As you all know, my partner and I had a break a few weeks ago (although it feels like a lifetime ago!) and Rome was our chosen destination. As I said before we left, my Italian left a lot to be desired, but I tried my best during our stay and we had a wonderful time.
I don’t want to make anyone jealous, but it is an incredibly romantic setting, and one night we ate in the courtyard of a beautiful vine-covered restaurant. The romantic vibe stops here, honest. The way the tables were set out meant that everyone was basically seated on long benches, which was great for talking to our neighbours. We started chatting to a lovely Australian lady who had been living in the city and learning Italian for 3 months. I could see my other half’s eyes roll at this point, as she and I lamented the level of English grammar teaching at school. I, for one, gained a great deal of my knowledge of my native grammar structures from comparing them to that of French, German and later Spanish.
Talk soon turned to how lucky my partner and I are to live in Britain, being able to travel so easily to such wonderful places as Rome, Paris and our own London. It had cost our neighbour thousands of dollars for return flights to Italy! She said that she loved Paris, and that she wished that she could speak French and her point was soon made, when a family from the South of France joined us on the opposite side of the table. The couple spoke great English, but were pleased to speak to me in their native language, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My partner had never heard me speak French before, and he was fascinated by the exchange.
After we left the restaurant, I reflected on our conversations and how lucky I am to be who I am and do what I do. It has taken a lot of hard work, and will continue to do so, but the career I have chosen is completely fulfilling. How amazing is it to be able to communicate in another language (or two, in my case)? I love using my language skills every day, and our trip to Rome certainly cemented my passion for my job.
A break, whether at home or abroad, is a great opportunity to relax, have fun and take stock, and I fully intend to take Speech Marks Translation on the road again next year. I hope that all of you had wonderful summer holidays, or that you have a great trip or two lined up!
For those who are interested, here is the (short) photo reel:
Me at St Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro)
Translation at the Colosseum (Colosseo)
Me throwing my penny into the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)