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Karine Chevalier - Watts


Karine Chevalier-Watts was born in Lozère, France but spent most of her youth in Provence.  Her father was born and grew up in Saigon, Vietnam, the son of a Franco-Vietnamese mother and of a Franco-Portuguese-Indian father from Pondicherry, South India (both cities at the time being French colonies). Her father’s family emigrated to France when both Vietnam and India became independent.

Karine’s mother was French, but later moved to England to study English before settling in Algiers working as a French teacher. She returned to France to read law, where she met Karine’s father, a doctor. They married, had a son Patrick, followed by Karine. It was Patrick’s passion for contemporary music that ignited Karine’s passion for British culture.

Through this mixed heritage, Karine was exposed to many different cultures. By the age of 17, she could already speak English, Spanish and Russian fluently and later learnt Italian.  After obtaining her A Levels in Arts with Distinction in 1989 from Lycée Saint Charles in Marseille, she pursued her studies at the prestigious Université des Lettres d’Aix-en-Provence where she graduated with an English Bachelor’s Degree with Honours which included Spanish and Russian as third and fourth languages.

In 1992, she moved to England spending a year as a French language assistant at Ferndown Upper School in Dorset as part of a University exchange. She returned to Aix-en-Provence to prepare for the highly selective French national competitive teaching exam of “CAPES” which she passed with Distinction in 1995, fully qualifying her as a language teacher throughout Europe.

After teaching English and French in several secondary schools in Paris, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, Karine permanently moved to England in 1998 to join her English husband, Tim.

Once in England, Karine worked as a French & English teacher, translator and interpreter for British and French companies.  She then completed a 3 year Business Studies course at Wiltshire College and obtained an RSA III Diploma with Honours in 2002, qualifying her as a multilingual Paralegal Executive. She subsequently worked for international companies, using her languages and administrative skills, managing busy offices in the food, farm and drinks industries, as well as legal, garden design, landscape architecture and housing sectors. 
In 2011, she set up her own language agency “Karine’s Languages & Administrative Services” to offer a wide range of services from private tutoring, translating, interpreting and multilingual administration to the general public, private businesses, schools and governmental bodies.  The business has gone from strength to strength adding international clients to its portfolio with assistance from carefully chosen expert native speakers of an array of languages.

Karine lives in Wiltshire with her husband Tim, an Interior Design Company Director, her cats and rabbits.  A keen animal-lover, environmentalist and humanitarian, Karine enjoys volunteering for charitable organisations such as The Cats Action Trust, the Melksham & District French Twinning Association and The Bath & District Tibet Support Group.  She has been the secretary of a large residents association in Westbury and of the White Horse Opera in Devizes. She is also passionate about the arts in general, vintage clothing, antiques, travelling and meeting people of different cultures and reading travel books and autobiographies.

Personal Recommendations for Karine:

Charlotte Henwood - PR & Marketing - 
Steve Vick International Ltd 

“We had a very successful exhibition at World Gas Conference in Paris. The French translation you provided quickly became an essential tool for communicating with other delegates at the conference.”

Mrs Linda Blake, Company director, Appleton Information Services Ltd worked with Karine at Balston & Company from 2006 to 2011

 “Karine was a hard-working, enthusiastic member of the office, who combined a sense of humour with patience, politeness and charm. She was very supportive to me as a regular visitor to the office, and never failed to make me feel welcome and part of the team.”

Mr Howard Graff, Partner, Graff & Graff Accountants was with another company when working with Karine at Lane & Tatham Wine Brokers from 2001 to 2006

 “I am a partner in an accounting firm and I first got to know Karine through my role as the external accountant to Lane & Tatham. As a function of my role, my dealings with Karine were only ever occasional, but the matters discussed with her were often of importance to the owners of the business. I remember thinking that I didn’t have to chase: Karine always got things done, and she did this with charm and efficiency in equal measure. In my experience, office managers in small businesses are rarely as good as Karine.”

Mr Robin Lane, Director & Owner, Wine Supplier Support – Wiltshire

 “Karine, whom I have known for a number of years, is a conscientious, hard-working and thorough person on whom you can rely. You can be sure that she will make sure that she understands what it is that you want and that she will then deliver it on time (probably early!).
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her as a translator or teacher of foreign languages to anyone.”

Nicholas Tatham MW, Partner, Lane & Tatham Wine Brokers - managed Karine at Lane & Tatham Wine Brokers from 2001 to 2006

 “Karine was employed as Office Manager at Lane & Tatham to run the office during our many absences travelling; she did this with great skill and flair; keeping both our clients and our suppliers fully informed. Karine was always very punctual and would always ensure that any job was completed; she had great attention to detail. I would have no hesitation in recommending Karine to any prospective employer or client.”

Mrs Catherine Hewens, Director, Balston & Company Ltd – worked with Karine at Balston & Company from 2006 to 2011

 “For a period of almost 5 years, Karine worked at Balston & Company in the capacity of Michael Balston’s PA and Office Administrator. 
The role required someone who was calm, competent, efficient and with the ability to juggle a huge amount at any one time. This she demonstrated consistently and always with good humour and enthusiasm. Added to this she has always been extremely thoughtful and kind – understanding the very often unspoken demands of the team. 
I can unhesitatingly say that she would be an asset to any organisation.”

Mr Tim Smith, Export Manager at Vignobles Lorgeril, worked with Karine in 2005

 “Karine was an extremely efficient, conscientious colleague. Speaking both English and French perfectly, she is a born communicator, as well as being one of the nicest people I know. It was a pleasure in all respects to work with Karine.”

Mrs Maud Manfredini-Mullard, Directrice Export, LAMBLIN ET FILS

 “Karine est une personne compétente et de confiance qui fait preuve d'un excellent relationnel.”

Mr Brian Harry, Former National Sales Manager All Ireland & Scotland within the PLB Group - worked with Karine from 2005 to 2006
“Karine was instrumental in the smooth transition from Lane & Tatham's wine suppliers & customers following their purchase by the PLB group. 
She was a crucial link during the changeover in familiarizing the PLB staff to the Lane & Tatham's extensive range of fine wines and their producers.

She was very successful in bringing the PLB Sales Administration team up to speed when integrating the existing Lane & Tatham customers into the PLB Group regarding their ordering systems. 
She helped the PLB sales team in getting acquainted to the Lane & Tatham portfolio. She created detailed presentation catalogues so that the PLB sales team could quickly and efficiently introduce these wines to their existing customers. 
Karine was quick to learn the PLB home-software "Bacchus" for the handling of orders and stocks. 
She liaised well with the PLB Accounts department to help them deal with the added Lane & Tatham portfolio of suppliers regarding their invoices and promotional activities. 
She was extremely helpful to the Sales and Marketing Departments in the submission of wine samples and information for the entry of wines into the annual Wine Challenge and Decanter competitions...
Finally I would like to say Karine fitted in extremely well with her new colleagues at PLB and we were all sad to see her leave us. 
I would gladly recommend Karine and know she will undertake any job presented to her with the upmost proficiency.”