It was 2003, and life had mercilessly deposited me in a country foreign to me – Portugal. At the time, I did not speak the language, did not understand the people and was thoroughly homesick.
There were only a handful of English-speaking people around, all retired ex-pats, but, thankfully, they did like to read. One day, when I was perusing the meagre offerings at an English lady’s house, I picked up a random book, opened it at the title page and was completely stunned. There, on the very first page of the book, without doubt written and printed in English, was a dedication – ‘Manai mīļajai vecmāmiņai’. I was in the middle of Portugal (literally), standing on a tiled Mediterranean floor with palm trees and a vigorous Bougainvillea brushing against the windows, absentmindedly listening to Sheila’s chattering, and there it was – a dedication to somebody’s grandmother in plain Latvian. It was one of Kathy Reichs’s books. The author of Bones, as it turned out, is indeed of Latvian descent. And she gave me the gift of feeling part of a whole at a time when I needed it.
I do not believe Sheila ever understood why I was so excited. She declared that the knowledge of such an obscure language as Latvian was not going to take me anywhere, now that I was far away from my in-house translator’s post back in Riga, however, I should think of offering my services as a Russian translator on this translation website she had just discovered.
Turns out Latvian is not such an inconsequential language after all. The fact that you are reading this should be proof enough. Three months later, when I had already settled in England, I started freelancing full time, and I have never looked back.
This job not only allowed me to raise three kids and work full time but also kept me thoroughly entertained. Where else could you jump from religious book to vicious murder trial to excavator manual, inmate phone call transcription in one week and end it with the very distinctive prose of social services, whose language I now speak fluently. I also understand legalese, pidgin English and hydraulics.
However, there are three subjects I do not do – cricket, oil and Large Hadron Collider.
Providing translation services since 1991
I am a UK based Latvian native speaking translator with vast experience working as a freelance and in-house translator in Latvia, Portugal and the UK.
I am a Qualified Member of ITI, a full member of Proz.com and have an Mphil from the University of Latvia. For client’s peace of mind, I maintain a current DBS check which is renewed annually, allowing me to work on Government projects, amongst other things.