21 Jun 2021

ITI Profile: Chris Alexander Affiliate

After completing a degree in Spanish and History with the Open University I then went on to study for a Masters in Translation, finally qualifying in March 2021.

As someone who is relatively new in the profession I thought it fundamental to join the ITI as it shows that I am dedicated and helps me to stand out.There is an abundance of online material and courses to point you in the right direction, together with regular webinars from industry experts. There are also different ITI Networks to join related to your geographical location, language group or specialisation.

Furthermore, I’ve found LinkedIn to be a great place to connect with other ITI members who are only too happy to offer advice and share ideas. It can feel quite lonely and bewildering to start off with but having the ITI to support and motivate you really helps with this.

At present I live in my hometown of Newcastle but over the summer I will be swapping my wellies for flip flops and moving to Girona in Spain to live with my girlfriend. The move was actually supposed to take place last year but, due to the health crisis, it had to be put on ice until things got back to ‘normal’. I just hope I remember what my girlfriend looks like as I haven’t seen her since last September! In preparation for my move to Catalonia I have started to learn Catalan. It’s a strange but beautiful language and I hope to become fluent so that in the future I can offer it as an additional language I translate professionally.

My language pair is Spanish to English. I first fell in love with the Spanish language when I spent some time in Argentina whilst travelling round the world for a year. I liked the language and the country so much that I returned, and taught business English in Buenos Aires after gaining a TEFL qualification. Prior to this my level of Spanish was very basic, having only self-taught myself with books and CDs. But once I was out there, fully immersed in the language and the culture, my language skills and fluency improved immeasurably. Having learnt the language in Argentina my Spanish friends are quite amused by the Englishman who speaks Spanish with a heavy Argentinian accent together with a hint of Geordie!

I started Lucid Eye Translations last year and, in a few years’ time, I hope to have a successful freelance translation business in Spain specialising in tourism, culture and football. I am now registered with several translation agencies but I would like to have my own private clients as well. Hopefully, there should be plenty of networking opportunities on the Costa Brava as it is a hotbed for tourism. I would like to see myself travel up the ITI ranks and my great ambition is to reach the heady heights of Qualifed Member, the Holy Grail for translators! I am also a bit of an addict of Continuous Professional Development, something that the ITI is very keen to promote, and I am always looking for new and inventive ways to maintain and update my language skills, subject knowledge in my specialist areas, and anything else that will benefit my work.

It may not be easy being a translator, especially in the beginning, but working with the Spanish language and finding the correct equivalent in my native tongue gives me enormous satisfaction. There is never a dull moment and I am looking forward to see where my career takes me next!