Pierluigi Bernardini

Professional English / French / Italian Translator


TRANSLATION (in short)

What does translating mean?

It is the art of combining words with each other, like a dish whose exquisiteness depends on right mix of ingredients.

It is like juggling words with extreme caution while avoiding the insidious obstacles that may be found along the way.

It is ongoing attention to the original text and the translated one in terms of meaning and communication.

It is respecting the rules and being able to break them at the right (and unexpected) time.

We could provide numerous definitions of the word translation, but for sure, it is something that goes beyond the knowledge of a foreign language: that is what makes a professional translation stand out because it is a functional representation of a real communication process rather than a more or less general translation that can somewhat be achieved when learning a language.

A translator is like a bridge that links two often very different worlds and he always finds himself having to make decisions. From time to time, he will have to decide which translation strategy is most suitable for a specific type of text or sentence. He must continuously ask himself questions, but he must always be ready to provide an answer.

Therefore, translating is like a vocation and talent, but also an art and technique that can be learned through a specific educational path.

For this reason, a translation cannot be improvised because it is a job that requires a very specific type of training that can provide the tools needed to transpose a text, of whatever nature, from one language to another, or from a culture to another, by reflecting the appropriate style and format of the contents of a particular context and by respecting the real meaning of the source text.

The final product of this special art is only the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface, the laborious work that precedes it remains impressive: researching information on the author to immerse yourself in his historical-cultural context and looking at his other works in case of literary and editorial translations, reading of sectorial and similar texts, researching terms and creating glossaries for technical translations, making a draft and, subsequently, refining the work in the final phase are some of the activities that contribute to the final layout of the text in the target language.


"He who does not know foreign languages, knows nothing of his own."
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) 

"The translator is clearly the only true reader of a text. Certainly more than any critic, perhaps even more than the author itself. Since the critic of a text engages in nothing more than an ephemeral courtship with it, the author is its father and spouse, while the translator is its lover."
(Gesualdo Bufalino)

"The translator... is an acrobat who maintains his balance on wire stretched between two different cultures."
(Pierluigi Bernardini)