Professionals Who Make It Real for Students

Students at Université de Montréal
No teacher can know everything. That’s why visits from experts form an important part of every course I teach. For ten years, professionals with a vast range of expertise and experience have made time in their very busy schedules to visit my classrooms.
They come in the evening after a full day of work or on the weekend when they really should be kicking back. They travel from the South Shore, the NorthShore, the Laurentians, Terrebonne, Quebec City and Ottawa. They come to provide support, encouragement and inspiration to future translators and, this year, would-be writers.
While they may not always agree on all the issues, they are unanimous in their support for students. Without these generous experts, my course content would remain theoretical, untested, untrue.
In just over two weeks, a total of 15 professionals from the social media, translation and journalism fields have brought their energy and enthusiasm to my classes at McGill and the Université de Montréal. I don’t think they’ll ever really understand how much that means to the students and to me.

I could say they are everyday heroes but that would not really convey how extraordinary they truly are. All I can do is say thank you again to each and every one.
Caroline St-Onge, François Abraham,
John Woolfrey (left to right)
¨      François Abraham, former president of OTTIAQ,  is a certified translator (EN>FR) and a principal at Communications Léon.
¨       Sébastien Adhikari is an IT-savvy independent professional and certified translator.
¨       Matthew Burpee is a social media strategist and web consultant, and the founder of Maze Solutions.
¨       Fabien Côté, a certified translator with IT experience and a flair for business is president of Trans-IT Translations.
¨       Maude Doucet is the very knowledgeable Localization and CAT Lead at TRSB Inc.
¨       Steve Faguy, a copy editor who works on both the print and digital editions of  at The Montreal Gazette, also writes freelance and for his blog at
¨       Fred Harper, currently the Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft but seeking new opportunities, is an HTML5 enthusiast, public speaker, doer, blogger, music lover …
¨       Ray Hiltz, founder of Communications NewRayCom, is a social media strategist specializing in Google+ for Business.
¨       Ian Howarth, current president of the Quebecchapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), is a freelance journalist based in Montreal.
Sebastien Adhikari, Carol St-Onge,
François Abraham (left to right)
  ¨       André Jodoin, is a CAT & Localization specialist, IT Manager, GAT (and, for years now, a regular visitor to my class)
  ¨       Thomas Ledwell, a career journalist, media consultant, and social media specialist currently working as Social Engagement Editor at The Montreal Gazette.
  ¨       Luis London, main consultant for KAI Design & Communication, is a graphic designer specializing in branding and communications.
  ¨       Caroline St-Onge, a certified, extremely professional and competent translator (EN>FR), is the principal at Verbophile.
  ¨       Lisa Ursano, a born communicator, is the director of Recruitment Marketing and Communications, at CN Rail.
  ¨       John Woolfrey is a freelancer translator (FR>EN) and writer who I count on regularly for professional and moral support.

     And in case, you think it was all work and no fun …
Martin Charbonneau (UdeM),
a very good sport


  1. Anonymous

    As one of your students, I must say that hearing them talk about their experience is not only enriching, it is enlightening!

    Thanks to them, and you Nancy, for sharing your knowledge…


  2. Anonymous

    It was very instructive! and it gives me hope for the future :) With everyone “downgrading” a translator’s job, it’s nice to see people who made it, and made it well! :)

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you Nancy for organizing such an interesting evening! It was very informative… It is really nice to hear from people about the realities of today`s market, and it was encouraging to know that they are successful and happy in this line of work.

    • Thanks, Anik! And, yes, it is possible to carve out a niche and love your life as a translator … or anything else for that matter. It does take work, passion, commitment but, barring catastrophes beyond your control, it is doable.

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