I am Mario Chávez, a.k.a. , weaver of texts and designer of translations. I wasn’t always a translator. I’ve been a radio tinkerer, stamp collector, busboy, choir singer, office boy, Christian missionary, church speaker, youth leader, contributor to a student newspaper, clinical study subject, pastor, conference interpreter, proofreader, project manager, lecturer and columnist.
A child of precocious intellect, I was driven to the written word very early. After all, I was reading a textbook on anatomy, histology and hygiene for 9th graders when I was 7 (with an IQ of 124). My love for solid, meaningful writing came at an early age as well: I was 12 when I started writing a journal. Penning a diary was not about the laundry list of things I did on a given day, as I wanted to write sentences that were both persuasive and memorable. I wrote journals until my mid 20s. That love of writing informed my love of languages. Developed in childhood, my affinity for Spanish (my mother tongue) and English came naturally, coupled with an almost perfectionistic need to be precise and accurate.
This drive to be precise led me to my desire to write translations at the age of 15. I further developed my skills in college, where I studied for my BA in an English-only environment for 4 ½ years. Phonetics, grammar, syntax, exposure to different kinds of texts —from journalistic to technical to commercial— were intrinsic to my learning. I graduated from the prestigious Universidad Nacional de Córdoba’s School of Languages in 1989 and later moved to New York to start my career path.
A master’s degree in a newly minted discipline, Audiovisual Translation, became part of my education in 2009, as well as the 2011 publication of my master’s thesis, titled Redacción técnica comparativa: Análisis comparativo de los estilos de redacción en textos técnicos en español en los últimos 40 años (Comparative Technical Writing: A comparative analysis of writing styles in Spanish technical texts in the last 40 years). The master program in Audiovisual Translation, taught at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is a comprehensive program encompassing dubbing, voiceovers, translation of subtitles, video games, software and other multimedia applications.