Who is Teacher Lau?
Hello, let me introduce myself. I am Laura Raby, Lau or Teacher Lau but my friends call me la “Tícher”. I am a scientific-literary translator in English ↔ Spanish, with a diploma from Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I was born in Neuquén city, Patagonia, Argentina, where I began to study English at the Cultural Inglesa de Neuquén at the young age of 5, obtaining almost always A grades. At 16 I sat for my First Certificate and then, for five years, I did not speak, listen, read or write a single English word, to the point of having forgotten everything.
I always tell my students this anecdote in their moments of doubt: I remember once walking down a street in Buenos Aires after five years, trying to remember how to say “tree” in English. I knew it was similar to the number three, I started counting: one, two, three… and even so I couldn’t get it. I wanted to die! After so many years, I did not remember something so simple.
When my working life began, languages made a huge difference in salaries, so I decided to sign up for English classes to get all that lost knowledge back. Little by little, as when you pick up cycling, language came back. Up to a point that, after a first failed attempt due to the panic of having to speak English for real… with English speakers… and on the phone!, I was hired by a Call Center as tech support for an internet American company, with customers who spoke nothing but English.
Even after the English training and the accent neutralization, when I finally took my first call alone, I almost burst into tears and I almost quit because of a panic attack. But, beggars can’t be choosers: I needed to work, so I had no choice but to overcome that panic and answered the next call and who knows how many thousands more calls in English for a year and nine months.
To have gone through all these experiences helped me understand everything my students feel when learning languages. I understand their speaking, listening and comprehension fears when trying to use the language in real life, both at work and socially. I went through it, I suffered and I overcame it. That’s why I know I can help you.
I signed up to study this beautiful subject and dedicated a lot of time and effort. A choice I’m glad I made because nowadays I enjoy each of its aspects. After going through several jobs that were not related to what I was studying, jobs that were only connected by a constant: English, I finally made the turn to teaching languages, first in Company and then to private lessons and online.
At the same time, and by dint of hard search (seek, and ye shall find), I was able to find a translation agency and started translating for them. It was an Indian company in the UK, and I translated on a variety of subjects such as tourism, hospitality and restaurant, nautical, road safety, Social services, video games, telecommunications, medicine, psychology, economics and current affairs, children’s rhymes, etc.
I love my job. I love creating new material and activities for students, and I’m constantly in the search for new applications, texts and activities to incorporate into my classes to make them more interesting and fun. But at the same time, I understand and attend to the needs of each student. That is, if my “pupil” (as I learned it as a child) needs to sit for an exam, I will follow the textbook thoroughly, adding as much material as I can get so that the student can practice and feel safe when it comes to take it.
As for translations, I am lucky to love literature and to read a lot, so I have a vast knowledge of both languages. I also took a course on Proofreading at the Fundación Litterae of Buenos Aires with experts on the Rioplatense or Castilian Spanish language.
That is why, when translating, I will look for the right word to recreate the text that the author had sent. Not all words are synonyms, not all expressions can be translated literally. The only voice to be heard is that of the writer, and mine will be invisible in the translated text. Quality first of all, without losing punctuality.
Would you like to know more about me or this space I created? Contact me whenever you need with any questions or comments. I look forward to reading from you!