Translations

Fiat 500-Pontiac GTO

English to Italian translations

It’s not easy to sell yourself as a professional translator and at the same time blogging about controversial topics.

I may (try to) be versatile and multifaceted, but with my bluntness I’m gonna make myself a few enemies. The ideal translator bears quite a different image: a provider of professional services, a neutral instrument of your communication, ideally fading into the background.

I’ve decided to face this role-associated risk anyway and to wear two hats.

There’s one concept I want to get through: the passion I put in striving to get to a deeper understanding of reality is also fueling my commitment to perform translations with care and precision, for there’s no greater gratification than knowing you did a good job.

I must add that the original content is sacred. My opinions are strictly kept out of it.

Maybe it’s a little risky to write articles in Italian and English: a professional doesn’t accept jobs in a target language other than his mother tongue; there are too many details and nuances that may elude even the most competent translator, if he didn’t live and breathe English since childhood. The result would inevitably be inferior to what a native speaker could produce.

Well, I don’t want to stay in my comfort zone; I write directly in English or translate my own Italian articles. Mistakes and imperfections are to be expected. It’s an inevitable trade-off when churning out lots of fresh material.

I won’t translate from Italian for clients: it wouldn’t be professional. I’m like that: my sense of duty tells me that a tiny mistake hiding in my blog is no big deal, but a similar mistake making its way in clients’ translations becomes akin to a small betrayal of their trust in me.

To this day I’ve translated mostly general web material. My educational background was focused on scientific subjects. As you can gather from these pages, I’m well versed in dealing with a variety of complex cultural and technical fields.

With the aim of getting my name out and signing deals with direct clients, for a limited amount of time I’ll grant you a special introductory discount.

 

From my limited experience with translation agencies I can tell you: beyond being cheaper and faster, if you skip the middlemen and deal directly with the translator you really don’t lose much in terms of professional help. Looking beyond the impressive-sounding title, don’t think that a translation project manager knows more than the translator about what matters to your business; his contribution to the workflow is that of getting you to pay a decent final price (promising high quality results), and more importantly to push to bring down the amount paid to those who bid to do the actual job. Usually the gamble is that of aiming for quantity, maximizing sales volume, where somewhat decent products are considered ok.

If you choose me you get to know who you are dealing with, hopefully building a relationship of reciprocal trust and avoiding the risk of a job split into parts, then subcontracted to different translators with different, inconsistent writing styles. Agencies also tend to indirectly obfuscate translations by providing only the minimal context needed, to avoid clients and translators to come in contact, then potentially cutting them out of the loop in the future. But sometimes knowing things directly gives the translator an opportunity to suggest changes that are useful for the localization of your product placement, not to mention the risk of misunderstanding short isolated phrases when you can’t see how they are used.
In some unfortunate cases you are sold, as a localized version coming directly from the expert hands of a qualified specialist of your field, a hasty revision of an automatic translation. Maybe the grammar comes out ok, but in a literal translation that doesn’t take into account the target readers, you’d find concepts and images that are normal and effective for an American or a Briton, but odd and incomprehensible for us Italians.

Another thing about automatic translations: if you believe you can present your company to the world with a Google translated website, at least temporarily, think again. It’s damaging your image more than you think. The same goes for improvised in-house translations.

Hereinafter you can find my email address to request information or to get a quote; please specify the type/subject and length of the text and the expected date of completion:

 

[email protected]

 

 

Park entrance, mistranslated sign

“Only Privats” ©2014 Alessandro Grasso

 

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