The Green Room Interviews: Valeria Aliperta

The Green Room Interviews: Valeria Aliperta

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas everyone! I have decided to give you a great present to keep you company with your Xmas morning coffee while waiting to hit the Xmas table with your family and friends!

The Green Room's present is ready to rock you with one more language-star guest!

This language artist does not need much of an introduction. I'm pretty sure if I say "Rainy", you will say "London"! You guessed right. It is the one and only, Valeria Aliperta!

It is a great honour that Valeria has accepted to answer the following questions as she is one of the most well-known professionals in the translation industry. Valeria is a native Italian professional interpreter and translator. She successfully runs the famous Rainy London Translations and Rainy London Branding and she is also involved in "The Freelance Box" project, along with her partner-in-crime, Mrs. "Wantwords" - Marta Stelmaszak.  

If you ever attended one of Valeria's talks, then you know why she is considered to be a marketing and a social media guru! I met Valeria in the Second IAPTI International Conference 2014 in Athens and all I have to say is that she really rocks the industry! I am a huge fan and I am really glad she is here with me today.

Valeria Aliperta, welcome to the Green Room! 


1. Hi Valeria! Thank you for accepting my invitation to the Green Room. Well, let's take it from the start. At what point in your life did you decide that you want to become a translator?

Well, as I always tell... I was 12 and for some reason I was struck on the way to Damascus. After wanting to become a journalist (I edited the school’s journal which I wrote on my typewriter – yes, I got it for Xmas at 10) I knew I wanted to be “something” with language. And interpreter sounded cool. I was one of those kids who was good at all subjects (but Maths!) – yet, the one I really was excellent at was English. At 16 I started learning my 3rd language, Spanish (along with French and English, we had 5+5+5 hrs of foreign languages a week at my college) and well, the rest is history. Almost 20 years of love (feeling old in 3, 2, 1...)

As you may gather... it’s all about passion and what you’re more prone to be good at. Just as Confucius said: love what you do and you’ll never have to work a single day.

2. In a technology-intensive world, marketing is closely related to social media. There is an increasing number of companies that uses social media networks to screen candidates. How careful should a freelance translator be with networking and social media promotion? Is there such a thing as over-exposure? 

Of course. I recently applied for a freelance collaboration and the online form had a button to link it to your FB (personal) profile. I believe you should post and have a online “persona” just like the one you want to be and are in real life. All comes down to real life after all, so: be true or don’t be, that’s what I say. Inevitably, social media highlight (or aim to do so) the best of you – as it should be – but I can assure you we all have our “bad hair” days. Clients are – and rightly so – very strict with the people they work with or hire, so do yourself a favour and just look up for your name on the internet from time to time – it’s about taking care of your reputation – esp. with photos or rants, which I highly recommend you do NOT do online.

All in all, there’s bad in everything, so I recommend to just be aware and use it accordingly. And I can assure you, politeness and correctness always pays off, just like good intentions and honesty do.

3. Which are the 3 apps you could not live without?

Ah! Hard to say! I can name some I’d keep at a personal level too and they’d be any app that connect me to social media: Facebook or Twitter; Whatsapp or Telegram and a photo app called Facetune. When your visibility plays a role in your business, I guess that keeping on top of social media is crucial – as well as of your e-mails. But as you know, I could name 30+ apps for you... (my next talk on apps is here:

4. Desktop or laptop?

Laptop if I had to choose, but I do have both. I like the mobility of the laptop and had it for years as my main machine (with an external 21’’screen). Yet, the reliability of a desktop is not to be underestimated. Plus, I can’t really count as an example as I’ve got way too many machines now: a desktop, an 11’’ and a 15’’ laptop, a tablet and a smartphone. I believe I can choose :)

5. As a marketing guru and director of the famous Rainy London Translations (that, very recently, celebrated its 6th birthday - Congrats!), what is the one advice you would give to newcomers in the translation industry?

I’d love newbies to repeat these 3 concepts as their mantra:

- never give up – failing does not mean what you’re trying to do is impossible

- have a (business) plan – to include financial and admin goals

- be curious, network and defy the diktat (and never say I’m just a translator)

6. What are your future translation-related plans?

I’m not a literary translator but I like writing. So, for as cliché-y as it may sound, I’d love to write a book AND YET translate one (possibly mine and others!)

As for language-related goals, I’ll propose a classic NY’s resolution: working on my French and Portuguese, and possibly develop a new, more rare language. At the same time, I’d love to join a short course on fashion and marketing (MOOCs, thank you!) and on a more personal level, I’ve got another blog in mind...

Thank you, Val!

I would also like to publicly thank Valeria for her friendly tips and inspiration regarding my queries on branding. Her articles and talks worked magic!

You can join Valeria on Facebook and you can follow her on Twitter.


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