About ten days ago I took another trip to Béziers for a haircut and a stop at the Centre Hobson to drop off my parent's birth and marriage certificates for official translation. Not just anyone can translate documents in the official capacity, only government certified translators can. Which is fair enough. A bit pricey though, at €40 a page.
The funny (i.e. annoying) thing is, it would be cheaper if I were from the UK, as American English is considered a dialect, so they charge about 20% more for a spécialiste du dialecte.
No, I'm not joking.
Five years ago we gave Madame Hobson plenty of business as she did all of the translations for our first cartes de séjours. She's wonderful to work with; warm and friendly and works quickly and efficiently.
She looked over my new sheaf of papers and made a few notes, then told me how happy she was to hear that I loved living in France and that I wanted to become a French citizen. I left her office with a smile on my face.
The translations were ready last Tuesday. Madame Hobson kindly only charged €20 a page, as birth and marriage certificates are mostly names and dates, thus easy translation work. We had a nice chat about American politics and how I might get past the brick wall that has become my ability to progress with the French language (she advised reading more in French) and sent me on my way with encouraging words about my upcoming citizenship process.
The big news: the sous-préfecture in Béziers has decided to let those of us applying for citizenship to make an appointment and bring our dossiers directly to them instead of having to turn it in at the local level, in my case the village mayor's office . They found that upwards of 80% of the dossiers were being returned due to numerous reasons so they decided to make it easier for everyone involved.
The mayor's secretary gave me a phone number to call and miracle of miracles, an actual human being answered the first time I called and gave me an appointment for November 24.
I've got my apostilles, I've got my translations, I've got my casier judiciaire.
I am ready.