Freelancer in Germany. “Both here and in Italy, the publishing world is static. To live, you need to diversify”

“The world editorialboth in Italy which abroad, is governed by immobility. It is not assumed and it is not possible to enter: the tendency is to outsource”. Born in 1993 in the province of Paduaafter studying Publishing and Linguistics in Italy, Elena Volpato chose to live in Germany. For love. Graduated in Languages ​​and Cultures for Publishing in 2015, shortly after the bachelor’s degree, he met what is now his life partner, a German. And the will to leave Italy gradually matured. “If he hadn’t been there – he explains to – I would never have considered the Germany in my life, because I had done linguistic studies in Spanish and French. There was no real moment where I decided to move in Germany. Gradually they lengthened i periods where I stayed”.

The first trip is in 2015: a few weeks of au pair in Bavaria to learn the language but the approach is not the best: “The family that hosted me was very kind, but the region was a bit isolated”. Then other experiences, also in Belgium and Holland. The following year she returns to Italy to do a master’s degree in Publishingalways to Verona. And when he finishes he plays the first one internship near home: “It was in one small publishing house and then, however, I had a hard time fitting into this environment”. The same difficulty is encountered in Germany: “The only thing I found – he says – was an unpaid internship a Berlinon a site with content for Italians”.

In the German capital she recognizes a dimension of life that she likes and this leads her to try to build her own there career. A surprise for her, who instead has always preferred different contexts: “I’m a small-town person, I thought that Berlin it was too chaotic for my personal taste, but it amazed me because it is great but also a lot calm”. Finished it internship, send your resume everywhere, improve your language, but still have a B2 level and therefore look for a job where Italian and English are also good. In her field, there is very little: “I stayed a Berlin – he explains – I worked as waitress at fairs, in hotels, for extraordinary events. There isn’t one Italian publishing house based abroad and the only ones that made sense to me were editorial realities that produced school textbooks”.

He finds nothing, so after a few months he returns to Italy with a certain disappointment: “I had hoped for it, I had tried. I’ve always had the fire of the editorial environment, my dream was to become editorthat is editor and editor of a fiction series”. It doesn’t break down. He returns home in 2018 and starts collaborating with an agency based in Berlinbut at a distance. Then he realizes he has to broaden his horizons and starts to deal with translations: “In the meantime I had gone back to living with my parents. Other than them, though, I had no strings attached Italyso I decided to reach for mine companywho had a family business in Nuremberg”. If leaving wasn’t a difficult decision, make it so random his fate was largely the belonging sector. After dozens of closed doors abroad and in Italy, Elena he had to invent himself from scratch, both geographically and professionally. “I saw that in both the Italian and German publishing world everything is at a standstill – she explains – it is a sector that would need many professionals but is unable to hire them”. In the publishing industry, basic services are often assigned to third parties, thus preventing the entry of new figures. In contrast, the university they train people thinking about the theoretical needs of the sector, without taking into account the market possibilities.

“To provide a quality book, many highly qualified figures would be needed. These figures exist, unfortunately, however, what it takes to bring out a editorial product then it is not reflected in the market and therefore the companies are unable to assume the people they need.” Daughter of workers employees, Mottled deal with this first uncertainty: “In my field – she says – the permanent contract that has been instilled in my brain since I was a child, and that I myself dreamed of, does not exist. At a certain point, therefore, I understood that either I was completely changing the sector or I was facing reality, which is that in the linguistic, editorial and cultural domain you have to go ahead on your own feet, most of the time being VAT number”. Part of this survival process involves diversifying. Today Elena works as a freelance teacher of Italian to foreigners and collaborates with publishing, translation, layout and marketing companies. All in Italian, English and German, from Nuremberg. It’s not an easy life, but she likes it. “There is no difference between Italy and the Germany – he explains – except in the spritz: here it costs too much”.

Freelancer in Germany. “Both here and in Italy, the publishing world is static. To live, you need to diversify”