Everything you need to know about me
If there's anything else you think you need to know, please contact me via proz-mail or my business website.
Languages Native language:
Baby talk (Gurgle! … Burp!! … Hic!!!) – surely mankind’s most successful attempt yet in the search for universal trans-frontier communication. My language skills went steadily down-hill from the age of around 6 months...
Intensive, larynx-on linguistic research
: Frustrated by my ability to communicate only with people 75 years my senior, I tried a different approach. "Gimme!", "Want", "It's mine" punctuated my every utterance. Until, that is, my backside refused to let me sit down for the 50th time. I resigned myself to the spectre of 'going to school'.
Language of primary, secondary and tertiary education:
British English – just like that wot 'er Majesty 'erself talks!
Languages exposed to, despite my better judgement, during secondary education:
French (La plume de ma tante…
) and German (Ich bin ein…
), and five whole years (!) of Latin (Erasmus' Apologia pro vita sua
and all that stuff) – spoken (!), if you please, with an Oxford accent, not Cambridge.
Languages exposed to - nay,
embraced! - as an adult:
Real-life ‘get your hands dirty’ Spanish (wow, that was an ear-opener - especially in 1970's Honduras!), and then French; plus regular contact with at least a dozen other European languages from 1976 to the present day.
Earning my keep, from 1970 to date Phase 0:
No need for details here – it wasn’t exactly “flippin' burgers”, but it wasn’t much better either. Fortunately, it only lasted three months – and, I oughtn't complain, it did earn me my first state pension entitlement. (Ha! - I'll find out soon if there's anything in the kitty to pay it me!)
Employment as a broadcast technician, then engineer (operational positions on high-power short-wave and medium-wave transmitting stations), with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), UK.
Volunteer position as a broadcast engineer in Honduras and Guatemala, with single-handed responsibility for keeping ‘on-air’ numerous local radio stations offering adult education and concientización
programmes (basic literacy, domestic health-care, etc., interspersed with a certain amount of political agitation, best not talked about here...).
Phase 3: Faute de mieux
, back to the BBC - this time in an engineering planning and installation capacity.
In-house translator with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU – better known to the public as ‘Eurovision’; but, for heaven's sake, there's more to the EBU than the flippin' Song Contest!). Over a 22-year period my responsabilities evolved from pure technical translation (French to English) to my appointment as Chief Editor, Technical Publications – at a time when the Union’s publications were all published in both English and French.
My time with the EBU coincided with the biggest upheaval ever to affect radio and television broadcast technology: the 20-year transition from analogue to digital. As a translator and editor I worked on the whole range of documentation from original research papers that set the theoretical foundations of the digital technologies, through to the publication of the international system standards in association with the ITU, ETSI, CENELEC, IEC, and other bodies. Technologies and systems involved included: the DVB and DAB broadcast transmission systems, digital satellite systems, digital sound and video recording, digital cameras and film-scanners, EPGs, standards conversion, etc.
A 10-year 'sabbatical' in Chile pending proper retirement; but that went awry for reasons that are nobody’s business but my own - except to mention that I have had the 'opportunity' to gain an extensive understanding of Chilean legislation (especially civil and family matters), court procedures and lawyer-speak in Chilean Spanish, plus hands-on experience of the rules and procedures of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Ha! - and then they talk about 'enjoying a career change'!!!
Establishment of MediaMatrix E.I.R.L., a one-man business in Chile offering a range of language and IT services. More details here: www.mediamatrix.cl
Translation languages and specialities
Details are recorded right here in my Proz profile.