English / Spanish to French Translator
Harnessing the power of words to empower women in the
French-speaking developing world
I am an English and Spanish to French translator with over 20 years’ experience working with US-based nonprofits, NGOs and international development entities. I focus primarily on translations related to women’s health, well-being and development. My work as a translator combines my English, Spanish, and French language skills with my educational background—I hold graduate degrees in languages, international relations, and American civilization. International development translation is more than just my job; it represents my personal commitment to global development and intercultural understanding.
Born on a spring day in Argenteuil, a north western suburb of Paris, I am the eldest child of Malian parents who had just moved to France in search of a better life. My family was influenced by politics, sports and a great love for Black music—African, American, Hispanic or Caribbean—in a nutshell, anything that had a syncopated beat. Growing up in the South eastern area of Provence in a small town called Manosque, where people were not too used to foreigners, I cultivated my diversity while listening to inspiring conversations about leaders and public figures—Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, to name but a few—while dancing to the likes of Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Salif Keita, Ray Barretto, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz and many others. By the age of 6, I had discovered politics and its implications in my family’s life, and thus experienced both transcultural and political awakenings. Some of my English and Spanish teachers were instrumental in helping me develop a true passion for American and Latin cultures. As a result, I soon vowed to be fully proficient in languages and travel, and around the age of 12 decided to become an interpreter. In junior high school I developed an inclination for teaching and tutored elementary school students.
My mother made my dream come true in 1992 when she arranged my first trip to the U.S. and a year-long exchange program in 1993. When I turned 18, I was hosted by an African-American family outside of Richmond, Virginia. My goal was to become fully acquainted with the American culture, and that I did. I participated in the family’s activities, took singing classes at school, strove to be a good student so much so that I was even awarded an “Outstanding Citizenship Award”, and ultimately graduated from Patrick Henry High School. When I returned to France at the age of 19, I was determined to embrace a college education related to foreign cultures and, later on, a career involving foreign issues. So, I majored in foreign languages (English/Spanish) with a minor in law while attending the University of Provence and then the University of Paris 7 (Jussieu). Before embarking on my senior year in college, I received a fellowship from New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science. I was accepted in the American Studies Program and was honored to attend classes taught by critically acclaimed professors and intellectuals. Cognizant that I was very fortunate, I gave back to the institution through its Higher Education Opportunity Program by tutoring minority students who struggled with their French or Spanish classes.
That enriching experience, which certainly shaped who I am today, led me to the Sorbonne where I pursued degrees in political science and international relations. At that time, I contemplated a career in international or non-profit organizations and had the wonderful opportunity to intern at Family Care International in 2000. There I had a chance to discover the work aimed at women in developing countries and participated in the development of materials for the organization's Francophone program. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Sorbonne, I attended the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences) in Paris, where in 2004 I completed a master’s degree in American Civilization. For over 15 years, I have been passionate about women’s issues and have worked with U.S.-based non-profit organizations while employed at Mondial Assistance as a travel insurance coordinator (2000-2014). I taught American and British Civilizations at the University of Versailles from 2005 to 2011. In 2007, the Fulbright Committee and French-American Foundation awarded me a scholarship for graduate research on the Puerto Rican community in New York City. I conducted my work at CUNY’s Hunter College and its extremely resourceful Centro.
I am an enthusiastic follower of American, Hispanic and European politics. My day starts with a review of the news (written press and radio). I am an eager reader of political essays and I strive to keep informed of the latest political developments. I have always believed in learning and continue to aspire to work in cross-cultural settings. When I am not working or studying, I jog three to four times a week to stay mentally and physically fit. I also love Latin jazz and soul music, and I enjoy singing. I practice photography especially when traveling. I travel to the U.S. at least twice a year and I consider New York my second home. To be consistent with my cultural interests and stay faithful to my roots, I have visited Canada, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, England, Sweden, Switzerland and Mali.
Willing to cross cultural barriers and overcome ethnic, racial and gender biases, I have a versatile personality and I am adaptable and intellectually curious. And as the French offspring of African parents, I highly value female empowerment, human rights, my origins and European upbringing, as well as my passion for American and Latin cultures.