A brief introduction of yourself?
After studying foreign languages and literatures at the University of Pisa, I’ve started working as a translator in 2004. I’ve always tried to be as versatile as possible, gaining as much experience as possible in a wide range of fields. I’ve also managed to combine my key passions – languages, books and technology – working as a graphical designer and typesetter for several different publishing firms.
How long have you been working with Maxsun? How did the partnership begin?
I’ve started my collaboration with Maxsun in 2018, when I was looking for new partners. One day I found Maxsun’s website and I decided to contact them. After sending my CV and discussing my fields of expertise and my rates, we agreed to start working together.
I’ve been constantly working with Maxsun since then, and I am absolutely enthusiastic about this collaboration, which I feel is strengthening every year.
What are your impressions of Maxsun? What does Maxsun impress you most?
There are many things that are truly impressive about Maxsun.
Above all, I’d say that all the PMs, leads or employees of the agency are always very professional, friendly and polite, as well as accurate and timely in their feedback and response. And this is also true about my payments, that Maxsun has consistently carried out with unerring accuracy, timeliness and fairness.
I never had any kind of issues with rude people (unfortunately this is something that I’ve experienced with other agencies) nor in communicating with the PMs, which is really impressive taking into account that there’s a considerable gap between our time zones.
The briefs are clear and comprehensive, and when I need to ask some questions, I always get quick and helpful answers.
Moreover, the PMs are very careful with the workload and deadlines – asking in advance for availability when it’s needed – and with every aspect of the projects management.
I can say without a doubt that they are one of the best agencies I’ve ever worked with and would definitely recommend them both to prospective customers and new translators.
What is a typical working day of yours like?
I wake up early to get the most out of each day. My working hours are usually from 8 AM to 6 PM, even though I try to be as flexible as possible in order to accommodate all the projects with the other daily tasks. This is not always an easy task, but with the help of a couple of cups of strong coffee I manage to keep everything together quite well.
Since translating is (unfortunately) a sedentary job, I try to go out as much as possible, usually together with my dogs. I particularly enjoy walking or running in the woods surrounding my home, as it’s a perfect way to refresh and recharge before getting back to work.
Whenever I can, I spend my evenings hanging out with friends, enjoying the pleasures of our renowned national cuisine.
What is your secret to becoming a great translator/writer?
I have few but very strict rules.
First of all, I’m always studying to improve my skills and knowledge and to learn new things. This is definitely a must if you want to be, and keep being, a top translator. No matter what, there is always room to improve.
Another crucial aspect is the revision process. Translators often tend to underestimate this aspect of our job, but in my opinion a good revision is what can actually make the difference between an average translation and a great one. It’s a skill that needs to be learned, honed and refined with patience, but it can radically improve the quality of the final text.
As a third point I would mention avoiding literal translations. The reason is very simple: literal translations never work, because they look and sound inevitably weird and stiff. To put it in other terms, if a translation seems a translation, it’s not a good translation (apologies for the pun). To be able to avoid this issue, it’s very important to know your native language perfectly in all its registers and to train your eye and you ear.
Last but not least, in case of doubts it’s of paramount importance to know how to look into books and on the internet. A professional translator should never make a guess, but research thoroughly and ask in order to find the right answers and thus the best translations.
Do you have any hobbies? What would you do in your leisure time?
I have several different hobbies that I try to pursue during my leisure time, the main ones being trekking, cooking, reading, watching movies and playing chess.
I love nature and animals very much, and I am so lucky as to live with two dogs, three cats and a couple of geese in the countryside. This brought me naturally to grow interested in trekking as a way to enjoy nature and stay fit and healthy. The kind of routes I love most are mountain trails, even though I enjoy every hike far from the traffic of the city.
When I was a small child, I used to watch fascinated while my grandmother cooked, so I asked her to teach me. Since then, I’ve always been interested in experimenting with new dishes, using my closest friends as volunteers to test my culinary inventions.
Reading and watching movies are passions that I’ve inherited from my father, and I still remember with pleasure when we went to the cinema together. The directors I like most are Vittorio De Sica, Mario Monicelli, Stanley Kubrick and Billy Wilder, while talking about books I’m especially interested in history and literature, even though I’m an avid reader constantly exploring new topics and authors.
My passion for chess began when I was in high school. I had an extraordinary professor that alongside teaching Greek and Latin introduced the student who were interested to this fascinating game. I still remember that he lent me a book, Chess Fundamentals by José Raúl Capablanca, which completelybewitched me. I’ve tried improving my game since, but I would definitely need more study and play time to become even a decent player!