Perdincibacco*, le copertine tedesche!

* Questa per i Romani sarebbe stata una bestemmia! 🙂
Attenzione: post ad alto tasso di vitriolo oltre che di sarcasmo!

Come se traduttori/traduttrici, insegnanti di lingua e tutto l’universo di professionisti che lavora nella comunicazione in un contesto interculturale non venissero già abbastanza insultati dalla miriade di a) improvvisati, b) marchettari che si inventano miti pur di lanciare pseudo-corsi e app mediante ripetitivi copywriting o tristissime tattiche da PNL, nonché c) informatici e programmatori che si credono linguisti perché hanno lavorato a programmi per la traduzione automatica o assistita o ad app per imparare le lingue…

… l’ennesimo schiaffo a queste categorie arriva da una rivista edita da una casa editrice berlinese. La casa editrice in questione sembra anche volersi porre sul mercato come un attore di valore, a giudicare dalle parole usate nel presentarsi, che traduco e cito: “numerose pubblicazioni di alta qualità”. Ora, io ci voglio anche credere, ma se poi se ne escono con:

Imprecazione blasfema su rivista tedesca
Perbacco, porcapaletta, poffarbacco, un omicidio. Vittima la professionalità di migliaia di traduttori, insegnanti, mediatori interculturali italiani, alcuni dei quali magari fanno la fame a Berlino… 

… beh, qualche dubbio mi viene!

Siamo tutti umani: io stessa ho pubblicato libri nei quali, a distanza di anni, trovo errori di battitura o editing lasciati a metà nonostante alcune opere siano state curate e controllate da almeno 5-6 persone. La legge di Murphy, inoltre, enuncia che in questo stesso testo ci saranno almeno 5-6 refusi o editing lasciati a metà.

Qui, però, il sospetto è che le cose siano andate in maniera diversa: secondo me, si sono affidati all’amico o allo stagiaire o alla risorsa interna a vario titolo che aveva dichiarato, che so, di aver fatto l’Erasmus in Italia, o di avere clienti/amici nel Bel Paese. Il/la responsabile ha sentito usare il madonnone come intercalare e ha pensato che fosse un’espressione tipo ach o zum Donnerwetter

Immagino la conversazione nell’ufficio berlinese (o su Skype):  “Il mio amico Lorenzo di Livorno tutte le volte che c’è coda o che si fa male dice ***… il mio italiano è sssstrabiliante! Fa un sacco madrelingua!” e… bam! Bestemmione in prima pagina. Mi astengo dal condire la scenetta con intercalari tedeschi, in quanto gli intercalari salisburghesi, che utilizzo regolarmente, in bocca ad un berlinese suonerebbero come un intercalare barese in bocca ad un pavese.

Immagino anche che una buona parte della responsabilità sia da ricondurre al marchètting… ahem, marketing di molti “colleghi” del settore linguistico, per i quali grammatica e traduzione sono sempre vietate perché bloccano il discente che, invece, deve interiorizzare la nuova lingua. Sono io contraria all’incentrare una lezione di lingua straniera sulla conversazione più che su teorie e spiegazioni? Ovviamente no, anzi, sono nota per far parlare da subito gli studenti! Sono contraria a bandire totalmente dalle lezioni quelle basi di grammatica e quelle traduzioni o spiegazioni interculturali necessarie a far capire allo studente a fine lezione cosa ha fatto per tre quarti d’ora o un’ora e mezzo con me? Sì, perché… beh, poi escono cose come quelle sopra (o come le mitiche traduzioni automatiche).

La cosa più buffa? Una bestemmia è punibile con una multa in Italia ed Austria, e con della galera (il reato è “blasfemia”) in Germania.

Io sono assolutamente contraria alle leggi anti-blasfemia; tuttavia, sinceramente, settori quali editoria e giornalismo sono ormai pieni zeppi di improvvisati e infestati da stipendi e tariffe da fame che, forse, una bella punizione esemplare per ricordare che chi risparmia sulla qualità paga poi in altro modo male non farebbe.

Questo senza neanche menzionare il fatto che io non mi sognerei mai di scrivere una cosa del genere su una copertina – e io non sono credente, per intenderci -. A meno che non sia una pubblicazione, che so, di humor nero, o per militanti anticlericali… insomma, una produzione a diffusione ben mirata e limitata.

Mi rimane un ultimo sospetto, dalle tonalità decisamente andreottiane: che costoro sapessero benissimo cosa stavano scrivendo e abbiano contato sulla puntuale reazione mediatica di noi italiani, famosi per far schizzare in alto le statistiche di ogni sito web o pagina di social media anglosassone o germanica che osi cucinare male roba italiana.

Voi che dite?

p.s. Se vi incuriosisce il tema “imprecazioni e traduzioni”, qui una mia risposta su Quora in lingua italiana: https://it.quora.com/Come-si-traducono-in-italiano-vecchi-modi-di-dire-americani-come-gee-wiz-o-holy-mackerel/answer/Felicita-Ratti 

p.p.s. nelle prossime settimane il blog verrà trasferito su un altro server, e pertanto potrebbe non essere disponibile per qualche giorno, ma torno!

 

 

 

Why am I A-Typical Italian? What does it mean? My story so far.

Read the German version here – Lesen Sie die deutsche Version hierQui trovate la versione tedesca

How A-Typical italian was born

Introducing this blog and the person behind it

The reason I chose this “business nickname” is tied to my personal history. I hope my story inspires you to learn a language – in a course, with some private lessons, online, using an app – or helps you looking at people from other countries in a different way.

It is not a story of “I am the perfect polyglot who never had any difficulty and constantly becomes fluent in tons of new languages every month”. It is just a story, my own. And as an Italian – typical or not – I do find very difficult to shut up, so… here comes my tale!

Bear with me: I will switch register often here, because there is some serious stuff and some funny anecdotes as well.

puns interests and passions
This is the kind of BEAR I usually have IN MIND. OK, it’s a terrible joke, I know. Still better than GoT S7

My passion for languages – How I learned languages (and how I failed at them, too) – my first translations more than 20 years ago

I remember I liked English very much from the start:  in 1993, I began what we call middle school (Italian: scuola media, a three-year school we attend from age 11 to 14). My class was assigned a very good teacher, with decent pronunciation, an open and international mind, a flexible approach to language teaching.

Believe me, I was lucky. Plenty of people had teachers with pre-intermediate/intermediate skills, and a pronunciation worthy of the worst mocking video you can find on YouTube.

My passion for music and cinema also helped: since my favourite artists all sing in English, and many films in their original version are in English. Therefore, I grabbed any opportunity to be challenged with native or native-like inputs or with non-controlled practice anyway.

The funny thing is, the first time I went abroad and put my oh-so-good English (according to my school grades and to my final report) to the test… it was a disaster! I couldn’t understand what the handsome Israeli boys were telling me! It took me at least a few more years to relax into it. The same thing happened with German: my Zertifikat Deutsch wasn’t enough to allow me a smooth and flawless hotel reservation in a hotel in Tyrol. Some might argue that a Zertifikat Deutsch does not help in Tyrol 😉 !)

German exam Zertifikat Deutsch Receptionist GRRM
Ironic, or prophetic?

The reason I started taking private, individual lessons with a native speaker of German? During a holiday, I fell in love with the German-speaking part of Italy, South Tyrol, especially the dresses, the food, and the landscape of the Dolomites. Then, even worse than that, I got to know The Sound of Music…  so I don’t have to tell you more.

When the time came to go to scuola superiore (roughly high school/Oberschule; a five-year school Italian young people attend from the age of 14 to 19), I did not choose the so-called liceo linguistico (Modern languages lyceum) because there were way too many subject at the time. Italian school used to be known for the great amount of study and homework given to students. 31 to 36 hours of classes X many subject X about one hour of studying and homework per subject per afternoon did not seem like a good idea to me. I went for a reformed version of the glorious liceo classico (classic lyceum/ Ancient languages lyceum/klassisches Gymnasium/Altsprachliches Gymnasium), a school based on the study of Italian, Latin and Ancient Greek. Daily translations of texts from these ancient languages into Italian were assigned as homework. The reformed course of study I enrolled in included English as a five-year subject, and  more math hours than its older, unreformed version. I always feel like choosing a liceo classico really boosted my language and translation skills. Anyone who has dealt with Ancient Greek can manage German easily! Besides, I gained a solid comparative and analytic linguistic background I still cherish today, and I learned the art of a professional translation at a relatively young age.

Yes, our teachers taught us what a translation is, how to approach a text in order to translate it, and required a professional mind-set from our side. Failing to follow their instructions resulted in bad marks. Bad marks could lead to failing the school year.

Translation text analysis Latin
My 4th-year Latin culture and translation handbook- text analysis, glossaries, no Google

So, here it is. I took well-structured courses with several different didactic approaches. In my late teens/early twenties I had several brief experiences abroad. Then, in my mid-twenties, I finally went abroad to study, research, work, and live. I am still living abroad! I failed a lot, and I also managed to accomplish a few things here and there. English and German have been my education, studying and working languages in several branches.

I am very proud when someone assumes I am a native speaker of English or of German. I assure you, it happens! Since I wasn’t raised bi-/trilingual, it’s a huge acknowledgment for me!

20171019_160642
Books, journals, and… hey, two of those books were written/co-written by me! *showing off intensifies*

Why “A-Typical Italian”?

So, hence my idea for my business nickname (according to Austrian law, it’s not my “business name”): I am atypical because I master two foreign languages, as opposed to the common idea that Italians do not speak any, and if they do speak one, they are not intelligible (I like fancy words). My home is full of books, DVDs and stuff in both languages, and I use both languages in my everyday and professional life daily.

Obviously, I am not the only one, so I am not claiming to be exceptional and/or exclusive! It’s more like I would remind that you don’t have to be exceptional to do it. You just have to find your own way, and then practise.

But, well, I am also typical, as my ex-boyfriend (the Austrian one) and as many customers often stressed. You know… fashion, make-up, food, social life, bidet (one day I will launch the Bidet Imperialism Party, beware). Oh, and I am always very loud when I talk or when I do things. Some even say my curly hair gives my identity away. Would you agree?

Felicita Ratti Profile www.hannelore-kirchner.com
Since I have been far too humorous, here is a very serious and professional profile and CV picture of myself

So, what do I do? I spend my private and professional life trying to harmonise my Italian, Modenese, English-speaking and German-speaking sides.

Italian American Austrian Modenese New Year
Modenese (Modena is the city in Northern Italy I come from) and Austrian wines on New Year’s Eve and day, some years ago. Some Modenese zampone and some international/American treats to accompany them.

How does my multilingual brain work? (Does it work? Really? – OK, so, this was typical Italian humour!)

I have a memory that works mainly via images and sounds; however, I also recognise language structures (grammar, syntax, sequence of tenses) easily: I get their logic quickly, besides “seeing” them and “hearing” them. When I went to school, grammatical, logical, and syntactical analysis were an important part of our school program, and I find these very useful, because they suit my personal attitude towards languages. It also comes very handy when I have to explain grammar to my students, if and when it is needed.

I sometimes dream in English or German too. I often think in German or English, especially if the thoughts are related to something I was working on in that specific language, but sometimes even in a more spontaneous way.

The only thing I always do in Italian is… counting (especially subtracting), unless it is something as simple as a countdown or counting a few pieces/banknotes.

Your experience with languages, living abroad, translating, enduring Italians, whatever?

If you are curious or interested, feel free to drop a comment about your own experience!

libri books bücher italian italienisch german deutsch englisch english inglese tedesco
Books, Bücher, libri.

 

 

A-Typical Italian is online!

Hallo! Hello! Ciao!

Ich bin Felicita Ratti, A-Typische Italienerin ( = A-Typical Italian 😉 ). Ich lebe seit Jahren im Ausland und werde in diesem Blog über Sprachen, Übersetzungen, interkulturelle/internationale Kommunikation und ItalienerInnen im Ausland schreiben!

I am Felicita Ratti, A-Typical Italian 😉 . I have been living abroad for years, and in this blog I will write about languages, translations, intercultural/international communication, and Italians abroad!

Sono Felicita Ratti, un’italiana atipica ma anche un po’ tipica (=A-Typical Italian è un gioco di parole). Vivo all’estero da anni, e in questo blog scriverò di lingue, traduzioni, comunicazione interculturale ed internazionale, e perfino di italiani/-e all’estero!