Welcome to my personal page. My name is Rafa Lombardino and I have been a Professional Translator since 1997. I'm currently the CEO of Word Awareness, Inc.―a small network of professional translators established in California in 2004―and I act as the Content Curator of eWordNews,
I was born in Brazil in 1980 and moved to California in 2012, where I now live with my husband and two children. I graduated from Technical High School in 1997 with an Associate's Degree in Computer Sciences, emphasis on Data Processing. I finished college in 2002, majoring in Social Communications, majoring in Journalism.
I specialize in IT, Business, Advertising, and Marketing translations, but my passion for literature has taken me down a less technical path and I now coordinate two websites dedicated to promoting Brazilian authors abroad―Contemporary Brazilian Short Stories (CBSS) and Cuentos brasileños de la actualidad (CBA)―besides teaming up with self-published authors and small publishers to translate books into Portuguese and English.
HOW I GOT STARTED
I started working as a freelance translator back in 1997. I had just finished technical high school and got my certificate in English, having studied at a language school from the age of 11. I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to afford going to college and, even though I had a professional degree in Data Processing, I didn't feel quite ready to get into computer programming.
I applied for jobs left and right and was finally hired by a language school to teach English to kids, teenagers, and adults. From time to time, people would stop by and ask if anyone could help them translate some documents and letters. Everybody would pass, so I'd take the opportunity to make some extra cash and save for my higher education.
In 1999 I finally started going to Social Communications and Arts College to pursue my Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. In our freshman year, we had a subject called "Instrumental English", whose purpose was to teach aspiring journalists how to use a dictionary and get the gist of what articles in English were saying, so that they could use the core information to write their own articles in Portuguese.
Mr. Champlin, our professor, noticed that I was doing more than just replacing words in our assignments; I was rewriting the articles into what read like an actual piece in Portuguese―just what a faithful, informative translation was supposed to be.
Besides being a university professor, he happened to own a translation agency and work as a translator whenever he wasn't teaching, so he started to send me some translation assignments periodically.
Undoubtedly one of our best collaborations―and certainly one of the highlights of my career―was a six-month contract with a large tech-news website, translating about 5 articles a day, Monday through Friday. That experience taught me a lot and allowed me to combine my knowledge in computers and technology, the journalism skills I was acquiring at college, and the translation skills I had been developing.
The most important thing Mr. Champlin taught me was that translating was a career, not just an extra activity. I took his advice with me when I came to the U.S. in 2002 and kept working as a freelancer translator.
Having founded Word Awareness, a small network of professional translators, today I dedicate myself full-time to translating and sharing my experience with aspiring translators through classes and workshops.
In order to further my knowledge and get a formal education in the area I chose to be my profession, in 2005 I started taking classes toward a Professional Certificate in Translation at the University of California, San Diego Extension, which was conferred upon me three years later. In 2007 I decided to take and passed the English into Portuguese exam offered by the American Translators Association (ATA). Six years later, I took the exam again, this time for Portuguese to English translations, and passed it.
Journalism and translation would cross paths again throughout my career and, for that reason, I still take two projects to heart to this date: a month-long collaboration with the official Fifa-Yahoo website translating articles into Portuguese during the Germany World Cup 2006 and an 18-month contract started in 2008 with InfoSurHoy, a news website about Latin America.
When my workload permits, I like dedicating a few days a year to non-profit organizations and cultural projects. I have translated some environmental articles for the Greenpeace and health-related materials for the Cystic Fibrosis World Wide. I have also taken part in collaborative efforts to subtitle documentaries about musicians in Chile and Brazil.
In 2011, I started taking the initial steps to reboot my career and finally work with something that a long time ago had first made me interested in becoming a translator: literature. With the advancement of eBooks and the intense activity and success of self-published authors, I got a few book translation contracts under my belt in hopes of dedicating more of my time to literary translation.