I'm a lucky man, in so many ways. But let me just tell you about the ways that made you subscribe to the Tool Box Journal in the first place -- the professional ones.

I'm a lucky man -- in spite of myself. Years ago, I wrote an article telling about my childhood reading of the German children's book classic Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver that made me study Chinese. Even when I wrote that 15 years ago, I knew it wasn't completely true -- or at least, only partly true. I studied Chinese because it seemed difficult, and I had the good fortune of having a teacher who kindled in me a passion for language, communication, writing, and translation that has been burning to this present day.

I then stumbled into a world that I had barely heard of, let alone thought I would enter, a world that embraced me and allowed me to grow up alongside it: the translation sector. What an amazing field! At the time I entered it, it had become "fully computerized," meaning that translators had started to use word processing software and typically received and sent their assignments via e-mail or FTP. Translation-specific tools, on the other hand, still had a long way to go before they were widely accepted. And when I say translation-specific tools, I'm certainly not thinking about machine translation, which at that point was not in any shape to occupy a place in the toolbox of most serious translators.

What a great time to explore the existing technology, experiment with it, and share that journey with my colleagues.

I was (and am) a technical translator. That means -- as far as I'm concerned -- that the texts I translate aren't always spellbinding in and of themselves. What does enthuse me, however, is selecting the best possible technology, mixing it with an optimally designed workflow, continuing to improve methods for terminology research, and ultimately improving the outcome -- both as far as the quality of the translation product and the productivity/profitability of each project.

I'm a lucky man. Around the time I turned 50, it hit me on one of my daily beach walks that I should look at ways to take a next step, to combine my academic experience with my professional journey and my Christian faith and dream up something that no one else could -- because no one had traveled the exact same journey as mine. So I came up with the idea of a tool that collects insightful Bible translations from around the world to supply readers with a prism that refracts the original languages of the Bible into hundreds -- and eventually thousands -- of strands of color. I knew it was a project too large to lift on my own, so I looked for a partner who would give me both the finances and the manpower I needed. It took me a couple of years of sometimes frustrating doors shutting in my face. But guess what?

I'm a lucky man. And I eventually found a dream partner in United Bible Societies that I have now been working with for more than five years, first on a very part-time basis and now almost full-time to build Translation Insights & Perspectives, a tool that should make every linguist's heart jump -- Christian or otherwise. Being a curator for this tool is just about as perfect a match for my experience and abilities as it gets. (I hope this might serve as an encouragement to you: doing a lot of different things is valuable; dreaming up crazy ideas is, too; and so is seizing the freedom and the motivation to forge something new and unique from it.)

I'm a lucky man. And it turns out that you're lucky, too. After many conversations and much pondering, I decided last year to turn the steering wheel of the Tool Box Journal over to someone else. I had a lot of requirements, however: I wanted to find someone with a primary interest in continuing to speak to you, the journal's core audience. I also wanted someone who could communicate effectively with our younger generation of translators. And I wanted them to be able to write knowledgably not just about one or two kinds of solutions, but to continue looking at existing and upcoming technologies and workflows with fresh and unbiased eyes -- like I've tried to do for the last 19 years.

I wracked my brain for several months and came up with nothing -- until (on a beach walk, of course!) I thought of Slator.

You're likely familiar with Slator, the most consistent source of news for many stakeholders in the translation world for the last eight years. I say "many" because so far, they've largely missed out on connecting effectively with one important stakeholder, from our perspective the most important stakeholder: translators. Knowing this, Slator is excited to use the Tool Box Journal to foster communication with this important constituency. And rather than integrating it into the rest of its product offering, Slator will continue to build it as a tool to speak specifically to translators. Fortunately for all of us, it looks like Dorothee and Josh will remain as columnists, and I'm sure you'll hear more specifics from them and from Slator in the next few months.

Anyway, it will be time for me to say goodbye next month -- I promised Florian at Slator that I would still author one last edition -- but today my heart is full of you, my readers, and you, my sponsors, and your support over the last nearly 20 years. I feel grateful knowing that I leave the Tool Box Journal in good hands, and . . .

I'm a lucky man.