When I grow up, I want to be… like my friend Benny!

On March 17th, 2017, posted in: Translation by

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I am not going to speak of Ireland or English, but of an Irish friend. We have all had an icon when we were children or adults. For instance, I recently started to drive after a long period of time and when I had to cross the whole Peninsula, I often took a car in front of me as a reference point. I found it very useful to maintain constant speed.

When I was studying Translation in Salamanca, I met Benny. He was improving his Spanish and he spoke two languages at that time. Following his stay in Spain, it was difficult to locate him in a place for more than 6 months and by then, I was already trying to make my way through the translation career. He always advised me unselfishly every time I had a question about translation as a profession and that too often we don’t learn at Uni (invoicing, the process of working as a freelancer, rates, etc.)

Not only I received good tips for my first steps as a translator, but also I learnt much from him when approaching a foreign language and dealing with the situations involved in that learning. He is a very positive and tenacious person and this should be reflected when we read, listen, speak or write in a foreign language. The curious thing of all is that he started to learn and improve languages in his ‘style’ and now he tells his experiences to others in his website and he has published a book.

He has lived in exotic countries while learning the language and working as a translator. Currently he speaks seven languages and I can assure that quite well. I always like to remember one of his tips: take advantage of every moment, whether in the bus or waiting for a friend. There is always time to learn German vocabulary (my unfinished business at the time).

Now I try to follow his steps. I help other translation colleagues whenever I can. When learning a language, I do so in a funny and consistent way. And most importantly, I love my job and I try to give translation a bohemian touch. I don’t live in exotic countries, but I can move to other places from time to time with my laptop and a good connection to the Internet.

And you, what would you like to be when you ‘grow up’? Who has been your reference point in translation or any other aspect of your lives? By the way, Happy St. Patrick’s Day or what remains of it. 😉

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