If you want your words to reach a part swath of the Italian audience, translation is your best bet. And it makes a big difference how your text is translated. No doubt you’ve spent hours upon hours of fine-tuning the writing, shaping its style, and finding the best expression for that sentence. Now maybe you’re worried that all this care will be lost when it’s translated into Italian, a language so different from English. Right?
And it is true something is always inevitably lost. As Umberto Eco put it, translating is about saying almost the same thing. But a good translator is able to create a translation that maintains as much of original style as possible, keeping it fresh and making it seem as if it had been written specifically for the foreign audience (Italian, in my case).
To do this successfully, it takes an innate flair for writing, proper training (I took a Master’s course in translation for publishers at the University of Siena), and it takes a lot of experience. I’ve had the honour during my career of working on authors like Tolkien, and have experience in a wide range of language varieties, including American and colonial varieties and different registers. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to respect the author’s voice to create quality writing that “does not sound like a translation.”
Style is not the only thing that matters. For non-fiction and informational texts, terminology must also be faithfully followed, quotes found, and bibliographies checked. Plus, we have to decide which cultural references an Italian reader can understand and which have to be adapted or explained in a note. We’ll make all these decisions together.
- Get in touch and tell me what you need. Send me an excerpt from your text so I can get an idea of the style and content.
- If I think I’m the right person for the job (keep in mind that I don’t translate legal, medical, or technical texts), I’ll ask you to send me the rest of the material for translation and we can draw up a strategy together. Would you rather add footnotes or do you want to create a glossary? Should we translate the index?
- Once we have decided all the details, I start the actual translation, which I have a colleague revise. This is an essential step, especially for longer texts. You probably had an editor or proofreader too, right?
- After the revision, we will do the layout. If you already have a professional graphic designer you work with, you can use them. Otherwise, I can do it with a trusted graphic designer.
- Before going to print, it is crucial that I review the text for a final round of revisions to make sure that everything is right.
- Novels and short stories
- Popular nonfiction
- Teaching material
- Tourist guides
- Articles for online and print magazines
- Texts for conferences and public speeches
A published text’s complexity involves many factors, such as the subject matter, the author’s style, if there is a bibliography or quotations, and so on. It’s hard to set a definite price in advance. But to give you a general idea, a one-page article for a general public would start at €40, plus layout, if needed.
If you want to translate a video or a webinar, check out my subtitling service.