My name is Catherine V. Howard, independent translator and sole proprietor of Social Research Translating Services. I offer high-caliber translations from Portuguese, Spanish, or French into English in qualitative social sciences. If this is what you need, I hope you’ll consider the degree of expertise and depth of experience I can bring to your project.

I hold a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago (2001), based on my fieldwork among the Waiwai Indians of the Amazon. I lived a total of seven years in Brazil, allowing me to become fluent in both Waiwai and Portuguese. I also did linguistic fieldwork on four other indigenous languages on the verge of disappearing.

I began translating in the 1990s while in graduate school, finding it to be a great way to procrastinate about writing my dissertation. I served as a Lector assisting the Portuguese professors and also worked with Hispanic communities in Chicago. My big break came when the University of Chicago Press commissioned me to translate a full-length book by the renowned anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, From the Enemy’s Point of View: Humanity and Divinity in an Amazonian Society. I was hooked on translating ever since.

After teaching cultural anthropology for ten years in American colleges (Bennington, Vanderbilt, Fisk, and Gettysburg), my nostalgia for Brazil grew so strong that I decided to return in 2002. Over the next three years, I conducted more fieldwork among indigenous peoples, taught an anthropology course in Portuguese at the University of São Paulo, and began translating research articles by colleagues. As word got around about the quality of my translations, I got more and more requests to translate articles, proposals, newsletters, and websites for nongovernmental organizations, such as the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) and the Pro-Yanomami Commission (CCPY). During trips to France for archival research and language immersion, I also began translating from French, a language I had studied since childhood. I enjoyed freelance translating so much that I decided to make it my profession.

Since my return to the U.S., I’ve continued to translate academic texts in anthropology as well as ones in history, socioenvironmental research, and creative writing. So if you need a translation from Portuguese, Spanish, or French into English (or, who knows, if you’re curious about conjugating verbs in Waiwai), please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Contact information

Catherine V. Howard, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 656
Putney, Vermont 05346

“Without translation, we would inhabit parishes bordering on silence.”
— George Steiner