Translating English into French for 20+ years
Multilingual project management

True Creativity

It is my belief that staying true to an author’s words involves looking far beyond the immediate meaning of each sentence. 

A good translation is successful in grasping and transposing the atmosphere, tone, and intentions of the source language.

Native Subtlety

I stand by the ethical code of my profession, and am of the opinion that translating into your native language is the only way to render a message with full accuracy, subtlety and nuance. For this reason, I translate solely into French.

Consistency in Style

I consider that style consistency within a translation is best achieved through the work of a single professional or one small, cohesive, experienced team. Depending on the project and the deadline requested, I may partner up with one or several fellow translators who share my work ethic and expertise.

Fair Terms

I am a firm believer in a direct-to-customer approach, which I consider more ethical and more efficient than providing my services through an intermediary. Cutting out the middleman paves the way for a fair pricing agreement, and ensures I am able to devote the appropriate amount of time to your project and deliver a translation that satisfies your expectations.

Raphaël Rouby,
Translator and Adaptor

A few words about your background?
My studies in literature, languages and history provided me with the opportunity to spend a year in Australia. This was an extremely enriching experience, both on the academic and personal front; it also cemented my love for languages and opening up to other cultures.

The idea of a career in translating developed quite naturally from there on. After an initial contract as a language coordinator for Electronic Arts, I decided to set up as a freelance translator: it felt frustrating to be sending beautiful pieces out for translation instead of taking care of them myself!

I was later fortunate enough to work in-house for a variety of companies both in the UK and Ireland, among them GOA (Orange), Big Fish and Amazon.

Upon returning to France in 2014, I set up my current business as a self-employed translator. I appreciate the freedom and independence that freelancing allows. For a few years now I have also been sharing my expertise with post-graduate students (Master 2 level) at Aix-Marseille University.

In April 2021, I was delighted to welcome Mathilde Sperduto to Parallel Words as a full-time employee and translator.
Check me out on
What tools do you favour when translating?
I use all the main CAT tools on the market: Memsource, MemoQ, Trados, Wordfast... However, I am not convinced by the use of machine translation in the field of creative adaptation. Although the neural dimension has brought about a number of improvements, artificial intelligence remains unable to analyse puns, grasp the contextual implications of a conversation, or create those unique phrasing habits and verbal mannerisms that build up a character – let alone adapt to space limitations...
Your favourite book?
Almost certainly Cyrano de Bergerac for Cyrano's linguistic "panache", and because this was the piece that made my love for the French language flourish when I was 12 years old.
If you were a word, what would you be?
"Dictionary", so I could be them all!
Something you’ve done to immerse yourself in a project?
In 2019, I travelled to New-Zealand to meet the "people behind the emails" at icebreaker. While I was there, I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days on a sheep farm that provides the fleece used in icebreaker garments. My aim was to come away with a contextual understanding of sheep farming, and to get a feel for with the atmosphere that infuses the brand’s marketing. It was a truly unforgettable experience!

My Partner Network

The volume, deadline or specific requirements of some projects may call for teamwork. When this is the case, I reach out to a network of fellow professionals with a similar work ethic to my own.

Happy Customer Testimonials

"We have contracted Raphaël for a number of years and continue to be impressed by his professionalism and the quality of his localization services. He consistently delivers impeccable translations while demonstrating an excellence of care and attention with every single one of our projects. We know our translation requests are in good hands with Raphaël, regardless of the word count, whether it is a short marketing bit or the text of our next hit game!"
Nicolas Tchemitcheff - Localization Product Manager, French - Big Fish Games
"Translating any kind of text from English to French it’s a hard job to do. It’s not just translating words but it’s about delivering the proper message with the original meaning. Raphael is doing this perfectly always hitting deadlines and with a proactive attitude. I would definitely recommend you work with Parallel words. They would be the right partner for you."
Matteo Castelli - Brand and Communications Marketing Manager EMEA, icebreaker
"It was a pleasure to work with Raphaël. Very conscientious and detail oriented, he did detailed research to adapt his translations to our project. The quality of his work added to his consistent timely delivery makes him a trustworthy resource that I warmly recommend!"
Frédérique Fourny-Jennings - Senior Localization Project Manager, Ubisoft
"This was a very good adaptation, combining creative translation and linguistic perfection. Some of the headlines were genuinely funny and no doubt made set this work apart from other very high quality submissions (the delightful "Gloire au Grand Travesti", for example). Any colloquialisms were also extremely well rendered; the whole text makes for a very fluent read and fully conveys the atmosphere of the game, as well as the irony-impregnated critique of dictatorial regimes. Congratulations!"
Jury for the LocJam translators’ award – The Republia Times (2014 Laureate)
"It was a pleasure and an honour to work with Raphaël Rouby! His skills, professionalism, availability, attention to detail and sensitivity with regard to the written word have much benefitted our editorial projects."
Mihaela Cojocariu - Éditions Albin Michel
"Raphaël and I worked together in-house as French translators more than ten years ago, and we remained collaborators as freelancers since then. I was impressed from the start by his professionalism, his passion for translation and for video games, and his mastery of the French language. His work ethic is unmatched. Today, Raphaël is the only one I trust with my translation projects when I am unavailable for my clients, and I am confident that he will consistently deliver creative and accurate translations. I admire his inventiveness in creating the perfect names for video games creatures and items, his outstanding style in writing dialogues and stories that really set the scene and draw the player in, and his attention to detail and ability to research the subject extensively."
Sandrine Guyennet – Translator specialized in video games since 2008
"I’ve known Raph since 2013 and he has consistently proven himself to be a highly productive and reliable English to French translator with a great sense of humor. Raph has brought joy to our French customers and translated numerous word-heavy projects for us over the years and delivered his projects in a timely manner. Raph has been quick to communicate relevant and accurate feedback to our in-house team of linguists and game developers. I’d recommend Raph for any English to French translation projects. Raph is a joy to work with!"
Steen Groennebaek - Localization Manager, Big Fish Games
"We were extremely happy with Raphaël's service! We contracted Raphaël to translate our game Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons from English to French after being recommended by Big Fish Games. He was professional and extremely quick in the translation, and produced a great result for us. We plan to use Raphaël again in the near future."
The Revills Games
"Raphael has been cooperating with us for over a year now on continuous basis, and we always turn to him when we need French translations. The reason for this is that Raphael's professionalism is unmatched - he always delivers on time, in high quality, he often goes beyond the call of duty pointing to potential problems, he gives us hints about the legacy texts to fix even if he does not have to and he always keeps us posted about the project status. I appreciate his problem-solving attitude and the willingness to put everything into his work, to make sure he delivers nothing but quality. He is also friendly and easy to work with. I highly recommend his services!"
Vojtěch Schubert – Localization Producer, Bohemia Interactive
"What a pleasure it has been to volunteer in an editorial team where each member has a part to play! Thanks to his pragmatic creativity, Raphaël added a pinch of humour this edition, through his article and his thoughts regarding all other contributions."
Isabelle Meurville - Translature (Traduire journal edition centred on video games)
Raphaël is an excellent translator and mentor. Working with him has been the most formative experience as he taught me everything there is to know about translation and localization. As a dedicated linguist, he is always looking for the best way to convey meaning and will not give up until he finds it. Tenacious, passionate and hard-working, Raphaël is someone I would trust with any project as I know he will give it his very best.
Sabrina Ducrocq-Poirier - Freelance Translator, English to French
"Humour is everywhere in the game, whether in Elisabeth’s comments, situations like Romeo and Juliet’s skeletons doing a charleston dance, or in the flamboyant protagonists: the journalist Claire Chacal [inspired by the name of a French TV journalist], Professor Krankenstein, or the old pirate-turned-miller drinking his morning milk while confessing he’s given up on the ladies ('ne court plus la gueuse')".
Player comment on the Big Fish website (Snark busters : Haute Société)
"And if the game provides ongoing pleasure for the eyes, the same can be said of the ears, that will delight in the excellent quality of the French translation (only available in the form of subtitles, unfortunately)”.
It Takes Two game review on jeuxvideo.com

Have a project to translate?
Get in touch!