We were lucky to chat with our Italian translator Ilaria from her home in sunny Naples, Italy. Ilaria speaks Italian, English and Spanish and has more than 15 years of experience in the translation and localization industry.
Ilaria primarily translates Italian to English and creates glossaries and style guides. She also works as an editor and proofreader for websites, hardware launches and software deployments. Let’s get to know this passionate translation professional!
It All Started with an Inspiring Teacher (and Queen)
Ilaria’s love for the English language can be traced to middle school, where she was drawn in by a teacher’s passion for English. However, she also credits the rock band Queen for pushing her to learn more.
“I loved Freddy Mercury’s accent,” shared Ilaria. “I learned all his beautiful songs by heart and started translating them as a hobby.”
When it was time for university, Ilaria attended the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Napoli, earning degrees in foreign language and literature in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Not yet content with her knowledge base, Ilaria then earned a master’s degree in technical translations from Scuola Superiore per Mediatori linguistici di Vicenza.
Working toward her graduate degree gave Ilaria extensive experience translating many types of texts and required her to display skill and mastery in translating specialized topics.
Exploring the Globe
Like many of our translators, Ilaria has lived in a number of places. While working on her final graduate thesis, she lived in London to conduct research. Once she completed her degree, she lived in Milan where her career began with a translation and localization agency.
With the places she’s lived, it’s no surprise that Ilaria can’t wait to start traveling again.
“I love traveling, but I can hardly remember how it feels thanks to COVID-19,” she said. “I’m looking forward to starting again.”
The Easy (and Not So Easy) Parts of Translating
For Ilaria, translating software is straightforward and almost calming.
“I love translating software at night,” she said. “I just sit on my sofa and relax with the computer on my lap.”
However, technical marketing translations are another story.
“I enjoy writing the first draft and then reading it again and again to find the best expressions and synonyms,” she shared. “I want the output to be as fluent as possible.”
“It’s not so relaxing, but it’s very, very satisfying in the end!”
What Makes a Good Translator?
With her wealth of experience, Ilaria knows what it takes to be a successful translator.
“A good translator is curious and humble,” she explained. “They never stop learning and questioning things.”
That approach to translation has served Ilaria well as she tackles each project from a unique perspective.
“Sometimes, I challenge myself by accepting projects on topics I would like to learn more about,” she said.
An Intense Career, Fueled by Passion
While Ilaria works remotely from home, she doesn’t have as much flexibility as you might think. But there are some perks.
“At times, I am so busy that I work nonstop for 14 hours, overnight and even during the weekends,” she exclaimed. “Of course, because I can work from anywhere, I can sit on a beach with a cold beer and a beautiful sea view.”
However, she can get carried away with her passion for her career.
“I’m so in love with my job that my partner and my son have to hide my computer when I’m on holiday to prevent me from working during my time off,” she laughed.