Some of these cookies are essential to the operation of the site,
while others help to improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.
Italian to English: 6th ProZ.com Translation Contest - Entry #4316
Source text - Italian I miei primi ricordi delle Feste mi riportano ad abitudini molto diverse da quelle di oggi.
…Dunque le Feste. Attese. Vagheggiate. Gioiose.
Cominciavano con le letterine, indirizzate ai genitori, cara mamma e caro papà, sempre le stesse con scarsa fantasia. Piene di buoni propositi: sarò buono, sarò obbediente, vi voglio bene, eccetera. Ne conservo ancora qualcuna insieme alle pagelle della prima e della seconda elementare.
L'apertura ufficiale arrivava la sera del 24 dicembre. Il cenone della vigilia. E il presepe. Anzi presepio. Ci avevano lavorato a lungo, bambini e genitori. Avevano raccolto la vellutina in campagna e nei giardini delle città. I personaggi del presepio venivano conservati da un anno all'altro e così le casette dei contadini, le pecore dei pastori, i tre Re magi, la Madonna col suo manto azzurro e San Giuseppe che non so perché risultava calvo, forse per dargli un sembiante da persona anziana e senza le tentazioni della carne. E il bambino. Il bambino Gesù, un corpicino nudo o appena velato per nascondere il sesso.
…Finita la cena, i bambini recitavano una poesiola o leggevano la letterina. Poi andavano a dormire e venivano svegliati pochi minuti prima della mezzanotte. Si formava un piccolo corteo col bimbo più piccolo in testa che portava il bambino Gesù e lo deponeva nella culla vigilata dalla mucca e dall'asino. La cerimonia finiva lì e si tornava a dormire, ma non era facile riprender sonno anche perché si sapeva che al risveglio avremmo trovato i regali.
I regali del Natale erano tuttavia leggeri. Una bambolina per le femmine, ai maschi un gioco dell'oca o il meccano che allora era in voga, abituava a una manualità molto incoraggiata dai maestri della scuola.
I grandi, genitori e altri parenti e amici, non si scambiavano regali tra loro, non era uso. L'albero di Natale ci era del tutto sconosciuto e lo stesso Babbo Natale - almeno nelle regioni del Centro e del Sud - non esisteva. Qualche vaga eco ce ne arrivava da conoscenti che abitavano a Milano e Torino. Da Roma in giù di papà Natale non si aveva notizia.
Translation - English The Sacred and the Profane
By Eugenio Scalfari
My first memories of the holidays take me back to traditions quite different from those of today.
…Ah, the holidays. Awaited. Yearned for. Joyful.
They’d begin with the letters, addressed to our parents, Dear Mama and Dear Papa, always the same and rather lacking in imagination. Full of good intentions: I will be good, I will be obedient, I love you, etcetera. I still keep a few of them together with report cards from the first and second grades.
The official start of the season arrived the evening of December 24. Christmas Eve dinner. And the manger. Or rather, the Nativity scene. Children and parents alike had worked on it for a long time. They'd gathered moss in the countryside and from gardens in the city. The Nativity figures were kept from one year to the next - the little farmers’ houses, the pastors’ sheep, the Three Wise Men, the Virgin Mary with her sky blue mantle and Joseph, who for some reason was bald, perhaps to make him appear elderly and therefore immune to the temptations of the flesh. And the baby. Baby Jesus, a tiny body, nude or draped just enough to hide his sex.
…After dinner, the children would recite a little poem or read their letters. Then they went off to bed and were awakened a few minutes before midnight. A little procession would form, with the smallest child at the front, carrying the Baby Jesus. He would carefully deposit him in the cradle watched over by the ox and the donkey. The ceremony ended there and we would return to bed, but it wasn’t easy to fall asleep again, especially because we knew that upon awakening we would find the presents.
Yet the Christmas presents were simple. A doll for the girls, for the boys, snakes and ladders or the construction set that was in fashion at the time - it fostered the dexterity that was strongly encouraged by the teachers at school.
The grown-ups, parents and other relatives and friends, didn’t exchange gifts - it wasn’t the custom. The Christmas tree was completely unknown to us and Santa Claus – at least in the central and southern regions – didn’t exist either. A few faint echoes would reach us from acquaintances in Milan and Turin. South of Rome no one had ever heard of Father Christmas.
I'm a freelance translator and editor with many years of experience, specializing in medical, healthcare, life sciences, food and cuisine, tourism/travel, and marketing. I also have more than 10 years of experience in linguistic QA.
I can provide fast turnaround while maintaining strong attention to detail and precision. I am sensitive to maintaining the original sense of a text without rendering it awkward or nonsensical with overly literal translations. Having lived and worked in Italy for five years for an Italian employer, and now having lived and worked in France for six years, I am very familiar with cultural nuances and expressions in both languages that are essential to an accurate translation. I have worked with both online and print clients, as well as software and website localization.
I have excellent writing, editing, copyediting, and proofreading skills as well as a tested typing speed of up to 110 wpm with 99% accuracy. My studies in biology and fine arts and culinary studies lend me a specialized edge in these particular topics. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Tufts University (cum laude) and a B.F.A. in Fine Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, with concentrations in cinematography and painting. I have also worked full-time as an editor for a noted U.S. food and cooking magazine.
I have had ongoing contracts with the U.S. government (Social Security Administration) as a French, Italian, and Spanish to English medical translator in addition to numerous independent clients.
I was an in-house Linguistic Quality Assurance Manager for ISO-certified medical translation company Crimson Life Sciences (now a part of TransPerfect Translations) for several years and continue to perform regular translations, LQA reviews and edits for them on a freelance basis.
Most recently, my work includes translations and copy editing for "Paris vous aime" magazine, offered in Paris airports, and medical translations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.