Raffaella was born and raised in Aosta Valley, on the border of France and Switzerland, and grew up bilingual, speaking both Italian and French. She developed a curiosity for grammar early on and attended a high school specializing in studying foreign languages/literatures, adding German, English, and Latin to her list. During those high school years, she spent a month studying abroad each summer, meeting people from all over the world, enjoying multicultural environments, and immersing herself in other languages and cultures. As she was beginning her college search, a few former students visited her high school and shared their experience studying at the University of Geneva in Switzerland in the Translation and Interpretation program. It was then that Raffaella started dreaming of becoming a United Nations interpreter. She then went on to complete a MA in Translation, and post-graduate degrees in terminology and machine translation.
After graduating college, Raffaella started working part-time at a financial software company in Geneva. The company had clients in Italy and needed to translate its software and documentation into Italian.
Raffaella admits, “I had never translated software nor software documentation before. I could barely use a computer and I was not a technical person. Nobody in the company knew the norms of translating software. I didn’t even know that what I was doing had a name: software localization.” It started to seem like she was doing the work backward: translating the documentation, which referred to the user interface (UI) of the software, which was not translated. So then Raffaella started translating the UI—the buttons, welcome screens, etc.— in the documentation but quickly realized that might not be the way to go, either, since those elements were not translated in the software itself.