I have a BA in Swedish and History from the University of East Anglia (1990) and an MA in translation (with distinction) from the University of Surrey (1995). The MA involved translating from Swedish and Norwegian, and I completed an extended translation with commentary on translating tourist brochures.
My knowledge of Finnish comes from teaching English in Finland for four years in the early 1990s. The first year was spent in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle teaching English to male Finnish engineers in a hydroelectric power company between September and May, possibly culturally the least talkative people on earth, especially when you are attempting to make them speak three hours before it gets light. After that I moved slightly further south and spent the next three years in Mikkeli as the local English teacher for the Finnish-British Society. I taught in many of the town’s companies and schools, sang in a choir, which taught me to roll my r’s properly, and wrote a fortnightly column in English for the local paper.
Between 1995 and 1998, I taught translation on the translation MA at the University of Surrey until moving to the other side of the country made it impossible. My freelance business grew and in 1999 I joined forces with Stuart Tudball and we traded in a partnership as Semaphore until April 2008 when geography made a formal partnership impractical. I have been working solo in Somerset ever since.