Moving to France (Lot et Garonne) and Working there!

We are looking at moving from the UK to France (I am French, my partner is English and we have a little boy)…any advice on where we could advertise our services please?
My partner is a -reliable- Electrician and I will be starting as a freelancer for translating your everyday bills/emails etc from English To French/ French to English as I have been living in the UK for 10+ years and am bilingual. I will be able to do this from home via the internet/phone. I am also a nanny here in the UK (working at the families place) but I believe they are not very popular in France due to cost?
Are English electricians sought after?
We are currently looking at moving in the Lot et Garonne area.

Any info greatly received!

Thanks :slight_smile:

You probably know this already but may be your best business statut for your freelance translation work if you have minimal overheads (I also work as a translator and micro entreprise has worked well for me :slight_smile: )

I can confirm what Anna says re translation work (I taught and translated for many years, vacataire before the auto-entrepreneur status came into being then 4 years under that regime). Nannies aren’t that big here but good nounous are often over-booked :wink:

An english sparky is going to be a little more difficult - you need to speak to the chambre de métiers and see if his qualifications are recognised and as the normes and spec are rather different here (as I’m sure you know) he’ll probably have to undergo some form of professional training, perhaps a cap for example but I’m sure your local (Agen) chambre de métiers will be able to clarify that :wink:

Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Interdépartementale
Section Lot-et-Garonne

Impasse Morère – 47 000 AGEN

Tél : 05 53 77 47 77
Fax : 05 53 68 01 50
Email :

Hello Tiana - I’ve moved from UK to Lot et Garonne and am working here. There is a mine of useful information on a Facebook site called ‘Ladies in Business in France’ with everyone generously sharing of their knowledge and experience. Try contacting the admin and asking if you can join. Oh, and by the way - LeG is a good choice!

Thank you Anna :slight_smile: yes I have been told about the auto entrepreneur statut for my partner but haven’t looked into it for me yet so thanks for the link!
Are you a qualified translator? If so how did you become one? If not, how do you manage to find work?
Thanks again!

I have talked to one of my friend in France about how to become a nounou (assmat) there so will see but as she says wages are not great at around 3.50euros/hour/child!(you can only have a maximum of 4 children at a time often they only let you have 1/2/3 and only 4 after a few years in the job.

For my partner I will contact La Chambre des métiers thank you and see what they say! :slight_smile:

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Thanks Catrin, I will ask to join the group!
How long have you been in Lot et Garonne for?
Can I ask what job you do? :slight_smile:

[quote=“Tiana, post:5, topic:14246”]
Are you a qualified translator? [/quote]
No. I have language diplomas and subject diplomas but no translation qualifications as such, and certainly wouldn’t want the commitment of being a traducteur assermenté.

Where to start - but to try and keep it brief:
Firstly I recommend you join which is a very valuable resource. It has a jobs board, a forum where translators discuss everything and anything, plus much more, it is the go-to place for everyone in the translation industry. Most of my key clients came from there.

There are dozens of other online translation sites but the only 2 that I have found any use are which is a general freelancing site, it’s rare to see translation work advertised but oddly, I’ve had several enquiries via my profile on there, including another of my key clients. You can’t register or see details of the jobs until you have your siret number (it’s a French site!). - this is where I got most of my early experience and I liked this site although the rates aren’t great. You have to pass a test before you can create your profile and access the jobs. I haven’t worked on there for a few years and it seems to have had a complete revamp but definitely worth a look.

The other thing I would recommend is, invest in a good CAT tool. I put this off for a long time, partly because of the cost and partly because I’;m a bit of a technophobe at heart, and also, when I first started translating CAT tools didn’t exist and I thought they shouldn’t be necessary. But since taking the plunge I have changed my mind. The investment (not far short of 1000€) paid for itself many times over in the first year alone, it has opened the door to work and clients that I could never have done without it, and it has improved the speed and quality of my work. I think that nowadays, it’s hard to stake a credible claim to being a professional translation if you don’t have one of the industry standard CAT tools, although I know some still do (plenty of discussion about this on the Proz forum!). WordFast Anywhere is free and very good up to a point, but most if not all of the “good” agencies prefer working with translators who have SDL Trados and/or one of the other main ones.

Hope this helps, do ask if there is anything else you want to know. It’s a competitive industry but there is plenty of work out there, you just need to find yourself a niche…

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I always used wordfast - the unclean version is the same as trados unclean so agencies don’t know the difference if they ask for an unclean version (rare but I did have one agency that always asked). Just use a different memory according to the client/subject and you can use the free version for years :wink:

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I never liked trados (I had it) because it was soooo heavy and often crashed (I’m going back a few years). I used sdl too but only for one agency, it’s OK but I prefered wordfast.

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I find more and more of the younger project managers these days send projects out as a Trados “package” and require you to return the translation as a “package de retour” (dunno what they call it in English, “return package” I guess?) so that they get their updated TM back with it. I don’t think you could create a Trados package de retour in anything except Trados could you? In fact I don’t know if you could even open a Trados package in WordFast to work on it?

I have SDL Trados Studio 2014 - time to upgrade though, Studio 2017 has just launched my biggest client has started specifying Studio 2014 “as a minimum” - and I’ve found it impressively robust. When I started with it I really didn’t have a clue and I kept pressing all the wrong buttons, but I don’t recall it ever crashing or losing anything.

things have moved on a bit :smiley: my trados was 2010 or earlier, if I remember correctly (I left translating and teaching nearly 5 years ago) and there was still a lot of resistance in the industry to being bulldozed into using a specific cat. wordfast had a big following at the time (2006-2012)

Yes same here, it’s astonishing really how quickly cat tools have been adopted and become pretty much sine qua non, but credit to them I think it’s because they have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of functionality. They’re so good now at handling all the formatting in websites and pdfs etc, all the dtp side of the job that used to be quite time consuming is performed automatically now and takes no time at all (when it works, but to be fair it usually does). But of course it does mean you have to keep upgrading to keep pace and to stay compatible with your clients.

Of course the other related upcoming issue is that the “translating” ability is now at a level where some clients have the brainwave of doing a machine translation and trying to pass it off as a human translation and sending it for “proofing”, hoping to get a human professional-level translation for the 0,03€/word or whatever they pay the proofer, as opposed to the 0,10€/word or whatever that they would have paid a translator. It doesn’t work of course, you can still spot a 100% machine translation a mile off. But there are also agencies who advertise for translators to proof MTs at a rate somewhere between proofing rate and translation rate. I hate that concept - I enjoy the creativity of translating and the prospect of all the creativity and fun being taken out of it makes my blood run cold, as far as I’m concerned it would destroy the profession. There is a lot of resistance to it, but maybe in time that will become accepted practice too. Makes me so glad I’ve only got a few years left to work before I reach my pension :grinning:

EDIT - sorry this is all a bit off topic isn’t it. But hopefully of interest to the OP if she is seriously looking at translation as a career.

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Please note that there is a minimum hourly wage in France; gross 9.61€ an hour. Please do not work for 3.50€ an hour. There are two reasons, 1) It’s a disgusting wage and 2) It’s illegal and you can get into trouble for working in the black market.

Hi Tiana
I moved here in May 2015 - but it seems like yesterday.
I started with B&B, then when the gite was ready opened that a year later.
And for job #3 I work as a sales agent with Leggett Immobilier.
Love all 3, but it takes a bit of juggling.
Good luck with your move - and keep in touch if you need any more tips -
although I’m only a nose ahead of you!

I think that you will find, Mark, that childminding from home isn’t covered by the minimum wage and 3,50€ per child per hour is the accepted rate. (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong !)

You may well be correct but it would shock me. I admit that I live in Paris and people pay Paris prices but no-one, among my friends, pays less than the minimum wage, and more often they pay more. Furthermore, cleaners work in one’s home and they get between 12€ and 25€ an hour. Anyway, I am often wrong, just as my wife :-), I can only hope that no-one will work for 3+€ and hour. Finally, I know that people do this sort of work for pocket money, but legally, it should be declared and that’s where fair wages come in. When I lived in the U.K.I was paying my babysitters £5 an hour and that was over 20 years ago. It’s a responsible job and I would be scared to pay peanuts (You pay peanuts, you get monkeys). Anyway and as aforementioned I may well be wrong, but I certainly hope that I’m not.

I will reply to everyone tonight but yes Helen you are right, childminding from home isn’t covered by minimum wage unfortunately (same as in the UK). This is why here in the UK I am a nanny as rates are often £10+ per hour (as a French nanny here I used to get £11.50gross/hour)

If she is working for an employer and paid a salary I don’t see how it can be not covered by the minimum wage? If you’re employed you have to have an employment contract, an employment contract has to state the salary, and surely it can’t state a salary below the legal minimum. There is a convention collective for qualified nounous (and I don’t think you can be a nounou if you’re not qualified?).
On the other hand if your friend is operating as “self employed” then she sets her own fees and nobody can tell her what to charge - but whyever would she charge so little, it can’t be viable after she’s paid her dues. But you say “they only let you have” so I assume “they” is an agency. Is she working for an agency that is setting down all the terms and conditions but insisting on her being nominally self-employed? If so, that is an illegal practice.
Without further info, it does look as if your friend is being seriously taken advantage of.
In any case I believe parents can be entitled to support with childminding costs, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be properly paid…

Is it not the case with this that if you are looking after say 4 children the rate received is then 4x3.50 = 14Euro per hour and that you are not necessarily committed to work for just 1 family at a time.