Meet Raquel Sánchez Herrero, she speaks whale!

Long ago I was already convinced that the world was so much more than those streets around my home and my high school in Fuenlabrada, and that was what I wanted to explore. In the complete confusion of choosing a future career, I let myself be guided by my passion for languages. I thought English literature would be the best way of obtaining deep knowledge about the language, as language is steeped in the culture, history and life of its speakers. All these components were included in the English Literature Degree at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

Even though I spent those five years giving private English lessons, I made a promise to myself to only start the degree if the result was not becoming a teacher. Teaching is a wonderful job, but only when you have a real vocation and that wasn’t the case for me. I made this decision because the majority of students who chose this degree ended up as teachers even though they were not really interested in it. I felt much more attracted to the translation-related subjects. Actually, I enjoyed it so much that it pushed me to keep on walking in that direction.

When I finished the degree, I knew it was time to specialise in a specific area. But I also knew it was no use studying a language without putting it into practice, so I flew to Dublin to put my English skills into practice. I lived with an Irish family as an au pair for six months and took care of their two children. There were no better English teachers than those two children!

Back in Spain, I began working on customer care for Vueling and British Airways. Not an easy job, as I worked on the complaints department, but the great opportunity to speak with people from every part of the world on the same day provided some compensation. And not only that, I felt the importance of overcoming language barriers first-hand, especially when people find themselves in difficult situations. Being in a foreign country and dealing with a foreign language didn’t always bring out the best of human nature. So I practiced my patience, repeated, reformulated and spoke slower and slower until my colleagues told me I could speak whale, like Dory.

In 2017 I was accepted for the joint Master’s Degree in New Technologies applied to Translation presented by Ateneum University in Gdańsk and the Instituto Superior de Estudios Lingüísticos y Traducción in Seville. One of the first things that caught my attention when checking out the course prospectus, was the possibility of doing an internship with a translation company. When I looked at the world map that highlighted the cities where internships were offered, my eyes went directly to the only flag marked in Africa, at the very south of the continent.

Now that is not just a wish, but a reality! Here I am at Folio, learning from them as much as I can whilst enjoying the wonders of Cape Town!