Skipp, Peter

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Peter Skipp
Born in Bulgaria in 1956, I studied there until 1971, moving to Britain to finish school and read Russian. Bilingual in Bulgarian and English, I live in London and Sofia, my airfare installments well on the way to purchasing a Boeing and my carbon footprint causing outrage.
Though I have worked in periodical publishing, advertising, and freelance journalism, my seemingly karmic vocation is “the Bulgarian-English language pair.” I am incandescent upon encountering poor translations and passionate about interpreting either of my two cultures to members of the other.
Acting as “fixer” to journalists is a rare professional highlight. The first time I did it was when, at a 1979 National Film Theatre screening of his sublime Barierata, director Hristo Hristov needed someone to interpret unexpected media questions and his answers. The late Gaby Rado producing a memorable report for Channel Four News as the January 1997 Sofia protests raged; Max Easterman being arrested by Kozloduy nuclear power station security while reporting for the BBC in 1999; Jeremy Paxman sharing hints on inquisitorial interviewing with Bulgarian colleagues…
When not interpreting at conferences, I translate diverse worthy documents. I also enjoy copyediting — the process of honing translated Bulgarian texts into good English.
I would dearly love to do more creative translating, yet find opportunities infuriatingly rare. After doing a couple of feature films in England when DVDs began flooding the market in the early Noughties, I hit a “glass ceiling” in Bulgaria. Bulgarian publishers often appear embarrassed at the rates they offer or wish to promote indigenous (and perhaps entrenched!) talent. British publishers uniformly cold-shoulder Bulgaria.
I have enjoyably dabbled in Vesel Tzankov, Michael Frayn, Hranov and Sekulov. I also appreciate aviation, historical and financial literature and have translated air chronicler Dimitar Nedialkov, air scientist Henk Tennekes, historian Snezhana Rakova, and financier Rumen Simeonov.


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