Michael van Laake

I was born in Australia – when I was 10, we moved to the Netherlands, I became a native speaker in a second language and lost the Australian accent.

In December 1989, I made another big change: already having a good level of Spanish, I left Amsterdam behind and took up residence in Barcelona. Immersed in the local life, adapting was easy and I was able to improve my Spanish and Catalan to advanced levels.

In 1994, I started teaching English at companies throughout Barcelona. With a lot of hard work, I managed to improve my position and after a sabbatical leave – a year in Australia – I established myself as an independent studio in 2001.

Over the past 15 years, I have worked with people from many professional backgrounds, the public administration, students and individual learners. Several clients encouraged me to move into translating and other language-related services, which have greatly enriched my working experience. I owe them.

I now manage a mix of translating and English language teaching. I also have the right contacts to mediate for foreigners who need to learn Catalan or Spanish. Sometimes other language-related jobs come my way through satisfied clients. I have a passion for languages, I like explaining things, and, whether writing or speaking, I dot the i's and cross the t's.