An Italian literary translator with 22 years of experience leaves the profession …

… and responds to a job offer from a publisher who doesn’t know he no longer works as a translator.


Dear […],

Yes, you’ve reached me at the correct address. Thank you for the offer of a translation project. Reluctantly, however, I must decline. Reluctantly because I have already translated a book by [author] for [another publisher] and especially because the novel has just won [an important literary prize in the United States], an award whose winners never disappoint.

slam the doorThe fact of the matter, though is that, in December 2014, I left the translation profession behind. Today, I am a librarian.

Parenthetically (but not all that parenthetically), I would add that, while I am perfectly well aware that you, as an editor, don’t decide what translators are paid, the main reason for my decision to give up translation is that, in Italy in 2016, it is still possible for a publisher to write something like the below to a translator with twenty-two years of experience under his belt, not to mention a decent collection of prizes and other forms of acknowledgement for his work, 

On 28 April 2016 10:14, […] wrote:
> we would be able to offer you 11€ (roughly $12.60 USD)
> before taxes [between 20 and 40% in Italy] per cartella
> (a page of 2000 characters)

and fully expect such an offer to be treated seriously.

Believe me, it’s nothing personal.

Thank you again. Best of luck in your search.

[(Ex) Translator]

About No Peanuts! for Translators

No Peanuts! supports professional translators & interpreters in demanding & receiving fair pay for their work.
This entry was posted in Notes from No Peanuts!, Resistance, Respect, The Sustainable Translator and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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