The Savvy Linguist has been involved in the language services sector since 2007. We have extensive experience in language teaching, translation, editing, proofreading, copywriting, interpretation and strategic communication; consulting to international and South African clients.
The Savvy Linguist is not a large-scale translation agency; we are a multi-dimensional, human-centric language services company, born out of the desire to help businesses and individuals grow apace with the demands of the modern working world.
At The Savvy Linguist, we place quality and accuracy above all else and your first point of contact is the company founder and director, Melissa Cawthra. Melissa is a qualified French < > English translator with 14 years’ translation experience. She specialises in the international development sector. See a comprehensive breakdown of Melissa’s qualifications and professional experience here.
Prior to establishing The Savvy Linguist, Melissa spent three years studying and working in Paris and pursued a career in international relations in South Africa. She has, among other things, interpreted at COP17, worked as an in-house translator and editor, monitored political-economic affairs at the French Consulate in Cape Town, managed teams of investigative journalists across 21 francophone African countries, and conducted research and implemented Africa-wide projects for a human rights NGO in the security sector; working on police accountability and democratic governance.
While Melissa is the primary language service provider, The Savvy Linguist employs a small, remote team of expert language practitioners on an ad hoc basis. Once clients have provided a detailed breakdown of their specific needs, projects are outsourced to the best person for the job, from our global pool of highly skilled freelance translators and editors.
The Savvy Linguist offers a range of written and verbal language services.
Machine translation post-editing
Whether you’re a start-up, a marketing company, a publishing house, a large corporate, an NGO, or anything in between, we can help package the content of your product to fit the purpose and audience. In addition to translation and interpretation services in a number of language combinations, we offer editing, copywriting and strategic communication consulting services to maximise the impact and effectiveness of your internal and external communications.
As a company that is committed to delivering a product of the highest quality as quickly and efficiently as possible, we value open and transparent communication with our clients, and you can rest assured that we will be receptive and attentive to the specific needs and requirements of your project. We guarantee accuracy, reliability and a timely turnaround, and it goes without saying that we treat all projects with the highest respect for confidentiality.
At NCBA CLUSA, we have used Melissa’s translation services since 2016. She is highly reliable, detailed, and an all-around outstanding translator. Over the past 5 years, we have relied on her to produce high quality translations of our program reports for submission to USAID. We have really appreciated her flexibility while working on reports that had shifting internal deadlines, with sections sometimes being submitted to her on a piecemeal basis. I strongly recommend Melissa to other organizations in need of translation services.
Melissa’s translations are always very accurate, the meaning and the style are always consistent with the source text. Melissa is a pleasure to work with. I recommend her very highly and without reservation.
The No Nonsense Group approached Melissa Cawthra very last minute to provide some English to French translations for one of our clients; the African Development Bank. She was on standby night and day for translation and proofreading and assisted us in achieving a very tight and stressful deadline. We would highly recommend her to anyone requiring English to French translations. She is professional, courteous and highly skilled.
We have used Melissa’s translation services a number of times over the years. She is precise and thoughtful and is someone who can be relied upon to deliver a quality product in a timely and professional manner.
While an excellent all-around translator, Ms. Cawthra is a hard-working, qualified and motivated professional and her ability to deliver under deadline pressure is commendable and deserves special mention. I would also like to remark on Ms. Cawthra’s excellent relations with colleagues during her tenure with Weatherford. I can without hesitation recommend Ms. Cawthra for any translating job or any position that requires in-depth knowledge of French and English.
I experienced [Melissa] as a competent and enthusiastic individual who has a personal yet professional approach towards her working relationships. She was meticulous in fulfilling her mandate and always asked questions when she was unsure. Most importantly, I appreciate her authenticity and integrity, which enabled me to trust her and to share with her the highly strategic and confidential content that she had to work with.
I can strongly recommend Melissa’s outstanding skill set to anyone seeking the services of a translator, editor or communication consultant. She is highly professional and reliable but at the same time was a very well-liked and personable addition to our team in Paris. Her attention to detail, efficiency and excellent verbal and written communication skills are exemplary.
I’ve been put in touch with Melissa through a mutual acquaintance from Canada. Despite the distance as I’m working from France and she is from South Africa, we had very efficient and pleasant communication. She offered professional services and on-time delivery even if I asked for short-term delivery. I highly recommend her and thank her again for supporting me.