ASTRONAUT OR FOOTBALL PLAYER?
by Diego Cresceri
I was 14 or so when I decided what I would do with my life. That is usually when you dream of becoming an astronaut or a football player.
It was certainly the first important decision, one of those that matter. Choosing the color of the new bicycle or the skateboard wheels was suddenly a piece of cake. No time for jokes anymore.
My parents, I am pretty sure, wanted me to study accounting: those were the years when accounting was "cool", when "studying accounting will get you a job". And although the accounting school in my town was a private school with staggering fees, it was a necessary and, above all, safe investment.
I did not know where it would take me and what I would do next: in the early 90s there was not so much talk about globalization, and I did not know anything about localization and translation. But I remember I came out with a "either you send me to a language school or I will get a job". I never really meant to get a job at 14, not because I understood I'd better study. I just did not really want to work, and then I had always enjoyed school so much!
I remember that the public language high school was something quite recent in Italy, it was a sort of experiment, with a few additional classes of foreign language instead of some physics or other scientific matters. English and French. German from the third year onwards. And Latin, they also had Latin in language high school. I had never seen a word of Latin but somehow I felt I could like it. However, I do remember very well what really convinced me: in language school they had class trips abroad! A trip abroad on my junior year? I could not let it go. (And I know that today this is the norm, but the situation was pretty different back then!)
As I said, I did not know where it would take me, but I must have been persuasive enough, although I do not remember how long I had to stomp around. My parents agreed, probably relieved from having avoided the fees for the accounting school (they did not know yet I would have caught up soon).
It's amazing to think about how a decision you take when you are 14 can affect the rest of your life.
I could have become an accountant or surveyor, or even yielding to the temptations of the goliardic stories of the local technical school. I could now have a safe "state job", or be working in an office close to home, or doing anything else.
Those who live for languages know how it feels when you hear another idiom, when you can interact with the person in front of you no matter where he comes from, or even when you're able to assist a tourist who got lost and see how amazed he is when you reply in a familiar language. Let alone when you complete a translation and you know that piece you translated for that famous brand will be read by thousands of people.
I think these feelings are familiar to those who love their job deeply, and they are the same for everyone, from the astronaut to the football player. The accountant, yes, even the accountant feels the same when everything balances I guess.
Creative Words was created in 2016 but its story started in 1994 when I took the first important decision of my life.
It was a long journey, and it's been more than 20 years. But there is nowhere I'd rather be, and no other jobs I would do… because if you decide what to do with your life when you are 14, there must be a reason.
Diego Cresceri - Founder and CEO of Creative Words, he does not deny his past but never looks back. An absolute lover of languages, he's an incurable optimist and cannot wait to se what the future holds.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela