Our Mondadori publishing house has launched Nota del traduttore, a five-part mini-series on YouTube about the job of the translator, in the words of some of Italy’s top professionals.
Translation is a fascinating and extremely important editorial profession because it offers readers access in their own language to the works of foreign writers, helping them acquire a natural understanding and appreciation of the spirit of the text. Who better than the translator, who has “gone inside” the book and investigated its hidden depths, can guide readers through the universe that lies within the pages of a novel?
The format was created for the specific purpose of answering the questions to which even people who work in the world of books are unable to respond satisfactorily: do you read the text first and then start translating or translate it a bit at a time? What do you do when the author uses slang? How has translation changed over the years?
Nota del traduttore is a three-part journey in three different settings. The first is a desk, where the translators talk about the way they work and the objects they have at hand. The second setting is a red armchair where they reply to questions with a series of optometric charts representing the transition from a symbol to a meaning, from one cultural universe to another. In the third and final setting, the translators address an imaginary audience made up of photos of writers and book covers, reading a personal “note”, a few words describing the ultimate meaning of the work they do.
The five episodes, filmed at the Panatronics Studio in Milan, feature translators Marco Rossari, Monica Pavani, Edoardo Rialti, Gianni Pannofino, Luca Fusari and Sara Prencipe. The project was developed from an idea by Edoardo Brugnatelli, with the collaboration of Jacopo Milesi, Chiara Ottolini, Nadia Focile and Francesca Gariazzo, together with Claudio Sforza, Alessandro Freno, Ivan Tonucci, Cristina Sinelli, Federico Terenzio and Mauro Forester.
Our publishing houses are supply systems incorporating highly specific professional skills that transform the most impalpable things – what Shakespeare would call “such stuff as dreams are made on” – into consumer goods. Giving translators a voice and visibility is a way to highlight the craftsmanship, the competences, people and passion that is editorial work.
From here we want to expand this type of communication, to bring readers closer to our books, answer their queries about jobs in publishing and give the human and professional skills operating in our Group the credit they deserve.