I'm Sophie Llewellyn Smith, aka The Interpreting Coach.
I love working with motivated, determined interpreters who are ready to improve their skills right now!
I'm an EU-accredited conference interpreter and member of AIIC (the International Association of Conference Interpreters) with over 18 years' experience as an interpreter trainer and Trainer of Trainers. I design online teaching materials for interpreters, and run a website called Speechpool, which hosts video clips for use as practice material by interpreters all over the world.
I also design online courses for interpreters, and run webinars and summits on topics of interest to our community.
You can find out more about my skills and experience here.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you about how I can help you on your interpreting journey.
To your success,
MEET THE TEAM
I'm delighted to say that I work closely with three trusted colleagues, who are EU accredited, members of AIIC, and experienced trainers.
Conference interpreter and trainer
Catriona graduated as a conference interpreter in 2005, and started contributing to classes and mock conferences soon after. She has trained interpreters at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester in the UK, and has taught on English enhancement courses for the European Commission and the European Parliament. Catriona has been accredited with the EU institutions since 2009, and also works on the private market. Her current language combination is English A Spanish B French C, and she is working hard on her Italian. She is a member of AIIC.
Conference interpreter and trainer
Kirsten started training to be an interpreter 16 years ago and she is still working on it… In the meantime, she passed competitive exams for the United Nations and the EU institutions before going on to work as a staff interpreter at the European Parliament. During her time in Brussels, Kirsten acted as an English retour assessor for staff and freelance tests and a mentor for new freelancers. As an interpreter trainer, Kirsten has worked for universities and on short courses provided for the EU institutions.
As well as being an interpreter, Kirsten has also worked in the legal sector, specialising in immigration and human rights law.
Conference interpreter and trainer
Frances is a Cambridge-educated conference interpreter and member of AIIC. She has been accredited with the EU institutions since 1990, and also works on the private market.
As well as interpreting, she regularly translates for the International Court of Justice.
She provides specialised English enhancement training for interpreters seeking to improve their English retour.
Praise from my clients
My feedback is generally very good. I'm very glad to be able to work with you because it gets me into a routine of working on my retour. I really like the fact that we meet on regular basis because it makes me work in a systematic way. The recorded feedback is very useful, it goes without saying to me. The vocab/idiom sheets are very useful to me because they are tailor made for my weak points or very useful for an interpreter in general . What I also find particularly useful is that I have to prepare a topic between our sessions because it makes me work on the vocab and do some background reading even if I eventually don't get to talk about that with you.
Barbara M., working on her English retour with a view to taking the EU accreditation test
I really enjoyed every session I had with Sophie. They always were engaging, lively and really useful.
Sophie flagged what I specifically needed to work on, besides the usual “French mistakes”, and gave me exercises to improve. Plus having a regular one-to-one coaching session helps to be organized and really pushed me to practice more efficiently between sessions.
All in all, even though this is a somewhat expensive investment, that is precisely what it is. An investment in my career and I find it absolutely worth it!
Lenaig T., freelance interpreter
Sophie’s feedback was always to the point, clear and delivered in a very friendly and supportive manner. What is also worth mentioning is that Sophie offers a truly individualized approach and can provide additional materials and ideas on how to work on one’s retour between the coaching sessions.
Within a few weeks, I could see improvements in my confidence, delivery, and use of English. Moreover – the coaching sessions were a great support in my preparations for an English retour exam at the European Parliament, which I passed at the first attempt!
Natalia C. , EU- accredited interpreter (PL <> EN; IT, FR > PL) with 6 years’ experience.
Boost your confidence and skills. Invest in your marketability.
Simple, cost-effective package
€300 per month
analysis of strengths, weaknesses and learning needs
personalised action plan with suggested exercises and drills
1 x 60-minute coaching call per week (consecutive and/or simultaneous)
If you want to improve your retour into English (B), I can help you whatever your A language, although you may need to find your own source material for our practice sessions. You'll get more detailed feedback on content if your A language is French, German, Greek or Spanish.
For those working into their A language, my team and I can cover French, German, Spanish or Greek into English between us.
As a native speaker of both English and French, I also offer coaching from English into French (A).
A bit complicated? Get in touch if you're not sure!
I want in! What happens next?
When you click on one of the green buttons, you'll be taken to a form to allow you to book a discovery call. This will allow me to assess where you are now, and what you're trying to achieve, and we'll both have an opportunity to see if we are a good fit and are likely to achieve results together.
What if we're in different time zones?
Good point. I live in the UK and I'll do my best to find a time that suits both of us for our live coaching calls. Other components of your package are not dependent on time zone!
What if I change my mind?
After our discovery call, you can decide not to go ahead. After that, I take payments on a monthly basis, and they are not refundable; but there is no obligation on you to sign up for more than one month.
I thought you couldn't learn to interpret online. Don't you need face to face contact?
That's what we'll have during our coaching calls! Feedback is essential to your progress as an interpreter, especially feedback from a native speaker of your active language. But there's also a lot you can work on when I'm not around. I'll be giving you plenty of guidance.
Coaching seems very expensive, though.
You're right: it's not cheap. On the other hand, it's an investment in your marketability. It's tailor-made to YOUR needs. And a day's work as a conference interpreter could pay for 3 months' coaching.
What equipment will I need?
Mostly, you need a great attitude and an open mind! You'll also need a fast Internet connection, conference call software such as Skype, a computer, a notepad and pen, and a set of headphones.
What are your payment terms?
When you click on one of the buttons, you will NOT be asked to pay straight away. I always have a discovery call with new clients, to see if we are a good match, and the buttons will take you to the booking form for a discovery call. If we start working together, I will invoice you and you will be able to pay by bank transfer or card.