My heart for language
Ever since I was a child, I have been passionate with language. In my native language, Dutch, I loved reading and writing stories. Later on, I started appreciating the charms of French, English and German as well. It felt enriching and enlarging to understand words and expressions in the languages from our surrounding countries. ‘Dead’ Latin was a good base to gain an insight into the structures in modern languages.
So it shouldn’t cause any surprise that I knew very soon what I was going to study. What attracted me most, was to learn a completely new language, with the least possible reference to languages in which I already had a basic knowledge.
I had always been fascinated by what happened behind the former ‘Iron Curtain’. It seemed another world, difficult to access and with a specific culture. At no more than two thousand kilometers from home, the same distance as many of the southern European destinations we visit every year, people spoke another language, literally and figuratively. I was prepared to giving a great deal to get access to these areas, because the Cyrillic letters in the leaflets about Russia that I ordered at Intourist, of course, were all… Greek to me. I decided to start studying Russian.
At the same time, I took a dive into another world language: English. This choice was motivated differently. Because of its omnipresence in media, film and music, English may give the impression that we master it sufficiently to be able talk to each other all over the world. Indeed, it’s not too hard to acquire the basic skills to make oneself understood. However, it needs thorough study to access the nuances, the richness and beauty of the language.
Throughout the years, my knowledge of French has also remained up to date. A certain gift to pick it up quickly has been supplemented by long periods of living in Brussels and working in several bilingual organisations. This is how I added French as a working language to English and Russian throughout the years.
Now, I continue to walk the linguistic path that I chose years ago from my home and work place Dilbeek, as a freelance translator, interpreter and copywriter.
Working with languages is a great pleasure, because it opens up worlds which otherwise would have remained closed and it helps me find connections I would never have seen. Moreover, it creates contacts that would have been inexistent otherwise. I keep on walking and exploring this path with curiosity and an open view.
Will you join me for a part of the way?