a.k.a. Introducing myself properly at last
This post is based on a Blogging101 prompt: publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post. This is the “who I am” part; for the Writing101 entry with the “why I’m here” part, see Why I write and what I write about.
I’m a language learner
My interest in foreign languages started as a kid when I began learning English. I fell in love with this language to the point that I enjoyed using it more than my mother tongue, French. Over the years, I studied German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and more recently the American sign language (ASL), but none triggered the same amount of passion I had – and still have – for English.
Now, while I still use English – and, of course, French – on a daily basis, my heart has opened to other languages. I have began (re)learning “for good” some of the languages I studied – and maybe, on the long run, all of them. Learning languages has become my life quest; my focus may shift to a different subject at some point, but it has been a part of my life for nearly 20 years and I don’t expect to ever turn my back on it.
These days, I focus on German and Spanish with some Japanese and ASL on the side, but I already plan to relearn Italian once I have reached a sufficient level in Spanish – so that I don’t mix them up – and to take a French sign language course as soon as I can.
Read Keeping track of #02: Language learning for more details on the language I have studied.
I’m a translator
I fell in love early on with the English language but it took me a while to decide on a career. A BA in English studies almost discouraged me from a career in translation, but an MA in foreign languages with translation courses taught by professional translators and a few work placements convinced me otherwise.
Translation is a form of writing within constraints: the message you convey isn’t your own, and you usually have to stick to the structure of the source text, but the words you choose and the way you arrange them allow you to craft your own version of the text. It is a writing exercise. You don’t always have as much freedom as you might like, but you get to put a little piece of yourself in each assignment.
I now work as a freelance translator from English into French – and occasionally from French into English. I get to work on a wide range of documents, learn about diverse topics, and practice writing while using my favourite languages on a daily basis. I really can’t think of a more perfect job for me!
Read How I found my calling to find out how I decided to become a translator.
I’m a self tracker
Over a month ago, I started a self-monitoring project to motivate me and help me to improve the aspects of my life that I wasn’t satisfied with. I decided to keep track of my sleep, diet, exercise, weight, mental and physical states, social life, entertainment, language learning, work, marketing and job hunting efforts. My goal was to remember, understand, and evolve.
I was inspired by the many experiments and success stories I had read about on the Quantified Self website: stories about people trying to understand various aspects of their lives, out of curiosity or to implement changes, from losing weight and preparing for a marathon to understanding their emotions and improving their relationships.
Every Saturday, I analyse the data gathered over the last seven days and share a report on this blog. While August was mostly about observing and understanding my habits, September is about changing them: I set myself a few challenges, such as going to bed and getting up earlier, exercising more regularly, spending less time in front of TV, translating 50,000 words, etc.