‘Il kit del traduttore’: branding, diversification, terminology and machine translation

February 22, 2016 2:46 pm

Valeria AlipertaWhen students finish their university studies, they often have no idea of how the real world really works. It’s hard enough to decide the road to take – branching out or work for a niche market and so on –, let alone start a business.

I met a countrywoman, Jessica Mariani, last October in Bruxelles, when I attended the successfully and very informative #TranslatingEurope Forum. It was after that that she approached me and a few other Italians active in the entrepreneurial world to host a fresh, innovative event in Italy. I was in!

‘Il kit del traduttore’, or #KitTrad, was a free event on 12 February by the University of Verona and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures for students – and freelancers! – who wanted to know more about business, branding, diversification of services, terminology and machine translation. Initially planned for up to 50 people, it soon became clear that the demand was higher and indeed… more than 80 people signed up!


I had the pleasure to kick off the day with a presentation on the basics of branding and brand voice, rounded up by 45 minutes of Q&A on pretty much everything – business, starting out, investing in a logo, choosing a career, trademarks and other real-life queries. After the break we had one session on machine translation where Marcello Federico explained the advancements of technology, collaborative, online CAT tool Matecat and how it can be used to our own advantage. After lunch we moved to terminology: Licia Corbolante told us why terminology is so crucial for everything we do and why we should work on it; dulcis in fundo, TermCoord’s very own Maria Pia Montoro explained how terminologists are not boring at all and in fact they are the language professionals of the future, with many work opportunities unknown to most of us.

1VeronaThe day ended with another round of queries, in a panel – and I have to say it’s highly entertaining and satisfactory to see people of all backgrounds – professors, students, freelancers, teachers, entrepreneurs, translators and so on – get together to discuss. The feedback I received was diverse and always inspiring, but the words people mentioned after my talk – that certainly apply to all other speakers – and I want to remember are:

  • fresh
  • informative yet fun
  • approachable yet professional
  • a breath of fresh air.

The atmosphere was like a big, friendly forum where anyone could interact and where no questions was too trivial to be asked, just interesting. Universities could give so much more to students if they teamed up with freelancers to shed light on how the market really works. Certainly this is the way to go: in Verona we moved the first step forward to a fresher take jon the topic. Looking forward to Edition 2!


Find here the KitTrad Storify

Check here the Italian speakers at ‘Il kit del traduttore’ 2016


Valeria AlipertaII

Written by Valeria Aliperta
Interpreter and translator




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  • Mario

    I learned about KitTrad via Twitter (and thanks to Maria Pia Montoro). Translators are required to almost physically surf the faster realities and think a bit faster on their feet.

    Events like this are cause for celebration. There’s a note of caution I’d like to sound, however: there are several snake-oil salesmen looking to make a buck out of translators with talk about how this new skill or application will make us “more productive.” Writers and readers by nature, translators should keep an eye on developing actual skills, like growing more comfortable writing about scientific topics (for example, and weeding out the chaff.

    We don’t need to talk about “branding” but about professional reputation and how to build a good name for ourselves. This is done more by writing (and reading) better and better, rather than learning how to use SEO techniques. What is SEO but just advertising metadata anyway?