Guest post: Translation specialization and personality

Welcome back to our guest post series! Stay tuned, because soon we’ll have some news and changes on the blog. Meanwhile, enjoy Giulia Carletti’s post.

Welcome, Giulia!


Translation lets you be everything you want to be

When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be a ballerina, even though back then I had never taken a dance class. Then, a couple of years later, I was obsessed with the E.R. series and I decided I wanted to be a surgeon: I was sure I could perform incredible operations to save people’s life, who cares if I was (and still am) clumsy and hopeless at anything even remotely crafty. Then, I moved on to wanting to be a journalist, but my fascination for anatomy and medicine never ceased. But at that age, oh, I loved writing so much! I liked inventing stories and coming up with slogans and creative ideas, to the point that my version of an advertising storyboard for a brand of chips had been sent to the factory so they could judge it. [The nutrition-lover me would object to having a 9- years old writing about chips, but that’s another story].

As every child, I was curious and all over the place, wanting to know more of most of the things I came across with. But even if the “X” of “I want to be X when I grow up” would change, something never did: my fascination for languages. English has always been my favourite subject, and I spent countless afternoons trying to translate song lyrics and articles, and the harder and more colloquial the expressions, the more I loved the research process and the challenge of saying it in Italian. After a few years in this business, I realised that working as a translator and interpreter has helped me achieve (almost) all of my childhood dreams.

Because when you translate, you face an exciting new adventure every day. You always use your analytical side, the one that helps you read the text and spot all the potential issues, making you say “I knew you were trouble!”, and you switch on this side again while proofreading. Then, depending on the topic, you tap at the different sides of your personality because, as Pirandello would say, we’re “one, no one, and a hundred thousand“. When I receive a brief and extensive guidelines for a creative project, I cannot wait to brainstorm and let all the words and ideas flowing – this is my playful side, the one that juggles words and makes them fit for the purpose and the client’s voice. But I am equally happy when I am preparing for a medical conference, having to go back to studying anatomy, letting my “scientific” side kick in.

It is the same for everyone: we all have different specialties that let us express our different interests and the diverse sides of our personalities. As translators and interpreters, we all are incredibly interested in many topics and want to dig deep – that’s one of the requirements of this job, after all. We are not afraid of being a student every day, of researching every day, of learning something new and eye-opening every day. We can (almost) become surgeons, lawyers, marketers, engineers, chefs… you name it! Although translation is a very serious business, we are entitled to have fun while doing it and we should make the most of all the opportunities we get to enjoy it, letting all the sides of our personality shine through our job.

Thanks to this profession, I could work wearing a scrub and looking exactly like Dr Corday in E.R. – what other job lets you wear a scrub even though you cannot cut straight with scissors? I’m still working on fulfilling the ballerina dream, though….

Do you feel like your different specialisations tap at different sides of your personality? Did you fulfil any dreams thanks to our job? Please let me and Caroline know in the comments!

Thank you, Caroline for handing your space over to me this time, it was a pleasure!

Thank you, Giulia, for accepting my invitation and kindly taking the time to write such an inspiring post! 🙂

About the author
giuliaGiulia Carletti from Words of Nona is a translator and conference interpreter from English and Spanish into Italian.
She specialises in marketing & transcreation, tourism, food, as well as medical interpreting. Being a word lover, she also works as a copywriter and in social media communication. She has a penchant for tennis, tea and travelling.

7 thoughts on “Guest post: Translation specialization and personality

  1. Caroline is right, such a lovely and inspiring post!
    I wanted to be a teacher (check), a policewoman (I still love detective/mystery/police films and books), a lawyer (at least I worked as an interpreter in this area), but my passion for languages (and English in particular) has won in the end 🙂
    I love the dressing up in scrubs part, made me chuckle – great idea!


  2. Pingback: A tradução te permite ser o que você quiser | Carol's Adventures in Translation

  3. Pingback: Guest post: Paixão pela tradução | Carol's Adventures in Translation

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