Tea break with Amandine Gachnang, Language Officer

Amandine does her own thing

Amandine Gachnang is a Language Officer at Apostroph Bern. Her metier is French. She translates and gives texts a final polish. She has a good sense of humour and does her own thing: language, literature, film. If you ask her to answer A or B, Amandine is likely to opt for C.

Picture of an employee

Amandine, can you tell us about two important moments in your training?

On the one hand, my training to become a translator and, on the other, the wonderful moment I had at school when I won a prize – for a novella I had written.

And what about something typical about your everyday working life?

Research online. And working with Termdat is like playing the piano for me.

What’s Termdat?

Oh, it’s an enormous Federal Administration terminology database for communication, editorial work and translation. It contains entries for almost all fields of activity in Switzerland’s four national languages as well as English.

Did you do well at school?

I liked going to school and rarely had any problems. German, English and French were definitely my favourite subjects. I didn’t do quite as well in chemistry or physics – the problem was (she laughs), I simply wasn’t interested in them.

Did you always want to work with languages?

Yes, absolutely. I always wanted to have a job where I could work with language, literature and film. And now I work in a translation company and write book and film reviews for websites and magazines in my spare time. I took exactly the path that I wanted to take – I’ve been so lucky!

Your mother tongue is French. What does the language mean to you?

It’s the language I feel at home in. But I love German and English, too.

In Switzerland, the French word of the year was “iel”. Can you explain this term to us?

The pronoun “iel” combines “il” and “elle”. This new word is a practical solution that shows respect for everyone: men, women and non-binary people. Gender-sensitive language.

Have you got a particularly nice-sounding word in French for us?

I love the word évanescent, transient.

And in English?


As a film aficionado you are bound to have a tip for a good series for us.

I have three actually. Twin Peaks, Community and The Haunting of Hill House. These three series represent what I love: the first one is strange, a bit weird. The second one is really funny. And the third one is spooky. I love ghosts. 


You’re welcome.

Amandine, say A or B

Coffee or tea?                     

We’re getting off to a good start – I like both. And apart from that, I am a Gemini – we don’t like making decisions.       
Ok: coffee.

Book or Netflix?                 

Definitely both!

Michel Houellebecq or Simone de Beauvoir?        

Chuck Palahniuk, one of my favourite authors

Pasta or pizza?                   

Doesn’t matter, as long as there is cheese on top.

Early bird or nighthawk?                         


London or Paris?                


Wine or beer?                     


Summer or winter?             

Autumn: colourful leaves and Halloween!

Green or blue?                    


Dog or cat?                          

No comment. I don’t want to get into trouble with my dog or my cat. They’re already jealous enough of each other as it is.

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