Translators are marathon runners and interpreters are sprinters.
If I had to explain the difference between a translator and an interpreter to someone who doesn't know anything about our job, I would use this metaphor.
Translators must reflect on every single word, patiently file and chisel the text until they are satisfied with the result.
Sometimes it takes them an hour to translate a word and they do lengthy research for certain texts.
Interpreters, on the other hand, have to act quickly and be very precise in the short time they have available, respecting the vocabulary of a given field.
Yes, we're the best! 🔮
- Herbal teas
- Walking outdoors
- Reading books
I have a few good habits that help me stay focused on what I do and allow me to relax before or after a long work day.
The time we dedicate to ourselves is just as crucial as our translations.
🎮 Luna Ravel is now available in Italian!
I am happy to announce that Ilaria Pisanu and I localized the first episodes of the game into our native language.
😊Many thanks to NutNut for crediting us and our fellow translators involved in this amazing visual novel.
#TranslatorsInTheCredits #videogames #localization #gaming #apps
🎭 They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
If creativity plays a key role in your job, you are very jealous of what you invent every day.
💡 When you find the right words or come up with an original idea, you are happy with your result and want to protect it.
What can spoil your happiness? The fact that someone else appreciates your idea and then passes it off as their own, perhaps with slight modifications.
😡 First, of course, you get angry.
Lately, however, I have started to see it differently; imitation is annoying, but maybe it means your idea works!
❔ What do you think?
Confessions of an audiovisual translator - Part 2
Sometimes I spend half an hour thinking about the proper translation of a single sentence.
Am I slow? Am I stupid? No, I'm just a translator.
Whenever I face a particularly challenging sentence, especially a poetic one, I find myself thinking about it over and over again.
Audiovisual translation is a creative job, so it may take time to find the right solution!
And if I have writer's block, I like to take a walk outside and focus on something else for a while.
I feel you, Winnie. 😂
Consistency is a fundamental parameter in translation.
Even a great translation can be affected by a lack of consistency. That is why, before sending our translations, we must double-check that a noun, expression, or verb is translated in the same way.
In some texts, e.g., instruction manuals, a lack of consistency can be extremely dangerous and might lead to misuse by the final user.
CAT tools can help us ensure consistency, but they are ineffective to translate some texts.
So, what are the solutions? :)
Glossaries, of course, are useful tools.
Rereading our text several times helps us to make sure that we translated a word in the same way throughout it.
As with other parameters of translation, asking a reviewer to check the translation is a great way to improve its quality.
Do you have any other suggestions?
🎉 Happy International Translation Day!
Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translators, wants to remind you that human translators still make the difference between a great translation and a word-to-word one.
Pop culture matters.
Good translators don't shy away from pop culture, especially if they translate audiovisuals.
Music, cinema, comics, video games, and TV series are more than just hobbies!
If you want to convey some messages properly, you must know your audience and their tastes.
⏳ Translations should settle for a while before being sent.
😴 I like to let my translations 'rest' for a few hours or a day before delivering them.
👉 This way, it is easier for me to spot things that need to be changed.
❌ Of course, this is not always possible, especially if I work under very tight deadlines.
👽 Speaking multiple languages is like having aliens living in our brains.
It may sound strange, but it is how I feel towards the foreign languages I "host" in my brain.
Italian, my native language, has to share its room with these alien guys, each one bringing something different and unexpected.
At the end of a crazy working day - which happens quite often - I mix up different languages and I feel like a battle is taking place!
Does it happen to you as well?
A new working year has just begun.
Just like the protagonists of novels, new adventures and challenges await us!
The well-deserved vacation is over, and we have to manage our translation projects, both those left undone and those about to begin.
Emails, texts, video calls, old and new clients, and colleagues to collaborate with: will we be able to handle all this?
Good luck to us freelancers!
💡 I am not the right translator for you.
If you are looking for a translator to adapt your content into Italian, please do not contact me if:
❌ You want everything at once ➡️ accurate translations take time. Yes, I also manage urgent translations, but only if the word count is not excessive or if it is a project I have been working on for some time.
❌ No matter who you are, for me you're all the same ➡️ each translator has their style, experience, and fields of specialization. Saying one is as good as the other is like calling a dietician if you need a cardiologist or vice versa.
❌ You think it's enough to know a second language well. ➡️ no, translators are cultural mediators. First of all, we know our native language perfectly and then comes everything else. And by 'everything else' I mean study, preparation, knowledge of other languages and cultures, etc.
❌ You offer low rates, e.g., 0.02 cents per word, and tell me that everyone else is okay with that. ➡️ No, I don't think so. Good translations need appropriate rates.
💻 I am not an interpreter, I am a translator.
Yes, I know that some of my colleagues work both as translators and interpreters, but it's not my case.
When choosing a profession, I think we all should take into consideration our strengths and weaknesses.
✒️ As for me, writing has always been my greatest passion.
📚 I love doing research in any possible field, and working on my own has never been a problem.
🎮 I am a genuine nerd, so translating video games, films, and TV series is my dream job.
😩 On the other hand, I admit that I can get very anxious, that is why working as an interpreter would have been too stressful for me!
🎬 Doing a job that only causes us stress and anxiety can be very harmful to our health. I am glad I decided to translate audiovisuals from my cosy home studio.
I don't like artichokes.
Don't worry, this post is not about my food preferences.
I was born and raised in Milan, Northern Italy. Half of my family comes from Brianza, an area in the North-West of Lombardy. In the Brianza dialect, an artichoke is called "articiocco".
In standard Italian, we call this vegetable "carciofo", so we use a totally different word.
If you think about it, "articiocco" is more similar to the English "artichoke " and the French "artichaut".
And you know what? Both English and French borrowed this word from the Northern Italian dialects.
🎮 Video games are often considered a good way to spend your spare time.
Unfortunately, they are also considered a great way to waste time and money!
Well, here below are 4 lessons you can learn from playing video games:
✔️ Never give up - Try as hard as you can, and your will succeed in defeating your enemies!
✔️ There is always a solution - And if there's no solution, stop complaining about it
✔️ Everything works with its mechanism, you just have to find what the mechanism is
✔️ Experience has made me rich - Failure is a part of the learning process and the only way to achieve knowledge and experience
Archaeological finds, desert sands, inscriptions to be deciphered, and lavish jewellery.
These are the protagonists of the archaeology-focused content I translate.
Yes, history and archaeology are also present in audiovisuals, whether in the form of documentaries or video games!
Even though I work in my comfortable home office, I can travel through time and space because of the things I translate.
📌 Alcuni lavori comportano più responsabilità di altri.
Beh, non sono affatto d'accordo. Ogni professione, se svolta con serietà e impegno, contribuisce in modo fondamentale alla convivenza pacifica fra esseri umani e al delicato equilibrio di cui hanno bisogno le nostre società.
La prendo un po' alla lontana per dire che anche noi traduttori abbiamo un'enorme responsabilità. Ogni singola #traduzione comporta delle scelte e ogni scelta ha una conseguenza.
Le nostre traduzioni veicolano dei messaggi e anche un solo messaggio positivo può avere un forte impatto sulle persone che lo ricevono.
In questi giorni, per esempio, sto sottotitolando diversi #documentari incentrati su fauna e flora. Non sono una scienziata, ho una formazione umanistica a 360 gradi, ma credo di poter fare la mia parte per aiutare questo nostro pianeta tanto minacciato.
Come? Facendo capire, grazie alle #parole, quanto sia importante preservare gli ecosistemi messi a dura prova da decenni di sfruttamento sconsiderato delle risorse.
Non esistono lavori di serie A e di serie B, ma solo diversi modi di approcciarsi a ciò che facciamo.
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?
They say translators are lazy.
Is it true?
OK, we indeed spend many hours typing on the keyboard, but at the end of a long working day, we also do other things.
I love going for a nice walk in the fresh air (if the weather permits), practising yoga or working out.
They are all ways to stretch after many hours spent at the PC and are great for my mind, which is always too focused on words.
Do you also love to do sport after a day at the PC?
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?
Le mie riflessioni sul mondo della traduzione e non solo.