I’m Chris Alexander, a Spanish to English translator who was born and bred in Newcastle. I’ve never been like Louis Armstrong but if I did have to blow my own trumpet I would say I’m a passionate, reliable and adaptable with great organisation and communication skills. A deep understanding of translation theory enables me to make decisions based on key issues such as context, purpose, audience, culture, style, integrity and ethics during the translation process. I’m a highly skilled researcher and possess excellent IT skills. With a ‘lucid eye’ for detail I am also a trustworthy proofreader.
Although my specialities lie in tourism, e-commerce, football and all things cultural, I also have experience in translating texts in many other areas. I have also translated witness statements and other documents for a Spanish lawyer and have acted, on occasions, as an interpreter for Brits abroad who have found themselves in trouble in Spain. I have been an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) since 2020 and I am firmly committed to the practice of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
I started my business, Lucid Eye Translations, in February 2020. As well as translating I also write content and blog posts on subjects that include travel, culture, translation, football, history and current affairs. As a translator I have worked on a variety of texts. Most recently, I have been translating a Spanish tourism website showcasing the best places to visit and things to do on the Costa Brava. I have also translated texts for the website of a Spanish football club including information about the club, its history, match reports and interviews with players. I translated an article about the Falklands War which described the cruel and inhumane treatment suffered by Argentinian soldiers at the hands of the military regime. Other translations have included travel guides and tourist brochures, news and magazine articles, football interviews, marketing materials and blog posts.
I was awarded a Merit for my MA in Translation in 2021 after two years of part-time study with the Open University. Prior to that, in 2018, I gained a First Class Honours Degree in Spanish and History after five years of part-time study, also with the OU. In the same year I completed a three part proofreading course with the Society of Editors and Proofreaders. In 2008 I successfully passed a TEFL course in Argentina. I also have an HNC in Business and Finance which I was awarded in the days when I still had hair to comb!
Prior to translating full-time I worked in various sectors which have given me an insight into many areas. From 2014 to 2021 I worked as a support worker caring for complex and palliative clients in their own home. This was a very demanding and sometimes upsetting job as clients were generally coming towards the end of their life. It was also a very challenging time for me as, together with the long shifts and difficult nature of the job itself, I was also faced with the constant stress and anxiety that comes with studying for a degree and then an MA with the OU.
From 2011 I worked for three years at PayPal as a Customer Services Advisor. Tasks included helping setting up new client accounts, discussing transactions, handling complaints and, more often than not, being verbally abused by the horrendous general public. From 2008 to 2010 I worked as an English teacher in Buenos Aires. Here I prepared and taught individual and group classes Business English to students of all levels. I can say it is easily the most enjoyable job I have ever had and Argentina is also where I fell in love with the Spanish language.
From 2006 to 2008 I worked as a Sales Advisor for BT where my job was to sell telephone, internet and television packages. I made decent money before it went pear-shaped and they moved me to retentions. Now I had the thankless task of trying to convince customers to stay with us who wanted to leave as they had found better deals with rival suppliers. From 1996 to 2005 I worked as an Administrator for the Newcastle Building Society. In this role my tasks included paying invoices, placing orders, data analysis and stock checking. As a general gopher I would also make regular visits to our branch network and head office.
I have travelled extensively. In Europe, Spain is a particular favourite of mine, closely followed by Greece and Portugal. A number of years ago I spent a year travelling around the world with my trusty backpack as a companion. I began in South America visiting Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina, before moving onto Australia and then into South East Asia. Here I sampled the wonders of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong before finishing off in India. I travelled on planes, boats, trains, buses, cars, motorbikes, tractors, canoes, rafts, helicopters, and even on the back of camels and elephants. I paraglided and I bungee jumped. I trekked to the mystical Machu Picchu. I watched sultry tango in Buenos Aires. I worked on a cotton farm in Australia surrounded by kangaroos. I ate insects and fish eyes in Thailand. Every country had its own sparkle and its own distinctive piece of magic. A few years later I was back in South America teaching English in Argentina after a month-long detour in Costa Rica. This gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of this amazing country for a second time.
I am a keen reader and, in the past year, I have read books about Argentinian football, Isabella of Castille, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, the British Empire, the Spanish Civil War, Catalan history and the French Revolution. I also enjoy reading Spanish novels. My favourite authors are Isabel Allende, Ildefonso Falcones, Julia Navarro, Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Gabriel García Márquez. I enjoy listening to music and watching films both in English and Spanish. One of my favourite bands is Txarango who actually sing in Catalan. I keep fit by jogging and take part in the Great North Run every year raising lots of money for charity. One of my greatest passions is sport, particularly football. I’m a lifelong Newcastle United fan and was a season ticket holder until a few years ago. Now I generally only get to see them on the television which, up until recently, was a blessing in disguise!
Although originally from Newcastle in the UK I now live in the beautiful Catalan city of Girona in Spain. This gives me the fantastic opportunity to constantly improve my Spanish language skills and inter-cultural awareness. I have a great love for all things Spanish; the culture, the history, the people, the weather, the football, the music, the dancing, the nightlife, the beaches, the tapas, the wine, and, of course, the language. I have been learning Spanish for more than fifteen years and, although there is always room for improvement, I would describe myself as a fluent speaker with great communication skills. I have recently started to learn Catalan and I would love to add it as a language I can translate in the years to come. Working with the Spanish language and finding the correct equivalent in my native tongue through my translation work gives me enormous satisfaction and is something I hope I do for many years to come.
So that’s it, a little post about me, myself and I. Hopefully I’ve passed the interview and you’ve enjoyed finding out a bit more about me! If you are looking for a talented, passionate and hardworking translator to carry out your translation projects, why not get in touch now?