“SOM has put me in touch with experts in ﬁelds other than my own, who are helpful, selﬂess, and supportive. It has pushed me to up my game and improve after reading about the success stories of others. And it has helped me reﬂect on and reconsider holistic aspects of life and work,” says Richard Mort. “I also knew that there were like-minded and supportive people in the group who would help me out if I needed it, and that reassurance is priceless.”
In addition to improving his client base and project types, Richard has found that in SOM, giving = receiving. “I’ve often woken up here in Japan to see an urgent request from someone around midnight in Europe, and it’s a fantastic feeling for me to fit a quick reply into my morning and solve some of those issues. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain a positive reputation among some SOM members whom I respect most and who have been trusting enough to send me work in my pairs, and I’ve bent over backwards to help and give a great end product. This has sometimes involved very large jobs worth 1000s of euros.”
Above all, Richard appreciates the warm friendliness of SOM. “Occasionally, my contributions to the group are humorous, quirky, and offbeat, which reflects a feeling that I am among friends where I can be myself,” he says. In the future, he sees the group “expanding and increasingly looking at areas of life and work beyond translation alone, which I welcome.”
Many moons ago, I graduated from Manchester University with joint honours in French and German. From 1997–2002, I taught English and French and worked as a journalist in Singapore. Since 2002, home has been Japan, where I translate and edit and have a very active social and volunteering life. I have a lovely wife, Kaori, and son, Leo, aged 8, who is a shining beam and has special needs, which is a challenge that brings out the best in me.