Early fall 2014, a few friends of mine asked me to help them conquer the American West! As they do not speak English and were not keen on choosing a travel agency tour, they decided they would rely on my Californian experience and language skills. This is how I found myself becoming a travel agent, even just for a short time.
Browsing the web for French translations
My first mission was to create a tour that each of my friends would enjoy, taking into consideration everyone’s personality and needs but also technical challenges (long distances, travel times, etc.). This turned out to be easier than I thought and I soon came up with a classical tour, perfect for a first trip in that part of the USA.
As I mentionned earlier, my friends do not speak English. Therefore, I needed to find translated brochures and websites of the places I included in our trip, so that they could check and validate my choices.
Knowing that the number of French people travelling to the USA had been constantly increasing over the past few years (another +8% in 2014 according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries) and that French visitors particularly enjoy the American West, I assumed it would be easy to find French translations. Well, hours of browsing the internet brought me to that conclusion: most of American touristic stakeholders do not bother offering their visitors a translated version of their brochures or website – or at least a decent and understandable one. A pity in my opinion!
Translating brochures and websites of the American West
But my friends are lucky – before being a US specialized travel agent, I am most of all an English to French translator! 😉
I carefully picked a set of documents related to the places we would visit and I translated them with the same degree of professionalism I would offer to one of my clients. Even though I was not getting paid for the job, this would be an excellent exercice. As all translators know, providing high quality translations require constant practise.
Why post my translations online?
We finally took off for Los Angeles at the end of April this year. Throughout our trip, I realized that statistics were true: there was so many French speaking tourists that it was almost unrealistic. We met French people everywhere we went to – from every street corner to every stop in the deserts. Like my friends, a lot of these tourists struggled understanding information provided in English only – but unlike them, they did not have a translator guide! 😉
So I thought that my work could help other travellers and I decided to add it to my blog project. I do hope it will be useful.
Touristic translations… and more
I will add these translations little by little in the “touristic translations” category, along with a PDF version – Please feel free to download them to prepare your trip.
And because I do not only translate touristic documents, I will also offer other type of translations once in a while, based on my fields of expertise.
Please do not hesitate to suggest topics by leaving a comment.