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 from companies wishing me a Merry Christmas – and thought maybe, like me, you could do without one more. That said, I hope you and your loved ones got to make some meaningful connections.

Question of the month

What frustrates you the most about Google Translate and/or DeepL? You can tell I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Check out the blog post about it if you want to know my thoughts.

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

Amig@ of the Month – Modesto

This month – it’s Modesto!

When I first had the idea for myAmigos (and to this day) I knew the magic of the whole service depended on the people we could get to be our amig@s and I am already blessed to have found so many wonderful friends who are here to help you like Modesto.

Modesto is originally from Galicia but has travelled all over the world, including a year in France as an Erasmus student, also studying in my homeland of Australia, living and working in the USA, and also in China for 9 years. He is a foodie, loves meeting new people, theatre, and keeping fit. He has now returned to Galicia and when he isn’t helping you out in myAmigos he teaches Mandarin Chinese at the escuela de idiomas. He speaks Spanish, English, Mandarin Chinese, Galician, and a ‘little bit’ of French. If you’re anything like me, when someone who is multilingual says they can speak a little bit of another language it means they speak it a lot better than when I used to say I speak a little French after a year of high school in Australia!  

He loves myAmigos because it is a great way to help people and also a way to connect.

He joined because he wanted to make a difference and help foreign friends in Spain. He wants to help people with general administration because he knows the regulations can be hard enough for Spanish people, let alone if you can’t speak the language well yet.

He wishes that there was something like myAmigos when he first arrived in China as it would have made settling in while he was learning the language so much easier. 


Learning of the month – The difference between being a tourist and living somewhere

I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Germany with my sister over the Christmas/New Year period (guess what – she’s getting married! On my last day there she proposed in a very sweet way, but I digress…) and it reminded me of the difference of being a tourist and a resident in a foreign country. I don’t speak a word of German (well two ‘vielen dank’ = ‘many thanks’), but it didn’t matter there because I was a tourist and was happy pointing and asking if they spoke English etc. But when you live somewhere that gets old and frustrating very quickly. Of course, I am learning Spanish, but there are still many situations where my Spanish isn’t good enough which is why I need myAmigos.

I also realised that there may be some situations when I am travelling where it would be really useful to speak the language, if I get into some kind of trouble: if the car breaks down, I get lost, I have to make a police report, I get sick… All of these problems are stressful enough to deal with, and are much easier when you can have a real conversation between humans who understand and have feelings rather than trying to use Google Translate or DeepL to talk for me. SO I think myAmigos may offer a ‘language insurance’ product down the line for travellers (which will be included FREE with our expat subscriptions).

Accomplishment of the month – finding another member of the tech team

I’ve made a new friend! Alberto has started working with me to turn the app I cobbled together into something that will work and look much better. This may take some time, but it looks like this year we will be ready for a proper launch!


Plan for the month – finish a PhD

While I work with Alberto on the new and improved version of the app, I also have to submit my PhD for examination by the end of February so there probably won’t be much progress made on developing the existing version of the app. Which is fine, because, while it is not the prettiest thing it gets the basic job done – allowing my English-speaking friends to get help removing their language barriers by my bilingual amig@s! If you need any help remember to sign up to our user panel at myamigos.io/user-panel/ while it is still FREE.


Laugh of the Month

I love these quirky videos from Miranda at twinkl. They remind me that all languages are silly – especially English! It’s good to have a laugh at yourself. Of course I’m biased but I like the English-Spanish ones the best. Here’s my favourite at the moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TveAlY4-3Fs  


Muchas gracias,

Michael.

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