Lise Morel has been living in Scotland since 1990. Previously, in Paris, she studied English as a foreign language in Sorbonne-Nouvelle University, as well as Classics (Latin and Greek) in ‘classe préparatoire’ as well as the Sorbonne University.
She initially arrived in Aberdeen, and started tutoring privately 4 children (various ages), and various adults who were interested in improving their French language skills.
In 1991, she was asked to join Aberdeen Grammar School’s, and then Rosemount Community Centre’s community classes programs and subsequently taught conversational French at various levels for the next 7 years.
In the meantime, she also gained valuable experience teaching children as part of Le Club Français.
In 1994, Lise graduated from Aberdeen University and taught at various levels in the French Department in Aberdeen University (language, translation, literature, ‘travaux pratiques’).
In 1997, Lise moved to Edinburgh, and, in 1998, she started teaching at the Institute for Applied Language Studies (University of Edinburgh), in the Community Classes section, as well as in the Languages for Business and Industry section.
Between 1998 and 2004, Lise taught at the University of Edinburgh in Language and Literature & Civilisation in 1st and 2nd years.
In the year 2000, Lise decided to take the plunge and created Premiere Classe, comprehensive language services, her trading name. Under this name, she started training people in French and other languages, both privately, corporately, and through evening classes. She also strengthened her translating portfolio, specialising in technical areas, such as engine oils, paper making machines, and aviation.
Although a freelancer by then, Lise taught for a short spell at the French Institute in 2002.
In 2003, Lise was asked to implement a French language training programme for over 45 people in Standard Life. This successful language training project took place between February 2003 and June 2004, and involved such courses as basic Business French for beginners, intercultural training for French project manager, and specific training for interviewing potential staff in French for HR.
In 2004, she took part in a very interesting and challenging project: developing and implementing French computer-generated voices with Rhetorical Systems. Lise was involved in compiling linguistic rules, as well as in the process of choosing a voice – from the casting in Paris, through to the actual recording session which took place in Edinburgh.
Since then, there’s never been a dull moment: Lise has been successfully developing her conversational evening classes, as well as day-time classes to respond to demand.
In November 2006, Lise took over the organisation of the Edinburgh French Language Meetup, an interactive forum of free activities and meetings for French speakers in Edinburgh. The numbers of meetings have grown dramatically, from just 1 meeting a month before November 2006, to a minimum of 6 events, including a film club and a book club, amongst other things! Lise organised, with the help of the fantastic Edimbourg Français assistant organisers, a Franco-Scottish charity Bastille ceilidh in July 2010 to benefit Barnardo’s Scotland. The club now boasts over 700 members – and it’s still growing!
In May 2007, she took part in Parents Like Us, the Leith festival about activities that parents can share with their children: she showed how parents can introduce their children to French, through the medium of nursery rhymes and traditional songs, as well as reading well known children books! Following the success of the show, Lise has looked at developing a range of family workshops… And she developed the Petit Club concept, which was the first club for bilingual kids in Edinburgh, helping French-speaking kids gain confidence in their other mother tongue.
Since the summer of 2007, Lise has been getting more and more involved with film and television production companies, as well as animation studios, with translation, dialogue adaptation and subtitling, from and into French and English, including work on bibles, premises, scripts and production notes. Most notably, the projects she’s worked on include: Aloutah and Mik-Mak, The Jungle Book (seasons 1&2), Geronimo Stilton (season 2), award-winning series Zou (seasons 1 and 2), What’s The Big Idea, Mademoiselle Zazie, The Jungle Bunch, Noddy, Gigantosaurus… She’s has also translated and adapted several feature films which are currently in development. She’s subtitled hundreds of programs for Trace TV and has worked on a short film and on a documentary. She was also involved in two theatrical projects: creating subtitles for award-winning off-Broadway comedy juggling show The Flying Karamazov Brothers, and adapting into French a puppet show, The Man Who Talked To Trees. Lise is always interested in new projects that will challenge her skills… And her imagination!…
…Which led her in 2004 to collaborate with Stephen K Amos for his fringe show, in 2005 to organise a Journée de la Francophonie including talented French rapper One S.P., in 2012 to take part in the History Festival (Jock Tamson’s Bairns) and in 2013 to collaborate with artist Shona MacNaughton on her project, Every translator is a traitor…
In 2020, the pandemic brought the chaos we all experienced and Lise had to rethink the format of her friendly classes: using Zoom, she adapted the contents of her lessons to make sure fun and laughs were still aplenty in spite of the dire circumstances. She ran online meetups twice a week during the period of the lockdown and also read stories online three times a week during lockdown to keep a social connection with the Petit Club kids and they even created a story through drawings. In December 2020, she devised a video advent calendar to show the people behind the businesses in the French-speaking community and encourage the general public to make purchases locally for Christmas.
Lise is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, of the Society of Authors and of the Translators Association.