2017 – my year of anniversaries

This year, 2017, is providing me with ample opportunities to celebrate various personal anniversaries, as well as to reminisce.


It was 30 years ago that I started working as a freelance translator and interpreter. My first translation assignment was a document of 19 pages for a major Dutch company. And back in 1987, I wrote my first professional translation on what is now considered an old-fashioned typewriter.

Twenty years ago, I moved into my new 14th-floor condo in Toronto with a great view of Humber River: two bedrooms, two bathrooms, spacious balcony, around 1,400 square feet in size – for $103,000, paid in cash without a mortgage, something that would be impossible in today’s frenzied real-estate market.

That was a key year for me. After splitting my time between Europe and Canada for ten years – working as a translator/interpreter and instructor/tutor of English and mathematics, while also pursuing my university studies in languages, translation and political science – I finally put down roots and stayed in one place.

Well, for a number of years anyway… I bought a condo, then a house, in Calgary in 2003, before returning to Toronto in 2012 and then relocating to Qu├ębec City in 2014.

Things have certainly changed over the last 20, 30 years. Back at my original condo in Toronto, one of the bedrooms served as my home office, with one long wall taken up by cases and shelves of books. Now, my library is entirely digital and online. No more clutter of any kind.

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