I have been working as a professional translator and interpreter since 2006 after graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a B.S. in Spanish and Mathematics. State agencies in both Ohio and Illinois have used my services.
Currently I am manage the translation department at Affordable Language Services
, so my availability is limited.
I developed my Spanish skills in Santiago, Chile, where I studied abroad for an entire year as an undergraduate. Since then my linguistic studies continued in China where I learned Mandarin Chinese and taught English for two years.
Spanish first entered my geeky, sheltered childhood when my sixth grade teacher asked if anyone would be interested in going to Mexico. I still can't explain why I wanted to go - something about a thirst for knowledge I guess. I did go, and it changed my whole worldview. Here were people living their lives, drinking orange juice for breakfast but eating toast that came pre-toasted - Bimbo Pan Tostado
. I couldn't understand a word they said, but knew that when they laughed after saying my name, it wasn't a good sign. When the maid asked a question after I'd finished my lunch, my "sí" got me another sandwich. If only I could have understood what they were saying.
This same scenario repeated itself 6 years later when I went to Peru. Sure, I'd taken 3 years of Spanish in high school by that point, and I could indeed communicate, but certainly not fully, and not without the occasional misunderstanding. I knew then and there that I wouldn't stop until I'd finished learning the language, all of it.
My college classes weren't going to cut it. There were seniors majoring in Spanish who still read English translations of the required novels. Study abroad was the only clear path to mastery. So I went to Santiago, Chile, through IFSA
, a wonderfully structured and supportive study abroad program. Being forced to spend time with other students from the US was a bit limiting, so the next semester I enrolled directly in UC
, taking classes with Chilean students. That, along with all the novels I read and my girlfriend, really solidified my Spanish. It wasn't hard anymore, nor even fun by the end. It was normal.
I did find a new source for that linguistic pleasure though: relating cultures and languages to each other. Understanding and experimenting with how different languages and grammars attack the same problem, attempt to express the same idea, in all its messy glory, not just the text but the subtext, context, and meta-text. Translation is the art of putting that knowledge and experience into practice.
If you want someone to do a "good enough" job, that's not me. The best job, the right job, or the whole job, now those I can handle. I translate everything you say, how you say it, and even why you say it.
Why settle for anything less?
Though words are the basis of my profession, the world has shown me plenty which they could never express. So I take photographs