Tribalingua Big Interview

20 Jun

Welcome to our latest regular feature, “The Tribalingua Big Interview”. We will meet the members of the team and ask them about their lives, loves, hopes and fears…

We plan to reveal the thoughts of the people who make this company such a special place to work.

This week we’re talking to Jon who is based in Florianópolis, Brazil, and works with English and Portuguese language teaching and translation.

So, Jon, tell us a little bit about your background.

Well, I was born in Winchester, UK and was raised in the south of the England… a great place… I’ve got a couple of sisters who still live there. I’ve travelled quite a lot…My dad has spent many years in Africa so I used to visit him… what else?… I’ve always loved reading… I graduated in English literature from University of London. A good book can be the best company, and I think reading is something I will always enjoy… books often beat people.

My parents are retired but they’re pretty savvy when it comes to technology and we skype a lot. I came to Brazil because I spoke Spanish and wanted to practise… Say no more… I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a few years but moved to Porto Alegre for work reasons. I guess I came to Florianópolis about five or six years ago. It’s a great place to live. That’s about it…

What’s your role in Hacking4Living?

My role is, primarily, in connection with English language training. I help the groups with anything (and everything) related to communication. I help the UK specialists when they come over and co-ordinate the mentor system, take part in the stand-ups, always clarify any language problems the teams may have.  That kind of stuff. English is a crucial part of their day-to-day lives and I like to think I’m helping their long term goals of foreign language fluency. It is fun. They’re mostly crazy, or as we say “mental”.

Describe your typical day.

Weekdays are a bit busy. I spend all day in the office with the teams, which is often hilarious… We always have lunch together in a nearby (invariably horrible) restaurant, where I always complain about the food but nobody listens. In the afternoon I help them with their coding and go home in the early evening.

I don’t watch much TV, but if there’s a good game I might watch it. I like football. Atlético Mineiro is my team. I scoff dinner and go to bed reasonably early… except on Tuesdays. I play football once a week and swim a couple of times a week. I quite like sport.  I’d like to run more.

Tell us about your team.

Well, I don’t have a team, as such… I rotate and speak to all the groups every day… each group has its own personality. Charpenings are quite competitive, Bamâmáha are very creative, Magic Island are certainly the quietest but most serious, and Highlander are the team that have the weirdest sense of humour. That’s not a bad thing… Each team has strengths and weaknesses and, like a good father, I don’t have a favourite!

What do you do in your free time?

I try to do as much as possible but probably really don’t do much. As I say, sports during the week, and at the weekend I go out with friends. It’s always nice to eat out and catch up with mates. I like Japanese food, local food and barbecues. I used to have a bicycle, but I lost it in a river. It was raining.

Tell us about where you live.

I live in a small flat in The Bag of Lemons. It’s a traditional neighbourhood, not many foreigners live there, and most people have pretty simple lives. It’s probably very different to where most of the gringos live… But maybe that’s why I like it… It feels like the real Brazil… Funny people, who look after me… It’s about ten minutes from the city centre and overlooks Beira Mar Sul… My neighbours are mostly big blokes.

Why did you choose this career?

I was always interested in languages, especially English, and knew I didn’t want to live in the UK for the rest of my little life… I had a few other jobs after leaving college, but I always loved travelling… The chance to mix travelling with language seemed ideal and I trained to teach English to foreigners… I lived in a few places in Europe before coming to South America. Now I speak and work in Portuguese and think, overall, I’m happy with my choice of career. I spend all day with interesting people. People are the answer.

Who are your heroes?

Quite a few… Sorry… Number one is Matt Le Tissier, number two is Joey Dunlop, number three is Horatio Nelson, number four is John Lennon… The list goes on.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully alive. Probably paying taxes.

Why do Brazilian drivers drive on the wrong side of the road?

Good question. Maybe because they’re overtaking?

Cheers, Jon

Cheers, Tribalingua… Thanks for inviting me to this incredible restaurant… Out of this world… The bill is on you!

4 Responses to “Tribalingua Big Interview”

  1. gushartmann June 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Brilliant! Thanks Jon 🙂

  2. danillocorvalan June 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    “Maybe because they’re overtaking?”
    LOL, good! cheers folks

  3. Helton June 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Very good!

  4. rodbv June 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    “Bag of Lemons”! Ha! 🙂
    Greetings from from my home office in Big Stream.

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