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Meet Barbara, in Dublin, Ireland…
What is your native language, and which are you fluent in?
Italian is my native language and I am fluent in both English and Spanish beyond that.
When and why did you become interested in translation?
My great passion for languages brought me to study foreign languages at the high school, and then translation and interpreting at the university. I wanted to be able to speak more than one language at a very high level and that’s why I have decided to follow this career.
I was also very good with my first translations from Latin into Italian at the high school and thought that I wanted to keep translating, as it was a “natural” thing for me.
What is your favorite part about being a translator?
I love the fact that through translations people can access every kind of text, even if they don’t speak another language. We translators have a great responsibility in this, as it’s through our work that we let people access content originally written in a different language. I consider myself as sort of “bridge” between a foreign content and the Italian audience.
What are the most important phrases to learn first in a new language?
I would say the basic communication phrases, such as greetings, presentations, asking for directions, asking prices etc. I imagine myself in a foreign country and what I would need most in this situation is knowing the basic language that would allow me to move around and being able, for example, to enter in a shop and buy food or book an accommodation, etc.
What are your favorite travel destinations?
I love Asia! I have been travelling a lot, it’s one of my biggest passions in life together with languages and translation, but I must admit that at the moment I’m truly in love with Asia, both Central and South East Asia. If I have to pick a few favorite travel destinations I would say Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Mongolia and Bali, but there are many more I like as well.
What are your best tips when traveling internationally?
I would recommend everyone out there to just go and travel the world, it’s amazing! But you need to be smart and careful and always listen to yourself: if you find yourself in a strange situation and you have the feeling that it can easily escalate in something dangerous then leave or do something to avoid this getting complicated.
My best tip would be to enjoy every minute of your trip, be yourself and let the place you are visiting getting to you, don’t be scared of different things and people, embrace a difference culture and learn as much as you can from it!
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