Translator & Editor
ILA Viet Nam
Growing up in the PNG highlands, my father a theologian, my mother a concert pianist, and me the youngest of four siblings debating at the dinner table, were key formative influences for me. The highlands introduced me to adventure into far flung places, comfort in a world surrounded by multiple languages and cultures, and a love of reading about other lives and places. Spontaneous mealtime debates taught me to listen and reason. My mother’s music gave me mine.IMMERSIONYears later it was lap-swimming that concretized a key life concept for me: deep immersion. In those days, I swam two kilometers. Toward the end of that distance, I had left everything else behind, and become a fish-like object propelling itself through the water. Environments for deep concentration are taken for granted in the West. They are how we learn. In the Far East, they are rarely part of daily routines and must be sought after, heavily impacting what can be achieved.ANOMALYThirty years’ association with Southeast Asia beginning in my late teens is what my goals revolve around today. Mastering two tonal languages, Thai and Vietnamese, to the point my hairy, white exterior has often been queried as to which of its parents was Asian, is no small feat. Yet the anomaly is a good indication of the turmoil beneath the veneer of a West that “accepts” difference, and an East that “rejects” it.VALUESAs a Thai and Vietnamese to English translator, editor of English, and teacher and researcher of language, history and culture, I give the best my abilities allow and my situation inhibits. I have an artist’s bent for perfection, even at the cost of my own time and effort when the task calls for less. I have a scholar’s desire for clarity and understanding, knowing many things can be built without them but none that will last. And I have the adventurer’s thirst for the new, ever wanting to go where no man has gone, while knowing the law of life that the financial rewards go those who come after.