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About Me

Crystelle Mills-Smith

My passion for the French and English languages began very early since I was brought up speaking both by my French mother and British father. Although I was educated in the UK, I spent all my summer holidays in France at our family home in Ile de Ré, a place I continue to return to at least twice a year for up to a month at a time. I have also travelled extensively throughout France and have many family members and friends in the country. I am immersed in the French language on a daily basis since in addition to reading books, newspapers and magazines in French and watching French television programmes, I also speak French to my young daughter.

As a result of my background I also became interested in translation and interpretation at a very early age as I often found myself interpreting for non-English speaking family members when they visited and translating children’s stories into and out of both languages for monolingual friends. I knew very early on that I wanted to become a translator and an interpreter and my studies focused on that goal.

After graduating from the University of Sussex with a BA (Hons) degree in French and German, which included a year abroad at the prestigious École de Traduction et d’Interpretation (ETI) in Geneva, I was then accepted onto the postgraduate interpreting and translating course at the University of Bradford and was awarded an MA in Interpreting and Translating in December 1995.

In June 1996 I started work as an English translator in the Language Services department at the UK Ministry of Defence in London and remained in the Civil Service for the next ten years rising from Linguist Officer to Senior Linguist Officer grade during that time. Having been offered a position at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2006, I worked as an English translator in the Court Translation and Interpretation Section in that organisation for one year before returning to the UK to begin my freelance career in July 2007.

Because of my professional background as an English translator, I only translate from French into English. However, my personal background as a native speaker of French means that I have in-depth knowledge of the language and culture.

Outside the world of translation I am a qualified trampoline coach and judge. I am involved with a successful competitive club in Colchester coaching performers up to national level and judging at regional competitions.