17 Jun 2022

ITI Profile: Martina Colucci Student

We talk to Martina Colucci about her route into translation studies and the benefits she has gained from being a Student member of ITI

I got closer to translation later than other fellow translators.

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Back in 2019, at the age of 26, I finally received my BA in Cultures and Literatures of the Modern World at the University of Turin. The journey to this point hadn’t been particularly pleasant for me – to be completely honest, I detested everything regarding linguistics back then, and I swore to myself I would have never go into academia ever again.

During the last months that separated me from my final dissertation, I started translating a story for a friend of mine – and surprisingly I absolutely loved it. I loved thinking of a way to make a sentence work in Italian and I loved rereading everything and realising I made that. 

It was a very special feeling, for somebody who had turned particularly sour towards academia.

Two months on from my graduation, in January 2020, I moved to the UK together with my partner. (When I met all my friends to say goodbye, I told everyone I was ready for a new adventure. Nonetheless, I didn’t expect that adventure to also include the plague.)

But, joking aside, after the lockdowns, a recurrent thought of mine was the possibility of going back to university. I knew that it was coming both from a deep unhappiness with my day job and the desire to study something that, for the first time, was actually making me happy.

So, after a long while  working and saving, in September 2021 I was finally able to enrol at the University of Surrey for a part-time Master in Translation – and it turns out that was the best decision of my life. I’m still learning a lot, I have encountered so many interesting people and I had the chance to gain so much from every single person that I met during lectures, lunch breaks, on my way to campus from the train station. I started to enjoy linguistic studies again!

It was during this time that I came across ITI. Following the advice from my language tutor, I decided to join the Institute as a way to learn more about professional translators and gain more insights from their members. And, after attending the conference in Brighton, I can defitinely say that joining ITI was another great decision that I have made.

When you look from an external point of view at this community it is easy to feel that you may never be part of it, that you will be always looked as an outsider by a group of very exclusive individuals; instead, I have met people who were willing to talk with me about their experiences and how they got to wherer they are now, and share tips on how to get started.

It feels like they were so willing to welcome you into the community and that felt very comforting to somebody who is not a professional yet.

I’m currently working on a literary translation for my MA dissertation and, as a way to enrich my portfolio, I’m focusing on a couple of audio-visual translations as a volunteer translator, along with other charity projects.

My final goal is to become a full-time freelancer translator and, although I’m aware this journey will be a long and bumpy one, I’m excited to see what comes next.

But for now, I enjoy the ride along with my partner Agnese and my eight plants, on the shores of Brighton.