Interview with a rare languages translator: David Leoney

Out of the blue, I received a query from David asking if it’d be okay if he translated my article on how to write spam assassin rules into Estonian. I said ‘sure’ and he did the translation — spam assassin help in Estonian — but I was curious about his experience as a freelance technical translator. Hence this interview…

Q: Tell us a bit about you, David. Where do you live? Where are you going to school and what languages do you speak?

I live in Italy and also here have my school at the university. I speak Italian, Spanish and Catalan. 

Q: You focus on technical translations. Is that easier or harder than translating news stories, novels or other writing?

Actually, I do not focus on technical translation. I deal with all types of translations. I would like to say that there is no more difficult or easier translations. All of them are interesting for me. 

Q: What do you like about translations?

Doing translations on different topics I always learn something new. I often have to check notions and facts in the online encyclopedia that broadens my mind. 

Q: When you encounter a word or phrase that isn’t in the target language, what’s your typical solution? Do you just leave the word in its original form and quote it?

When I meet a notion with no equivalent in target language I try to explain it or give appropriate equivalent with reference and explanation. 

Q: You’re part of a project that focuses on translating material into rare European languages like Romanian, Catalan, Armenian, Ukranina and Belorussian. Why? What’s the goal and what about it appeals to you?

Exactly this languages are difficult to find on the internet. Readers of the blog suffer from lack of information in native languages. That is why we are there to help. 

Q: You say that translations are a “hobby” for you. What’s your professional goal once you finish at University?

I study philology and when I graduate from the university i plan to do researches in the domain. 

Thanks for the interesting info, David!

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