MATI Member Spotlight: Meet Tyann Zehms
Tyann Zehms is a French to English linguist with a BA in French from UW-Milwaukee. She has been a MATI member since March of 2014.
Where do you live and/or work?
I live and work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
How did you acquire your B language(s)?
I started learning French, my B language, in high school. I had an incredible teacher who was so enthusiastic and supportive that it was impossible not to love the language after his class. From there, I continued with private study, language exchanges, and finally got my degree in the French language.
Describe an especially memorable or fulfilling professional experience.
I don’t think I will ever forget my first real life, big-kid, professional interpretation job. My father owns a software company, which has recently started to expand into Canada, including the province of Quebec. His product is primarily used in cheese factories, which are located in rural areas, where the use of English is very limited or non-existent. As any good French-speaking daughter would do, I offered to help in whatever fashion I could to bridge the communication gap between my father and the employees of the factory. Over the course of a five day installation, I became the sole point of contact between the Canadian clients and my father, a position which was slightly daunting at first, but which became very empowering. By the end of our trip, I felt incredibly accomplished. I was reassured that investing so much time and effort into learning another language was worth every mind-crunching minute of study.
What program/tool/dictionary couldn’t you live without?
WordReference. Of all the dictionaries and resources out there, WordReference has been my go-to for years. It may not be the most technical reference, and there is certainly a plethora of online dictionaries that encompass a much larger scope, but I can’t help myself. WR is the Goose to my Maverick.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I love to do anything outside; primarily sailing (in the summer months, of course!). I spent about five years working on yachts and sailboats in Wisconsin, Florida, the Bahamas, and England. Needless to say, I love being on the water, and sailing is a fantastic medium by which to experience the natural world around us. I’m also into carpentry, frisbee, board sports, and bonfires.