred by the editor. There is no financial backing from any organizational or corporate sponsor. It is not known if the editor will even recover her own costs, let alone make any profit from the publication. Therefore, no compensation can be offered at this point in time to individual featured contributors.
    However, for interpreters who wish to share their personal anecdotes (of 500-1100 words) and help show how their work is important, this publication provides a forum for doing so. Also, the project gives interpreters the opportunity to be featured in the publication. Each contributor that is selected will be given full credit and will be allotted a space to include a bio with more information about his/her background. For many freelance interpreters, this is a unique opportunity for professional recognition.
    Often, writers submit short contributions of this nature as a way of communicating their message to reach a greater audience, and to gain a bit of professional prestige as well. Ideally, interpreters who contribute to this project will equate the value of helping the interpreting profession gain credibility as compensation that is more than sufficient, because hopefully, in some small way, this will help lead to greater recognition – and better compensation – for all interpreters.
    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Kindest regards,
    Nataly Kelly

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