The UltiMartes – February 2022


It’s that time again. Each month we want to bring you some of the highlights from the myAmigos journey in our quest to help make our lives in Spain easier, safer, more secure, and more fun!

Each month, I’ll introduce you to a member of the team, and share the most exciting thing we’ve learnt, the most exciting thing we’ve done, and the most exciting thing we have planned. I’ll also ask you to answer the one most important question we have for you, and something funny that I want to share.

I hope this is useful to you and helps us get to know each other better. Each month this newsletter is emailed on the Last Tuesday (hence the name) to our subscribers and then uploaded to our blog on the following Friday. (Sometimes there will be limited offers available and we want our best friends who have shared their email addresses with us to have access first.)

Question of the month

Do you like the idea of myAmigos enough to want to invest in it? You could own a part of the company when we start our capital raising soon!

Please email me your thoughts (michael@myamigos.io) I would love to know!

Amig@ of the Month – Sarah

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to Sarah!

Sarah is another real life friend of mine – like all the amig@s here – who are the secret behind the magic of this service. She has the perfect combination of language skills, friendliness, compassion, and advocacy that can make language barriers dissolve for Expats.

Sarah had Belgian parents but grew up in Spain and was raised Spanish/French bilingual. She has also lived in the USA, Canada, Italy, Brazil and Sweden and travelled to around 30 more countries (including Portugal, France, Germany, Poland, Iceland, Morocco, Cambodia, Thailand, Perú, Colombia, Costa Rica…)!

She knows six languages, but if you ask her she’ll only say five. But when a linguist like Sarah says she only knows a little of one language – I know from experience it means that they know a lot more than what I call my intermediate Spanish! She’s bilingual in Spanish and French and says she is only proficient in English (C2), but I can’t tell when I talk to her that she isn’t a native speaker. She also says she has intermediate Italian and Portuguese, and beginner Arabic.

She loves myAmigos because it is a great way to help out the community.

She joined because she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to sort out some daily chores when you don’t speak the language and she hopes to make this easier for others.

When she isn’t helping people through myAmigos she is helping them as a language teacher and a sworn translator. If you want to improve your Spanish, myAmigos readers can book a free trial lesson here: https://crisolespanol.com/book-free-online-spanish-lesson/ Check out the rest of her web-site and contact her through it to enquire about sworn translations. Hint: It might be worth your while if you tell her myAmigos sent you.

She lives with her young family in Muxia at the end of the famous Camino and she loves helping pilgrims learn Spanish and/or through myAmigos.

One of the many reasons why I love having her as an amiga with us, is because of her warmth and compassion. (In fact this is how Carla and I choose amigos, more so than their language skills). She is an expert translator, qualified with a degree, government approved as a sworn translator, with a post-graduate degree in intercultural competence, but she understands exactly what I mean when I say I am proud that we don’t offer professional neutral interpretation services at myAmigos. We care more about helping you than getting the language right. Of course, with amigas like Sarah we do both really well.

Learning of the month – The problem with Google Translate/DeepL

Don’t get me wrong, I already knew about the issues I had with Google Translate before last month. Also, I love Google Translate – when I use it in the right way for the right circumstances. But after asking you for your experiences about using automatic translators as our question last month (thanks to those who replied) and someone sharing a link with me, I now have a whole new level of understanding of the problems involved. You may have seen my earlier blog post about it. But it is a bit of a long read, so if you don’t have time, I’ll give you my take here. An automatic translator does not ever try to make a human connection; it is not designed to try to understand you or the person you are talking to. Which is fine, but the joy of travelling for me is trying to understand how different people think and act, and what they believe and value. myAmigos offers the chance for conversation, connection, and understanding rather than just AI translation which is why some of our favourite uses are just to help neighbours connect with each other – express thanks for assistance offered, or to extend an offer of assistance yourself.


Accomplishment of the month – finish the PhD

As I write this, I am putting the finishing touches on my PhD and will submit it by Friday. In the background I know that Carla and Alberto have been working on the new system and I am looking forward to getting back into the myAmigos project with them – and sharing some more of our joint progress next month.


Plan for the month – make it official!

Over the month of March, I think we will have worked out how to incorporate this as a company, what to charge for the service, and our initial financial plans. At this stage it looks like you will have a bunch of ways of getting involved – becoming a customer, investor, or financier. More details later. Of course, if you want the inside scoop rather than waiting for next month’s newsletter – just email me your questions and I’ll supply details as soon as I have them.

This means that there is only a limited amount of time left to try out our services free of charge so sign up, and get your friends to sign up at https://myamigos.io/user-panel/ (this link provides the coupon entitling you to use the service for free until we switch to paid and then a 50% discount for life thereafter, in exchange for providing feedback on the service).


Laugh of the Month

This month it’s another Itchy Feet comic. For more Itchy Feet head to https://www.patreon.com/itchyfeetcomic/posts In February and March, Mal is donating his patreon funds to support Ukrainian children, so please consider signing up soon.


Nos vemos,

Michael.

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The UltiMartes – January 2022

Hola! Bienvenidos to our monthly newsletter. We did not send one last month because I was frustrated with the amount of emails filling up my inbox

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