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I grew up in a little village in Transylvania listening to stories which were often sprinkled with proverbs and idioms. My father would frequently make use of proverbs, more so when hardships imposed on him by the Communist regime reached unbearable heights. Not being allowed to study Commerce (Foreign Trade), on the account of my ‘unhealthy social origin’, I went on to study foreign languages and discovered that my father’s proverbs had equivalents in many of them. As a student I used to pair and memorize them and that helped me improve my vocabulary and reinforce the basic linguistic structures of the language I studied at the time. By a fortunate set of circumstances I was able to leave Communism behind and lived in Italy for a few years. In 1978 I settled in Australia where I got a PhD on a topic close to my heart – have a guess! – yes… proverbs… and found myself teaching in a university. In 1995, with contributions from many academics from around the world – the first among them Prof. Wolfgang Mieder, the top scholar in the field – I founded De Proverbio (www.deproverbio.com), the world's first multilingual electronic journal of proverb studies. Issues of De Proverbio can be found in many ebook stores. So, it seems, that my involvement with proverbs is never going to stop. I have just published some of my bilingual and multilingual dictionaries in digital form and there are more to come.
Having lived for long periods of time in three countries, I have had many jobs. In Romania I was a Teacher in a Middle School at the tender age of 17 years and 8 months (yes, as the Communists had dispensed with many teachers and professionals of the old guard – considered enemies – they ran short of people in the professions and therefore were compelled to use High School leavers like me), a Translator, a Radio Announcer in Italian at Radio Bucharest International; in Italy I started as a Translator in a Patent Office, then moved on to become a Personnel Officer and later an Accountant in a Construction Company; in Australia I was more lucky, as I started with being a student and a University Tutor at the same time, then moved on to head the Italian section at the University of Tasmania.
Now I am retired and live in the beautiful island of Tasmania with my Italian wife Ariella. Our two sons and their families live close by. When I am not spending time with my cute and vivacious grandchildren, I keep busy working on a series of memoirs. The first, which is now published, is about my early years in Lupoaia (literal translation: ‘Valley of the Wolves’), my little Transylvanian village. The memoir’s title is ‘A Luminous Future’ and is available in kindle at amazon.com.