Translation from Italian: the effect of Italy's de-industrialisation
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:24
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Dec 10, 2016

I am posting this in English in the hope of attracting a wider audience although, of course, it will interest our Italian friends very directly.

When I began translating from Italian to English, quite some time ago, many jobs came from small industrial producers in the Italian provinces, manufacturing what British economists call "widgets": small items like screws and bolts, components for machines, etc.

Those small, often family-based factories, sometimes employing only a few people and with strong roots in local communities, were killed off by a combination of factors, notably the undercutting of labour costs by China (where, moreover, there are no labour protections) and the failure of Italian banks to support these small businesses.

Today I no longer get any translation jobs of that kind. The Italian economy is still manufacturing things but now there is a focus on the luxury market (there is no crisis for the global rich) or international infrastructure like power generation or rail systems. The "little guy" in Italian manufacturing has gone.

I regret the disappearance of small translating jobs - things like instruction leaflets for farm implements, product descriptions of woodburning stoves, etc.

As a translator from Italian into other languages, have you noticed this change? Are the documents you translating very different from what they were a few years ago?

[Edited at 2016-12-10 13:51 GMT]


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Translation from Italian: the effect of Italy's de-industrialisation

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