Saturday, 25 July 2009

Translation Trial & Locals

I've got a week left of the trial, but I already know how it's turned out. When I had the interview, Alessandro talked about a particular contract for the trial period. Being English, I thought I would have something to sign on the first day, and probably some things, like bank details, to pass on. Nothing doing.

With a week to go, I thought it'd make sense to check what was going on so I asked to talk to Alessandro. We only talked about the contract in passing, because he told me his decision about the trial, which is that I haven't got the job. He said that there was no problem with me personally or with my level of English (as if), but that my level of Italian was too low, based on feedback from other people. This, apparently, wouldn't be a problem in other circumstances, because after a year I'd probably be fine, but they're looking for someone with the right qualities from the off. He did, on the other hand, say that some freelance work could be possible.

So there you are. Those of you who know me (and who else, I wonder, is reading?) will know that I'm not the over-confident type - I'm probably more aware of my limitations than is helpful - but I must say it seems like a mistake. Of the mistakes that I'm aware I made, one was major. Almost every day, I proofread translations which were clearly much, much worse than the translations I was doing, in terms of English, and which contained objective errors that I could easily spot. In fact, it was quite an ego trip, seeing that real-life translators were getting paid real money for what I could see was trash, and I could turn them into something better with relative ease.

There's another 'English' there called Paul, who I worked quite closely with at the start and who does the job most similar to what mine is/was. He said he was surprised and said kind things about my level of Italian and said much what I said above about the quality of "professional" translators. He also said that Alessandro had been looking for a mother tongue proofreader for ages, which makes the fact that he hasn't taken me on seem doubly peculiar. Consequently I entertain vague hopes that he'll change his mind, though I'm obviously not counting on it.

In other news, controversy in the village. The Medieval Festival (my word, that's an unexpectedly swish site - why didn't they get it translated? I would have done it for free...) started last Saturday and finishes tomorrow. Anyway, one of the features is a 'disfida in arme' ('weapon challenge') between Offagna's 'Rioni' ('Districts'). Our district (Torrione) won it, but S. Benardino weren't happy with the result and asked for an appeal. Torrione said they would withdraw their participation from the Festival and proceeded to take all their flags down (there are a lot of them about). In the end Torrione still won, but one thing led to another and there was fighting in the streets. Monica's Dad, Carlo, and Don Luca, the young priest, had to keep trying to separate them. Apparently one guy might have needed an ambulance. So that's village life for you.
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