Yesterday I received an email that started like this.
In the translation industry, we have to deal with people from all over the world. Yes, many languages and cultures come together, but we should pay attention to a couple of things.
Before we write to a person, we should try to figure out from their CV, social networks or previous emails which way to address them.
Here are the greetings I like:
Dear Francesca (my favourite)
Dear Ms Perozziello
Dear Mrs Perozziello
Dear Francesca Perozziello
A couple of very common greetings in our industry:
But please, do not write to me
I love translating nature documentaries and films.
Like many translators, I am a crazy cat lady. Apart from cats, I like animals and nature in general.
That is why when a client asks me to translate something about wildlife, I am always more than happy to accept!
Don't be deceived by pretty little faces and soft paws!
Translating nature can be tricky for two reasons:
1. First, you have to master a specific vocabulary: animal sounds, plants, and animal species have different names in each language, so you have to pay attention.
2. Some documentaries are incredibly poetic, so you cannot translate them as if they were instructions manuals.
Do you like to translate nature-related content?
What if we could subtitle our everyday lives?
It may sound strange, but real-life subtitles could be incredibly useful sometimes.
As an audiovisual translator, I spend many hours each week subtitling videos, and I know how important they are. Subtitles can make content accessible all over the world and help people to better understand different cultures.
Song translation is such a challenging task!
You cannot translate the lyrics word-for-word, otherwise, you’ll kill the song.
Rhythm is important too, but you can’t always find the proper rhymes in your native language, so you’ll have to adapt the text.
Creativity is crucial. You will need to arouse the same emotions conveyed by the source text.
One thing I find tricky is the Italian translation of genders. English, for example, most of the time does not refer to a specific gender. In Italian, the issue is more complex.
A perfect example is “I Want to Break Free”, a song by my favourite band, Queen. The lyrics say:
“I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self-satisfied
I don’t need you”
In English, the sentence may have been written for either a man or a woman. The Italian translator, however, has to choose depending on many factors, such as the background of the song.
John Deacon, the bassist, wrote the song; does that mean he wrote it for his wife/girlfriend? Yes, it can be.
So, how can I translate "you're so self-satisfied" into Italian?
Sei così soddisfatta di te stesso
Sei così soddisfatto di te stessa
Just like with poetry, readers and translators give their interpretations. Plus, songs reach many people with different stories and experiences.
To avoid referring to a specific gender, the Italian translator could rephrase the sentence, but you can't always do that.
What do you think about lyrics translation?
A client has just contacted you to #translate a new project.
Before accepting it, you should ask yourself the following #questions:
✔️ Have I already worked with this client?
✔️ Do I have experience in this particular field?
✔️ Do I have enough time to complete it?
✔️ Is the proposed rate acceptable?
❌ If one of the above questions has a negative answer, think twice before accepting.
The first #translation is never forgotten.
I remember my first translation very well, together with my first client.
It was an episode from a TV show focusing on weddings!
I am not a great fan of wedding shows, but I will never forget that episode and its characters.
If I could meet my younger self, I'd say a lot of things to her. First, I'd warn her against dishonest clients and low fares.
Some years have passed, and I have learned so many things! Thanks to that first translation, my journey into translation began.
Do you remember your first translation as well?
Working as a #translator is simple. You only need a PC and a good dictionary.
No. Working as a freelance translator means having a bunch of tools!
💻 First, of course, you need a #computer. Depending on your specialisation fields, you'll also need a good graphics card.
💡 Not to mention the array of CAT Tools and/or subtitling software.
😎 Then, your #monitor has to be large enough that you don't strain your eyes after a long workday. Also, depending on your specialisation fields, you'll probably need two monitors.
👉 You'll need an ergonomic #mouse, otherwise, you'll damage your wrist. As a left-handed, I use a wonderful left-handed vertical mouse.
👓 What about #eyeglasses? Anti-reflective coating is vital if you want to avoid damaging your eyes.
🎧 As an audiovisual translator, you'll also need good #headphones to understand what the characters say, especially if the scene has many characters, or they use dialect.
🎹 I use a mechanical #keyboard, and I must say that it is great! It saves me a lot of time.
💎 Last but not least, the ergonomic #chair: don't skimp on the chair, it will loosen your back and prevent you from so many muscle pains!
Do you use any other tools?
Perdersi in un buon #libro.
Prima di #tradurre bisogna leggere. Sì, perché ogni traduttore è, prima di tutto, un avido lettore.
In questi giorni sto letteralmente divorando un romanzo che mi aspettava da troppo tempo, cioè "Tenera è la notte" di Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
Sì tratta di una splendida edizione Einaudi, con #traduzione di Fernanda Pivano, una che non ha bisogno di presentazioni.
Leggere romanzi importanti come questo, importanti per il testo in sé e anche per la traduzione così accurata, è fondamentale per chi lavora con le parole.
I libri ci parlano, sempre e comunque. Ogni grande libro ci insegna qualcosa in più, sia dal punto di vista stilistico sia da quello umano.
Cosa leggete in questo periodo? 😊
You have dreams of glory.
I am pretty sure it happens to you as well.
After delivering a project you are particularly proud of, you find yourself thinking how far this will take you.
And that's when the mental movie begins. A famous TV host, in a David Lettermanish style, invites you to talk about your personal story and background.
You have the chance to talk about a translator's daily life, their difficulties and achievements, as well as how much they contribute to everyone's lives.
Okay, maybe it is a bit too much, but I love mental movies. I think they are an innocent way to reward ourselves after completing a challenging task.
Do you win Academy Awards and Nobel prizes in your wildest dreams?
Le mie riflessioni sul mondo della traduzione e non solo.