Author Nicky Schmidt

Did I just save your job?

Imagine this…Scenario 1 – You’re pitching to your client with a presentation compiled by your team after hours of meetings, brainstorming, and rewrites.All’s going well until you discover you’ve used the name of the wrong client in your presentation and… Continue Reading →

Can jobs get any better?

I’m not saying I have the best job in the world… but I have spent the summer working in so many different places, that it really feels as though it may be. I’ve taken my #translations to Dublin (Ireland), Nottingham… Continue Reading →

Le diable est dans les détails !!

Lors de ma dernière prestation de relectrice éditoriale* j’ai relevé un détail qui aurait pu entraîner des conséquences graves pour mon client. Le titre du CEO était resté en « bolo bolo ». Bien sûr j’ai également trouvé d’autres détails à corriger ;… Continue Reading →

My little Limerick

There once was a freelance translator Who put off a job until later When asked why this was… she replied it’s because I’ve always been a procrastinator

Nicky’s word wisdom – Socks

Inspiration ou silliness… who knows ?… mais aujourd’hui j’avais une folle envie de vous parler de chaussettes. Socks (comme on les appelle en anglais) se faufilent souvent dans les expressions idiomatiques de la langue anglaise. Je ne vais pas tous… Continue Reading →

Copywriter for hire

I’ve recently had some time to reflect on my job. Some friends who are also clients asked me to help out with their admin during a busy period for their company. January is a quiet month for me, so I worked… Continue Reading →

La Mariée et le Groom

A l’hôtel, le soir même du mariage, la mariée a été trouvé au lit avec le groom ! Shocking isn’t it? Well, maybe we shouldn’t « jump to conclusions ». En anglais « the groom » = « le marié » (ça peut être… Continue Reading →


Aujourd’hui nous regardons le mot « Brunch ». Ce mot est tellement utilisé en France que j’avais l’impression que tout le monde devait savoir ce qu’il voulait dire. Mais apparemment ce n’est pas le cas. Le « Brunch » est… Continue Reading →

Z – zzzZZZ

It’s been a long month! Time to sleep it off. Happy Holidays everybody!

Y – Yule

Yule was an ancient celebration of the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere. The sun had increased importance in the countries where the days are short and the winters long. This celebration preceded the Christian Christmas in Europe. The yuletide… Continue Reading →

X – Xmas

Xmas is a short version of the word Christmas. As Christmas actually means the mass of Christ, some people believe that the word Xmas is a means of removing the religious meaning from the word. However it appears that Xmas… Continue Reading →

W – Wreath

Wreaths (les Couronnes) are often used to decorate the front door during the Advent and Christmas period. The origins and traditions of wreaths are varied around the world. They are often made from evergreens (plantes sempervirentes) as they symbolise strength,… Continue Reading →

V – Visitors, visiting, visits

One of the great things about the Christmas period is visiting and visitors. Family, friends, neighbours, people like to visit each other for drinks or meals, or maybe even just a wintry walk. Christmas day itself is usually reserved for… Continue Reading →

U – Under the mistletoe

Mistletoe (du gui) is a plant often used as a decoration at Christmas time. It used to be considered as bringing good luck to the household and warding off evil spirits. Nowadays it is attached to the ceiling or to… Continue Reading →

T – Trifle

Trifle is a traditional English desert often associated with Christmas. It is made with layers of cake, fruit, custard and cream (so many different recipes possible). It should be made in a glass bowl so that it is as pretty… Continue Reading →

S – Snowman

Unfortunately in France we don’t see Snowmen (plural) often enough at Christmas. But one of my favourite Christmas books/films/music is « The Snowman » from the book by Ramond Briggs first published in 1978. It was made into a magical television film… Continue Reading →

R – Reindeer

How would Santa manage without his Reindeer (les rennes, ou Caribou au Canada)? Did you know that reindeer became particularly popular after the poem « The Night Before Christmas » in which the reindeer are called: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,… Continue Reading →

Q – Queen’s Christmas message

I grew up in Ireland where we didn’t have a monarchy. However we knew about the traditional Queen’s speech. Every Christmas day since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has been addressing the British nation to send out her good wishes for… Continue Reading →

P – Pudding (Christmas Pudding)

Yummy. You either love or hate Christmas Pudding. I love it! It is full of tasty dried fruits and alcohol and cooks for hours and hours. It is usually decorated with a sprig of holly (see H), and flambéd at… Continue Reading →

O – Ornaments

Christmas ornaments (décorations de Noël) are everywhere at this time of year. In my house we used to make a lot of our ornaments and the best ones would be kept from year to year so that the house and… Continue Reading →

N – Neighbours

When I was growing up, Neighbours (les voisins) played an important part in our Christmas celebrations. Generally on Christmas Eve, my parents would invite some neighbours to our house for drinks and Mince Pies (see M).Let’s hope COVID doesn’t prevent… Continue Reading →

M – Mince Pies

Mince Pies are one of my favourite Christmas foods. The original « mincemeat pies » contained minced meat, dried fruit and spices. More recently mince pies have become sweeter, with a mixture of dried fuits, spices, sugar and of course brandy. I… Continue Reading →

L – Lights

Lights are an essential part of Christmas decorations. But did you know that the word « light » has many different meanings in English. Light can be used as a verb (alllumer): light a cigarette, light a fire… It is also the… Continue Reading →

K – Kids

Kids (les gamins) are particularly excited around Christmas. This word used especially in the US to talk about children is actually the word for baby goats (chevreaux)… This is probably no coincidence as both are lively and get up to… Continue Reading →

J – Jumper or Christmas Jumper

Christmas Jumpers have only recently become a standard Christmas item of clothing. The uglier the better. In some countries there are even Christmas jumper days (journées pull de Noël) when you are expected to wear them to work or school…. Continue Reading →

I – Icing

Have you ever seen a traditional English Christmas cake? It is usually decorated with white icing (glaçage) and may have little Christmas figures or decorations on it. Helping mums to make the Christmas cake was always an important time for… Continue Reading →

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