Thank you for your interest
in my translation services.
Whether you are looking for
a good translator for yourself (direct client) or for your own client
(translation company), you want to make sure you are getting someone who
can skillfully translate documents for the Italian market, a translator
with technical know-how, product knowledge, research capabilities, and
The following are good questions
with which to interview a translator. I invite you to use them to check
are your qualifications as a technical translator?
In the past 17 years, I have
translated a wide range of technical and technical marketing materials
into Italian, including ads, brochures, catalogs, hardware/software documentation,
company newsletters, product guides (installation/operation manuals),
press releases, slide presentations, video scripts and web sites. I have
translated on average 650,000 words per year.
The subjects in these documents
cover many technical fields, including automotive, computer hardware/software, engines, gear drives,
heavy machinery and vehicles, high-tech medical instruments, hydraulic
systems, machine/power tools, measurement/monitoring electronic instruments,
motors, networking, optical instruments, packaging, pumps, test equipment,
turbines, and uninterruptible power supplies.
I have written several articles on terminology and style issues in technical translations have been published on the ATA Chronicle, the magazine of the American Translators Association.
I am the author of two training modules on technical translation into Italian, written for ICoN (Italian Culture on the Net) Group. In partnership with three Italian universities, ICoN offers a Master in Translation modeled after the European Master’s in Translation. Among university professors specialized in translation and world-class professional translators, ICoN selected me as the person most suited to write about the various aspects of technical translation into Italian.
I write (in Italian) a column on translation for the web site
of SIS (Servizio ditaliano scritto), a nonprofit association
for the advancement of business writing in Italian established by the
University of Venice, and I contribute technical articles to Italian trade
Yes. I was born and raised
in Palermo, Italy, where I earned a Laurea (Masters Degree) in Electronic
Yes. My technical background
is solidly based in both English and Italian. In Italy, I earned a Laurea
(Masters Degree) in Electronic Engineering and certification as
a Professional Engineer. In the US, I earned a Master of Engineering and
a Degree of Electrical Engineer. I have worked as R&D Engineer both
in Italy and US.
As you might easily guess, a technical background is
essential for accurate technical translations. A translator must know
not only what the target readers of a technical document infer, but also
what they take for granted, that is, the common knowledge of the target
technical culture. The translator needs this knowledge to avoid the trans-cultural
embarrassments too often seen in translations.
The terminological accuracy
of my translations is grounded in years of engineering study and work
in both Italy and the United States. If your project involves new, complex
technologies, you will need an experienced engineer who not only understands
technical fields in general, but knows how to research new fields quickly
and apply the new technology to your translation. I can find and read
related documents written in Italian by specialists. Possessing a sound
understanding of the concepts, I can choose the correct technical terminology.
Only a translator with an extensive technical background can apply this
For more information you can read
my two articles on this subject, Beyond
the Dictionary - An Italian Perspective on Technical Translation
and Avoiding False Friends
in Technical Translations into Italian.
live in the USA, not in Italy. I heard that translations into Italian
are best done by translators who live in Italy, because they do not lose
touch with their native tongue. Is this a valid claim?
No. At the bottom end of the
market, you can find poor translators on either side of the Atlantic.
At the top end of the market, you can find excellent translators on either
side of the Atlantic. The best translators know how to keep their language
skills up to scratch regardless of their location, and they are alert
for the problems that their location may cause.
That said, let me explain
why an expert translator who lives in the US could provide you
with better technical and technical marketing translations into Italian.
First of all there is the
Internet, itself a technical tool that requires expertise. This immense
multilingual library allows translators who know how to search effectively
access to a host of materials-including scientific and technical journals
and encyclopedias, newspapers, newsmagazines, specialized glossaries,
and manufacturers documents-written in Italian and reflecting the
language currently written and spoken in Italy. I browse Italian web sites
daily. The basic techniques involved in research and the technical experience needed to know when I have found the information I need, remain the same regardless of my location.
The first step in translating
your documents is to understand them fully. In the United States, I am
in constant touch with American English and with changes in the technical
subjects of your documents.
If you are located in the
Western Hemisphere, you will enjoy faster communications using a professional
translator in the US. If you need last-minute revisions to time-sensitive
materials, or if your project is on a tight schedule and you need to get
in touch with your translation provider in the evening or during the weekend,
I will be just a phone call away, working when you are.
Then there is the issue of
currency, that is, keeping up with the changing language. In addition
to my daily Internet research and reading, I return to Italy on a regular basis. Deliberate, professional observation is a goal of these
trips: I may be even more in touch with the subtle changes in my native
language than if I lived there year-round.
Would my Italian be more up-to-date
if I lived in Italy? Not necessarily. While my English is constantly updated
and changed by living in the United States, I am not writing in English.
I am translating into Italian, and Italian is a very absorptive language.
Loan translations and borrowed phrases that may be literal renderings
of English words are constantly seeping into the daily language. Very
often their meanings change, and they are very often used outside the
fields from which they were borrowed. This can lead to fatal flaws in
For more information you can read
my article on this subject, Influences of English
in Technical Translation into Italian.
The best way to assess the
quality of your translated document is to get comments from representatives
of your products or services in Italy. Your Italian reps will see at a
glance if a translator has a good technical background and writes with
the style needed for local clients. Take a look at my clients testimonials.
Would you like your translated documents to have the same effect?
Yes. Your message needs to
be expressed simply and directly, but at the same time, be powerful and
effective. The writer must craft concise sentences that flow. Your prose
in Italian should be cohesive, coherent, and informative, and when needed,
be emphatic and persuasive.
For reasons of linguistic
history, many Italians, even those with advanced degrees, write tangled
prose using a turgid and awkward style called antilingua (anti-language).
Italy's most respected writers, linguists and communications consultants
have criticized this style for its inability to communicate effectively.
For more information you can read my article on this subject, Style
in Italian Technical Translations.
No one can teach another to
write just ask any professional writer. There is more to writing
than simply obeying rules. Typically, students in Italian universities
write little or nothing at all. Also, business writing classes are still
not being offered widely in Italian universities. Thus, a degree in Italian
language or literature does not really guarantee that the graduate can
write clearly and persuasively in Italian.
Through years of translations,
I have honed my writing skills learning how to apply principles and techniques
of good writing to produce clear and persuasive translations. My regular
reading includes journals of linguistics, style and business writing books,
and trade magazines. In the article A
Matter of Style: Effective Writing in Italian Technical Translations,
I have collected some guidelines for translating concisely and effectively
Whether your technical marketing
project is an advertisement, sales or marketing brochure, newsletter,
press release, slide presentation or web site, I guarantee that my translation
will meet these requirements:
- Respect the English text,
but avoid reproducing English linguistic conventions or syntactic structures
Yes. However, before accepting an editing project I need to review the translated document. If a translation is poor, editing could take so much time, that it would be more cost-effective to retranslate the original document from scratch.
It happens. I have seen it. A company goes to great length to partner with Italian firms and to sell its products there. The company needs to translate its manuals and other material either in advance or after the sale, for example to comply with the European Union requirements.
The company chooses a translator who doesn’t meet all the prerequisites: native-fluency, technical background in both English and Italian, attention to terminology accuracy and consistency, writing skills. Then the translation comes back with a comment from the Italian partners along these lines: “We can’t use this translation” or, if the Italian partners took the time to edit it, the translation is full of strikeouts and corrections still to be applied. The company needs to start over.
But if the company had selected the right translator the first time, it wouldn’t need to pay twice for the same service. Eliminate the guesswork from your next translation project. Ask me and tap the full range of capabilities that will assure you of the best results possible: native-fluency, solid technical background in both English and Italian, utmost attention to terminology accuracy and consistency, and solid writing skills.
Rates depend on file formats and your deadline. The simplest formats, and thus the ones which costs less, are Word and PowerPoint. For PDF, FrameMaker, InDesign, HTML and other more time-consuming and complex file formats there may be a surcharge. Rush projects carry a surcharge up to 50%.
My terms of payment are net 15. You can pay by check or you can use your credit card through PayPal. Depending on the dollar amount of your project, I can require a down payment up to 25%.
For any potential assignment, call me at 801-278-7757 or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Describe the project, and I will quote you
a price range. For a firm price quote, I need to preview the documents to translate or
edit. You may e-mail me the actual documents or a link, for example, if
the project relates to a web site.
I can meet any reasonable
deadline. My turnaround times are among the shortest anywhere. In the
translation industry it is customary to base speed on the number of words
in a documents. This is not an accurate metric, since words are not all
the same. A marketing or sales brochure, a newsletter or a press release
needs to be translated using a different register from the one needed
for a catalog or a user or operator manual. Thus, different types of documents
of equal length may require different times to translate. As a general
indicator, I can translate at least 15,000 words per week.
If you have more urgent requirements, for example a series of manuals which needs to be translated in a short time, I can team up with other translators whose expertise I have personally verified. You will still have a single point of contact: me. I will coordinate the team's work and assure the quality and consistency of all pieces of your project.
Besides the usual word-processing
or publishing programs, like Word or FrameMaker, I use different translation memory
programs as needed. I can analyze your files
and evaluate the amount of repeated text. Repetitions are not included
in my quote. Identical words or phrases can change meanings in a different
context, so some re-translation may be needed. For this reason, the price
savings is not always clear cut. But I do not charge for text that repeats
Minor revisions to the English
text made within 30 days of your receipt of the translation are included
in the agreed fee. Substantial revisions might amount to a new translation
project. However, I will only bill you for the new work.
There is no time limit for
any revision to my translation by a representative of your company in
Italy. Depending on your preferences, I can implement all the revisions
or implement them as appropriate to make sure they do not degrade the
consistency of the terminology or substantially change the original meaning.
By phone or e-mail. First,
describe the project, and I will quote you a price range. For a firm price
quote, I need to preview the documents to translate or edit. You may e-mail
me the actual documents or a link (for example, if the project relates
to a web site). You should provide any reference materials you have, for
example, previous translations or web sites of your Italian representatives.
I will review them and match the terminology and register or adapt it
as you desire.
Once we agree on the delivery date and the price, I will start as soon as I receive your Purchase Order. You will receive the translation on or before the deadline. I think you will be very pleased with the results.
Don’t take chances for your next translation project. Tap the full range of capabilities that will assure you of the best results possible: native-fluency, solid technical background in both English and Italian, utmost attention to terminology accuracy and consistency, and solid writing skills.
For a free, no-obligation
cost estimate, contact:
Roberto Crivello, E.E., M.E.,
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Site updated on: February 2011