Jonny Bates on travel & work

Life of a monolinguist

Polyglots are everywhere in Localisation. They feed the industry and, whilst I scraped by in high school with both French and German, I am certainly not one. A Polyglot is essentially someone capable of speaking multiple languages fluently. I’m plain old monolingual and even my English is somewhat mediocre, falling somewhere in the ether between British and American, due to so much time spent out of my native UK.

So if I’m not multilingual then how did I get into this industry, and why did I stay so long? The answer is simple – travel. The industry by its very nature is global, connecting freelance specialist translators and linguists with international companies seeking to communicate with their audiences. I joined Global Lingo as an avid backpacker, having spent a chunk of my twenties as a vagabond, exploring interesting parts of the world while I was working, or on travels between jobs.

Sadly I could only sustain that lifestyle for so long and so needed to find an industry, and a company, where global travel could be intrinsic to the role. Rewind back to 2010 when I was interviewing and I vividly remember Andrew (our owner & now Chairman) promising me that if I worked hard and did well, then travel would be something he could guarantee. I say the same to everyone I interview now, and I think most of our teams around the world know that the same opportunity is still available.

Travels so far

Since I joined Global Lingo, I’ve had the privilege to live and work from Leeds (UK), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Singapore & now from Chicago (USA). I’ve also visited Poland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Guatemala with work and even squeezed in a 6-month back-packing sabbatical. Not many companies are open to giving sabbaticals and my trip took in almost every country in Eastern Europe – where I visited some incredible but lesser-known sites like Buzludzha , Cricova, and Meteora.

We’ve obviously seen a break in travel possibilities during 2020 & 2021 with the COVID pandemic. Global Lingo gives utmost concern to employee safety and so we saw little of each other, face-to-face, for the best part of two years, however with normality returning, it has given everyone a renewed thirst for travel and seeing people in the flesh.

A Global team

As we continue to add to our operational team globally – this year we will open an office in Egypt and we’ve also added to our Americas footprint (Argentina) – I hope the travel won’t stop here. Global Lingo pushes for its teams to travel and budgets for this as a vital part of our identity and integrated working model. We want our teams to meet each other where possible and to get to experience different cultures – surely that can only be seen as an investment, rather than a cost.

Take a look at our careers page,  including our new internship program, and feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.

Whether they are at the beginning of their career or the end, whether a polyglot or not, but particularly if they have a passion for travel.

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