About Paula van der Wal

Learn young…

The person behind Dutch Direct Translation Services

Welcome to Dutch Direct Translation Services, my name is Paula van der Wal. I started this company in 2009, but my passion for translating English into Dutch dates back to around 1990. I was ten years old and rehearsing a Kate Bush ‘Babushka’ playback act. Diligently transcribing what I heard her sing into a phonetic script of my own, I paged through the dictionary looking for the translations, occasionally relying on my mum’s expert help in recognizing words. I kept on going until I felt I completely understood the lyrics and could render them accurately, yet in my own creative way. Many things changed since then, but my way of working with texts has not.


After many interesting and valuable detours which took me to the universities of Leiden, Birmingham UK, and Amsterdam, as well as to a Hare Krishna community in the Belgian Ardennes, and which yielded an MA, a very special husband and three wonderful children, I finally decided to set up as a professional freelance translator in 2009. I had always kept translating as a hobby and the continuing demand of my friends and relatives for text help spread into a wider circle of clients, enabling me to make the leap.


Since then I have been working part-time for various customers, gaining clients by word of mouth. This period taught me how to quickly master new kinds of texts, stick to deadlines, and deliver high quality – after all, I knew most of my clients and could not afford to deliver less than perfect. From journal articles on medical ethics to business negotiations about construction patents, from highly technical CVs to esoteric poems and creative literary reviews, I learned to handle them all. And to come back to where I came from: I still regularly advice my old friend and favourite client TOLKdido, who became a sign-dancer, in rendering English lyrics in Dutch Sign Language for live performances.

Paula van der Wal online

And now for the official part: my CV, and my profiles on LinkedIn and Proz.com.