About Sanne van Loosen
You want to who you’re doing your language-related business with. And you’re absolutely right! Read on and I’ll introduce myself briefly. If you’d rather have the dry facts, please see my LinkedIn page for a CV.
You could say I’m a language geek. I enjoy getting down to the nitty gritty, in terms of both language and content. This all started with a science-oriented background: until I was about twenty years old, I was much more of a ‘science person’. I spent my first year at university studying astronomy, which didn’t turn out too well. From that point on, I came to realise that I would be much better off doing what I was really good at than what I wanted to be good at. That meant a combination of English, Dutch, and writing – three elements that come together in translation.
Where in my experience students of English often start their education without a clue of what they want to be, I started my programme in English Language and Culture at Leiden University with a purpose: I wanted to become a translator. In 2011 I attained my MA degree, specialising in legal translation, and in 2012 I specialised further at the highly-acclaimed SIGV institution, taking a course in the field of criminal law translation.
I had never expected to become a language teacher as well. Through my network I got in touch with the English department of Nijmegen University for a temporary teaching job. This was in 2012 and at the time I felt this was no more than a one-off adventure, but then I landed another job, and then another one elsewhere.
Today I’m still teaching – I couldn’t do without it anymore. I teach academic writing and English language acquisition as part of all sorts of university programmes, ranging from BA to PhD level. At the moment this is mostly through the Language & Training Centre of Erasmus University Rotterdam. To date, I am the proudest of the two years I taught at the English Language and Culture department of Leiden University – my ‘home base.’
To me, this is the perfect combination of jobs. When I translate I can use my working languages at a high level and use my knowledge to the max. But translators are often known as loners, people who lock themselves up at home behind their computer, and are happy to bury themselves in dictionaries to find the perfect translation. This is something that may result in tunnel vision.
That’s why I think teaching is the perfect match: it enables me to get away from my computer and get in touch with students and colleagues, who often give me interesting new insights into language and text. In addition, a teacher, especially one at a university, needs to have mastered the rules in order to pass on the right information to students. This continuously forces me to expand my own knowledge.