When planning our CPD we often take into consideration core activities such as improving our marketing skills, learning how to use new CAT tools, how to boost our online presence and/or find new clients, dealing with financial aspects, gaining new specializations, etc. But working on our native language is not less important.
Yes, the use of our own language can be improved. Believe me. Even if you have good writing skills, even if you are an experienced professional. I started considering it when I decided to attend a translators’ workshop on my native language, Italian, last month, run by Mariarosa Bricchi, a literary fiction editor, in Milan, and developed by STL, a first class player for Italian translators’ CPD. And it turned out to be the right choice. Thinking over our own language, discovering what has changed since we learned it as children, gaining a new perspective given by the speaker, and the consideration offered by other attendants have all contributed to make the occasion formidable. With a bit of surprise, I noticed that this event has gone unnoticed by younger translators. All other activities are important, but to make the difference, to offer the quality of a true living language, I recommend to all fellow or prospect translators to attend CPD events aiming at improving writing skills in their own language, notwithstanding one’s field of expertise. You may work in medical field, marketing, scientific or literary fields - it doesn’t matter. The way you use your language can determine client’s interest in working with you. Native language can be improved. And develop into a powerful way to stand out. Here are my final and totally personal takeaways: We often think that good writing means using precious and sophisticated words, searching for complexity, convinced that a text has to be a sort of evening dress, glittering and high-heeled, to show up at a lunch meeting. Good looking but not suitable. No, our texts have to communicate messages, bring on topics, catch our readers’ interest while being as clear and plain as possible. The content is the dress, not our texts. Our words are the good shoes that will take it around the world! Are you ready for the journey?