Stephanie is a translator into English of all things literary and French.


Her other languages, include German, Italian and Swedish.


Having worked as a lawyer in Sydney and London, Stephanie happily traded in a legal career for a return to her linguistic calling. After several years as a legal translator, she left the world of pleadings and contractual documents behind.


Her most recent translation is of Hannelore Cayre's fabulously spiky The Godmother (La Daronne) which she enjoyed translating enormously. It was included on the NY Times list of 100 Notable Books for 2019. It was a very different work, posing some different challenges to the work of translating Françoise Frenkel's, WWII memoir, No Place to Lay One's Head (from the French, Rien où poser sa tête), an extraordinary story of one woman's attempt to survive the horrors of Vichy France. It was published in English for the first time by the Vintage imprint of Penguin Random House (Australia) in 2017, by Pushkin Press (UK) in 2018, and appeared under Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint in the US in December 2019.

She is particularly excited about a couple of forthcoming translations, including that of Joseph Ponthus' deeply affecting and much lauded À la Ligne (On the Line: Notes from a Factory), as well as Hannelore Cayre's latest work, Richesse Oblige, which will be published as The Inheritors in English.

Stephanie made her literary translation début with a new English translation of 19th century French children’s author, the Countess de Ségur’s Fleurville Trilogy published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) in 2010.


The Trilogy includes the perennially popular Sophie’s Misfortunes, Camille and Madeleine: A Tale of Two Perfect Little Girls and The Holidays.


Stephanie’s subsequent translations of the Countess’ works - also published by Simon & Schuster (Australia) -  include the wonderfully cheeky Monsieur Cadichon: Memoirs of a Donkey (2011) and A Room at Guardian Angel Inn (2012) and its sequel, General Dourakine (2013).


Her translation of Jules Verne's wonderful historical adventure novel, Michel Strogoff: Moscou-Irkoutsk was published by Eagle Books in April 2016. It is the first new translation of this exciting classic in over one hundred years.


Stephanie worked with her Swedish mother on the first English translation of the original iconic Swedish children's stories featuring Pelle Svanslös by Gösta Knutsson. They were published by Piccolo Nero, the children's imprint of Black Inc. publishers in 2017. They are now an award-winning audio book published by Bolinda Audio, read by the wonderful Rupert Degas.


Stephanie lives in Sydney with her husband, Paul. Her two adult children make appearances when they are not studying and working in other cities.



Stephanie’s passions

When Stephanie doesn’t have her nose in a good book, she is probably thinking about food … what she is going to eat next, what she is planning to cook for family and friends, what she has just devoured!

She is also passionate about design. She and her husband Paul enjoyed their collaboration with Sam Crawford of Sam Crawford Architects when renovating their Sydney home. And both Stephanie and Paul are loving filling the beautiful spaces created by Sam with Scandinavian ceramics, hand-woven fabrics created by her father, art from their favourite galleries, including Defiance Gallery at Mary Place in Paddington, and Nanda Hobbs gallery in Chippendale… and, of course, endless books which are slowly but surely filling their shelves.



Stephanie's Credentials

Stephanie completed her undergraduate studies at Adelaide University, South Australia, and gained a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in French Studies).


She then completed an Honours year in French at the University of Sydney writing a thesis in French on various aspects of French criminal law considered from a feminist perspective and for which she was awarded a University Medal.


After graduating, Stephanie worked variously as an Associate to his Honour Justice Michael Kirby (former President of the NSW Court of Appeal and Justice of the High Court of Australia), and as a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (in Sydney) and Clifford Chance (in London).


In 2003, however, Stephanie decided to return to her initial love of languages and gained her NAATI qualifications for Professional Translation from French>English (Accreditation #46400).



About Stephanie

© 2014 Stephanie Smee. All rights reserved.