Welcome everyone to the fourth episode of the translation & interpreting “red carpet” series, featuring remarkable guests of the industry who kindly accepted to share with us their views on some common points. After having Marta Stelmaszak in the third episode, the guest of this week is Valeria Aliperta, whom, again, you’ll be surely familiar with if you’re active in the translation and interpreting community.
Valeria is a conference interpreter, translator, editor, speaker and… all-time juggler! Rainy London is based in the capital of the UK, and offers services from English, Spanish and French into Italian, ranging from translation to voiceover, from simultaneous interpreting to transcreation. Apart from translation and languages, Valeria likes fitness, photography and reading, she’s a bit of a fashion victim and loves social media, blogging and all things web. Branding and marketing are another soft spot of hers and of course, as an Italian native, she can only but adore a nice, strong espresso.
I’m really glad to have Valeria here and thank her very much for the time she has kindly given to this interview. Grazie mille, Valeria!
When did you first become aware of your calling and what happened since then?
“I was 11 in school… and I realised I wanted to be an interpreter. Not sure what it was really, but if it had to do with languages, that I liked. My first crush was English but I discovered Spanish when I was 15 so I can say I love both unconditionally.”
Did you choose your specialisation or was your specialisation that chose you?
“I think that as a “pure” linguist (someone who studied T&I theory and does not have a previous degree in, say, engineering or chemistry) it’s your passion and your first job offers that lead you to the direction you will then take as your own. I love advertising, marketing and IT, but fashion is a passion and it chose me in work later on.”
Why did you choose to go freelance rather than working as an in-house translator and/or interpreter?
“I simply didn’t! I wanted to actually work as a PM initially, as I had done a work placement and I’m pretty organised and efficient. But I would not find a job, really! So I decided it was the right time to try it as a freelancer… I gave myself the ‘famous’ 6 months… and here I am.”
Should anyone want to specialise in your field, would you recommend anything in particular?
“I hold a BA in Translation and an MA in Conference Interpreting but all my specialisation came with my own experience = hard work. Don’t accept something out of your scope but prepare for it if you want to try it. So, the reply is both “
How significant are or have been social networks and personal branding for your current position?
“They are essential in my experience. To be a freelancer you have to be found and be trusted. First impressions still count, regrettably. And SEO does count too, so a strong, professional online presence is key.
How did you make your name in the translation and/or interpreting industry? Any dos and don’ts?
“Here’s MY top 5:
- Just be yourself and be polite. Always. Even with critics.
- Don’t lie. It all comes up sooner or later. And know when it’s apt to say NO (to a job, to a colleagues, to a client…)
- Get visible – as I mentioned before!
- Write and learn, be curious, be hungry, improve yourself.
- Never think ‘Oh, I won’t do that because it’s silly/someone did that already/ it’s obvious/it’s useless. For 10 people who read your articles or work or website, there are 100 more who don’t know what you’re talking about. Redundancy is only bad in translation ”
If you’d like to know about Valeria’s first client hunting experience and her three tips for translators and interpreters, you can read “How can freelancers find new clients?“, featuring also Marta Stelmaszak, Xosé Castro Roig, Gabriel Cabrera Méndez, Scheherezade Surià López and Pablo Muñoz Sánchez. If you’d like to read last week interview with Marta Stelmaszak, you can find it here.
Next Monday don’t miss the following episode of the translation & interpreting “red carpet” series with Clara Guelbenzu (famous for her blog on interpreting, bootheando).
As always, feel free to leave any comment. Have a great week everybody!