Hello, my name is Valentina Sarno and I have been translating (as well as interpreting and teaching languages for many years) since 1990!
I grew up all over the world, primarily in New Zealand, South America (Venezuela and Peru), Italy, The Philippines, England (in London as well as in the rest of the country) and Spain.
I was brought up on English, then learnt and became fluent in Spanish and finally in Italian, also picking up a lot of French in my all-humanities studies.
I completed my A Levels in English, Italian and French, then went on to study in Italy for one year, only to be fascinated by London and the UK, thus completing my degree in English and Spanish and Latin American studies at the (alas! now defunct) University of North London.
Why a career in translation?
I have always loved playing with languages, I love the way you change the way you feel when you change languages, and I love the works of literature that I have read in all those languages and appreciated their differences and whether they were hard to convey or not, which is what kept me drawn to translations.
From translating a book, to the most basic marketing message, the principle is the same: I wish to communicate not just the actual meaning of each word, but convey the different spirit of the language, which is why it is so important to understand, beyond the language, the context, the culture, and so on.
I am a member of IAPTI, The International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters because although based in Argentina, I loved the principles it follows, and makes me feel less “stuck” in one nationality, as I struggle to define a single one for myself.
Collaboration with BigTranslation
After many years translating, it can become a little tiring to always be hounded by deadlines, to have to deal with impatient and stressed out customers and/or project managers. With BigTranslation, a couple of years ago, I found a place of peace and agreeableness: all project managers without fail, and all communications, are always delightful, without stress. It is easy to take jobs, and it is easy to get paid, which in my profession is something not to be sneezed at!
I am very happy to divide my time between translating and writing books, and translating for BigTranslation.
An idyllic work environment
For similar reasons (simplifying my life and making it more pleasant) I happily moved away from the UK in 2017 and to a beautiful place in the deep Italian south, in Puglia, just by the sea. I live here with my illustrator husband, the youngest of my children (2 eldest sons are finishing off their studies at UK universities), my 50 kilo dog and three cats.
My new challenge is now learning German… but taking it easy!