A BRIEF HISTORY OF LEONE TRANSLATIONS
by Samantha Dominique Leone
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LEONE TRANSLATIONS by Samantha Dominique Leone
As a child, everyone told me that knowing many languages was a gift, I knew that was true but it never really hit me till about a year ago. (Having grown in a multicultural environment; English, French and Italian are all mother tongues to me. I also speak Kiswahili and have some knowledge of Spanish, which I am currently teaching myself as a pass time).
I realised that contrary to what I had thought my whole life, becoming a translator would be fun and an interesting challenge, allowing me to focus on things I personally enjoy such as reading, writing and learning/ improving my knowledge of languages.
That’s when I started SDL Translations, (a freelance translation project) the predecessor of LEONE TRANSLATIONS. As a new translator it was very hard to come by any decent projects due to the fact that I lacked credibility as I had no past samples to hand over to prospective employers. To add to which I had not yet completed my Undergraduate degree at the University of Avignon (Undergraduate in Applied Foreign Languages in Tourism and Translation- Specialised in English, French & Italian) Another obstacle was the speed at which my facebook page was getting "LIKES', the average was two likes per month, which amounted to absolutely nothing.
Despite all this, I kept trying to find a job and did what I could to get professional experience, translating for friends as well as at the Italian Honorary Consulate in Mombasa where I performed a short internship. While doing the later, I got a chance to translate papers such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other such legal documents from English to Italian and vice versa. At the same time I continued with my course at the University. In July 2011, I got offered my first project involving the translation of a camping website but I was forced to turn it down due to the simple fact that my University was closed and I was not allowed to do a paid internship without its consent.
My first real translation project came this year and was offered to me by Sea Cliff Hotel, a 5 star accommodation in Dar Es Salaam. It was a compilation of «50 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN DAR" and was to be translated from English to French. Upon seeing my work and being satisfied with the results, I was once again asked to translate a document (from English to French) for the prestigious hotel. This time a "Service Guest Directory" providing details that could be of use to the in-house guests at Sea Cliff.
I guess the whole point of this article is to say that you shouldn't give up, no matter how improbable things might seem or how far from reach they are.