The Linguists’ Story (tls): Florence Vandam, freelance remote interpreter

At The Language Shop (tls), we are proud of the fact that the work we do for public sector organisations and charities has a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people who otherwise would not be able to access vital health, education and justice services.

In our regular feature, ‘The Linguists’ Story’, we get to know tls interpreters and translators and find out how they’ve helped those in need. This month (September 2023) we meet Florence Vandam, a freelance remote interpreter in Spanish, French and English:

What’s been your favourite project at TLS?

My favourite project has been working in sexual therapy, as it was a completely new territory for me and a very interesting subject, but I like all projects as TLS is the most organised interpreting agency I know.

What has been your biggest challenge?

A common challenge is when the service provider or client has an old phone/laptop where the sound is not that great anymore, or their connection is not stable, or if someone is quite antsy and moves around while they speak, it can affect the sound/connection on their side as well.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you like to do?

I really like my current job because I like knowing that my work helps people, so I think I would be a therapist. I have a keen interest in Jungian therapy and CBT. I also love music. I play guitar and ukulele, and know so many lyrics by heart, in English, French, Spanish, but also some in Portuguese, Italian and German! I have a knack for parroting it seems. So maybe a musician. But I can still do that in my spare time anyway!

Tell us something interesting about you.

My mother is Argentinian and my father is French, and I grew up in both countries, so I can speak both languages to a native standard!

If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Although there are many famous figures whose work I admire, there isn’t anybody I would like to meet in particular. Most if not all questions about them, personal or professional, have already been answered. All humans are interesting in my opinion, famous or not, so I am eager to keep meeting people of all walks of life!

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

On a professional level, I would like to continue working for TLS, and would also like to complete a DipTrans qualification to be able to get more translation work as well. I am looking into Cousera too, to see if there is anything that I can learn about that relates to interpreting or translation in some way, so it can open more doors for me to be able to help even more people.

On a personal level, I am currently reducing my thyroid medication by changing my lifestyle and would like to reach a point where I can live without the need for any medication at all. After that, I would like to write and record an album!

If you are a tls linguist and would like to be profiled, or know someone else who would, please get in touch by emailing