How I got into languages and food

I was brought up in Galicia, a bilingual region in north-west Spain, although my parents met and married in Uruguay. I grew up listening to Uruguayan turns of phrase that my mother had picked up, like the use of ‘ustedes’ for ‘vosotros/as’, and to descriptions of Uruguayan dishes such as tarta pascualina, matambre or pizza fainá. In 2006, I would finally visit Uruguay with my now husband, and get to savour in the friendly cafés some of the dishes my mum had so much talked about.

I was always fascinated by the differences between the dialects of Galician spoken by my mother’s and father’s families, which made studying Galician more interesting and got even more exciting when I went to boarding school (or rather, college) and lived with people from all over Galicia. You would not believe how many different accents can coexist in a region.

French was my first foreign language, which I loved from the moment I started studying it. My first live contact with French culture came in language immersion courses in Nantes and Brittany at 17 and 18.

At university, I started English from scratch as you needed two foreign languages for a Translation and Interpreting degree. In summer holidays, I polished my languages working as an au pair for a Parisian family in a chateau in Colombes-les-Vesoul, and later in the UK. Also working in a kids summer camp in Binic.

My first career

After graduating in Translation and Interpreting (French specialism), I returned to the UK to polish my English and ended up teaching Spanish for twenty years. It seemed much easier than finding translation work! I really enjoyed it, and so did my students.

I got an A for Spanish which I’m thrilled about so thank you so much for all the help you gave me because it made a huge difference!! I’m actually now considering studying Spanish at university which is amazing!” (student is now majoring in Spanish at uni)

My second career

I loved teaching, but in 2016, the year of Roald Dahl’s centenary, which had been the subject of my BA dissertation, I itched to study again, explored various MAs and decided to give translation a chance. In 2018, I graduated with Distinction in Translation Studies, English>Spanish.

In 2019, I completed a 3-month business course and a 3-month culinary translation course. I also started blogging about culinary translation and sharing the knowledge acquired via my MA dissertation research and via my culinary translation course with fellow enthusiasts. As a result, two students from the University of Portsmouth were inspired to follow in my footsteps and chose cookbook translation for their MA dissertations.

I also started doing voluntary translation and revision work via Translators Without Borders for a range of organisations. This was a great opportunity to learn about my own and other people’s work.

I’m now set up. Come and join my boat! I’d love to join your journey and help you grow your business, reach new audiences, or meet your personal targets with my language skills and cultural expertise.

Next steps

Take a look at my specialisations. If you need something different, ask and we can see if it’s possible or I can recommend someone else.