Salzkammergut English is owned and run by Mairi Bunce, a freelance editor, writer and teacher
Let’s start with my name.
‘Mairi’ always looks like it has too many vowels. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to pronounce. Just say ‘marry’ and you’ll be close enough.
My name, like the rest of me, is from Scotland. I was born in Aberdeen, spent my childhood in the highlands and the northern isles, and eventually landed in St Andrews where I studied English Literature at Scotland’s oldest university.
Like many other students, I spent time working in St Andrews’ thriving tourism and gastronomy industry. I was a potwasher, a housekeeper, a waitress, a receptionist, and eventually the marketing manager of a hotel a few hundred meters from The Old Course.
But, in 2014, it was time for a change.
In July, I went to Oxford and became a CELTA qualified teacher of English as a foreign language.
In August, I packed 23 boxes of books into a white van and moved to Vienna.
In September, I started learning German and settled into my new life as a teacher.
Alongside lessons, I picked up writing and proofreading jobs from the new people I was meeting. Lots of people make fun of literature degrees because they don’t lead straight to a career but, after a while, the mix of jobs I was doing could definitely be described as ‘Englishing’.
What I do
My original copy and content writing business in Austria was ‘Vienna English Copy.’ I was a native English speaking proofreader, editor and writer for charities, businesses, students and professors.
In 2021, my family moved to Bad Ischl in Oberösterreich and Vienna English Copy became Salzkammergut English. In the beautiful mountains of the Salzkammergut, I decided to take everything I’d learned as a freelancer in Vienna, combine it with my history as a hotel marketer, and work with businesses in tourism and gastronomy to create content that makes them stand out to their English-speaking visitors.
They enjoy more custom, I get to do what I love, and we get to make more people feel at home when they visit this spectacular corner of the world.
Alongside working with texts, I continue to teach English as a foreign language. I love it for the same reason I love to write and edit.
I get to solve problems and help people say what they mean.
I get to think about the strange and wonderful words that exist in English and explain exactly why one might be right while the other is very wrong.
I get to watch people growing in confidence and becoming themselves in a new language. There’s nothing better than the first time a student manages to make a joke in English.
I teach all ages. I tutor students and school children. I hope in the near future to be able to run English Playtime classes in Kindergartens, and for the youngest children and their grown-ups in Bad Ischl. I regularly teach Matura students and work with adults who want to improve their Business English skills with a native speaker who just happens to have a background in marketing and hotel management.