METM22 presentation

Tech, fantasy and the human factor in the time of Covid

Elizabeth Garrison, Milan, Italy; Courtney Greenlaw, Milan, Italy

Thanks to the pandemic it can be harder than ever to foster and maintain good professional relationships. By using the digital tools at our disposal, we can combat isolation and develop relationships to ensure both our projects and interpersonal dealings are successful. 

In this presentation we’ll share our experience of translating and editing an Italian fantasy novel trilogy, and our interactions with the author throughout. The author’s goal was to create a multimedia product in an international style of English with a more British bent. Although both the translator and editor are American, the editor’s time spent living in the UK and the translator’s love of fantasy fiction made them an excellent team to work in close contact with the author, leading to many interesting points of discussion as well as some more humorous moments that lightened our experience of the pandemic and made this long project a pleasure to work on.

We’ll specifically explore the use of Calendly, Zoom, Google Drive and WhatsApp as means of remote teamworking. We’ll share some of the more entertaining moments from our discussions with the Italian author and highlight the interesting linguistic decisions we had to make as we discussed tone, style and writing standards. Our presentation will include some video clips of our interactions and demos of how the various types of software work.

This remote coworking experience helped us learn to work effectively and foster excellent relationships despite physical distance and emotional stress. By sharing our process we can help others in the industry explore options for relationship building across multiple divides, presenting different digital tools that can be used to achieve this. Our presentation aims to provide much-needed inspiration and motivation after such difficult times and will also be of linguistic interest, as we will address certain differences and issues we encountered in discussing various types of English. 

About the presenters

Elizabeth Garrison has been working in the translation industry since 2009, primarily as a freelance translator and editor. Initially working from Spanish and Catalan, she added Italian to her repertoire in 2019 after settling in Milan following a three-year stint as a digital nomad.

Courtney Greenlaw has been based in Milan since 2006, working in Italian, Spanish and English as a freelance language service provider and business skills trainer. Passionate about travel, she has visited 50 countries thus far, including Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, the Peruvian Amazon, Bali, Botswana, South Africa, Nicaragua and India.