Linda De Luca, from Varese to Grey’s Anatomy

From Varese to her success in America as a translator of screenplays for TV series. The 34-year-old is also the official interpreter for Saviano.


Precarious work as an interpreter and translator, which is poorly paid and, in some cases, not even paid are the reasons that drove Linda De Luca, 34, from Varese, who got her high school diploma from the “Ferraris” School in Varese, to leave Italy and move to America. Her story is similar to that of many other professionals, who decide to leave their country to pursue the American dream; a dream that Linda has managed to make come true.

“As soon as I arrived in New York,” she says, “I enrolled on a course in medical interpreting and, immediately after graduating, I started working for an agency that provides interpreters to hospitals. I come from a family of doctors and working in a hospital, albeit as an interpreter, was immediately a point of great pride for me. My work here is very much appreciated. In the hospital sector, the interpreter is a reference point, to such an extent that, without his presence, it’s not even possible to start interacting with patients. At the economic level, everyone decides his own rate, but in America, experience is recognised. After 10 years, I was immediately hired as a professional interpreter and paid accordingly. Unfortunately, in Italy, perhaps because there’s no register of interpreters and translators (the only reference is the Italian Association of Interpreters and Translators, AITI), there is always a downward trend and a request for discounts that I find really unacceptable”.

Linda graduated in interpreting and translation at the SSML of Varese, and attended a Master’s degree in literary and scientific translation in the same school. Once she finished her studies, she started working as an interpreter during a number of events in Milan. “It was during a fashion fair” she said, “that I met someone who worked with Jack Ketcham, and who suggested I translate the book Red. Having a novel published by Mondolibri (Mondadori) as my first experience of literary translation was an incredible business card for me. After that, after contacting the author’s agent, I also translated The girl next door, which has a preface by Stephen King.

It was then that Linda decided to leave Italy and move to New York, the city that gave her the professional success she now enjoys.

For a year, Linda has been the official interpreter for Roberto Saviano, in America and in Europe: she accompanied him to the offices of Netflix, in Los Angeles, to present his idea for a TV series, and to Sweden, to promote his book, and she follows him in all interviews for the American media, even in Naples, with a New York Time’s journalist.

“The experience in the American hospitals,” she adds, “opened another door for me: the translation of the famous TV series, Grey’s Anatomy. Indeed, as soon as I applied and told them about my professional career, they sent me an episode for translation, as a test. This is the proof that here, unlike what happens in Italy, the experience gained in a specific area really counts and can really make a difference. I believe that specialisation is the key to being successful and to being able to build solid credibility.”

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