When I was studying translation at university and thought about my ideal job as a translator I imagined myself in a café with plenty of books all around me, a laptop in front of me and a cup of Starbucks coffee (you know the charm of the big Starbucks cup) heating my hands, translating a fascinating novel without having to brilliantly speak with anybody, not having to find clients. They would have found me. My shyness would have not been a problem. Definitely.
Well, first of all, dear friends, let me say it isn't like that. I'm sorry, but this is the ugly truth.
I must say it is completely different. It's even better!
The first thing I learned when I approached the world of translation is that you cannot simply stay in your little office with your manuscript and laptop translating until you have enough without getting out from your comfort-zone. This was quite terrifying for me to find out: Not only would I have to speak to people in the real world, which already was a big problem for me, but I should also have a social life on the web, showing active social network profiles, having my own website and writing my own blog. How could I do that?! The only social network I had used in my life was Facebook and I had had enough of it in a few months, I did not want to share my life with the whole Web world! I used to spend 2 to 3 hours to decide to press "enter" and send an email. I was desperate, I thought would have never become a translator. As always in my life, I decided the solution was studying, so I started looking for courses. I immediately found the GdT (Giornata del traduttore), a conference about translation organized by Sabrina Tursi of STL in collaboration with EST. The doppioverso girls, the blog about translation I had been following for a while - loving it - were speaking at the conference. I immediately applied for it. And it really taught me a lot. I learned why I needed to have a website with a blog, and a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, Linked In account etc., how to use them and that I should not be so shy!
Ok, easier said...
But my biggest discovery back then was that translators really rock. We all face the same difficulties and we are all similar in some ways, we all share a deep love for languages and most of us are shy (maybe this is why we choose translation, maybe we all imagine a similar picture like the beautiful one I spoke about at the beginning of this post).
Well, I had learned translators rock and I had met lots of gorgeous translators. But I knew I would have never found the courage to speak with them.
Time has flown since then, I've studied a lot, attended lots of courses, translated and I'm overcoming my shyness. Above all, I've learned to appreciate the translators’ community, because they not only rock as translators, but also as single persons. Since then I've met some other translators from all over the world and I can say we are an amazing group. Some of them became my personal heroines and that made all more difficult.
Speak with them?! Are you crazy? I trembled at the thought.
But then something magic happened.
Some months ago, for a webinar on literary translation organized by STL (again Sabrina Tursi, the sweet mum of all of us "essetiellini" translators, as she calls us), "Bottega online di traduzione editoriale”, I had the wonderfully terrifying chance to speak with one of my first translator-idols: Barbara Ronca of doppioverso. Again, I was trembling at the thought. She was the professor and I had made a translation for the webinar that she would have corrected. In that occasion, she told me some very nice things about my translation and I was so happy that I thought my heart could blow up. I couldn't help telling her that I was very happy listening to what she was saying because doppioverso was the reason why I came back to translation after a little time away and she and Chiara had been my idols since then. Surprisingly, she was very happy to hear that, even if I perfectly know I am not the only one loving the doppioverso girls! That conversation made my day and I decided I would have said what I think more than I had done before.
Now again, I recently had the chance to speak with Martina Lunardelli (rocking interpreter, translator, lecturer and influencer :)), Maria Pia Montoro (aka WordLo, rocking Web content manager, translator, terminologist - she works for the European Parliament! - and she created the wonderful t-shrits "I'm a translator because god is busy"), Francesca Manicardi (aka Punto F, rocking interpreter, translator, professor, revisor, copywriter) and Valeria Aliperta (aka The Stylish Freelancer, translator, interpreter, editor, voiceover artist, blogger, speaker, branding expert, language consultant & content creator) – these are only some of their activities - and I couldn't help telling them what an example they are for me. You should know that they have wonderful careers and are always so nice and sweet with beginner translators, helping everyone as much as they can and that they really rock (have I already said that, maybe?). If you do not believe me have a look at their profiles:
- And they are only some of my wonderful colleagues! -
Surprisingly again, they were glad to hear that. So, from now on, I will follow Francesca's advice to say what I think when this can make someone happy, saying my enemy Shyness to mind its own business and let me live my life without her.
Well, you can now go back to everything you want to, I'll stop bothering you, but please let me say that translators really rock and that we are a wonderful community.
Remember, if you hire a translator, you are almost hiring the entire community, because we cooperate, we help each other, we learn from each other and that makes our job even worthier.
I've just known the next GdT will be on October 13th-14th and I can't wait for it to meet my colleague translators.
If I were you, I would want to work with us.
My advice is, if you're a translator, join the community, if you are not, you should hire one somehow ;)
And remember, sharing is caring :)