Valentina Ambrogio — professional English to Italian Translator, Localiser and Subtitler

The Unique Pro Series ft. Martine Moretti of Martine Moretti Translations


The Unique Pro Series ft. Martine Moretti of Martine Moretti Translations

Posted by Valentina Ambrogio in Interviews, The Unique Pro Series 13 Jan 2016

Do you feel like you could use some extra motivation today? Well, you’re in the right place! The Unique Pro series couldn’t ask for a better way to begin this new year. Are you ready? Martine Moretti took this interview by storm. Enjoy and welcome back!

Introduce yourself, but focus more on your personal than your professional life.

Hi everyone! First of all, thank you, Valentina, for having me in your lovely series!

My name is Martine and, apart from being an ES/EN/FR > IT freelance translator, teacher and liaison/consecutive interpreter, I am a good food lover (and fine chef from time to time ;)), a volleyball player, an avid reader, an art lover (whatever the field and form) and, last but not least, mum of 2 bilingual 4 years twins, Valerio and Rebecca!

You have lived in many places but ended up settling in Lille for love. I really admire that. To me, success also means not forgetting that we are human beings and that there is nothing wrong in taking love into account when making decisions about our professional life. Do you always manage to find a balance between what is right for you as a translator, and what is right for you as a woman and wife?

Wow! “THE” never ending dilemma … LOL! Yes, I ended up in France but I have to say that my path was a bit diverted (I’d rather call it “giving a chance to … chance!” :)). Coming to France was totally unexpected in fact! I was sure I would end up in Spain instead –but destiny decided differently– and I am absolutely happy of all the things that I achieved after 10 years here! :)

Having a work is excellent, a family life as well but … we are human and we need to take care of ourselves too. Then, a work-life balance is absolutely essential!

I, myself, am the daughter of a workaholic, passionate and customers-oriented freelancer and I suffered a lot from his absence and almost complete dedication to his profession –although I could not admit it when I was young. I cannot blame him because today I know what it feels like to have a job that I love, and I know that he did so to make his family live a wealthy life, but I also know exactly which mistakes I mustn’t make. Although I tend to be like my father, I strive to do my best and devote all my spare time to my family and myself every single day. I close my office door when I go to pick up my children at school in the evening and try –sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail J– to have work-free week-ends/evenings to be fully present for my husband and children. I also try (yes, I wrote “try” :)) to keep in shape and do some sport for my psychophysical balance! :)

Everything is not 100% perfect yet, but I am working on it and definitely want to improve these aspects in 2016!

You have been working as an in-house translator for many years, but now you are ready to jump into full-time freelancing. Why did you make this decision? Are you scared? Thrilled? Both?

I must admit that I am not a total risk-taker -and having two children doesn’t push me to take rash decisions easily either-, but I am a passionate believer and must feel alive, whatever I do. I am even happier to take risks when I feel that is the only way out of a dead-end-street! That is why I decided to jump into full-time freelancing: my latest in-house job did not satisfy me anymore. Of course, I learnt a lot during these years and it is something I will always be grateful for, but it is over now: I have to pluck up my courage and move forward.
Of course, I am also thrilled and scared all at the same time, but I have come to the conclusion that I deserve better and am still too young to get dried up because of a job. :) [You’re preaching to the choir, sister]

As is the case for many things in life, in my opinion, THE perfect moment simply does not exist and if you wait for it, you will never move on so… at a certain point, I decided to take part in my own destiny!

I once read an inspiring sentence which says: Life is like a game of chess. To win, you have to make a move. To sum up: we do not have to be scared of… making our move!

You are a translator, a mom, a wife, many years after your BA you went back to university to take your MA, you moved to another country for love… wow! Challenges don’t scare you, do they? Do you think that being a translator makes you have the right attitude toward life?

I do not know if being a translator is the (only) key to have the right attitude toward life but it certainly helps to be flexible.

I am quite optimistic by nature and a very flexible person and this helps a lot when it comes to take up decisions and challenges. This is probably “A” secret: trying to be positive –even if it’s not always easy– and having certain optimism toward life and future!
Good vibes attract good vibes (and so do bad vibes … we choose!).

There is something that still needs to be fixed. For example, I know that I have to improve/develop my self-confidence and to stop calling me excessively into question sometimes –I am human, am I? :) I also have to cultivate my proactive attitude that already prevents me from getting stuck in bad situations forever!

I have always thought that few things in life are 100% irreversible so whatever I dive into … I do it to the full and try not to have regrets. If things do not go the way I expect, I will be able to change some elements and/or direction but it is essential to start out thinking: “I can make it!” :)

What professional features do you think you have?

I have already revealed you some: I am a hard-worker with a penchant to “workaholism”, a passionate about life and my job, and a very (too much?) demanding and stubborn professional. I also love laughing and putting my personal touch into both my personal and professional life. Although I am a serious and reliable professional, I want my customers to remember me as someone they can talk to easily and an easy-to-reach partner. I think I have made it so far. I am also very expressive, both in writing and in person, so, for ex., I cannot help using emoticons, if I feel I can, of course, into a professional e-mail.

I think that showing our true self is crucial to be outstanding! [Amen!]

I only know you from Facebook, but I really like your enthusiasm. You really seem like a beautiful person to be around and deal with. Do you think your clients can perceive the real Martine by following on your social media profiles, or just by reading your emails?

I think that I have partially answered above! :) Yes, I cannot help being myself, whatever I do.

In my opinion, you can be a perfect and respectful professional, even if you show you are able to laugh, use a certain touch of irony and “easiness” from time to time. If you show your true self, your customers will remember YOU and YOU won’t be confused with anyone else! :)

Showing your true colours and being yourself as a marketing tool. Do you agree? Game-changing factor or irrelevant?

As I wrote above, definitely yes! I think that being quite transparent and sincere –even in a professional environment– can help us to stand out and to learn more from others. It does not mean we have to show absolutely everything of our life and personality but I think that we do not have to play the role of the “ideal professional” either. We are all unique in a way and we have to cherish this uniqueness. […you know what I am about to say!]

And now, just some simple yes-no questions:
Do you feel professionally unique? Of course, we all are! Two personal experiences can be quite similar but they are never alike! My former in-house career definitely helped me to gather some necessary knowledge to face the freelance profession today, but sooooo many things are still left to learn! :) As far as freelancing is concerned, I like defining myself as an “experienced beginner” and, in my opinion, this might also turn out to be a “plus”!
I am a dynamic (an appealing way to mean “restless-from-time-to-time” ;)) and proactive person who loves –good– surprises. I then work hard in order not to get stuck into a “routine”, both in my professional and personal life. I basically try to improve myself and my condition every day. I think that this might also be positive for my business on the long term. Did you say “yes/no question”, right? 😛 … sorry then! [I forgive you hehe]
Are you happy with your life/job balance right now? Well … let’s say I’m “pretty much satisfied”! But I still have to improve (a lot) and fix some details! 😉 My 2016 resolutions? More sport, more professional training, more self-awareness and more time to devote to the people I love and to my second passion: pencil drawing –I also wanted to be a stylist in my young days! :) And I also have to improve the ultimate ability of learning to “say no”! 😉
Is there anything you would like to do to stand out more? I’d like: to know more about some marketing strategies and techniques, to improve my website SEO (aka visibility), to be able to go to more conferences on translation and trade-shows that in 2015 –this should be a bit easier since I am full-time dedicated to my profession now.


bio-martineBio: Martine is a Spanish language and art lover, a life-long learner, a traveller –when her children
are a little bit more grown-up, she’ll be happy to pack bags again for a long journey– and an avid reader. After traveling far and wide (Europe, Australia…) and working as a full-time in-house translator (in Italy and abroad) for several years, she decides to go back to University and graduates in Foreign Languages cum laude (EN/ES). In 2005, she ends up in France where she has the opportunity to take up another challenge: she then comes back to University again at her 29 years, and works as a part-time in-house translator at the same time. Since December 2015, she is a full-time EN/ES/FR > IT freelance translator, liaison/consecutive interpreter and Italian teacher at Mt morettitranslations. Last but not least, she is also raising 2 bilingual twins and this is definitely the most enriching human & teaching experience ever! :)
Book(s) you are currently reading: Rossana Campo, Duro come l’amore
Book(s) you recommend: Storia di un corpo, Daniel Pennac; La viaggiatrice, Karla Suárez
In my spare time I like traveling, reading, discovering new cultural activities (new stage shows, concerts, exhibits etc.) and … doing some pencil drawing … it’s soooo relaxing!
Share a song:  The song I’d like to share is “Don’t stop me know”, from Queen.
As you may already know, I am one of their fans and I’d like to relate a funny anecdote.
Some days ago, I was walking to the city center with my iPod on, and listening to this song. When I arrived (believe me), I was almost breathless! This song gave me huge energy … I didn’t even notice I was almost running!! LOL!!!
I would like to share this song with you because it seems to be a sort of “war cry” and an ode to the courage and determination of all the freelancers (whatever their age and experience) who strive hard every single day to develop their businesses!!

Hope to see you soon and BE AWESOME … JUST AS YOU ARE!!! :) [<3]

What an energy boost! Thank you Martine for this amazing and energising interview. I wish you all the best with you new freelance life :)


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