Back to basics

In Italian we say ‘si chiude il cerchio‘ ( = the circle has closed). That’s exactly how I feel now.

The first time I lived in London I was a younger me (hey, not much younger though!) and had plenty of hope and ideas. It was the 6th July 2005, just one day before the London bombing. I’d arrived in Greenwich, where I was going to spend my stay, on a rainy and rather foggy day so typical of the glorious and beloved English Summer. I was overloaded with luggage, had a lousy phone with me with a SIM card borrowed from a friend and was, well, pretty much broke. Nice plan uh?

My stay was not very long. I still had uni exams to take in Italy and my career (or my mind!) was not defined yet (of course not!).

In 2006, I thought that ‘repetita iuvant’ so there I went, again. I was as a work placement for 6 months in a Central London agency (to which I still owe most of my admin skills, thanks Atlas!) and there I started shaping my life a bit better.

So, what’s the ‘back to basics’ adagio about? Be patient (always a good tip, in life and work).

I moved to Exeter in 2008 and I have to say, I could not see myself here at first (too small, too far, low diversity…) but I never give in. So I ‘carved’ my life here and I have to say, folks: this place is the town with the highest quality of life I’ve ever lived in. Safe, nice, green, cosy.

But business is business (very much so these days) so, to cut a long story short: get ready for the Big Smoke and feel free to visit in the next months…

Rainy London is relocating to the real thing. We cannot ignore London Calling.

Si chiude il cerchio, as it should (and I am very excited about it).

See you there!

Val

 

ps.: my picture, below.

P1020664

pps. A nice video, a tune I love. Be louder!

Running a translation & interpreting business in the UK (aka the English version of Val’s interview from Italiansinfuga.com)

As I do know that most of my readers are not Italian mother tongues, as I promised, here is the English version of my interview at Italiansinfuga.com, by Aldo Mencaraglia. Pls see previous post for more info.

Interview by Aldo Mencaraglia.

By setting up a translation business in the UK, Valeria Aliperta has shown what it takes to be successful abroad.

How did you become a translator?

Following a passion that dates back to when I was little (at 12, I already had a serious fixation for English and languages in general, and spent my first 2 weeks in England, studying in a college), I decided to attend a language-based high school (the liceo linguistico) where we learnt English, Spanish and French for a total of 18 hours a week. Still in love with a language-related career, I went to Genoa and obtained a BA in Translation & Interpreting Studies. After a 3-year course, I moved to Forlì (Bologna): quoting Giacomo Leopardi’s words, they were years of studio matto e disperatissimo (crazy and desperate studying), which led to obtaining the MA in Conference Interpreting at SSLMIT. Yes, I am indeed both a translator and interpreter.

What brought you to England and Exeter in particular?

A period of insane love for all Spain and Spanish things – it’s still there, trust me! – kept me away from Albion for a while. But in 2005 I started a work placement in a London-based agency and that was enough: again, love at first sight. I went back to the UK and among university, holidays and work, there you go, it was 2006.
My brand is telling it all about England – Rainy London Translations – but Exeter came along, once again, for love: my partner has been working here as a web designer for 3 years and since then, Devon has been my home.

What is the procedure to start a business in the UK?

It was fairly easy. Those who start working here – or are willing to – need to get a National Insurance Number. Candidates need to visit a Job Centre for an interview on they country of origin, arrival date and stay, and so on and so forth. Once you are ‘legally’ registered – as EU citizen, for me it was very easy but nationals of non-EU countries need visas – the wait is approximately 4 weeks or so before you are sent the NIN. Unless you are hired by a company, you need to register (using that number) as a sole trader on the HMCR website. I opted for professional accounting services for my tax return but anybody can do it personally. Above an income threshold of £10k per year, it’s worth setting up a limited company (Ltd). Accounting admin fees are around £500 a year, whilst setting up a business with Companies House is approximately £200 (one-off payment) – all this in 2 weeks! All you need is a ready-to-use ‘brand name’ to register the ltd: mine shows the love for London and the trademark rain of the City, summarised in the London Eye icon.

Can you tell us the difference between this and the Italian procedure?

All I can say is that in Italy the paperwork is much longer, not to mention taxes: 21% in the UK against a jaw-dropping 44% (more or less) in Italy! Plus pension contributions and the likes… I would not suggest it to anyone!

Pros and cons of being an entrepreneur in the UK?

I can only talk about the pros, so far! I hope I won’t need to take this back in the near future! 

What websites would you recommend for those who are willing to follow your steps?

The ones I mentioned above and the professional associations I belong to:

Chartered Institute of Linguists (IoL)

Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)

and last but not least… Rainy London Translations

Thanks Aldo for including me in your blog!

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