I have really been studying to become a translator since way back in 2006, when my second child (daughter) was only two. It struck me, like the proverbial bolt out of the blue, while driving my first child (son) to his nursery.
Feeling kind of shiftless, wondering where the career part of my life was going to go now that I had adorable kiddies to care for, the song ‘Suddenly I See’ came on the radio. I remember thinking, that must be such an awesome feeling, to suddenly realize exactly what you wanted to do with your life, if only I could experience a blinding revelation like that! I racked my brains and thought of all my interests, and one stood out, an enduring love of French, ever since my first holiday there, aged 11. I had always enjoyed deciphering Asterix and Tintin in their original forms, and pored over French film magazines picked up on our many holidays in France.
So, what if I were to make a proper go of this enjoyable pass-time? How could I incorporate my love of (reading, not speaking! ) French in my day to day life! Well, it is amazing how many thoughts you can have just during one short song, because right there and then I set myself the target of becoming a professionally qualified translator by the age of (insert appropriate landmark age here!).
I studied French at the Alliance de Française de Glasgow, where I sat French Studies Diplomas B1 and B2. I had a really enjoyable time here, and when I left to move to Panama, I was a regular attendee of the advanced conversation class.
When we moved to Panama for my husband’s job on the canal expansion project, I thought my dreams of becoming a translator were over. To cut a long story short, I found a distance learning course and studied to gain a professional Certificate in Translation. Then I signed up as a volunteer translator for Global Voices online to whom I am extremely grateful for so many opportunities for me to gain experience. I missed my landmark age target by three years, but I had had a third child (boy) and emigrated, so I’m not beating myself up too much about this!
I then rekindled my love of Chemistry, the subject I had studied to B. Sc. (Hons) level, all those (unspecified number of) years ago. As I had worked in the pharmaceutical industry for eight years plus, I then gave serious thought to combining my talents to become a French to English Translator specializing (sorry UK readers!) in Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals, which is what I am today!
And it is all (kind of) thanks to this lovely womble-ish Scottish singer/songwriter