30 December 2021In Transcreation, Interpreting3 Minutes

Hybridisation adds value in translation and interpreting

When describing myself, I often say “Italian communications all-rounder” though I’m aware it’s kind of vague.

How else could I sum up what I do for a living?

At the end of the day, I offer several different services in the field of communications.

And if there’s something I’m particularly proud of, it’s having sat on opposite sides of the desk.

As a copywriter I write marketing and advertising copy in Italian, but as a transcreation specialist I adapt it from English and German to Italian.

As a translator I translate press releases, but when I used to be a freelance publicist, I would write them.

As an interpreter I translate live for journalists at press conferences, but I first attended those kinds of press conference as a journalist.

At first glance, this wide offering and these “double hats” I wear may look like the opposite of specialisation… and the epitome of sloppiness! If this has crossed your mind, take a look at my portfolio – you’ll see I’ve developed the specific know-how required for each service I offer.

I firmly believe that being a hybrid professional can make a difference in high-stakes projects where “the cost of failure is dramatically higher than the cost of performance”, to put it in Kevin Hendzel’s words.

This is the point I’ve been trying to make in “Hybridisation adds value in translation and interpreting”, my third peer-reviewed paper. Drawing on concrete examples from my own professional experience, I show how two highly specialised services, namely the transcreation of TV advertisements and media interpreting for the music industry, can benefit enormously from professionals wearing more than one hat. A “translator plus” (translator + copywriter), for example, is able to adapt a script, but also take care of voice casting and voiceover direction. An “interpreter plus” (interpreter + journalist), on the other hand, may in practice become an additional and highly valued member of an artist’s PR team.

As I’m not a scholar, authoring papers which have passed a peer review and are published in academic journals or volumes is something that makes me enormously proud. That’s why I’m thrilled to share this article, which you can download as PDF.