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06/07/06

Permalink 08:39:29 am, Categories: About JB Translations, 523 words  

Am I Spanish?

I just received an e-mail message from somebody who wanted to have more information about our translation services. The person who wrote it was wondering about my name and she thought that I was French. With this idea in mind, she wondered how I could possibly offer Spanish translation services, and this was a right question to ask if that would have been the case. This misunderstanding is of course my own fault for not having an "About Jaime Bonet" page on my website. Currently my website is being redesigned. When this is finished, I will include such a page and a few others in order to help my visitors get a better picture of the services we offer.

Okay, "Jaime" is my first name. It is not a French name, it is a Spanish equivalent to "James" in English and "Jacques" in French. This should help clarify my gender, since I am also often mistaken for a woman, no doubt because my English-speaking visitors pronounce "Jaime" as the usually feminine English first name "Jamie". But no, I'm indeed a "he", and a totally Spanish one at that ;)

"Bonet" is my main family name (I'll explain this another day.) Though it might look like French, it is not in fact. In French there is indeed a "Bonnet" family name, but it carries a double "n". In any case, "Bonet" doesn't sound very Castilian admittedly. It is actually a Catalan family name, from the eastern region of Spain. According to the genealogical research my family has performed, our roots trace back to Valencia, an important city in the East of Spain where a variety of Catalan is spoken and "Bonets" are found all over the place.

However, my father and his parents were born and raised in Madrid, Spain's capital. So I can safely say that I am from Madrid, having been born and raised in Madrid myself. My mother's roots are in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, but she came to live in Madrid when she was 14 years old and has lived there ever since, so she doesn't even know how to speak Spanish with a proper southern accent anymore ;-). I have also been educated in Madrid, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Translation and Interpreting from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

I live in France, and this is partly because my wife is French. We married four years ago. We live a stone's throw away (about 50 km or 30 miles away) from the Spanish border, which makes it possible for us to stay in close contact with Spain. For example, every summer we go to Spain on holidays with my parents. I read and write in Spanish daily and I speak a good deal of Spanish at home. Even though I also speak and write English and French daily, I only translate into Spanish (from English and French), because Spanish is my native language.

Hope this helps clarify rather than utterly confuse you! I will get a little bit more into detail in upcoming posts, since my name entails some social and cultural issues that I would like to explain another day.

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