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First Words
French Translations
Specializing in Haitian Adoptions

Ellie Maeder
3118 Tunnel Hill Road
Lebanon, PA 17046
717-272-5829 (Home)
717-813-0543 (cell)

Me, with my grandson, Adi

Hi! Thank you for visiting my website! The following should answer most of your questions.

1) It takes about a week to complete a translation. Poorly written documents take longer to translate because I have to make sense of them first! Translating is a tedious and intense work, and it's expensive. It cannot be abbreviated or rushed.

2) Translation fees: 10 cents per word
(No charge for duplicate or very similar documents.)

I have not increased my rates since I began doing this, 12 years ago, but the cost has doubled because the Home Studies have doubled in length. So, I urge you to request that your Social Worker be as concise as possible.

It's difficult for me to estimate the total cost without seeing your dossier, but one single-spaced page, using #12 font, is between 600 and 700 words (depending on the font style), and so would cost between $60-$70.
Tell everyone who is involved in writing something for your adoption to be as clear, concise and to-the-point as possible. This will save you time and money.

3) Send me your dossier electronically or FedEx/mail COPIES of your originals. Before mailing, look over your copies and “fix” anything that isn’t legible. Don’t forget to write in what the raised seals say, as these don’t copy well. Faxing is problematic. I've had problems with illegible fax copies and sometimes pages are missing.

Read testimonials from some of my customers!

4) Include a check for $500 when mailing your dossier. If your translation is less than $500, I will reimburse you; if it is more, I will bill you.

I usually start with the Home Study, since that is the biggest portion of the dossier. I'll email the translated Home Study to you. Then, when I have finished the rest of your dossier, I will send you a final bill. When I receive your payment, I will release your remaining documents to you in an email.

You will receive your translation as attachments to an e-mail (in Word). This is safer, faster, and you can print it out on your choice of paper (it will look fabulous!)

5) Make sure I have your phone number(s) in case I have a question.

6) I prefer for you to send me the entire dossier all at once, including copies of the proper notarizations and authentications. It gets pretty confusing when the dossier comes to me in pieces. An exception would be the home study, which may be sent in advance.

My husband, Pierre, with our
grandson, Nico, and his buddy Elio.

7) I care about the children and the families I work with. I like translating and I’m good at it. You can contact me anytime.

8) I know that this is a stressful time in your life. I know that once you get to this point you just want to be done with the whole process. That's why I do my best not to be another “headache” in your adoption process. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care and get ready to greet that child!

Kids love me. (can't you tell?)

I was born in Kentucky and lived there until I left for college. I graduated from DePauw University (Indiana) with a degree in Music Education, and then went to Europe to learn French. I graduated from the University of Lausanne in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, with a degree in French language. (view my diploma)Then I married a Swiss man, lived and worked in Lausanne for a total of 10 years before bringing him to the U.S.A. to live. We have 4 grown children—Daniele, Dustin, Sebastien and Sean.