My name is Martina Schweitzer and I founded semanti:con in 2011.
Born in Hamburg in 1965 into a family of multicultural origins, I not only have German roots, but also French and Italian ones. As a result of my heritage and my family background I feel virtually predestined to work in the field of intercultural communication.
My native city, situated at the beautiful river Elbe, has one of the largest seaports in the world, the container port ranking second only to Rotterdam, and is an economic and transport hub. It has also become a media centre and promotes itself with the slogan: "Hamburg – das Tor zur Welt" ("Hamburg – gateway to the world"). I have always loved learning and speaking different languages. For me, languages have proved to be "a gateway to the world".
I am truly passionate about languages. They have always meant much more to me than just being a – more or less effective - communication tool. Languages open up new horizons: horizons of perception, horizons of knowledge and understanding, horizons of creativity. By using languages we discover, create and form our environments, our world. Whenever we communicate successfully with each other, we perform an act of creation: a new world is born out of mutual understanding. This is what I refer to by "Sprache.Kultur.Bedeutung" (Language.Culture.Meaning).
Not only have I studied languages at university – English, German and Romance languages – also for many years I lived and worked abroad (London/Rome). Besides, of course, my mother tongue German, I speak English fluently on a high professional level and have a very good command of both Italian and French. Among my employers were leading cultural institutions like Goethe Institute London, market research institutes as well as management consultancies. I was able to gather extensive experience as a workshop facilitator for qualitative group discussions and in-depth interviews at various renowned marketing research agencies.
Since my studies, I have been working as a freelance translator and proof-reader. I discovered the love for my "second foothold" – teaching – when my teenage daughter was in her infant years. Since then, I have been performing the trade of teaching languages and intercultural knowledge with much the same passion as translating.
I follow all the latest developments in the field of teaching with great interest. I have created my own style and methods by amalgamating aspects of new and traditional approaches and apply them successfully and with conviction. I’m aiming at enabling all my students and customers to discover the world on the other side of that gateway.